Phew!! With a mixture of donations, payments by other means, and some promises to send us money it looks like we did it! But in case all the money doesn't come in we welcome any additional donations. If you support the project, please email nick AT tni.org to arrange a way to donate.
Confronting the realities of climate change
Does climate change cause you to worry? Do you read news about increased carbon emissions - and the paltry inadequate political responses - and despair? Do you wonder what will happen as the impacts of climate change hit home?
Then we are in the same boat.
We - Ben Hayes (photo below) and Nick Buxton (photo on left) who initiated this project - are both fathers with young children and find ourselves thinking about this a great deal. We do our bit to reduce emissions personally and through campaigning against the power of the fossil fuel industry.
But as researchers and writers, we also felt that there was something missing and that is the need to look forward. To what happens and who is in control as the impacts of climate change become more and more apparent. And how we can make sure people make decisions about food, water and our livelihoods, not corporations or military strategists.
We believe we need to start planning now on how to create a more liveable future in a climate-changed world.
That is why we are pulling together some of the smartest and passionate researchers - all deeply committed to social and environmental justice - from across the globe to analyse the corporations and military seeking to cash in on the climate crisis and at the same time put forward just alternatives.
We believe their analysis can help us all understand and then better confront those who seek to profit from the climate crisis. It also will highlight the alternatives that protect human rights and dignity, and can therefore guide our own individual efforts to build a liveable planet for our children and grandchildren
We know already that it is too late to stop climate change: it is already happening. And the scary reality is that while we do our bit to stop even worse climate change, a web of corporate and military analysts are already looking to exploit a climate-changed future. And their agenda is not one of how to protect the vulnerable nor how to put people at the heart of decisions. Instead they are looking at how to secure control of resources or profit from climate change.
Cashing in on catastrophe
In 2010, for example the Pentagon started organising war games to explore the implications of "large scale economic breakdown” in the face of climate change, focusing on how they could maintain "domestic order amid civil unrest”. A year later, arms companies, such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Thales at a conference breathlessly welcomed “what looks set to become its most significant adjacent market since the strong emergence of the civil/homeland security business almost a decade ago.” In the last few months, we have seen how the US and many EU countries have established an unparalleled surveillance system, supposedly targeted at terrorism but one that can equally be used to control populations.
Suddenly, all the talk is of 'security'. Food security, energy security, water security. But very few are asking the questions: What is being secured? For whom? And at what cost?
That is why we linked up with the Transnational Institute - a small well-respected research institute which has worked closely with popular movements for 40 years - and decided to commission a wide range of experienced researchers to delve into these issues, to expose the key actors, and suggest a way forward - a map that we can all use during difficult times.
The book and its authors
Our book will look at these critical areas:
- The government security strategies that have put the military in the driving seat for responding to climate change
- How governments are preparing for the social impacts of climate change - migration, disasters, protests - with repression rather than just solutions
- The corporations and security industry's preparations to exploit climate chaos to boost their profits
- The way food, energy, water is becoming a security issue, and the alternatives that would put people back in charge of these critical goods
- The lessons from climate campaigns, progressive alliances linking labour and environmental movements, and community-led initiatives such as Transition Towns that we need to learn from as we take on new challenges of adapting to a climate-changed world
The researchers on the book are experienced researchers and writers from a wide-range of disciplinary fields yet also deeply involved in movements for social and environmental justice. They include Nafeez Ahmed, Mark Akkermann, Nnimmo Bassey, Jacklyn Cock, Michael Dorsey, Jenny Franco, Susan George, Ben Hayes, Tom Henfrey, Emma Hughes, Justin Kenrick, Mary-Ann Manahan, Christian Parenti, Oscar Reyes, Silvia Ribeiro, Frank Slijper, Hilary Wainwright and Steve Wright.
What difference your donation could make
We believe this book is really important, because it will provide us with the needed research and analysis that can help us confront the forces that seek to profit from the climate crisis. Its proposals of just sustainable alternatives can help guide and enrich efforts by movements from Occupy in New York to peasant movements in Bolivia who fight for more equitable sharing of our world's resources.
Perhaps most importantly, your contribution can help this book prompt more debate in communities, trade unions, womens' groups, indigenous movements, fair trade groups and all people of conscience about the future we want in a climate changed world. For we urgently need to deepen that debate if we don't want to leave those decisions in the hands of powerful interests whose interests are antithetical to ours.
So please help us take that first step by donating to get this critical analysis published and promoted.
Transnational Institute has kindly funded the initial research and coordination work for this book, but we need 10,000 Euros to pay for:
- Copy-editing, formatting, design/artwork and layout of the book (3000 Euros)
- Publishing the book as a print book and ebook (1500 Euros)
- Providing free copies to social movements, journalists, policy-makers (1000 Euros)
- Setting up a website/blog to promote the book (1000 Euros)
- Promoting the book to the media so its issues get covered (1500)
- Producing a short video clip to visualise the messages of the book (2000 Euros)
By contributing an amount - anything - you can help us get this book out and show that you are part of a community willing to confront the climate crisis profiteers.
What will you do if you raise more than 10,000 Euros?
If we raise more than 10,000 Euros, our plan is to:
- develop a more indepth (30 minute) video feature on the analysis of the book
- improve the website/blog to feature regular analysis on the issues, with capacity for maintenance, web editing and commissioning papers
- promote the book at key meetings of civil society such as the World Social Forum and environmental meetings such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summits
When will I get the book?
If this funding appeal goes well, our plan is to have the book ready by the end of the year to launch to coincide with UN climate negotiations in Poland in November 2013. We should be ready to mail out books and ebooks by the end of January 2014.
Other Ways You Can Help
We realise not everyone can help out financially, but you can still play a hugely important role by publicising the campaign and asking others to support us. If you think what we are doing is important, please:
- Share this campaign with your friends on Facebook, Twitter etc
- Sign up to our twitter feeds (@nickbuxton; @DrBenHayes) to receive news about the project
There may also be ways you can support us in-kind and thereby reduce some of our financial costs - providing contacts to key places we can distribute the book, helping us film or edit, providing website hosting/design skills etc etc. If you think you can help please email us: climatesecurity AT tni.org
How can I find out more
- For more on the book, you can read our article here on Open Democracy: After Doha - Rejecting Dystopia by default
- You can also email email@example.com to receive a full outline of the book.
- For more on the editors and authors
Authors: Nafeez Ahmed, Mark Akkermann, Nnimmo Bassey, Jacklyn Cock, Michael Dorsey, Jenny Franco, Susan George; Tom Henfrey, Emma Hughes, Justin Kenrick, Mary-Ann Manahan, Christian Parenti, Oscar Reyes,Silvia Ribeiro, Frank Slijper, Hilary Wainwright and Steve Wright.
Production: Geoff Arbourne
Music: Unthanks, "Close the Coalhouse Door" and "Lucky Gilchrist"; Jackson Jackson, "Hope for the future (where did you go?)"