Militarism and the mutually assured destruction of climate change

Joshua F.J. Inwood, James A. Tyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in nuclear deterrence as part of a larger strategic vision. Known as MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction, it included widespread investments in nuclear arsenals and delivery systems that would ensure nuclear capability in the advent of a first strike by an adversary. We revisit MAD in the context of the unfolding climate catastrophe and the context of growing tensions between the United States and China. Each government is investing in defense capabilities. Given the unfolding carbon footprint such a struggle will entail, even if China or the United States never engage in actual combat, we ask: does an unfolding military buildup between the U.S. and China assure our mutual destruction?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-66
Number of pages5
JournalSpace and Polity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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