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Lecture

Environment & security.docx


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL380H1
Professor
John Haines

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3/26/2012 4:48:00 PM
March 22, 2012
Environment and Security
Widespread acknowledgement of the climate change Is a relatively new phenomenon
Local global policy, power politics in a classic sense and construction of a int’l global norm
Constructing inequality and injustice, responsibilities
Some states are spending billions to deal with climate change and preserve energy to cope
A target is not a policy, it is an easy way to get an agreement like Copenhagen
It was a great failure, lack of consensus
Complexity is due to winners and losers, even though it should affect everyone in the same
way, so lack of consensus doesn’t bring states together to adopt policy
China has began to develop climate change policy
Asymmetry of vulnerability: if humans are the main culprit, then the WEST is responsible,
(position of the South) need to balance responsibility for past behavior working to a common
solution for the future
Climate change is a long term condition/problems; as a result consequences of decision
making is critical
Politicians have a limited lens in policy creation not 20-30 yrs.
Market: rule is short term gain not compatible with climate change
at individual level our brain doesn’t envisage a world beyond our existence
for statisticians, long term projections are fragile and weak, the models for climate change
projection for long term are complex
we have a tendencies to underestimate future change
many believe technology is the solution to the problem
Global governance is a major issue of environmental change, regional framework, national
level policies, int’l institutions?
History:
The Montreal Protocol: a successful campaign that started with scientific evidence of the
black hole in ozone layer
companies could create alternatives to CFC’s not harmful to ozone
Long saga of sustainable development; tendency to draw consequences from population
growth
There is no solution to it. The argument for climate change is that it cannot be controlled
without controlling population growth
Green Revolution in India allowed for millions of people to be fed

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Common future and so planet as a whole is level of analysis (agenda 21)
Global awareness started to spread in the West 1992
The Rio summit, and many after it led to UN goal 2005
The stern report? Emphasized the consequences in terms of peace wrt the climate if problem
was ignored
Went from development to demographic to a security issue
Problems outlined: model of economic growth: where liberalism would not lead to a win/win
because resources would be limited and liberal economics (Adam Smith) would be
transformed to something else?
China will not accept any int’l framework that will limit its output capacity: problem
An economic development model in free market operations need to be questioned if you are
implementing climate change policies for future
Market economies play with environmental law
Resources conflict leads to civil unrest/war (Global South) (some scholars believe these
countries will be losers)
Resource scarcity definitely plays a causal role in the above
Future climate change problems
1. Rising Ocean levels: survival governments are buying land in case of no solution
- Bangladesh: surrounded by water
2. Habitat Destruction: palm oil destruction in Indonesia- on the verge of extinction
- a million or so species are threatened from climate change (maintaining biodiversity)
3. Increased Disease Transmission: many diseases are triggered by climate temperatures,
not with increased temps help contracting diseases
4. Change in Agricultural productivity: Air pollution dramatically affects agricultural
production, but other places gain
5. Changes in water availability?: Damns (Climate change plus human activity TVO)
In some instances water scarcity threatens survival of local population. It is a factor which
will induce degradation of population leading to severe social problem
6. Changes in Ocean Chemistry
- rising CO2 levels acidify water in ocean affects marine life (plankton-large fish) heavy
ve consequences for countries dependent on fisheries
-
All of the above are a tragedy of the commons
Free-riders: who decide to take part in an agreement
Stern report securitized issue of environment; framework shifter from development to
security meaning it is a matter of peace and war
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