Accepted paper:

No fear for the flood: facing climate change in the Peruvian Andes


Noah Walker-Crawford (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

Scientific studies point to a high risk of flooding for the city of Huaraz due to melting glaciers, yet many locals are unconcerned. They fear the prospect of water scarcity, which threatens entire livelihoods. This fear arises from people's knowledge and experience of environmental disruption.

Paper long abstract:

As a result of climate change and glacial retreat, Palcacocha glacier lake has grown immensely in volume. An international team of scientists produced flood models that point to an acute hazard to the city of Huaraz and surrounding areas. Yet scientists and local government authorities are perplexed that many locals seem unconcerned about this risk of flooding. Farmers in particular find trouble relating to flood models - disaster may strike, but nobody knows when. Rather, they fear the concrete prospect of water scarcity. Water is crucial for agricultural livelihoods and has become ever scarcer as glaciers retreat. For rural Andeans, fear arises out of their experiential engagement with an increasingly unstable environment as they face an uncertain future.

panel B16
Future jeopardised: socialities and creations of the fear of climate change