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Lecture

Political Science 2137 Lecture Notes - Neoconservatism, Swan Song, Corporatism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 2137
Professor
Ross Gibbons

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Politics of the Environment--Political Science 2235 E
Lecture #1
Is There A Crisis in The Environment
1. Introduction
-major theme: to examine and determine (if possible) the extent to which
human political systems are capable of successfully addressing the
ecological question: 'to find a way of extracting from the different
ecosystems in which people have lived enough resources for maintaining
life--food, clothing, shelter, energy and other material goods...' without
destroying the ecosystems and, inevitably, the human life which is part of
them.
2. Politics: the resolution of conflict through the authoritative allocation of
values (who gets what, when and how) (Easton and Lasswell)
Government: the organization of people for the resolution of dispute and
conflict
Authoritarian Governments? Liberal-democracies?
Less than half although many democracies are unstable
-Canadian corporatism...hewers of wood, drawers of water...resource
exploiters
3. The Environment
environment
ecology
ecosystem
sustainable development
4. The Subject Matter: Population and the Politics of the Environment: the
critical element of population growth; the resources of the earth; temperate
and tropical rainforests; agriculture and soils; water resources; land use
practices; energy; the problem of pollution.
5. Origin of the Species:
-2 billion + years in the making; 2 million =\- years in development;
100,000 years of Homo Sapiens; 40,000 years of Homo Sapiens Sapiens
-the hunter-gatherers...4,000,000
-the First Great Transition ...a change in emphasis toward domestication of
plants and animals made it possible for a transition to agriculture and
herding; agriculture produced higher outputs which made it possible for
specialization: farmers and non-farmers; the development of craftspeople,
and, fairly quickly, ruling elites (first religious and then military)...the
development of stratified, hierarchical societies
-the Second Great Transition--the Industrial Revolution

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-the Third Great Transition--globalization and the transmission of
Eurovalues to the entire world: individual self-interest and the
separation of man and nature
6. The Political Agenda: Politics as usual: always a crisis
-Rio, 1992
-the rise of neo-conservatism
-The Commonsense Revolution...not a mention...then, Walkerton!
-The Red Book, 1997--global warming
-2002 - ratifying Kyoto and Mr. Chrétien=s swan song
-2006 – is Kyoto dead under the Harper Conservatives?
7. A Behavioural and Social Crisis
-decline in carrying capacity: population growth continues as does global
warming; desertification, energy consumption
-the ecological footprint
8. Political Efficacy
-nature of brokerage politics and the domination in Canada of an elite form
of corporatism
9. Conclusion: The Story of Easter Island
-we assume that ecological disaster falls on the unsophisticated, the foolish,
the dumb
-Easter Island is the story of a society which was highly sophisticated but
when it crossed the line at which the island's forests could not be sustained
it steadily and irrevocably toward degradation

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Politics of the Environment
Lecture # 1
Introduction
Major Theme:
To examine and determine (if possible) the extent to
which human political systems are capable of successfully
addressing the ecological question: 'to find a way of
extracting from the different ecosystems in which people
have lived enough resources for maintaining life--food,
clothing, shelter, energy and other material goods...'
without destroying the ecosystems and, inevitably, the
human life which is part of them.
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