A Culture of Resilience: Social Capital and Climate Adaptation in Post-Flood Boulder County Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/4x51hn90b

2016

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  • Scientists say that climate change is very likely to cause more frequent and more severe weather events. In order to understand how communities respond to changing weather patterns, an exploration of the connection between extreme weather events and climate change awareness, collective action, and policy is warranted. This case study of Boulder County, Colorado, uses 20 interviews with key informants, secondary interview data, 887 newspaper articles, materials provided by government and non-profit organizations, and direct observation to analyze the relationship between Boulder County’s September 2013 floods and climate change awareness and action. Findings indicate that climate change beliefs were not generally affected, but that the floods resulted in an overall heightened awareness of climate change impacts, as well as an increased focus on building resilience to climate change impacts, especially through the use of social capital. Findings also suggest that there was a complex relationship between social capital and resilience in post-flood Boulder County, Colorado. I conclude that municipal governments should network with the public to build resilience to climate change impacts, which would be more productive than attempting to increase public awareness of climate change risks.
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