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 2: Elements and value-added of a human security approach in the study of climate change

Des Gasper


To present climate change as an issue of human security means to focus on the impacts and implications in the lives of ordinary people, not only in the agendas of armies, states or national economies. It means, for example, looking at life expectancies and patterns of nutrition, morbidity and mortality, not only at whether stressed populations might explode into armed conflict—the extreme ‘Darfur’ scenario. That sort of scenario and such preoccupations often reflect traditional state-centred and military-focused concerns more than person-focused ones. That poor people in most cases seem to lack the organization, cohesion or resources to initiate armed conflict does not mean that their plight is not an issue of—human—security. As part of a humanist perspective, the human security approach means looking at more also than aggregates of monetized economic variables, but rather at the contents, objective and subjective, of the lives of all of the people—at their ‘doings’ and ‘beings’, the constraints that they face, the real opportunities that they have, or lack, and the meanings that they experience—not only at the parts and the persons that are counted in money terms.

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