Reading Group: 2 April 2014

Jan, Mike A., Joe, Nicola and Elizabeth – Richard in a noisy café for a few moments.
Jan used the reading (Military emissions, armed conflicts, border changes and the Kyoto Protocol by Axel Michaelowa & Tobias Koch) to spark off a discussion starting with three core topics: how political and other kinds of disruption reveal understandings of the normal and the stable space; how practices and energy/environment/climate change problems spill over borders and how they relate (or not) to; issues of sovereignty and international relations, and finally, the role of the military as an energy user in its own right.

We noted that the paper itself is firmly in the frame of Kyoto agreements – dealing with the allocation of responsibility and not with further issues either of how climate change problems are produced or tackled. Ironically the challenges it confronts (dealing with how targets, etc. are reallocated when states fail) point to the folly of in any case imagining that responsibility can and should be parcelled up in this way. In short, most of the world is not like the EU!

We talked about how wars wreck and inspire infrastructures– and about different modes of doing war (i.e. labour and capital intensive, and the energy implications of these modes). We wondered about how the UK military responds to energy saving and other targets – just by recycling a bit or having more efficient boilers, or maybe re-thinking the meaning of training and the need for lots of flying around, etc.? We also talked a bit about how climate change related crises might underpin or exacerbate future conflict. On all counts it was a really useful paper to provoke more demanding thoughts.

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