“My Third Hundred-Year Flood”: Climate Change, Extraction, and Livability in Wyoming County, West Virginia

Jordan Lovejoy (The Ohio State University)

Popular representations of Appalachia paint locals as climate change deniers or science skeptics because of the region’s long (complex) relationship with the fossil fuel industry. West Virginia is noted as having one of the highest rates of denial that global warming is caused by human activity. How do we address the Anthropocene and increasing ecological crisis in places where climate change is a contentious topic? This paper explores how people in Wyoming County, West Virginia employ environmental storytelling about a twenty-year-old flood to negotiate their beliefs on climate change, critique extractive industry, and imagine hope and possibility for the future.

Part of 14-07 Narrating Human-Nature Relations, Monday, October 18, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm