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GS101 Lecture Notes - One-Child Policy, Monocropping, Microsoft Powerpoint

Global Studies
Course Code
Timothy Clark

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Jonathan Ricci B Clark
Week 7, Lecture 1 Global Ecology - February 26th, 2013
Earth‟s ecological history altered by man
Changes mark beginning and end of geological errors
Natural Limits
- Hardin
You cannot have infinite growth on basis of limited resource
Human nature and the commons, a cautionary tale
- Ehrlich
Neo-Malthusian thesis and the spectre of overpopulation
Food grows mathematically, population grows exponentially
Anthropocentrism vs. Biocentrism
To what field of beings and things do we attach our ethical judgements?
How do we exclude “others” (both human and non-human) from our
ethical consideration?
Answers hardwired into:
- Way we talk about or “construct” world
- Way we place value on elements of our world
- Way we conceive of “community”
Anthropocentrism = human-centred, worldview states we have moral or
ethical obligation to other humans
- Environment something “out there” that we simply interact with as we
seek the material basis (livelihood) upon which to build towards a
biocentric worldview
National Citizenship vs. Ecological Citizenship
Addressing joined-up problems in fragmented world
Constituting citizen rights and obligations: political allegiance or
material relationships?
Global Environmental Governance
International Environment Cooperation wishes to conquer environmental
problems, but with little compromise
o UN-Sponsored Summits:
- 1972: UN Nations Conference on Human Environment, Stockholm
- 1992: UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de
- 2002: Rio +10, World Summit on Sustainable Development,
International Environmental Institutions
UN Environmental Program (UNEP)

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Jonathan Ricci B Clark
- Facilitating environmental initiatives in UN system, global
environmental monitoring, sponsoring negotiations
World Bank
- Setting agendas around sustainable development
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
- Grants for environmental…
Non-State Players
- Shaping domestic political agendas (e.g. big oil and U.S. rejection of
Kyoto Protocol under George Bush
- Shaping global agenda (e.g. via UN Global Compact)
- Private governance regimes (ISO (International Standards
Organization 14 000); applies to business sustainability and
- Similar to corporate actors, but (a) a sense of legitimacy associated
with their lack of economic interests, and (b) more limited resources
- Speak on environmental issues, primary concern, which give them
certain level of sustainability
- Results are limited due to narrow focus
Multi-Stakeholder or “Networked” Governance
- Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council (e.g.
Climate Change and Canada‟s Place in the Global Environment
o Climate Governance: Epic Fail
From UNFCCC to Kyoto, from Bali to Copenhagen (summits and
Human costs of cutting are much less than in U.S., they should essentially
cut emissions on our behalf
Contradictions of Copenhagen: jets, limos, hot air usage
Issues: concrete targets, international monitoring, funding for adaption
“Canada‟s 2020 target is among the worst in the industrialized world.”
Ben Wikler
Canada, Still Stomping…
Scott Vaughan (Canada‟s Environment Commissioner)
Federal government climate policy “disjointed, confused, non-transparent
We spend a lot, and don‟t have much to show for it
Canada pulled out of Kyoto Protocol in December 2011 to avoid fines
May 2012 report: not on track to meet Copenhagen commitment to reduce
Canada‟s Bad Habit: reliance on oil sands for economic prosperity

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Jonathan Ricci B Clark
Harper Government‟s Oil Agenda
Lack of study of potential cumulative impacts of oil sands development
“Streamlining” federal environmental assessment process to insure
“predictability” for investors
Replace the Navigable Waters Protection Act with Navigation Protection
Act; only 62 rivers, 97 lakes fall under act
Week 7, Lecture 2 February 28th, 2013
The Globalization of the Environment: The Ill-Fated Escape of the Malthusian
Britain „Escapes‟ From The Trap
Began in 1800s
Population began to increase, as well as standard of living
„Great Escape‟: Global Pop. and Per Capita Energy Consumption
New energy sources increased standards of living
Coal drove British Industrial Revolution and British rise
Discovery and usage of fossil fuels fostered escape
Fossil Fuels and Globalization
Fossil Fuels - energy deposits from dead organisms
Role of FF in Globalization
Global energy formerly pushed by biomass (e.g. burning wood)
„Chinese Miracle‟ – fuelled overwhelming by coal and oil
Chinese energy use per capita is small fraction of energy used by
developed country
Chinese energy requirements are so enormous that it is conflict with
countries that are independent with these resources
Use of FF
Energy for electricity and transportation
Petrochemicals industry 16% of petroleum used for petrochemicals
Myriad of products based in FF
Worldwide „addiction‟ to FF, essentially living on „Planet Oil‟
Natural Limits and Human Population
- Ecological Crisis as Energy Crisis
Net primary production: rate at which all plants in an ecosystem produce
net useful chemical energy; equal to difference between rate at which
plants in an ecosystem produce useful chemical energy and rate at which
they use some of that energy during respiration
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