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Patrick Bond


South Africans really must confront two conjoined crises that affect both the majority here, and the vast majority next door in Mozambique. First, the climate catastrophe’s amplification due to rising dependency upon Liquefied Natural Gas (which is more than 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in coming decades), leaving our neighbour as the world’s fourth worst-affected country since 2000, at a time when South Africa is already the third-highest greenhouse gas emitter per person/ GDP among major countries. Second, the deplorable trajectory of Pretoria’s sub-imperialist adventurism, now represented by the army’s deployment in Cabo
Delgado province in order to promote gas drilling by multinational corporations. In part because of the corrupt, repressive Maputo government, many Southern African civil society organisations regularly appeal for an end to both Mozambique’s ‘blood methane’ war and, behind it, the fossil fuel extraction that amplifies the climate crisis. The innovative demand is for Global-North payment of climate reparations to victims of extreme weather, plus financial compensation so as to leave the world’s fourth-largest gas ftield unexploited. Against these arguments and movements, there is a vociferous South African lobby—which can be termed ‘laptop bombardiers’—ignoring or brazenly dismissing both crises: climate and the danger of further sub-imperial mishaps. It is long overdue to confront this lobby by objecting to damaging fossil fuels and militarism, and call it to account for the vast ethical lapses in their analyses.

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How to Cite

Beyond Sub-Imperial War, ‘Blood Methane’, and Climate-Debt Denialism: South Africa’s Pro-Military Lobby Risks Worsening Multiple Injustices in Northern Mozambique. (2022). The Thinker, 90(1).