There are places where climate change cannot be considered a myth. The effects of climate change can never be ignored – with floods, heat waves, extreme storms, or literal rising waters. Such a place is India – particularly, North Bihar. The floods in India are so extreme that hundreds of villages and thousands of farms can find themselves underwater. Rivers can dramatically shift course overnight. In the floodplain of the Himalayas, climate change collides with economy, culture, caste, and life.
Today, we are joined by Dr. Luisa Cortesi. Luisa has lived around the world, in places where climate change where was particularly felt. She saw how people lived through and dealt with these disasters.
In 2007, while studying water disasters, Luisa happened to be living in North Bihar when the worst floods in India in decades hit. Again, she witnessed major flooding in 2008 when she saw the entire course of the Kosi River shift. Today, she shares her experiences.
Luisa is an environmental and engaged anthropologist of water, disasters, and inequalities. She received a joint PhD from Yale University in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. She has been the Taylor Postdoctoral Fellow and Atkinson Fellow, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at Cornell University. She is now Assistant Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies at the Erasmus University in The Netherlands, as well as Marie S. Curie Fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies in Germany. Luisa has worked extensively in India and continues to support NGOs there in an advisory capacity. She has recently started the Water Justice and Adaptation Lab.