Increasing numbers of social and natural scientists are turning their attention to the impacts of climate change on so-called traditional peoples. This piece examines an article on the subject that appeared in a high-profile climate change journal, and that has since become part of the IPCC evidence-base alongside thousands of other publications. Drawing on anthropological insights, our piece critiques the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions this particular article makes about “traditional peoples” and the environment – the key difficulty being the assumption that Others fail to act because they are ignorant.


Hall, E. F. and Sanders, T. 2013. ‘The trouble with deficits.’ Climatic Change 118(3-4), 501-04.