Table of Contents

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Elgar original reference

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

The Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security is a landmark publication which links the complexities of climate change to the wellbeing and resilience of human populations. It is written in an engaging and accessible way but also conveys the state of the art on both climate change research and work into human security, utilizing both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Organized around thematic sections, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert in the field, and discusses the key concepts and evidence base for our current policy choices, and the dilemmas of international policy in the field. The Handbook is unique in containing sophisticated ethical and moral questions as well as new information and data from different geographical regions. It is a timely volume that makes the case for acting wisely now to avert impending crises and global environmental problems.

Introduction: human security in the age of carbon

Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Throughout human history individuals and societies have been threatened by environmental change. Nowadays these risks are magnified: there is, in fact, widespread evidence that climate change is increasingly bringing about dramatic impacts on natural and social systems (IPCC 2007) and is seriously endangering the human security of most of the world’s population. (Part III of this Handbook examines the repercussions of climate change for human security in some of the world’s most sensitive regions.) The earth sciences make it clear that we are in the Anthropocene (Crutzen 2002) and that humankind is living in the age of climate change, a global and complex phenomenon that could undermine the stability of natural and social systems and ultimately affect human security (see Scheffran and Remling, this volume). Therefore, in introducing this Handbook, we first need to briefly situate both historically and culturally the relationship between human security and climate change.