Department of Business Development and Technology

Torn between war and peace: Critiquing the use of war to mobilize peaceful climate action

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Notable studies have suggested the potentiality of the WWII wartime mobilization as a model for climate change adaptation and/or mitigation. The argument being that we need a similar rapid and total shift in our industrial social and economic environment to prevent or at least address the pending impacts of climate change. This argument and these studies have inspired us to think with them on what it means to use the WWII war analogy as a security claim in energy and climate change debates. Here, we would like to use this opportunity to draw attention to some of the implicit dangers of a call to war in such discussions. Among others we observe, first, the absence of any attention to the actual mobilization policies, in terms of garnishing public support. Second, based on the insights from Critical Security Studies, we question the historical incongruence of the case study especially by comparing the perceived enemy in both cases. Lastly, building on that same security literature, we point to some undesirable and perhaps unintended consequences of the use of war analogies in climate change debates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

    Research areas

  • Climate change mitigation, Critical security studies, Militarization, Securitization, War analogy

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