Climate in Chaos: Colombian Coffee Farmers’ Experience of Climate Change

Presented During:  Communicating Climate and Environmental Justice
Sponsor: Environmental Communication Division
Sat, 11/10: 2:00 PM  - 3:15 PM 
Salt Palace Convention Center 
Room: 253B (Level 2) 
Climate change influences regional climates around the globe, often impacting agricultural systems. Regional climate change impacts are reducing the yield of Colombian coffee, the country's largest agricultural export indirectly responsible for the livelihoods of two million Colombians. This study, based on 45 in-person, in-depth interviews of coffee farmers in Risaralda, Colombia, uses a grounded theory approach to understand, in a highly contextualized manner, how the coffee farmers experience climate change. The results illustrate how Colombian coffee farmers experience climate change as unpredictable seasons and weather patterns: a climate in chaos. As a consequence of trying to farm in the face of uncertainty, farmers feel their livelihoods are threatened, and they attempt to make sense of humans' role in both climate change problems and solutions. The results are interpreted in terms of how they can inform a climate change communication and adaptation campaign in Colombia.
Keywords: climate change, environmental communication, formative research, grounded theory, Colombia, coffee farming


Natalie White, Purdue University  - Contact Me


Jessica Eise, Purdue University  - Contact Me