New book offers insights into climate emergency and human mobility

Written by: Joe Stafford

As the global community meets in Egypt for the COP27 climate conference, an expert from The University of Manchester has released a new book which explores the links between human mobility and severe weather.

Dr. Stephanie Sodero is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Health at the University's Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. In Under the Weather: Reimagining Mobility in the Climate Crisis,  she examines how driving, flying and shipping impact the climate - and in turn, how severe weather disrupts human society.

Humans and human mobility are entangled with the climate emergency. Fossil-fuelled mobility worsens severe weather, and in turn, severe weather disrupts human mobility. Stephanie says that a shift to zero-emission vehicles is critical, but is insufficient to repair the damage or prepare communities for the coming disruptions that severe weather will bring. 

In her book, Stephanie examines two Atlantic Canadian hurricane case studies - Hurricane Juan in Mi'kma'ki in her home province of Nova Scotia in 2003, and Hurricane Igor in Newfoundland in 2010. 

It contributes to contemporary cultural and policy discussions by offering five practical recommendations - revolutionise mobility, prioritise vital mobility of medical goods and services, embrace ecological mobilities, rebrand redundancy, and think flexibly - for how mobility can be reimagined to work with, rather than against, the climate in ways that also benefit the health, education, and economy of local communities. 

This ecological approach to mobilities sheds light on extreme mobility dependency and the impact of mobility disruptions on the ground in Canadian communities. 

Focusing on the entangled relationship between human mobility and the climate, Under the Weather examines how communities can transform their relationship with mobility to enable greater resilience.

Dr. Sodero recalls the book’s beginnings: "I started this book a long time ago when a record-breaking hurricane hit home. While writing was a long road, the book and its ideas are only increasing in relevance as communities near and far are confronted with climate impacts not just on their doorsteps – but inside their houses." 

The book calls for a revolutionary approach to mobility and Dr. Sodero develops innovative recommendations such as prioritising medical movements, embracing ecological mobilities, and rebranding redundancy. 

My home in Canada was hit by Hurricane Fiona just a few weeks ago, causing disruption and devastation. My book can help support and shape conversations about climate action and community resilience on the ground with policy makers, climate advocates, and academics.

Dr Stephanie Sodero

Dr Sodero's book is available from November 15 from outlets including Amazon and Blackwell's

Share this release