Russian Arctic oil: a New Economic & Strategic Paradigm?

This article is the second of our series on the Anthropocene and security. Previously, we presented the larger dimensions and general elements framing the new (in)security. Here, we shall focus on latest developments regarding Russian Arctic oil. Between April and July 2016, the current Russian energy conquest of the Arctic led to the shipment of more than 230.000 barrels of oil from the Russian Arctic. They came from two recent on-shore fields, and from the Gazprom Prirazlomonoye off-shore oil rig (Irina Slav, “Russia Ramps Up Arctic Oil Production”, OilPrice.Com, July 21, 2016). The latter is the first of the glacial Barents Sea. The 2016 flow from the Russian Arctic almost doubled compared with 2015. In the meantime, the Russian ministry of …

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The Anthropocene Era and Economic (in)Security – (1)

The summer of 2016 has been a major pivot in the history of mankind. In effect, on 30 August, the definition of the current geological epoch as the “Anthropocene Era” has been officially validated, during the 35th International Geological Congress, in Cape Town, South Africa (Noel Castree, “An Official Welcome to the Anthropocene Epoch”, RD …

The United Arab Emirates: the Rise of a Sustainable Industrial Empire?

Modern societies, economies and businesses become increasingly unsustainable because of the convergence of their complex and in-built vulnerabilities with climate change. However, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has initiated a very interesting strategy: the experimentation with and promotion of sustainability on a national and international scale, in order to support an adapted way of life …

Alberta Mega Wildfire and the United Arab Emirates Security

In April 2016, some important oil-producing Middle Eastern countries, as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iran, were present among the representatives of more than 155 countries headed to the U.N. in New York to ratify the international climate accord negotiated during the Paris COP 21 (“UAE vows to make climate deal work”, The National UAE, April 23, 2016). Less than a month later, from North America to Russia, places especially vulnerable to climate change are shaken by immense wildfires. Prominent among these extreme weather events, is the mega wildfire that devastates the region of Fort Mc Murray, in the Alberta state of Canada (Bryan Alary, “Fort Mc Murray blaze among “most extreme” of wild fires says researcher”, Phys.org, May …

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The Antarctic versus Dubai – The Planetary Crisis Rules (5)

Three seemingly unrelated events occurred in April 2014. The IPCC, the international body of scientists tasked with monitoring climate change, released its fifth report, assessing that, between today and 2100, climate change could induce a rise of one metre of the sea level, and the radical necessity to start adaptation policies (IPCC, fifth report, 2014). Meanwhile, in Dubai, the immense beach, which has become the support for a gigantic tourist and real estate industry, welcomed the first open water swimming championships on 18 and 19 April 2014 (1st Dubai International Open Water Swimming Championships). While this sportive event was taking place, a gigantic iceberg, six times the size of Manhattan, was breaking off from an Antarctic glacier into the open ocean (Will …

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Israel and the Coming Long Threat – The Planetary Crisis Rules (4)

Israel faces an unexpected and immensely dangerous strategic threat: climate change. This threat is shared with the rest of the world: it is the way climate change keeps getting stronger and how its effects are combining with pre-existing systems of vulnerabilities at country and regional level, the Middle East in the case of Israel (Dahr …

The Planetary Crisis Rules (3): Kazakhstan, a Case Study of the Anthropocene

A strange process is affecting the planet: the global life conditions, which have dominated the planet for thousands years are changing quickly, because of the massive impact of human activities and forms of development. Meanwhile, new life conditions emerge and they are not those that have supported the emergence and development of modern societies. On …

The Planetary crisis rules (part 2)

Our planet is changing. The current geological epoch is characterized by the fact that the human species has become the principal geological and biological force on Earth. This global change is driven by the development of technology, agriculture, industry, urbanization, the systemic use of coal, oil and natural gas as energy sources and their convergence. …

Energy Geopolitics and Climate Politics: a Complicated Relationship

The geopolitical landscape at the end of the year 2015 is especially strange. In effect, it is both dominated by the enormous gathering of heads of states and governments in Paris for the “COP 21”, which aims to make possible an international treaty on climate change, and by the war against the Islamic State, as the French president works to make possible a new cooperation between the U.S.-led coalition and Russia against the common foe (Yves Bourdillon, “Hollande, Poutine et Obama se liguent contre Daech”, Les Echos, 17/11/2015) after the terrible attacks on Paris on 13 November, following the downing of the Russian Plane on 31 October, the attack in Lebanon on 12 November and the bombing in Tunis on 24 November. …

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Planetary Security, or the Subversion of Collapse

On 3 November 2015, the Dutch Ministry of foreign affairs organises the conference “Planetary Security: Peace and Cooperation in Times of Climate Change and Global Environmental Challenges” at the Peace Palace in the Hague. This conference accompanies the worldwide mobilisation for the United Nations summit on climate change (known as “COP 21”), which will take place in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015. The peculiarity of this conference lies in the fact that it infuses the idea of security with a political, strategic and societal meaning, while security also remains clearly defined as a moment of exchanges between policy-makers and experts on the threat caused by climate and environmental change. In other words, the very existence of …

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