"Climate change is the least of my worries": Stress limitations on adaptive capacity

Aysha Fleming, Anne-Maree Dowd, Estelle Gaillard, Sarah Park, Mark Howden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The wine industry in southern Australia faces potential threats from climate change. This article examines how grape growers in this region perceive and prioritize climate change adaptation as an issue for their industry. Analysis of a survey of 50 growers reveals themes contributing to stress and worry overshadow planning for climate change. Growers are constrained by current economic, social and environmental stresses, not climate change. We relate these findings and the literature on stress to the adaptive capacity and general wellbeing of individual farmers. Projected future climate change means stress in the farming community is likely to worsen and practitioners working with farmers need to recognize the complex causes of stress, in addition to the practical need to facilitate climate change adaptation. A useful approach is to understand both the types and causes of stress, and the way individuals cope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-41
Number of pages18
JournalRural Society
Issue number1
Early online dateMar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Australian wine industry
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Coping
  • Rural stress
  • Rural sustainability

Cite this