Holistic Mobility, Well-Being, and Adaptation to Climate Change

Dr. David Kronlid 
Thursday, October 2, 2014  
4 - 5 pm, Rm 1004 Education

Mobility and migration play central roles in the climate change adaptation discourse, both as suggested adaptive strategies and as the possible result from the failure to adapt. Arguably, in order to make adaptation for transformation (and even for transition) possible and legitimate in a mobility context, we need to learn, re-learn or un-learn how to move-and-moor our inner and outer worlds in new ways. In this presentation, I explore a rereading of mobility and climate change adaptation. In the spirit of the wickedness of the state of affairs, the purpose is not necessarily to reach a given and predetermined destination, but rather to set forth in new directions that may, in a small way, expand the space of the possible concerning climate change adaptation, mobility, and wellbeing. On this journey, I draw on nuances that can be derived from holistic mobility as moving-and-mooring, that is explored in the recent ‘mobilities' turn in geography. Accordingly, the main aim of my presentation is to discuss the relationship between climate change adaptation and holistic mobility as a Capability. I argue that it is desirable to further explore the meaning of mobility in order to understand more about the ethical challenges associated with mobility in a climate change context. Or in other words, to understand more in depth how mobility is connected to climate change adaptation and wellbeing. This is important for adaptation because, first, it helps us understand mobility in a vulnerability context. Second, adaptation ought not to violate people's Capabilities but rather expand, or at least correspond to, their valued beings and doings. Third, from a policy perspective, this exploration of mobility is important since mobility, predominately more narrowly interpreted as geographical movement, is proposed as a key coping and adaptation strategy to climate change.

I draw on recent mobilities research and pragmatic philosophy to explore the concept of holistic mobility which sees mobility as an integrated pulse of moving-and-mooring, as both potential and revealed movement, as simultaneous geographical, social, and existential processes, and highlight that meaning emerges in moving-and-mooring processes. Consequently, I suggest that adaptation measures ought to be built upon such a fuller understanding of what it means to be mobile in order for accountable authorities to facilitate adequate adaptation resources and conversion factors.