1Perspectives

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Published on February 20, 2008

Author: Matild

Source: authorstream.com

Viewing Global Change and the Environment:  Viewing Global Change and the Environment Focus on Big Picture, Big Questions What are the forces and actors driving global and local environmental change? Are environmental problems really as severe as some ecologists claim? How is the global community handling them? Why are the efforts to resolve some problems more successful than others? Why are environmental problems worse in some parts of the world? What is the relationship to economic development? Worldviews:  Worldviews Categories to assist 1. Market liberals 2. Institutionalists 3. Bioenvironmentalists 4. Social Greens Qualifications for Categories:  Qualifications for Categories Ideal and exaggerated Only “environmentalists” Within each, common assumptions, but differences too Possible for you to hold a mix of views Also, possible to hold other views (only a range here) Market Liberals:  Market Liberals Focus: economies grounded in neoclassical economics Economic growth: essential for sustainable development “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Market Liberals:  Market Liberals Why is growth essential? Reduces poverty, core cause of problems Creates higher incomes, which creates will to protect environment: initially, some environmental harm may occur (e.g. Japan), but problems will resolve Market Liberals:  Market Liberals View of Global Environment At extreme, J. Simon and B. Lomborg, see no crisis; only exaggeration; puzzles are natural, promote ingenuity Most see problems, but steady progress to resolve them e.g., urban air; ozone depletion Market Liberals:  Market Liberals Globalization is good Promotes: Growth Efficiency Trade FDI Cooperation and goodwill Market Liberals:  Market Liberals Cause of Problems Believe poverty (weak growth) Inappropriate policies that distort markets Subsidies Overregulation Barriers to trade and TNCs Corruption, weak management Market Liberals:  Market Liberals The Way Forward Rely on science, technology and ingenuity Promote growth and alleviate poverty deregulate, privatize, liberalize trade Use markets to transfer environmental technologies and regulations Encourage voluntary corporate initiatives Support Third World to correct market and policy failures (e.g. through the World Bank) Lomborg the Brave:  Lomborg the Brave "... probably the most important book on the environment ever written." The Daily Telegraph, UK, 27-8-01 "This is one of the most valuable books on public policy - not merely on environmental policy - to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past ten years. ... a triumph. The Economist, 6-9-01 “the most significant work on the environment since the appearance of its polar opposite, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, in 1962. It's a magnificent achievement." in Washington Post , 21-10-01 Lomborg the Villain:  Lomborg the Villain Critics Counterattacked Eleven scientists, including Professor Edward O. Wilson of Harvard, said in a letter to the Washington Post called it “careless” and “manipulative scholarship.” Lomborg the Villain:  Lomborg the Villain Critics complained to the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty Ruling: Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty. In view of the subjective requirements made in terms of intent or gross negligence, however, Bjørn Lomborg's publication cannot fall within the bounds of this characterization. Conversely, the publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice. Lomborg Back In:  Lomborg Back In The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in December 2003 over-turned the finding Said it was NOT “objectively dishonest” or “clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice” Found the earlier decision was “completely void of argumentation”, “dissatisfactory,” “deserving criticism,” and “emotional”  Institutionalists:  Institutionalists Focus: Institutions Like market liberals, believe in growth and globalization Stress, though, need for norms and institutions: especially global legal agreements Argue globalization makes global cooperation increasingly critical AND possible Institutionalists:  Institutionalists View of Global Environment No crisis yet, but looming: cannot continue indefinitely on current path Progress is steady, but some issues, like climate change, require tough global measures Institutionalists:  Institutionalists Cause of Problems Agree generally with market liberals, but also: Weak global institutions Low national capacity (esp. in 3rd World) Underdevelopment and inequality Perverse effects of sovereignty Institutionalists:  Institutionalists The Way Forward Need to balance growth and technology with strong global institutions Need to guide globalization Need to redistribute some funds and consumption to Third World: need to enhance state capacity Support Third World to correct market and policy failures (e.g. through the World Bank) Biotechnology: Video:  Biotechnology: Video Bioenvironmentalists:  Bioenvironmentalists Focus: Ecosystems Stress biological limits (capacity) of earth Too many people; not enough resources = crisis and disaster Evidence: overfishing, deforestation, species loss, unstable weather patterns, ecological footprint Dispute some evidence: e.g., that a timber plantation is reforestation Bioenvironmentalists:  Bioenvironmentalists Such claims go way back: Thomas Robert (Bob) Malthus (1766-1834), “An Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798) http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/malthus/malthus.0.html Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962) Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (1968) Limits to Growth (Club of Rome, 1972) Bioenvironmentalists:  Bioenvironmentalists Causes of Crisis At extreme, genetic flaw to overfill space Individual greed; pursuit of liberal values Corporate greed; culture of capitalism Nature of states and sovereignty Bioenvironmentalists:  Bioenvironmentalists Globalization Increasing rate of economic growth Fostering population growth Encouraging unsustainable trade, investment, debt Changing production, spreading W. consumerism = even greater stress Bioenvironmentalists:  Bioenvironmentalists The Way Forward Need controls on HUMAN instinct Need to internalize value of non-human life Must reduce overconsumption, wasteful consumption, reverse economic globalization Need new global economic system that recognizes limits to growth: a World Government? Biodiversity as Economic Value: Video:  Biodiversity as Economic Value: Video Social Greens:  Social Greens Focus: Justice Draws on more radical social and economic theory (e.g., Marxism/Feminism) Sees global env crisis: but believe social injustice feeds it Social Greens:  Social Greens Causes Large-scale capitalism (along with industrialization and intensification of agriculture) Exploitation of labour, women, indigenous peoples, the poor Unequal consumption Globalization exacerbates problems and erodes local autonomy Social Greens:  Social Greens The Way Forward Reject capitalism and world political and economic system (in extreme, revolution) Reverse globalization (and its inequities); localize Restore local autonomy (decentralize; smaller scale; local knowledge and contacts) Reduce consumption of rich in 1st World; redistribute to exploited in 1st/3rd Worlds

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