Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security
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Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

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.
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Chapter 13: Climate change and human security: the individual and community response

C. Michael Hall


In a general sense security is ‘the condition of being protected from or not exposed to danger’ (Barnett, 2001a, p. 1). Environmental, social and economic issues, as well as the system of multi-level governance by which such concerns are governed, now clearly lie within contemporary understandings of security (Boulding, 1991; Lowi and Shaw, 2000). The broadening of ideas of security beyond national defence is reflective of the changed notion of politics in the post cold-war period. Indeed, at the international level the shift towards notions of common and collective security, although not universally accepted and even actively opposed by some administrations, has been integral in making the environment, and hence climate change, a security issue (Page and Redclift, 2002), as well as linking sustainable development to security concerns (Hall et al., 2003; O’Brien et al., 2010a; IPCC, 2012). According to the IPCC (2012, p. 293) ‘The impacts of climate extremes and weather events may threaten human security at the local level (high agreement, medium evidence)’. Indeed, O’Brien et al. (2010b, p. 4) argue that climate change is ‘a problem that can only be resolved by focusing on climate change as an issue of human security, which includes a thorough investigation of what it means for humans to be “secure”’ (this author’s emphasis).

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