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We need a global government of land, air and water

Foreign Policy News

Jo Guldi, data scientist, historian, and SMU Associate Professor, for a piece advocating for world-wide equity in land ownership as one means to combat global warming. Published in Foreign Policy News under the heading We need a global government of land, air and water: 

Polls show that two-thirds of Americans believe that the government should do more to combat climate change.  Over the past decade, the People’s Climate March (2014 and 2017), Extinction Rebellion (2018-21) and the March for Science (2017) have come and gone without achieving systemic reforms or creating political mechanisms . That’s because Americans have only been thinking about America. To fight the unprecedented, planetary challenge of climate change, we need politicians willing to run on a platform of international solidarity that claims Earth as a space for human life.

Parochialism is entirely understandable. Climate change in the abstract is made real at home, literally.  All Americans, particularly indigenous, ethnic, and working-class Americans are near the brunt of climate change: they inhabit landscapes made toxic by corporate dumping or easily flooded by increasingly violent storms. Yet Americans’ experience is not unique. The same issues elsewhere articulate a global emergency.