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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.

Chapter 4: Space, time and scales of human security in climate change

Richard Matthew

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


Unfortunately, climate change researchers have typically sought to prove the particular through the universal rather than the other way around. I use the term universal to refer to the science-based story of global climate change; in contrast, particular refers here to stories about climate change observed or experienced on a local or at least less than global scale. From the vantage of fields such as political philosophy and behavioral psychology, both of which I will introduce into this chapter later, there are many reasons why the universalist approach—which recounts the elegant, compelling, empirically-grounded story of global climate change caused by inefficient human practices—is not likely to catalyze an effective response. This is not a critique of universal stories per se, some intimation that ultimately they are not valid, inspiring or useful. In fact, universal narratives are often very compelling, suggesting solidarity around important values like justice, human rights and peace, and a shared fate in relation to far reaching challenges such as pandemic disease, extreme poverty and climate change.

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