Ever more people are connecting the dots between our economic system and ecological destruction but rarely make the link to militarism and security. As climate change will dramatically increase instability and insecurity, we examine the role of the military in a climate-changed world.
Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, Clara Mi Young Park, Mads Barbesgaard, Yukari Sekine, Ye Lin Myint, Thant Zin
02 March 2018
Dominant approaches to climate change mitigation are putting new pressures on small farmers and village dwellers, justifying dispossession by powerful actors who cast villagers' traditional ways of life as ecologically destructive or economically inefficient. In order to address the twin challenges of agrarian justice and climate justice, it is critical to understand the way new conflicts and initiatives intersect with old conflicts and the way they are compounded by undemocratic settings, and inequality and division along fault-lines of gender, ethnicity, class, and generation.
Global pressure on land and natural resources is mounting, with mainstream narratives about climate change often intensifying pressure to replace so-called "inefficient" users of land, including small farmers and pastoralists with market-based dynamics and actors. This dynamic makes the pursuit of socially just land policy ever more important and urgent, while at the same time creating new challenges. The fundamental connections and tensions between agrarian and climate justice must be reckoned with, and movements on both sides must deepen their understanding.
With the Trump administration denying climate change and de-fanging the EPA, what is the US military thinking - and planning to do? Can their power and influence help the climate movement succeed? Who will be protected, who will be neglected, who will suffer, and who will pay, if the military get their way? What about the intelligence agencies? What are the consequences of viewing climate change through the lens of national security? Is there a better way?
The US military may be the last defender of climate science within the Trump administration, but don't expect the Pentagon to fight for climate justice. Preparing for climate crises is a funding boon for the military, which exists to uphold a fossil fuel-hungry empire that is driving climate disruption in the first place.
Trump's obsession with security is not an anomaly, but a reflection of a growing tide of fear-based politics that has also shaped the climate change debate. In an interview about TNI's book, The Secure and the Dispossessed, Nick Buxton reflects on the 'securitisation' of climate change and the need to advocate a just transition.
The Paris COP21 talks failed to deliver a meaningful result, judged from either a scientific or social justice point-of-view. However it did reveal the presence of an increasingly sophisticated and powerful climate justice movement that heralds the most hope for a just response to the global climate crisis.
“Sustainable citizenship”: To what extent is such an idea and promotion of sustainability actually sustainable and can it contribute to decreasing climate change? Or can and should it rather be dismissed as a neoliberal strategy to control consumers and their choices? And which subjects do actually get such citizen responsibilities?
The desperate search for ways to combat climate change gives rise to new mitigation policies and projects, such as the support of large-scale ‘sustainable ’ forestry plantations. However, climate justice and climate mitigation cannot be met as long as large-scale industrial plantations continue to marginalise small-scale indigenous forest users who actively protect biodiverse forests.
Book review by Robert J. Burrowes of The Secure and the Dispossesed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World. The book is edited by Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes, who are both associated with TNI.
Open Democracy interviewed Ben Hayes and Nick Buxton, who argue that the climate change agendas of governments and corporations have securitised and militarised environmental policies to the world's detriment.
What if government and corporate elites have given up on stopping climate change and prefer to try to manage its consequences instead? In the weeks running up to the major UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), this event examined issues raised by a new book, 'The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World'