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POL312.Feb 28.SP.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science

POL312 – Canadian Foreign Policy Lecture 18 Prof. Greaves Feb 28 2013 IS.SP Climate Change and Post-Kyoto Protocol - The changing climate (literal) - A changing climate (figurative) - Solving the problem - Key dates and events The Greenhouse Effect - Thick gas in the air where heat gets trapped. The problem is that last few hundreds of years, there was too much green house gas produced, releasing them into atmosphere, this increase volume fuel and thickens the layer which traps more heat. - Different methods are applied to science. One measurement that is the most common is CO2 parts per million. The changing climate (literal) - Changing climate is primarily human-caused (anthropogenic) and largely irreversible - Mean global temperature has increased 0.6’ since 1900’ will increase by . 2.0’ BY 2100 o 13 hottest years on record in the last 15 years - Results vary by region, but impacts strongest at poles and in tropics (Arctic and Global South) - Impacts vary but include: more frequent and powerful storms and extreme weather, sea-level rise, glacier melt, ocean acidification, drought, reduced crop yields, invasive species, unpredictable weather patterns, health effects and infectious disease, threshold effect - “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war” - Toronto Conference 1988 - Nominal agreement on importance of climate change o Exceptions include some US legislators, Big Energy, climate deniers, Koch brothers, and others o Fundamental (incompatible?) differences over what to do – mitigation, adaptation, carbon ta, cap and trade - Problems: “wicked problem” - collective action problem and freeriding, perverse incentives, conflicting national interest, scale and scope of the problem, scientific uncertainty, climate denial - Uneven costs o 1% global GDP/ year to mitigate; 5% global GDP/year for not mitigating- Stern 2006 o Impacts to be born unevenly; people suffering today and in near future contributed least to problem, peop
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