Why framing climate change as security issues works against climate justice (Interview with Nick Buxton of The Secure and the Dispossessed, Part One)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Nick Buxton (@nickbuxton) is the co-editor of The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Seeking to Shape a Climate-Changed World and a communications consultant at The Transnational Institute (@TNInstitute), an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world.
In this podcast episode, Nick sheds light on why the prominent use of the term ‘security’ (such as water security, food security, border security) may be at odds with our goals to seek climate justice; how large corporations and our government already have lesser-known plans to address climate change, (but not in the ways we would want nor expect); and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Nick and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.
On how corporations and government plan to address climate change:
"There's an interesting parallel between a long-term corporate plan and a long-term military plan, and that is they both see the world in terms of security and scarcity.
They say that climate change is going to lead to fundamental shifts that will result in shortages of certain things, such as water or food, and there will be conflicts that arise out of that scarcity, so therefore, we need security."
On what framing climate change as a ‘security issue’ implies:
"Those who are least responsible for climate change are facing the most impacts. There's another injustice laid on if we start to see those very people who may have to leave their country as threats.
Not only are they not responsible, they now become threats that we have to defend against, rather than individuals who are most vulnerable and need the most support.
This book is really a challenge to flip this on its head and instead of looking at [climate change] through security, look at those who are vulnerable and think about the different ways that we can be compassionate and respond in solidarity and love."
On how corporations have influenced policy on climate change:
"We really have to look at the influence of corporations over public policy. The interest of security, the interest of fossil fuels, and the interests of the largest corporations are driven by values of profit above humanity, which means that we have this fundamental conflict about the future [corporations] want and the future that most people want.
At the heart of any response to climate change, we have to address the corporations that seek to profit from climate change. Because if there are people who are making money from climate change, they're going to continue the path that they're following.
And if we want an alternative, we have to get them out of the way."
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