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Poli Sci 2J03 - March 17, 2014

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLSCI 2J03
Professor
Robert O' Brien
Semester
Winter

Description
Started on: 3/17/14 14:36 a3/p3 2014-03-17 CLASS NOTES FOR: POLI SCI 2J03 McMaster University, Winter 2014 Monday, March 17, y Global Environmental Changes - Massive increases - Gov’ts have agreed to keep change within 2C of pre-industrial age o If it gets warmer, it will lead to extremely dangerous climate change o There is an agreement regarding the importance - In order to limit it to 2C - we have to limit the amount of CO that is put into the atmosphere, to 1,000 GIGATONS of human made carbon going into the atmosphere - PROBLEM - We’ve already put more than half of this in o 2011 - More than half or 531 gigatons - First amount of CO2 in 1750 natural - Second amount since the industrial revolution more than 500 gigatons - Third amount is how much we have left in our carbon budget (565gt CO2) - Fourth amount is the amount of carbon that is in the earth in the form of Fossil Fuels - We do not seem to be on track! How do we slow and reserve emissions, how do we divide them? - How do we get to a carbon neutral state? - We only have ~500 GTs left of CO2 emissions - The problem with CO2 is that it stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years. - North / South? Carbon per capita? o How do you get an agreement where people in the north will reduce carbon emissions - On course for 4, perhaps 6C by 2100 o BAD - You can measure the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, how many parts there is in the atmosphere - 1960 (320 carbon dioxide concentration, ppmv) - 2010 (~400 carbon dioxide concentration, ppmv) - Why is this important? o Estimates about the relationship between temperature change and parts per million o 421 ppm (mitigation) 2C o 538 ppm (stabilization 1) 2-4C o 670 ppm (stabilization 2) 2-4C o 936 ppm (high emissions) over 4C o Last time no artic ice and sea levels were 40 meters higher than today o We have this time lag, we can expect that this is what is going to look like. Positive feedbacks - POSITIVE = BAD - Planet is warming and as it warms we are projecting temperature rise - Other things that could happen which could accelerate the rise in temperature! - Much of the northern hemisphere is characterized by PERMAFROST  Underneath there is this gas in methane. (Which is worse than CO2 in global warming) - Projections of the international panel of climate change  Conservative, we do not know how the Angie © McMaster University 1 Winter 2014 Started on: 3/17/14 14:36 a3/p3 positive feedback is going to work! This might accelerate even faster than what we think! Lateral problems: OCEAN ACIDIFICATION - All of the CO2 that is pumping into the atmosphere, a large proportion gets absorbed into the oceans - The PH level of the ocean is decreasing and the acid level is increasing. - Sea life that depends on coral reefs is in danger - Changes are happening so fast in geological times, that nature does not have a chance to adapt! - This is too fast in comparison to what has happened before, and life forms are not able to adapt as quick as they could before! Might die out, etc. Does it make any difference to how we study the global political economy? - How does the global political economy influence our view about the environment, economic system and our relation to both of these things? OUTLINE Environment.............................................................................................................................................2 Shades of environmentalism.....................................................................................................................2 5 Features of environmentalism................................................................................................................3 Global environmental problems................................................................................................................3 Theoretical perspectives: IPE and Environmental Studies........................................................................3 Environmental degradation.......................................................................................................................4 E NVIRONMENT - Surrounding of a specific unit - IPE interaction of human activity and natural environment - Use and misuse of natural resources by humans o Are there resources that we are depleting? Using things up too quickly? In terms of oil, think about peaks of oil that we are going to run out? Etc. - Light green / dark green split o Split that we will see in the environmental studies literature! o LIGHT GREEN  We can cope with environmental challenges under the system that we live in at the moment. Northern countries liberal economic capitalism o DARK GREEN  The system that we live in is not able to address environmental problems  We have to move to another system  Our consumption patterns are such that we are not able to reconcile consumption patterns S HADES OF ENVIRONMENTALISM LIGHT GREEN DARK GREEN Reformist Radical Technocentric Ecocentric (focusing on the natural systems) Environmentalism Ecologism Anthropocentric - A view of nature, which puts Ecocentric - Has human as one life form amongst humans at the center of nature many on the planet Angie © McMaster University 2 Winter 2014 Started on: 3/17/14 14:36 a3/p3 5 F EATURES OF ENVIRONMENTALISM 1. Environmental degr
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