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Abstract

Climate change is the most pressing global environmental problem and the most unyielding worldwide environmental injustice of our time. Although some social workers have begun to address climate change, this literature is centered on its generalized impact, rather than its specific effects on vulnerable populations. As a concept, slow violence offers a frame to understand the slow occurring effects of climate change on the global poor. This study used an ethnographic approach to examine the effects of climate change on two poor rural Kenyan communities. Findings discussed include the consequences of droughts, the connection between droughts and deforestation, failed governmental responses, problematic foreign aid responses, and local adaptive measures for survival by affected Kenyan communities. These findings support the argument that social work should be more involved in mitigating the unjust effects of climate change, and a variety of actions are presented.

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