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Feb 17, 2021

The climate emergency is intensifying while international responses continue to falter. With every day that passes, another day of action is lost, and a day closer we are to unsustainability. But professor Anatol Lieven believes he has a revolutionary solution: he advocates for redefining climate change as a threat to nation-states, and leveraging nationalism to create action.

Drawing on his book Climate Change and the Nation State: The Case for Nationalism in a Warming World, he outlined his understanding that nationalism is the most important force in motivating people to care about the wellbeing of future generations. He shared how leaning into this would allow us to mobilize our national defense forces in support of climate change action, and expressed his frustration with environmentalists who cling to ideological purity at the loss of fostering dominant national consensus. Lieven presented an essential contribution to the debate on how to deal with a climatic crisis that if unchecked will threaten the survival of Western democracies and every organized human society.

Anatol Lieven is a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and a fellow of the New America Foundation. He worked as a British journalist in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the former USSR, and Eastern Europe. He has commented on current affairs for leading journals including The New York Times. His books include Pakistan: A Hard CountryAmerica Right or WrongEthical RealismUkraine and Russia; and The Baltic Revolution, which won the 1994 Orwell Prize.

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