published on May 5, 2015
A Community-Based Good Life or Eco-Apartheid
If climate change continues unabated it will create massive insecurity and displacement, particularly for people in the Global South, leading to extreme pressure to migrate to the Global North. Yet political policy in the North is overwhelmingly hostile to large-scale immigration. We are therefore on a collision course of increased pressure to migrate facing increased barriers to migration – a global structure I refer to as eco-apartheid. This paper argues that preventing eco-apartheid requires, fundamentally, a massive shift in culture – from a vision of a good life with growth and consumption at its centre, to one centered on community, free time and relationships. However, this shift in culture can only be accomplished with a corresponding shift in our economies towards real security for all; real economic security requires a new kind of robust welfare state, premised on the provision of generous public services and work sharing to maintain high employment.