Publication Highlight: Researching Disability Climate Justice
Molly M. King’s Research Examines Ableism in Climate Policy
Assistant Professor Molly M. King’s recent research examines how to better enable institutions to support people with disabilities during climate change. This research has been published in two recent journal articles, coauthored with Sociology undergraduate and alumna researchers Maria Gregg '21, Ana Martinez '23, and Emily Pachoud '23. Dr. King explains that “Disabled people are often excluded from evacuation centers. Emergency planners either fail to adequately plan for the needs of disabled residents in their communities, or do not include them in any emergency plans.” In a recent profile of her research featured by SCU, she outlines how her critical realist model for climate justice could bring those concerns to the forefront. The model includes four elements: contextual and environmental features that promote vulnerability among folks with disabilities; features that help promote adaptive capacity to climate change; perceptions of and information gathering about climate change; involvement in climate action and policy. Dr. King argues that bringing members of the disabled community–including those with physical, cognitive and communicative disabilities– into leadership roles will bring their issues to the forefront and ensure their opportunity to be seen, ultimately promoting climate justice or the opportunity to have equal chances of survival during disasters as others.