Pros And Cons Of Securitization Of The Environment

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Securitization of the environment, or anything for that matter, changes the instruments and the people who use these instruments available to deal with the new security threat. These personnel usually take the form of the long entrusted state security actor; the military. Environmentalists have long protested the linkage of the environment and security, arguing environmental security directly refers to the military’s capacity to apply themselves to the ocean of environmental issues. The purpose of most militaries is to fight wars and in doing so they incur devastating consequences for people and the environment. Contrast this with the environmental movement efforts to achieve sustainable life and peace. Environmental protection agencies, such as the EPA, are open institutions that seek to educate the public on the dangers of the environment while the military are secretive institutions, for this reason environmentalists argue that the two are fundamentally incompatible.
Militaries are arguably the largest institutional cause of environmental degradation in the world. (Collins, 2010)Wherever there’s been war there’s been considerable damage to the environment. Whether it’s the use of nuclear weapons on Japan, the draining of
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(Deudney, 1990)
Criticism of deeming the environment as a national threat is not uncommon. Homer-Dixon also supported this view to a certain extent saying there was no evidence to suggest environmental scarcity was a principle cause of conflict. Interestingly Homer-Dixon later concluded a paper assessing the nexus between the environment and conflict saying
“our research shows that environmental scarcity causes violent conflict.”
Why the change in tact? The answer to this is there are new examples of environmental scarcity’s causing inter-state conflict. By assessing these can we truly answer if securitization of the environment should be encouraged.

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