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Peace Ecology

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Abstract

"Peace Ecology" presents a cutting-edge exploration of an emerging paradigm that links the essence of peace and nonviolence with the tenets of ecology and the principles of environmentalism. Looking at issues including food justice, water sharing, climate change, peace zones, and the free economy, this book considers examples and illustrations from around the world where people, communities, and nations are employing the teachings of ecology as a tool for mitigating conflict and promoting peace. "Peace Ecology" presents an integrative perspective that bears directly upon the most pressing issues of our time, constituting both the ecological realm of peace and the peacemaking potential of ecology. The volume examines the rich history, contemporary relevance, and transformative future potential inherent in this dynamic nexus of theory and action. Its overarching aim is no less than moving the current scarcity-conflict paradigm to one of cooperative resource management and, ultimately, toward peaceful coexistence both among ourselves and within the balance of nature.To read the Common Dreams excerpt of "Peace Ecology" Click Here.Talk Nation Radio Interview with Randall Amster and David Swanson here."
... Affective alignments involve embodied intergroup relations and place-based ways-of-knowing that are key components of social mobilization (Gould, 2009). Affective alignments based on shared values and practices can create regional conditions for the collaborative cultural practices needed to establish and sustain meaningful social and ecological resilience (Amster, 2015). The capacity for groups of people to create, mobilize, and share local knowledge contributes to effective climate adaptation across and regionally specific difference will be a major factor in determining the future successes and failures of human societies (Henrich, 2016). ...
... The manifold forces involved in what might be called "land-affect" come in many forms (Arnold, in press). Indigenous cultural resurgence and other regionally specific articulations of change are emerging from local-level communities that have begun the work of mitigating the sources of climate change and adapting to changing realities on the ground (Amster, 2015). As more and more people around the world take part in creative local-level collaborations, centered on protecting and caring for the Peoples and lands around them, the conditions that give rise to bare nature and bare life will continue to be delegitimated, decommodified, and rendered inoperative. ...
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This article develops the concept of bare nature by examining the interdependent and underlying conditions that make genocidal and ecocidal processes possible. Agamben identifies states of exception as a juridical key to understanding the legitimating logic that facilitate acts of arbitrary exclusion, targeted killing, and the life and death policy decisions that affect large segments of the population. Such regulated, collective precarity constitutes bare life. I argue that bare nature is produced through a parallel process involving ecological “sacrifice zones” that function as states of exception that regulate other-than-human life in service of extreme energy extraction, creating the conditions for ongoing ecological destruction. In the second part of the article, I argue that the local impacts of extreme energy projects like the Canadian Tar Sands contribute to the conditions of bare nature and bare life globally, presenting a “. . . general (transnational) danger threaten[ing] the interests of several states and their inhabitants.” In closing, I turn to the ascendant Indigenous politics in Canada to consider what local cultural survival, global ecological adaptation, and nonsovereign governance models involve in the era of climate change. Indigenous-led politics grounded in land-based normative ethics provide a basis for building alternative futures based on establishing and maintaining conditions of holistic interdependence. Such interdependent conditions will be able to emerge in direct proportion to the extent that the conditions of bare life and bare nature are delegitimated, decommodified, and rendered inoperative.
... As the current work for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the remarkable number of nations who have joined the Holy See in signing the treaty serve to indicate, a significant and growing group of international political actors agree. A peace ecology perspective(Amster 2015) would also concur, highlighting, in accord with Francis' above-mapped teachings, how the future of a vital Earth community marked by social justice requires such a ban. Presently, retaining nuclear weaponry even for deterrence is evidently, for the papal office, an untenable policy for a number of social and ecological reasons(Francis 2017a). ...
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This article maps the papal peace witness’ support for a world free from nuclear weapons. Although the last concentration of scholarly work in this area dates back to the early and mid-1980s, now is a cogent time to update that scholarship by revisiting and critically assessing papal teachings and diplomatic actions that move towards banning nuclear weapons on Earth. Contemporary events motivating this article include the need to bridge the gap evident in US and global policy on nuclear weapons. Particularly relevant here is the current ‘everything on the table’-themed posturing, oddly mixing war and peace themes, active in the Trump administration’s policy of reinvigorating the USA’s nuclear arsenal in the face of challenge by the likes of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions for North Korea. Yet, at the same time a significant number of the members of the community of nations, including the Holy See, have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To undertake the task of critically mapping papal support for a world free from nuclear weapons that makes it almost a given that the Holy See would sign and ratify that treaty, the present article examines the contributions of contemporary popes from Pius XII to Francis. It focuses on how these popes named and addressed what they often characterized as the moral evils manifest in nuclear weapons, when focusing their efforts to rid the world of these human-generated existential threats.
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This chapter explains the theoretical and empirical contributions of this study within the Abundance Theory literature and provides recommendations for future research. This chapter stresses the need to conduct more qualitative research on the causal impacts of commercial practices such as dairy farming and to apply the study’s framework in urban environments. It also calls for more research on the causal interplay between water commercialization and conflict in jurisdictions with higher concentrations of Indigenous people.
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This essay contributes to a conceptual discussion on the need for bridge-building between the natural and social sciences, among different social science disciplines, and the research programmes in political science focusing on peace, security, development and environment (‘sustainable development’), by introducing the two new linkage concepts of ‘political geo-ecology’ and ‘peace ecology’. It focuses on the policy goal of a ‘sustainable peace’ understood as ‘peace with nature’ in the newly proposed epoch of earth history, the Anthropocene.
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The aim of this article is twofold: first, to confirm the multi-level linkage between the ecological and social realms in terms of violence, peace, and education, and second, to explore what light ecological thinking can shed on musicking as a potentially effective tool in peace education. The effects of violence in the ecological and social realms are clearly linked, but so are the causes (patterns of thought and behaviors) that lead to violence in each realm; these common causes (which Galtung refers to as ‘faultlines’) are what need to be addressed, holistically, in peace education. The second aim requires two steps. First, based on meta-analysis of work by ethnomusicologists in diverse cultures, I propose a way of conceiving of human musicking as essentially an ecological behavior, one that has emerged to support the essential process of connecting us to our environment, connecting our inner and outer worlds. Beginning from this conception, I apply recent work in various ecology-related disciplines to show that this characteristic function of musicking makes it well-suited for addressing the root causes of violence in both social and ecological realms. Finally, looking at the challenges and goals of peace education through the lens of ecological thinking, I propose some practical applications, supporting ideas, and suggested models for implementing musicking activities in this endeavor.
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This chapter discusses six historical times. Cosmic and geological time are concepts used in the context of the history of the universe and earth. Technical and structural times (in the framework of ‘technical revolutions’ and ‘international orders’) can hardly be modified by governments and policymakers. Conjunctural time (in economics and politics) and short-lived events have in some cases become triggers for turning points. They fundamentally change global structures that are usually beyond the influence of policymakers in office. These six historical times and changing global contexts, political turning points, global transformations and transitions are discussed for international orders in the twentieth century. The chapter argues that the Industrial Revolution triggered the silent transition in geological time that resulted in the global transformation of technological, economic and political systems and of international relations. The catastrophe of 1914 led to World War I and the order of Versailles collapsed with the outbreak of World War II. The global peaceful change of 1989 resulted not in a period of sustainable peace but in a new global disorder and in global environmental challenges. It is uncertain whether humankind will understand the consequences of a situation where “we are in the Anthropocene” and “we are the threat” and “we alone can become the solution”.
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This chapter focuses on the hypothetical implications of the uncertain outcomes of a long-term transformative change that will achieve sustainable development through a process of a sustainability transition. It addresses the question of whether a long-term transformative change might result in a more peaceful environment. The chapter is structured in ten parts. After a brief introduction, it discusses sustainable development as a goal and sustainability transition as a transformative process. It reviews the scientific debate on sustainability transition and its impact on the report A Social Contract for Sustainability, examines the climate and energy policy initiatives of the European Union, and analyses policy debates on climate and energy policy issues. The argument takes up the consequences of the human intervention in the earth system, with which we are threatening the survival of humankind. The sustainable ‘peace concept’ is briefly conceptualized for the Anthropocene; its realization requires major innovations in economic and environment policy. It points up contested visions, strategies and policies aiming at a sustainable peace with the goal of avoiding the security implications of climate change and countering resource conflicts, and it concludes with a discussion of the need to develop strategies and policies for sustainability transition that will lead to a ‘sustainable peace’ in the Anthropocene.
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This is the first of two volumes based on peer reviewed and thoroughly revised scientific presentations, most of them initially discussed during the sessions of the Ecology and Peace Commission (EPC) at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) 50th Anniversary Conference in Istanbul in August 2014.
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One evening, in the middle of the 2015–2016 academic year, I was preparing dinner while my then-8-year-old daughter, Zeia, sat at the kitchen table completing the homework she had received from her third-grade teacher. Zeia worked quietly, breaking the silence only occasionally to ask me to clarify instructions, check her answers or inform me that she had completed an assignment and was moving to the next one.
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When different types of anthropogenic effects on nature are discussed in daily life and even in academic circles, the phrase “We are destroying the planet” is heard to the point where it becomes a cliché. This expression, however, contains—and conceals—dynamic and complex relationships between and within different human groups and nature with significant impacts on the natural environment.
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Over the last 25 years, Green Criminology has developed into a fertile area of study that now attracts scholars from around the world with a wide range of research interests and theoretical orientations. It spans the micro to the macro–from work on individual-level environmental harms to business/corporate crimes to state transgressions–and includes research conducted from both mainstream and critical theoretical perspectives, as well as arising from interdisciplinary efforts. Nonetheless—and in line with the proposal for a Southern Criminology put forward by Carrington and colleagues (2016)—it is still the case that much work needs to be done to ensure that the environmental crimes and harms affecting the lands and peoples of the Global South are brought to the forefront of a truly transnational Green Criminology. This volume makes a contribution to this process as the first text to focus specifically on examples from Latin America.
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The literature on environmental peacemaking claims that groups in conflict can put aside their differences and cooperate in the face of shared environmental challenges, thereby facilitating more peaceful relations between them. This study provides the first comprehensive review of the widely dispersed empirical evidence on such environment-peace links. In order to do so, it distinguishes three understandings of peace and identifies four mechanisms connecting environmental cooperation to peace. The results suggest that environmental cooperation can facilitate the absence of violence within states as well as symbolic rapprochement within and between states, although such links are strongly dependent on the presence of several contextual factors. The most relevant mechanisms connecting environmental cooperation to peace are an increase in understanding and trust and especially the build-up of institutions. By contrast, environmental peacemaking is unlikely to have an impact on substantial integration between states or groups. Based on these findings, the article offers four suggestions for future research: (i) assess the relevance of environmental cooperation vis-à-vis other (presumably less context-dependent) drivers of peacemaking, (ii) pay more attention to the mechanisms connecting environmental cooperation to peacemaking, (iii) focus on the interactions between and the different time horizons of the three understandings of peace, and (iv) study the downside of environmental peacemaking to provide a more nuanced assessment and identify further relevant contextual factors.
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Este libro nació como respuesta a la comprensión crítica de que si bien la criminología verde ha crecido en cuanto a su ámbito de interés y orientación, el campo de la criminología verde (si de hecho se puede hablar de un campo) todavía está restringido en su alcance y potencial de colaboración y discusión, pues es principalmente practicada por estudiosos en Australia, Europa y América del Norte, y sus publicaciones están escritas casi exclusivamente en inglés. Por esta razón, durante el congreso anual de la Sociedad Americana de Criminología (asc, por sus siglas en inglés), en noviembre de 2014, en San Francisco, varios miembros del Grupo Internacional de Trabajo en Criminología Verde (igcwg, por sus siglas en inglés) discutieron las limitaciones inherentes a una criminología verde que no es bien conocida en América Latina ni en los países hispanoparlantes en general. Por tanto, este libro tiene el objetivo de presentar la criminología verde al mundo de habla española como un intento de impulsar el establecimiento de un diálogo amplio con un número extenso de académicos internacionales y así crear nuevas vías de colaboración internacional. Junto a este libro, un texto en inglés (Goyes, Mol, Brisman y South, 2017), titulado Environmental crime in Latin America: The theft of nature and poisoning of the land [Crimen ambiental en América Latina: el robo de la naturaleza y el envenenamiento de la tierra], constituye otro proyecto que busca resaltar los problemas ambientales sufridos en América Latina y hacer hincapié en la necesidad de escuchar y aprender de las voces, conocimientos, perspectivas y cosmovisiones de las comunidades locales afectadas a lo largo de América Latina por la degradación ambiental.
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A contribution to the book 'Education in Times of Environmental Crises', this chapter explores the relevance of conflict resolution education in helping children learn skills that will help them navigate difficult choices in relation to climate change.
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The term ‘Anthropocene’ was promulgated by Paul J. Crutzen in 2000. Anthropogenic threats to human survival posed by the atom bomb and global climate change began in the new geological epoch of the Anthropocene. They require a joint approach within the framework of holistic peace ecology and a transformative strategy towards an ecological peace policy. Since 1945 Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced many violent conflicts and human-induced disasters. Due to population growth, the demand for water, agricultural land and food supplies will increase, while there may be an even greater shortage of food supplies and jobs by 2100. These climate-related environmental scarcities may result in new forms of violent climate conflicts. Tipping points in the climate system may trigger geopolitical conflicts. This chapter summarises the key ecological challenges which Africa has faced since 1945, reviews the conflicts Africa has experienced, and assesses their implications for peace research and environmental studies in Africa and the limited work on the connections between the two fields of research. This text discusses the relevance of a peace ecology approach and the need for an ecological peace policy for Africa and reflects on the need to rethink and integrate research and action in Africa in the Anthropocene.KeywordsAnthropoceneDemographic projectionClimate changeClimate modelsEcological peace policyEnvironmental peacemakingHuman development reportPeace ecologyPolitical geo-ecologyGlobal environmental changePost-conflict peacebuildingTipping points
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This paper builds on previous calls for a green cultural criminology that is more attuned to narrative, as well as a narrative criminology that does not limit itself to nonfictional stories of offenders, in two ways. First, it considers how a particular kind of environmental narrative—that of climate change—appears, as well as criticisms thereof. In analysing and assessing existing climate change narratives, this paper contemplates the approach of heritage studies to loss and the (theme of) uncertainty surrounding climate-induced migration and human displacement. Second, this paper allegorises the fable of The Three Little Pigs as a story of climate change migration—an aspect of climate change that is misrepresented (and sometimes missing) in the discourse. This paper concludes with additional arguments for approaching, reading and analysing stories regarding human–human and human–environment relationships.
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When thinking about crime, notions of deviance, delinquency, violence and moral turpitude most often come to mind. In somewhat more open-minded conceptions, crime may evoke critical questions of class and race, among other variables. In still more expansive spaces, crime may be evaluated through the lenses of exploitation of labor, maintenance of political power, and social control. From sociology to cinema studies, crime sometimes can be viewed in unvarnished dystopian terms—as the modality through which a society expresses the limits of its conscience and consciousness alike. Yet, in all of these critical interrogations, crime is rarely considered as a correlate of peace or an expression of justice. This article builds upon traditions in criminology that highlight the restorative, transformative, and peacemaking potentials inherent in constructions of crime and the processes used to address it, arguing for a proactive and constructive vision of peacebuilding that encompasses mechanisms for urgent implementation.
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The perception of the natural environment in terms of resources to meet anthropogenic ‘needs’ may stimulate competition among actors, which could eventually lead to conflict, especially in times of scarcity. Based on this core assumption, a great number of studies have investigated the human-environment nexus from a conflict and security perspective. Later on, many researchers have critically questioned the relevance of this literature and alternatively envisioned the environment as an incentive for cooperation rather than for violence. Accordingly, the concept of ‘environmental peacebuilding’ has been developed to investigate the evolution of environmental cooperation into a conflict transformation tool. Against such a background, this work aims at reviewing and discussing the relevance of both research trends with a focus on their ability to appropriately approach the human-environment nexus and to provide a useful theoretical and policy-making framework. Regarding the literature on environmental conflict, the analysis shows that its core assumptions remain questionable and its empirical and theoretical conclusions are contested. In respect to environmental peacebuilding, despite its attractiveness, more systematic research is still needed to make it a robust framework. Therefore, the analysis suggests the coviability of social-ecological systems as an alternative to properly perceive the human-environment nexus. This is based on the belief that the viability of human societies depends intimately on the living components of natural and managed systems, and that the coviability approach has the potential to adjust our perception with regard to the position of humans in the biosphere. A position which should be mainly oriented towards ensuring solidarity between humans to maintain viable ecosystems instead of conflict or limited, pragmatic cooperation driven schemes. This may raise hopes that future targets can be achievable and that human societies and ecosystems are sufficiently resilient and better prepared for a world of universal ecological change.
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‘Environmental security’ has been defined as ‘[t]he current and future availability (determined by the factors—supply, accessibility and management) of life-supporting ecosystem services and goods for human needs and natural process which contribute to poverty alleviation and conflict deterrence’ (Hecker 2011: 12). While other permutations have been offered, in general, the concept of environmental security tends to ‘link environmental degradation and the associated scarcity of resources with human conflict at individual, group, and state levels’ (Hall 2013: 228; 2015: 44–45; South 2012: 104–109). With the end of the Cold War and increasing knowledge of the negative effects of environmental degradation, scholars have come to recognize that environmental destruction and despoliation present severe threats to ‘human security’ (itself a contested term: compare Bennett and colleagues (2015); Cao and Wyatt (2016); Mobley (2011); Newman (2016); Shearing (2015); Valverde (2014)) and all life of Earth—that the harms and crimes of air and water pollution, deforestation and soil erosion from civilian and military activities can and do adversely and dramatically impact our living conditions—and that such environmental damage can be both a cause and consequence of environmental conflict (Graeger 1996; see also Brisman et al. 2015).
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The phrase ‘water is the next oil’ is widely used to describe the exorbitant profits produced as a result of its growing commodification (Zabarenko 2009). As McGee (2014) observes, ‘Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit—Mammoth companies are trying to collect water that all life needs and charge for it as they would for other natural resources’.
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As we have described and discussed in the preceding chapters, water issues take shape in a variety of ways. From concerns regarding access and pollution, to drought and flooding as attendant effects of global climate change, to privatization and corporate consolidation of water supplies and the deceptive marketing of bottled water, water is at the centre of a diverse array of issues with unique criminological relevance. Indeed, as our title and framing suggest, water issues can be thought of as constituting and falling on a spectrum of extremes—water is often too dirty, expensive or secured, access to water is too restricted, while flooding and geographically and socially dependent overabundance give some too much water. In this chapter, we demonstrate a global recognition of the importance of water by highlighting and describing a few of the countless social, political and cultural moments and movements resisting the harms associated with inadequate access, poor quality, privatization and habitus. Each of the moments of resistance noted in this chapter is connected: at the centre of each is a call for ‘water justice’.
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The relationship between climate change and human mobility is generating increased public, academic and policy recognition. This linkage has captured the collective imagination, with forced mobility representing one of the most perceptible societal impacts of climate change and environmental hazards. Through in-depth interviews with subject-matter experts related to the Asia Pacific region, this paper explores the terminological uncertainty evident when conceptualising and addressing the issues associated with human mobility, climate change and the associated increased risk of environmental hazards. Shaped through the complexity of socio-ecological systems and often-intertwined causal drivers of migration, this uncertainty reveals a major policy gap in the nexus between human mobility and climate change on multiple scales. The findings from this study explore the ways in which these terms act to conceal global accountabilities and draw boundaries around ‘acceptable’ forms of mobility. By evoking value-based framings with particular emphasis on equality, justice and responsibility – this paper forwards alternative ideas and subjugated narratives to position how such values are posed as subjects of political and moral weight.
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‘Peace ecology’ is a scientific approach that aims to build bridges between peace research and environmental studies. In 2000, Paul J. Crutzen introduced the Anthropocene as a new epoch of Earth’s history. Geologists still need to identify evidence in the sediments, e.g. from nuclear explosions and the testing of nuclear and hydrogen weapons in the atmosphere, that such a transition has actually occurred. Direct human interventions into the Earth System through the accumulation of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have caused multiple societal impacts, resulting in rapid increases in production, consumption, urbanisation, pollution, migration, crises and conflicts. Peace ecology in the Anthropocene era of Earth and human history can be conceptualised on the basis of five conceptual pillars: peace, security, equity, sustainability and gender. This chapter develops ‘peace ecology’ in the context of the Anthropocene in ten sections. After a detailed conceptual introduction (2.1), the second Sect. (2.2) discusses five alternative starting points of the Anthropocene: the Agricultural or the Industrial Revolutions, the Columbian Exchange, the Nuclear era and the ‘Great Acceleration’, while the third Sect. (2.3) offers a conceptual mapping of the Anthropocene and the fourth Sect. (2.4) interprets the Anthropocene as a turning point, context and challenge for science and politics. For the new context of the Anthropocene Sect. 2.5 offers a rethinking of peace and the evolution of peace research since the end of World War I, World War II and the Cold War in selected countries and the development of three international peace research organisations: IPRA, PSS(I) and ISA-PEACE. A reconceptualisation of peace in the Post-Cold War Era (1990–2020) and in the Anthropocene is also taking place. Section 5.6 reviews the evolution and rethinking of several ecology concepts (human, political, social) and (political) geo-ecological approaches during the Anthropocene. Section 2.7 reviews several bridge-building initiatives between peace research and ecology that were previously developed by scholars (e.g. Kenneth and Elise Boulding, Arthur H. Westing et al.) and were suggested during the conceptual debate on environmental and ecological security and in the empirical case studies by Günter Bächler (Switzerland) and Thomas Homer Dixon (Canada) on environmental degradation, scarcity and stress as causes and on conflictive outcomes. Since the end of the Cold War, from a policy perspective, debates have evolved on environmental peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding and on climate change, security and conflict linkages. While older bridge-building efforts stemming from peace research have addressed issues related to violence, more recent discourses emerging from environment and sustainability studies have addressed issues of sustainability transition and their impact on sustainable peace (Peck 1998) initiatives in the Anthropocene Sect. 2.7. Section 2.8 focuses on the suggested peace ecology approach and research programme as a holistic, enlightening and critical scientific project for the Anthropocene. For this it is necessary to overcome the fragmentation of scientific and political knowledge to incorporate holistic perspectives and transformative approaches that facilitate the move from knowledge to action. In Sect. 2.9 the author addresses the need to develop an ecological peace policy for the second phase of the Anthropocene (2020–2100) by developing strategies and policies to surmount the challenges in the Anthropocene. In Sect. 2.10 the author concludes by proposing a peace ecology research programme and an ecological peace policy in the Anthropocene (2.10).
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This chapter presents the institutional characteristics of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT Indus Waters Treaty, 1960: “The Indus Waters Treaty”, signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960: 300–365, 1960) between India and Pakistan in the literature of peace ecology and discusses the complexities of including climate change discourse in the Treaty using the hydro-diplomacy approach in transboundary water management. The introduction to the chapter is followed by the conceptual framework of the study, the historical background of the Indus Water Treaty and the Indus River Basin, and the key aspects of the Indus Water Treaty. The second part includes institutional analysis of the Indus Water Treaty from the peace ecology and climate change perspectives. Towards the end this chapter notes that the challenges of the Indus Water Treaty justify the importance of hydro-diplomacy in the transboundary water management. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the convergence of hydro-diplomacy and peace ecology with climate change supplements for the rich and vulnerable Indus River Basin.
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In this paper, we respond to academic critiques of resilience that suggest an inherent affinity with neoliberalism and/or the incompatibility of resilience and critical agency. Drawing on the reflections of people who have found ‘resilience’ a helpful conceptual tool that has informed their engagement with a challenging and unsettling context, we suggest that ideas of resilience, solidarity and agency intersect in complex and interesting ways. Following a brief discussion of our methodology, we begin with an overview of how respondents to an online survey and a series of related conversations conceptualise resilience. We go on to explore how these conceptualisations might relate to critical analysis of the status quo, and to engagement with solidarity and agency. We conclude that there is potential to link these concepts, and that thoughtful engagement with this potential, and with the tensions and questions it raises, might make valuable contributions to both theory and practice.
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The intention of this chapter is to contribute to an amplified, robust, and flexible understanding of the meaning of water. Inevitably, previous scholarly work on transboundary water resources has been strongly influenced by the dominant features of the modern world. Woven into the very fabric of our existence has been an unflagging conviction that the mysteries of the universe could be unraveled through human intelligence. Vagaries of nature, such as water and the droughts and floods associated with it, could be subdued and harnessed for the benefit of humankind. The companion modern view of society has been that human management of water resources could be rationalized and controlled through laws, institutions, and organizational structures. The fluidity of water-its unpredictability, variability, and resistance to control-makes it an appropriate metaphor for the inability of modern convictions and perspectives to capture the unstable and fluctuating world. The transformation of key elements of the modern era, including the present process of glocalization, is mirrored in the changing images of water. Discerning such changes is important, not just because it is instructive for many other issue areas, but also because water is essential to nature and to society. This chapter will briefly discuss how emerging approaches are adding to, and partially displacing, previously dominant modern approaches that were too narrow and too bound to specific ontologies. It will then move on to discuss how the meanings of water imposed by the three ascendant modern disciplines in the study of water resources-law, engineering, and economics-have been modified and transformed. Finally, it will offer a preview of the meanings of water that will emerge in the case studies that follow this chapter.
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Transborder cooperation in Western Europe has made considerable progress. Primarily because of the activities of local groups, such as the Regio Basiliensis, and the support of international organizations, such as the Council of Europe, the Upper Rhine Valley and other European border regions have succeeded in voicing their interests in a fairly cohesive manner. However, the continued emphasis of national governments on sovereignty and national interests has prevented international border regions from achieving such basic goals as infrastructure integration and harmonization of environmental policy. Present forms of transborder political activity have been insufficient to overcome conflicts between regional needs and national interests. For this and other reasons, European border regions have resorted to new local economic and political initiatives to argue more forcefully for border region demands. In pooling the combined resources of its Swiss, French, and German participants, the Upper Rhine Program of Innovation might well serve as a model for this kind of regional initiative, perhaps setting a precedent for future forms of transborder political activity.
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As climate change and ecosystem destruction intensify, the stage is being set for more frequent, more powerful, and more destructive disaster events. Communities that are already disempowered as a result of economic and ecological marginalization are exceptionally vulnerable to disasters, which exacerbate problems of poverty, indebtedness, and food insecurity. Many of the world’s poorest residents are forced to live on unstable hillsides or in areas prone to drought or flooding. Women, children, and the elderly are among those most affected by disasters. Disasters can trigger conflicts by straining the social and economic fabric of affected communities. Recriminations may occur over such post-disaster realities as unequal relief efforts, inadequate compensation, contentious aid distribution, unwelcome resettlement, or lack of consultation with those who are most affected. In extreme cases, the seeds of violent conflict may be sown. Areas of recent or current armed conflict are particularly at risk. But when disasters occur in conflict zones, they can produce an unexpected silver lining: the opportunity for peace. By jolting the political landscape, disasters hold the potential to quickly transform conflict dynamics and generate opportunities to bring long-running disputes to an end. Hardship that cuts across existing divides can prompt acts of goodwill and create common relief needs. Joint emergency aid efforts and rebuilding activities can be a catalyst for building mutual trust among adversaries. In some cases, the destruction wrought by a disaster may be so great that reconstruction in conflict afflicted regions is able to proceed only with a ceasefire or peace agreement.
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For all that has been written about environmental security, there has been little explicit consideration of how it relates to peace. There are, however, a number of important links between environmental security and peace in theory and practice. Based on an understanding of peace as including the absence of both direct violence and structural violence, the paper explores four principal connections between environmental security and peace. It examines the ways in which environmental change is a factor in direct violence, and the ways in which it exacerbates structural violence. The paper then examines the ways in which direct violence and structural violence cause environmental insecurity. The conclusion from this analysis is that neither environmental security nor peace can be achieved without the other.
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Many scholars, policymakers, and activists have argued that climate change will lead to resource competition, mass migration, and, ultimately, an increase in armed conflict around the world. This article takes issue with the `deterministic' view that climate change and resultant resource scarcities will have a direct impact on political violence. Rather, the effect of climate change on armed conflict is contingent on a number of political and social variables, which, if ignored by analysts, can lead to poor predictions about when and where conflict is likely. This article then discusses ways to improve research on the climate change—conflict connection and outlines broad policy suggestions for dealing with this potential problem. Scholars must communicate their findings with the policy community in order to come up with prudent solutions to this problem, while countering unnecessary rhetoric on both sides of the debate.
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This paper, based on a larger study that was carried out by a joint Palestinian – Israeli research team before and during the Al Aqsa Intifada, examines Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have worked on joint environmental projects. We focus here on three jointly run Palestinian – Israeli NGOs, 16 Israeli organizations and 12 Palestinian organizations that engaged in cooperative work, looking at the kind of work they did, their perceptions of the causes of environmental damage and its connection to the conflict, their perceptions of the roles of NGOs within their societies, and obstacles encountered in cooperative work. Data about the NGOs were collected through face-to-face audio taped interviews, their publications, and from their websites. Results showed that while the Israeli and Palestinian NGOs agree that joint work is needed to address ecological problems, they differ in their reasons for working together, their perceptions of the sources of environmental deterioration, the roles that NGOs should be taking within their society, the relationship of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict to the state of the environment, and the effect that a final peace agreement would have on solving these problems. It was concluded that the “environmental narratives” of the two sides differ greatly, and that the establishment of a “culture of peace” is a very long-term process.
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Although there are thousands of community gardens across North America, only Seattle and a few other cities include them in their urban development plans. While the conditions and experiences in Seattle may be unique, the city's programs offer insights and lessons for other cities and communities. Greening Cities, Growing Communities examines: -- Planning and design strategies that support the development of urban community gardens as sustainable places for education and recreation -- Approaches to design processes, construction, and stewardship that utilize volunteer and community participation and create a sense of community -- Programs that enable gardens to serve as a resource for social justice for low income and minority communities, immigrants, and seniors -- Opportunities to develop active-living frameworks by strategically locating community gardens and linking them with other forms of recreation and open space as part of pedestrian-accessible networks Greening Cities, Growing Communities focuses on six community gardens in Seattle where there has been a strong network of knowledge and resources. These case studies reveal the capacity of community gardens to serve larger community issues, such as food security; urban ecosystem health; demonstration of sustainable gardening and building practices; active living and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods; and equity concerns. The authors also examine how landscape architects, planners, and allied design professionals can better interact in the making of these unique urban open spaces, and how urban community gardens offer opportunities for professionals to have a more prominent role in community activism and urban sustainability.
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Occupy Education is motivated by the sustainability crisis and energized by the drive for social justice that inspired the Occupy movement. Situated within the struggle for sustainability taking place amid looming resource shortages, climate change, economic instability, and ecological breakdown, the book is a timely contribution to community education and action. It opens a whole realm of integrated theory to educators and sustainability activists – and demonstrates how that theory can be moved into practice. Occupy Education is an excellent text for courses in sustainability studies, social philosophy, globalization, social justice, food system praxis, sustainability education, political economy, and environmental studies.
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in December, 1970, to protect human health and the environment. It was formed by the merger of many scattered federal agencies. Operating under many statutes, it develops and enforces regulations, distributes grants, studies environmental issues, sponsors partnerships with state and local governments, and teaches people about environmental issues and publishes environmental information and data. This article provides a discussion on some history, perspective, organization, and activities at the EPA.
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A fascinating insight into the global battle for our energy future. The global competition for scarce natural resources that pits the West against the super-hot economies of China and India, plus a clutch of other contenders including Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia, has become one of the biggest issues facing the world today. Whether it is the rare metal lithium found in salt pans in the Andes, gas from the Caspian Sea, oil off the coast of Brazil, coal from Africa's Zambezi River, or uranium from Kazakhstan, China and India are desperate to ensure the security of their future energy supplies. The same goes for food and water, as contamination and over-use take their toll, the need to provide continued access for the next generation and beyond has increased exponentially. In Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources, international business journalist Geoff Hiscock explores the problems, potential solutions, and inevitable tensions in this ongoing scramble for finite natural resources. Going beyond "big power" politics to explore resource ownership and the use of innovative technology to get the most out of them, the book takes a forward-looking approach to this pressing issue. Written in clear, jargon-free language, it tells the global resources story in a fresh and engaging way that anyone can understand. Includes insightful, up-to-the-minute coverage of the most pressing debates over resource allocations. Discusses the major Chinese and Indian businesses that are just becoming known to those in the West (Sinopec, CNOOC, CNPC, Indian Oil, ONGC, Reliance, Coal India, SAIL, and many others). Presents resource- and region-specific chapters to help readers view the pertinent issues from multiple angles. As the economies of China and India grow to challenge those of the West, the battle over natural resources will continue to heat up. Earth Wars looks at this very real problem in-depth, presenting a definitive look at one of the greatest challenges of our time. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Each year, governments spend billions of dollars on peacekeeping efforts around the world, and much more is spent on humanitarian aid to refugees and other victims of armed struggle. Yet research shows that nearly half of all countries experiencing civil war see renewed violent conflict within five years of a peace agreement. How do we account for such a poor track record? The authors in this volume consider how global capitalism affects fragile peace processes, arguing that the international economic system itself is a major contributor to violent conflict. By including the work of anthropologists, economists, religious studies experts, sociologists, and political scientists, this book presents a broad yet thorough exploration of the complexities of peace building in a global market economy. Included in the volume are specific studies of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as considerations of conflicts on the global scale.
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Ecological resilience, adaptive cycles, and panarchy are all concepts that have been developed to explain abrupt and often surprising changes in complex socio-ecological systems that are prone to disturbances. These types of changes involve qualitative and quantitative alterations in systems' structures and processes. This paper uses the concepts of ecological resilience, adaptive cycles, and panarchies to compare ecological and human community systems. At least five important findings emerge from this comparison. 1) Both systems demonstrate the multiple meanings of resilience-both in terms of recovery time from disturbances and the capacity to absorb them. 2) Both systems recognize the role of diversity in contributing to resilience. 3) The comparison highlights the role of different forms of capital and 4) the importance of cross-scale interactions. 5) The comparison reveals the need for experimentation and learning to build adaptive capacities. All of these ideas have broad implications for attempting to manage complex systems with human and ecological components in the face of recurring natural disasters.
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Acknowledging the dual notions of danger and opportunity that present themselves in contemporary social and ecological crises, this book explores how both peace and environmental education can transform the way we think and what we value. The book outlines the link between social violence and ecological degradation and the need to educate for the purpose of achieving social and ecological peace. Specialists in peace and environmental education offer a holistic and integrated approach on educating about these problems and challenges. They also provide educational strategies, such as curricular frameworks and pedagogical innovations appropriate for both formal and informal settings, and case studies and examples that illustrate their application.
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An argument that resource scarcity and environmental degradation can provide an impetus for cooperation among countries. © 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.
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This volume comprises a discussion among a wide range of expert scholars and practitioners on what defines and distinguishes the concept of strategic peacebuilding. The authors respond reflexively to the failures of peacebuilding and constructively press forward an emergent paradigm shift that questions the assumptions of a state-centric and liberal approach to peace. Strategic peacebuilding, they argue, is an intentional approach to the complexity of post-conflict environments that recognizes the interdependence of sectors, actors, and policies and develops strategies to maximize the impact of initiatives through strengthening these linkages. The volume first builds a theory of strategic peacebuilding, distinguishing it from past efforts and exploring the myriad ways strategic approaches can make peacebuilding more effective. It then explores the role of international institutions, particularly the International Criminal Court and United Nations, highlighting ways forward for building more sustainable and locally informed peace. Importantly, this volume reflects the multiplicity of actors and practices involved in strategic peacebuilding, focusing on the roles of civil society, educational institutions, and cultural and religious leaders in promoting justice and reconciliation. Employing a diverse array of methods, disciplines, and practices, the authors of this volume demonstrate that a strategic approach to peacebuilding is imperative for achieving an inclusive, locally informed and self-sustaining justpeace.
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This book examines the evolution of the relationship between climate change and conflict, and attempts to visualize future trends. Owing to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, current trends in climate change will not appreciably alter over the next half century even if drastic action is taken now. Changes in climate will produce unique types and modes of conflict, redefine the value of important resources, and create new challenges to maintaining social order and stability. This book examines the consequences of climate change and argues that it has and will produce two types of different types of conflict: 'cold wars' and 'hot wars'. Cold wars will occur in northern and southern latitudes as warming draws countries into possible conflict due to expanding interests in exploiting new resources and territories (inter-state conflict). Hot wars will break out around the equator as warming expands and intensifies dry areas, increasing competition for scarce resources (intra-state conflict). Conflict is not inevitable, but it will also be a consequence of how states, international institutions and people react to changes in climate. Climate change and conflict have always shaped human experiences. This book lays out the parameters of the relationship, shows its history, and forecasts its trends, offering future conditions and opportunities for changing the historical path we are on. This book will be of great interest for students of climate change and environmental security, peace and conflict studies, and IR/security studies in general.
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Transfrontier conservation is a global concept which encompasses the protection of biodiversity spanning the borders of two or more countries in ways that support local economic development, international relations and peace. Nowhere is this more relevant but highly debatable than in Africa, which is home to a third of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, while at the same time hosting its poorest nations. This is one of the first books to account for the emergence of transfrontier conservation in Africa against international experiences in bioregional planning. The roles of the state and local populations are analysed, as well as the ecological, socio-economic and political implications.
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The Earth's human population is expected to pass eight billion by the year 2025, while rapid growth in the global economy will spur ever increasing demands for natural resources. The world will consequently face growing scarcities of such vital renewable resources as cropland, fresh water, and forests. Thomas Homer-Dixon argues in this sobering book that these environmental scarcities will have profound social consequences--contributing to insurrections, ethnic clashes, urban unrest, and other forms of civil violence, especially in the developing world. Homer-Dixon synthesizes work from a wide range of international research projects to develop a detailed model of the sources of environmental scarcity. He refers to water shortages in China, population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and land distribution in Mexico, for example, to show that scarcities stem from the degradation and depletion of renewable resources, the increased demand for these resources, and/or their unequal distribution. He shows that these scarcities can lead to deepened poverty, large-scale migrations, sharpened social cleavages, and weakened institutions. And he describes the kinds of violence that can result from these social effects, arguing that conflicts in Chiapas, Mexico and ongoing turmoil in many African and Asian countries, for instance, are already partly a consequence of scarcity. Homer-Dixon is careful to point out that the effects of environmental scarcity are indirect and act in combination with other social, political, and economic stresses. He also acknowledges that human ingenuity can reduce the likelihood of conflict, particularly in countries with efficient markets, capable states, and an educated populace. But he argues that the violent consequences of scarcity should not be underestimated--especially when about half the world's population depends directly on local renewables for their day-to-day well-being. In the next decades, he writes, growing scarcities will affect billions of people with unprecedented severity and at an unparalleled scale and pace. Clearly written and forcefully argued, this book will become the standard work on the complex relationship between environmental scarcities and human violence.
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Oil is one of the non-renewable resources available on the planet, and its scarcity is inevitable if the supply does not meet the growing demand in the current scenario, and it may even lead to “resource wars” among states in the coming years. This chapter considers the regions of the Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea, and Pacific Rim and explores why resources have always been great motivators for war. It is also a concern that cooperation rule is the most vital national interest rather than conflict. The later parts of the chapter discuss future oil scarcity and competition; legal status in the oil-rich territory; agreements on pipeline locations and export routes; and new leadership in petroleum politics. The concluding part observes that in order to gain the oil resources and financial and economic benefits, interstate coordination is required, not violent conflict, so it is not worth fighting for oil.
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How can environmental cooperation be used to bolster regional peace? A large body of research suggests that environmental degradation may catalyze violent conflict. Environmental cooperation, in contrast, has gone almost unexplored as a means of peacemaking, even though it opens several effective channels: enhancing trust, establishing habits of cooperation, lengthening the time horizons of decision makers, forging cooperative trans-societal linkages, and creating shared regional norms and identities. This edited volume examines the case for environmental peacemaking by comparing progress, prospects, and problems related to environmental initiatives in six regions--South Asia, Central Asia, the Baltic, Southern Africa, the Caucasus, and the U.S.-Mexico border. Among the volume's key findings are these: that substantial potential for environmental peacemaking exists in most regions; that significant tensions can emerge between narrower efforts to improve the strategic climate among mistrustful governments and broader trans-societal efforts to build environmental peace; and that the effects of environmental peacemaking initiatives are highly sensitive to the ways they are institutionalized.
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Meeting in the ancient forests of the Blue River watershed in Oregon, the Blue River Quorum includes J. Baird Callicott, Madeline Cantwell, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Kristie Dotson, Charles Goodrich, Patricia Hasbach, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Mark Hixon, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Katie McShane, Kathleen Dean Moore, Nalini Nadkarni, Michael P. Nelson, Harmony Paulsen, Devon G. Pena, Libby Roderick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Fred Swanson, Bron Taylor, Allen Thompson, Kyle Powys Whyte, Priscilla Solis Ybarra, Gretel Van Wieren, and Jan Zwicky. The Quorum was convened by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word (springcreek@ oregonstate.edu ) with funding from the Shotpouch Foundation, the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and the USDA Forest Service. The following is the Blue River Declaration.
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My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
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WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe. An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
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Oil, natural gas, coal, and other mined fuels provide the United States with nearly all of its energy needs at a cost $700 billion per year.1 Since more than 90 percent of its oil deposits have been depleted, the United States now imports over 70 percent of its oil at an annual cost of $400 billion.2 United States agriculture is driven almost entirely by these non-renewable energy sources. Each person in the country on a per capita consumption basis requires approximately 2,000 liters per year in oil equivalents to supply his/her total food, which accounts for about 19 percent of the total national energy use. Farming—that portion of the agricultural/food system in which food is produced—requires about 7 percent and food processing and packaging consume an additional 7 percent, while transportation and preparation use 5 percent of total energy in the United States.3 Global usage of oil has peaked at a time when oil reserves are predicted to last only sixty to seventy more years.4 As oil and natural gas supplies rapidly decline, there will be a greater dependence on coal as a primary energy source. Currently coal supplies are only capable of providing the United States with 50 to 100 more years of energy, although considering the environmental damage done by using coal it is not clear whether we will actually use up all the reserves.5 Keeping in mind the potential future costs and availability of fossil fuels, we will explore how agricultural production can be maintained while reducing fossil energy inputs by 50 percent.
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Resource availability is frequently linked with historic and potential international conflict. Conventional wisdom holds that international resource conflict occurs in locations where growing resource demand and declining supplies are greatest. While relative scarcity is undoubtedly an element driving international resource dispute, a focus on supply and demand measures alone is insufficient to understand international conflict potential, because of the pervasive willingness of nations to construct regimes, structures, and frameworks – that is, institutions – for dispute mitigation. However, institutions for regulating the use of internationally scarce resources sometimes fail to develop, and when they do, they are not always sufficiently resilient to deal with changing political and resource environments. Thus, international resource conflict is most likely to occur where there exist both resource scarcity and insufficient institutional capacity to deal with it. In particular, conflict is most likely to emerge in those areas where (1) resource sovereignty is ill defined or non-existent, (2) existing institutional regimes are destroyed by political change, and/or (3) rapid changes in resource environments outpace the capacity of institutions to deal with the change. A mitigation strategy for potential international resource conflict is the construction of resilient resource management institutions, along with the improvement of existing institutions. To be most effective, these institutions should be clear in terms of resource allocation and quality control; be constructed with an intrinsic ability to adjust to changing political and environmental conditions; promote positive-sum solutions to resource problems; and incorporate structured conflict resolution mechanisms.