Critical analysis

Book publishing | Building research team | Crowdfunding | Editing | Public talks | Media interviews

In December 2009, I attended the UN climate talks in Copenhagen as part of the Bolivian government negotiating team. With a unique backseat view of negotiations as they unfolded, I was struck by the chasm between the negotiators’ clear and publicly stated awareness of the dangers of climate change and their actions that sought to minimise any commitment to act effectively. It started me thinking about what governments were planning to do to prepare for climate disruption that they knew would result. At the same time, I talked to a friend, Ben Hayes, an expert on European security policy and found out about the emergence of security strategies that put climate change at their centre.

As a result in late 2010, I started to pull together journalists, activists and researchers working in different fields to analyse long-term plans for climate impacts in areas of food, energy, water, disaster response. In the process, I organised:

  • an international seminar in Durban in December 2010 to discuss climate security strategies with an array of experts
  • a crowdfunding effort that successfully mobilised 11,000 euros to help support the production of a book
  • a contract with Pluto Press (and University of Chicago Press) who agreed to publish the book in December 2015
  • agreed translations of the book into Spanish and Finnish
  • the development of a website to promote the book
  • launches of the book in well-attended events in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Sacramento in
  • a series of articles promoting the book as well as interviews for radio and TV in the US, Spain and Germany

The book has been widely praised by academics, journalists and activists. Fred Pearce from New Scientist called it a ‘riveting analysis’, Professor Paul Rogers of Bradford University ‘a hugely important contribution to one of the most significant issues of our age’ and Patrick Bond ‘the missing link the climate justice movement has needed, mainly without knowing it: the corporatisation and militarisation of our changing weather.’

More on the book can be found here: http://climatesecurityagenda.org

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