March 1 ENV222 Lecture format.doc.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
School of Environment
Kenneth Mac Donald

ENV222 March 1 Civil society - individual Lecture format A. Complete Feb. 28 lecture: factors limiting power of environmentalism Additional notes: To understand the power of environmentalists to address the environmental problem it is useful to review the following: 1. Potential actions . change societal values and objectives; eg, raise salience of issues by publicizing science, or moral values . change own environmental behaviour, individual and community; eg, neighbours on a street pool resources to install solar energy on their roofs . change behaviour of others: . lobby governments to adopt environmental policy, eg President Obama defer Keystone Pipeline approval . use publicity, consumer boycotts to directly influence firm environmental behaviour, eg forestry firm logging practices, without government intervention 2. Necessary strategic decisions As discussed in class Feb. 28, environmentalists must always choose between different options: . work to bring about process change (eg, change electoral system to proportional representation which will help Green Parties; or, introduce environmental assessment procedures which give a voice to environmentalists in decision-making), or . work to influence the substantive decision, ie a particular decision being made by a government, eg introduce new acid rain regulations . focus narrowly on a particular environmental issue (substantive decision), eg acid rain, or . participate in coalitions to address an array of interconnected issues, eg anti- globalization . adopt a mainstream perspective, negotiate for incremental gains . adopt a radical perspective, refuse to negotiate, press for fundamental, revolutionary social change 3. The basic policy process In essence, governments make environmental policy by the following steps: . a policy problem becomes salient in the news media, calls for government action . governments negotiate with relevant business actors, to induce some improvement in environmental performance . that negotiated agreement is expressed in law or other policy instruments It helps to understand the basic roles and interests of these actors in that process . scientists - provide necessary data, give legitimacy to calls for action . environmentalists - get the science into the news media, lobby governments . governments - consider, among other things, influence on chances of re-election 1 . firms - consider primarily profitability, negotiate with government regulators In that process, environmentalists have influence in the early stage, getting the issue into the news media and so on to the government agenda. They have much less influence in the next stage, private, secret government-firm negotiation. Completion of Feb. 28 (see those notes) 6. Sources of political power 7. Factors limiting effectiveness B. Action by the individual 1. Potential actions . change own environmental behaviour, eg type of product purchased, recycling . attempt to influence behaviour of others, eg talk to neighbours, give donation to an ENGO 2. The relationship between environmental attitude and behaviour; see Nickerson (2003) . attitude/belief certainly influences
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