Think piece: Week 2

While the climate crisis is an issue that is affecting the whole planet, it’s not only affecting the Global North and South quite differently, but also perceived differently by people groups depending on their positions in the eco system. Reading Buxton and Mayes’ “The Secure and the Disposed” helped me better contextualize some of the causes of the  unending fighting in the middle east, the adverse environmental degradation in most African countries despite low levels of economic “development”, the state of minority groups in America, among other issues.

The West fights to combat environmental degradation on one hand while at the sometime very unwilling to take steps to reduce the damage caused by business they carry out in less developed countries. While firms in the West are lauded for reducing carbon emissions, the same firms ignore “violence that consistently follows extraction of oil, sometimes in repression of residents in extraction zones, sometimes in the giant geopolitical conflicts that have devastated and distorted politics such as in the Middle East.” (Buxton and Mayes). This means that most of the time Western Countries tackle global warming, they are not necessarily fighting to save the entire planet, but instead fighting to protect their own side of the world (even though environmental issues are trans-boarder) while still extracting from, and destroying other parts where people are too weak to fight for their own right to a clean environment. Global warming, just like many other issues affecting most of the world is only an issue when it’s affecting Western Countries and can be ignored and policies manipulated in low income countries as long as it does benefit “developed” countries.

In the climate crisis, the Global South is and will continue to be adversely affected due to the absence of technological means used in the West to combat environmental degradation. Considering the fact that more people in the Global South destroy their own environment for survival while serving the purposes of “developed” capitalist states where the people’s only worry is their morning fix of coffee, countries like Ethiopia are plagued by famine and droughts, both of which affect the coffee crop and prevent cripples the farmers’ ability to provide their families with mere basic necessities of life. The fight to save the environment is totally necessary and urgent; however, the position of Global Southern countries, most of which contribute high percentages of the world’s natural resources creates suspicion as to whether the entire human race is accounted for in politicization and securitization of climate change.

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