POLB81H3 Lecture Notes - Industrial Revolution
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POLB81 GLOBAL ISSUES AND GOVERNANCE
Part II: International Cooperation
Week 7: Environment and Politics (Mar 7)
Resistance to change in major corporations
Resistance to change in washington – congregation and constitutional policies
A lot of countries depend on Himalayan glaciers for water
More population, more deforestation
Many areas of china already live in scarcity of water
Melting glaciers are just one problem, sea levels arising, water absorbing CO2, fisheries failing,
desserts are expanding, people are being forced off land
Scientists predict by 2035, glaciers will be melted
World-wide storms, fires more frequent
Need to cut 60-80% of greenhouse gases
Fossil fules, coal, natural gas emissions increased after industrial revolution, it was steady
before for thousands of years
History of U.S. – cheap fuel country; sat on vast amounts of oil, no reason to care; cheap and
abundant coal (engine of industrial revolution)
At Kyoto 1997, u.s. didn’t sign Kyoto protocol b/c it didn’t restrict developing countries from
cutting emissions and believed it would put their country at a competitive disadvantage
Two new coal plants every week in china.
CEO of Shenhua energy – to make money first; shareholders first and public second
India will surpass china as most populous country by 2030
Process of making cement is the third largest contribution to greenhouse gas pollutions in the
world. Roasting limestone, etc. in furnace – asked any alternatives, businessman says
everybody else uses that?
U.s. said wasn’t willing to sign treaty unless developing countries did also; and then they said
they were willing to do some efforts, india, and china was leading in that motion
Verifiable, measureable, reportable emissions.
Developing countries called u.s.’s bluff. Booed and then accepted
Avg American household uses 91/2 tonne of coal each year.
Coals fuel ½ of america’s electricity
Coal lobby in Washington has traditionally gotten it’s way
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