Climate change in the courtroom: An anthropology of neighborly relations
This article follows a groundbreaking climate justice lawsuit between a Peruvian farmer and major energy company in a German court, a strategic political intervention addressing the inequities of global warming. The claim posits that the two are neighbors, meaning the company should take responsibility for contributing to climate change impacts in the Andes. Using this legal conception as a starting point to engage with academic discussions about sociality and moral responsibility, I establish neighborliness as an analytical framework for examining the moral stakes of social relations. Addressing the methodological and theoretical challenges of studying a phenomenon that draws connections across the planet, this approach allows for an ethnographically grounded understanding of global warming. Climate change expands the scope of social relations and raises the question of how we should live together on our planet. A focus on neighborliness foregrounds the normative claims through which people make sense of globalizing phenomena.