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Open Access It’s not enough to be right! The climate crisis, power, and the climate movement

The demands of the climate movement ‐ for rapid and profound change ‐ are based on scientific findings and the political commitments to the Paris Agreement. The activists are, therefore, factually “right”. However, being right is not enough to justify or to accelerate the practical implementation of knowledge and decisions. We explain which social factors are at work, and how the climate movement can benefit if they incorporate these factors into actions for social change.

Keywords: climate movement; climate protection; democracy; political process; social change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universität Hamburg | Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences | Department of Social Sciences | Allende-Platz 1 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany 2: Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society, both Hamburg, Germany 3: Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Center for Sustainable Society Research Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society, both Hamburg, Germany 4: Universität Hamburg, Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies Hamburg, Germany 5: Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany 6: HafenCity University Hamburg, Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning, Hamburg, Germany 7: Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Hamburg, Germany 8: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, Germany 9: Universität Hamburg, Center for Sustainable Society Research, Hamburg, Germany 10: Universität Hamburg, CEN - Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society, Hamburg, Germany 11: Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany 12: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg, Germany

Publication date: December 16, 2021

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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