Nationalism and Climate Change

In the book titled Natural Catastrophe: Climate Change and Neoliberal Governance, Brian Elliott offers a great explanation of why strong nation-states are crucial for mitigating and eventually reversing climate change. The neoliberal paradigm, he says, weakens nation-states, making effective climate action impossible.

This is only the very beginning of the book. There is a lot more great stuff in it.


4 thoughts on “Nationalism and Climate Change”

  1. I think the greatest human motivator is fear (Trump definitely tapped into that). Nation states will help, but probably not soon enough. People don’t give a shit about the planet, animal suffering and extinction, or the poorest countries/people being affected the most, but they will care if we can connect climate change to their own well-being. We need to make them think about powerful hurricanes (plenty of recent examples), droughts, flooding (especially in non-coastal areas, like Nebraska and Iowa just this March), and keep reminding them that as houses on higher ground or other less vulnerable areas get more and more expensive, the rich who support the fossil fuels industry will be able to afford them, but the regular people will get screwed.

    I guess it just hasn’t gotten bad enough yet.


    1. But let’s say they do think about the hurricanes. Then what? It’s not an issue that individual action can address. I mean, I think about them. I’m sure you do, too. But what does it change?


      1. Agreed on individual action. We need a systematic approach, and that means electing politicians who prioritize dealing with climate change. I guess I was talking about how to persuade Republican voters to care about this issue – the poor ones, not the rich who will squeeze every last cent of profit out of the planet until we get to the point of no return.

        I shouldn’t be critiquing without reading the book because it sounds like nation state may be something that gets to them. My first thoughts are, again, not soon enough, and probably with strings attached – like being a Christian nation, etc. Maybe the book addresses that.


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