Geography Department Seminar: שינויים טרנספורמטיביים ביחס לבצורות: לקחים מישראל
ד"ר עמית טובי, המחלקה לגיאוגרפיה, האוניברסיטה העברית, ירושלים
Over the course of this century the average global temperature may increase by 4 °C, leading to unprecedented adverse effects on ecosystems and societies. Accordingly, the need to adapt to substantial change is increasingly recognized. Yet adaptation research focuses almost entirely on incremental adaptation, namely moderate adjustments aiming mainly to maintain existing systems and processes. Policy action has followed a similar path. But in highly vulnerable settings incremental adaptations may not suffice to reduce vulnerability and foster resilience. In such circumstances, deeper transformations that change the fundamental attributes of vulnerable systems are necessary. However, evidence on transformational changes is limited. Most importantly, there is limited understanding of the factors that underlie and facilitate transformation.
The main objective of this research is to examine how and why transformations occur. These changes are examined from a long-term perspective, focusing on two transformations that diminished Israel’s vulnerability to drought: the transformation from an agriculture-based economy to industry in the 1960s, and the shift to desalination in the mid 2000s. These changes are examined using a wide range of data sources, including archival records, statistical reports and a review of grey and academic literature.
The results show that the transformational changes, while occurring in the aftermath of severe droughts, reflect mainly broader socio-economic transformations and shifts in the dominant ideology and related power structures. Moreover, both transformations occurred when certain thresholds were reached, making economic and water supply systems untenable. Thus, I find that transformation must be embedded in long-term social processes and the management of emergent social and environmental problems in a manner that contributes to greater resiliency. This, in turn, raises questions regarding the potential for proactive transformations and the pace in which such transformations can be implemented in order to avoid severe climate change impacts.
Seminar Organizer: Prof. Hadas Saaroni