Changing Security Conceptualizations: From War to Terrorism to Climate Change.

Old conceptualizations of security included worrying about traditional warfare and violence on battlefronts. Today conceptualizations of security can include things like Climate Change and Pandemics. This is because of the process of Globalization that has increased speed of information and compressed us together through technology such as the internet and airplanes. We can get things, people, and ideas across the global fast. As well as connect with these things just as fast. Non state actors now can have significant power. Terrorism has atleast been a public security concern for the U.S. since 9/11. They can have social networks, get tech (cyber or other) to people fast, and hurt our economies and people. However, globalization hasn’t just given non state actors power. They have given threats with no threateners, power. There is no nation sending hurricanes or fires to other nations. No, its climate change. Biodiversity loss caused by climate change can also make pandemics more likely to happen. Which means another enemy that might not pose the physical violence of an army, but instead poses health risks to us. Security conceptualizations have changed from just worrying about physical violence to worrying about environmental and health security. We can’t solve these issues in the old way. We can not nuke climate change, that would indeed make everything worse. Old military solutions to security issues won’t work. Force will not work on climate change, we need cooperation amongst nations to decrease climate change together. Joe Biden has promised to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement, which is great because this international agreement has learned some lessons. First, you can’t use the military force to ensure compliance. Second, you can’t have mandatory emission reductions. States don’t have to comply, there is no one to force them in all their sectors of their economy to change. Instead, the Paris Climate Agreement sees that voluntary pledges allow a naming and shaming process to happen. People are peer pressured or incentivized to cooperate. They don’t want to look bad. Just like countries compete economically, it’s almost like we are competing to see who can be in the most fuel efficient or climate conscious.

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