The French President is right. There is indeed a massive difference between patriotism and nationalism. And as soon as more people realise this the better off we will be. Patriotism is nothing more than a pure emotion – it is the love of one’s homeland nothing more, nothing less. It prescribes no action nor pursuit of some sort of destiny. On the other hand, Nationalism is an ideology, a distinct prescription for achieving a certain way of life or destiny. Nationalism is a taught belief system which preaches that one belongs to a very unique ethnic, racial, religious etc., group that is either denied a particular homeland/state or having attained or possesses it, believes that this national group is superior and/or threatened by other nation states. Hence while patriotism leads to homesickness, nationalism wielded by unscrupulous governments leads to war.
We all know about the horrendous impacts of Climate Change (CC) on our environment (leaving aside all CC deniers to their contemptible ignorance or short-term profit-driven agendas). But if we wish to survive we need to also prepare for the horrendous geopolitical impact and consequences of CC on our human world.
Consider this, in the first instance CC will destroy the very nature of our international nation state system. All human communities are based around or on access to vital resources to sustain life. The evolution of the state structure, the notion of sovereignty and protective armed forces have cemented that in place for the last six hundred years. But a rapidly changing world of Tsunamis, shifting droughts, floods, massive catastrophic storms, global warming and sea level rise, even increased volcanic activities, earthquakes all now proven to be affected by CC, will destroy the nation state system.
Forget for a moment the relatively micro phenomenon of political and human rights refugees at present. CC will/(is) cause(ing) massive waves of millions of climate refugees both internationally and within states themselves to seek access to rapidly shifting vital life-sustaining resource areas. Not able to absorb these waves nor able to physically share these resources, states both small and large will attempt to militarily reject these millions, and also enter into resource wars with other states. But to no avail. Meanwhile, within states clusters of people with common cause, ethnicity, race, belief systems and heritage will flock together to protect their resources – be it water, crops, clean air, etc leading initially to civil and then internecine wars and then sheer bloody chaos. States will thus disintegrate.
The ‘endgame’ of this process will see our global human civilisation rapidly disintegrate and return to life predicated on the survival of the fittest. So maybe those US mid-west gun toting, ranch and 'farm fortressed bible-babblers' with the bunkers and massive armaments in the back shed have got it right.
People, please take a look outside at what’s happening in the world right now. CC is not for tomorrow, CC with all its calamitous destruction is already here. Midnight has arrived. In short, the destruction of civilisation as we know it is already in train, just ask the Palestinians. So guys get out the clubs we’re heading back to the caves. This is how our planet has chosen to obliterate its human cancer.
Dr Ivan Molloy