Current Issues 31 - Simon Dalby

Simon Dalby
CIGI Chair in the political economy of climate change, Balsillie School of International Affairs







Simon Dalby is the CIGI Chair on the political economy of climate change at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dalby explains that the Doha meetings confirmed earlier agreements that negotiated a global climate treaty by 2015 and come into effect in 2020. After Doha, Dalby claims that national delegations need to think carefully about how we can retool our economies to drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. The vast majority of our economy runs on fossil fuels that generate carbon dioxide. Since climate change covers so many facets of contemporary economies, we need to reconsider both our production and consumption patterns. Dalby discusses how climate change relates to issues of security, and uses the example of how shifting weather patterns can lead to the depletion of food sources and cause political disruption and protest. If unilateral measures are used to deal with climate change we could see ourselves in conflicts which could further destabilize the climate as well as other countries. He then delves into the fact that we should consider geo-engineering; specifically solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal if we want our earth to be healthy for future generations. Dalby concludes on a positive note claiming that we need to learn how to build a solar powered civilization for humanity and to find ways to slow, and then reverse carbon dioxide levels if we are going to have a relatively stable planetary system for coming generations.

Additional Resources

Simon Dalby, Background

Simon Dalby is the CIGI chair in the political economy of climate change at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and professor of geography and environmental studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His published research deals with climate change, political ecology, geopolitics, global security, environmental change, militarization and the spatial dimensions of governance.

He is co-editor of Rethinking Geopolitics (Routledge, 1998), The Geopolitics Reader (Routledge, 2006), the journal Geopolitics, and author of Creating the Second Cold War (Pinter and Guilford, 1990), Environmental Security (University of Minnesota Press, 2002) and Security and Environmental Change (Polity, 2009).

Simon was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Victoria, and holds a Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. He was previously professor of geography, environmental studies and political economy at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Recorded January 2013