Climate Crises and the Creation of ‘Undeserving’ Victims
2. Climate Crisis
3. Climate Migration
3.1. Climate Crisis Victims as Savages
3.2. Climate Crisis Victims as Threats
3.3. Climate Crisis Victims as ‘Non-Ideal’
4. Conclusions: Climate Justice
- Continuing legal cases towards egregious climate offenders;
- Removing militarized and repressive border control responses to those who migrate from climate emergencies or slow onset crises;
- Working towards ‘settlement’ programs and supports that are defined and led by those who migrate;
- Denigrating those states and corporations most responsible for climate change, and campaigns of delegitimization and divestment from significant emitters;
- Dismantling fossil fuel industries (for example to wind down extractions, remove supports for coal, and say no to new carbon frontiers);
- Developing multiple regenerative models for energy;
- Stopping corporate welfare, specifically government subsidies to companies who continue to pollute;
- Establishing new international structures and norms on climate change mitigation and adaptation (that integrate Indigenous rights and human rights frameworks);
- Creating new frameworks to transfer wealth to fund mitigation programs across countries made most vulnerable;
- Building discourses that avoid naturalizing ‘climate change’.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Many countries have substantively advanced alternative technologies but are continuing to expand carbon-emitting industries, and they are advancing Covid-19 economic recoveries on dirty industries.
From 1988 to 2014, 100 industrial carbon producers (of oil, gas, coal and cement) accounted for 71% of emissions, with just ‘25 corporate and state producing entities accounting for 51%’ of emissions. Their emissions are increasing (Griffin 2017, p. 8).
This enthusiasm for protections does not readily translate to financial supports for adaptation or mitigation efforts elsewhere. Industrialized countries remain reticent to provide overseas aid (Klein 2014), an issue exacerbated with the economic strains from the Covid-19 pandemic—for example, the UK has already announced a temporary cut in foreign aid, from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income (Wintour 2020).
This can be seen in initiatives like the Australia-led Pacific Step Up initiative (DFAT 2020) or programmes from the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to strengthen Pacific Island border security and counter-terrorism operations (see MFAT website). In these activities, perceived weaknesses reflect Australian and (to a lesser extent) New Zealand imperatives. From a Pacific perspective, weakness relates to inaction on the climate change—e.g., In an open letter on this issue to the Australian PM, fourteen Pacific leaders outlined that Australia was ‘one of the weakest among wealthy nations’ for its lack of climate action (Tong 2020).
There is no agreed term—current labels include ‘climate-induced (involuntary) migration’, ‘forced displacement due to climate change’, ‘environmental refugees’, ‘ecological migrants’ and ‘survival migrants’ (Kraemer et al. 2017).
This offer was also extended to the populations of Tuvalu and Kiribati.
The current leader of Kiribati, Taneti Mamau, has replaced the vision of ‘Migration with Dignity’ with a development approach in neighbouring small Pacific states—such as by developing land on Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and expanding food production on land owned in Fiji (Teaiwa 2019).
Indeed, contemporary climate change impacts can be experienced as less harmful or violent than the continuing oppression from ‘systems such as colonialism, capitalism, industrialization, and their connections to racism and sexism’ (Whyte et al. 2019, p. 328).
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Stanley, E. Climate Crises and the Creation of ‘Undeserving’ Victims. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 144. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040144
Stanley E. Climate Crises and the Creation of ‘Undeserving’ Victims. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(4):144. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040144Chicago/Turabian Style
Stanley, Elizabeth. 2021. "Climate Crises and the Creation of ‘Undeserving’ Victims" Social Sciences 10, no. 4: 144. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040144