Feb 11 ENV222 lecture outline .pdf

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School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

Current actions to address environmental problems ! 11) Feb. 11 Current actions: Civil society – environmentalism Harper, Charles L. (2001). "Chapter 9: Environmentalism: Ideology,Action and Movements." Environment and Society: Human Perspectives on Environmental Issues. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. Pp. 345- 384. ! As an example of environmentalism at work on campus today, a speaker from 350.org will speak briefly at 1:10 about the campaign to convince U of T to sell its shares in carbon-producing companies. ! Lecture notes ! 1. Definition of environmentalism . Harper p. 235 “both ideology and action” . raises essential issue of connection (or lack of connection) between beliefs and behaviour; to be discussed again Feb. 13 lecture . a loosely connected social movement, seeking social change in human relations with the nonhuman world; but largely focussed on specific issues, rather than an over-all agenda for change . as discussed, largely holding values of enlightened anthropocentrism ! 2. Function of environmentalists Environmentalists play four roles (have four audiences – those whose values and behaviour they hope to change): . personal change; each environmentalist works to change his/her own beliefs and behaviour – set example . outreach, education - bring about change in beliefs and behaviour of civil society . influence government policy, so it will influence firm and others behaviour . by-passing government, directly influence firms in market; eg consumer boycott ! 3. Tactics of environmentalism – ways of exerting influence . direct action stunts, to get issue into mainstream media . draw on legitimacy provided by science; broadcast science findings into popular discourse; develop expertise, engage in negotiation with governments and firms . work with, advise firms; plus, influence by means of consumer boycotts . mix of local actions, national and international campaigns, with varying degrees of interconnectedness . draw on and reinforce existing values, eg health concerns, efficiency . create new values, eg inherent moral worth of nonhuman world ! Tactics of environmentalists are most successful for getting issues recognized, eliciting promises to act – less successful at getting meaningful, effective action. !1 ! ! ! 4. Historical evolution – p. 237 . 19 century roots branches: 1) animal rights (not included in Harper history); 2) conservation, for anthropocentric reasons – pp. 238-239. Gifford Pinchot; for spiritual reasons, John Muir) 3) urban public health (not included in Harper history) – installation of sewer systems and drinking water trthtment in large cities, led by medical establishment . early 20 c. ecology as a branch of science – concern for ecosystem health . 1960s modern environmental movement, “reform environmentalism” . 1970 first Earth Day – mass public support . 1980s emergence of: . radical Deep Ecology (pp. 251 – 254) . ecofeminism (pp. 254-255) . embrace of environment by the church (pp. 256-257) . local NIMBY opposition to siting airports, roads etc . reform environmentalism goes professional . 1987 Brundtland report, compromise of sustainable development . 1990s, Rio Conference; high-point of popular support for environmental action and of government policy; business accepts the need to improve its environmental behaviour . 1990s; counter-attack, environmentalists move to defensive; first government steps to deregulate, reduce level of environmental protection they provide - p. 248 split between large, well-funded ENGOs and small local groups . today: climate change the problem environmentalism cannot solve ! It is essential to see this historical evolution within the larger context of the evolution of left v right politics and debates over state v market roles. . late
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