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GS101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Antarctic Treaty System, Peak Oil, Kyoto Protocol

Global Studies
Course Code
Timothy Clark
Study Guide

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Global Studies Final Exam Review
When, Where, What
When: 12:00-2:00
Where: Athletic Centre
What: Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Essay Question
Topics of Focus
Steger Text
o Discussion of Climate Change
The interdependence of people has never been more obvious than it is
today however our dependence on the environment to maintain our
wasteful lifestyles is at the forefront in today’s society
This is largely an issue we have created for ourselves in the past few
decades where the speed, scale and depth of the earth’s environmental
decline are unprecedented
With the explosion in population human demands have put severe pressure
on the environment to produce, especially with the consumption levels in
North America
The effects of overconsumption can be seen especially through the
famines being experienced in Haiti and the Philippines
Additionally with the rising costs of oil and the diversion of food staples
for other uses (energy) our production levels are even harder to maintain
Another concern of rapid population expansion is decreasing ecological
diversity since the destruction of wetlands, and over farming soils has
destroyed many ecological habitats
Additionally the chemicals used for farming have released toxins into the
air including chlorofluorocarbons have depleted the ozone layer and had
other negative environmental effects
Finally the aspect of climate change which is largely due to the emissions
of greenhouse gasses that increase the earths capacity to trap heat
increasing temperatures globally
It is expected that global temperatures will rise by an average of 3 degrees
by the end of the century and the increased temperature could melt the
polar ice caps causing sea levels to rise by about 90 cm
Economically many developing countries are reliant on agriculture for
income which is the most sensitive to climate change

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There is much debate about the severity of climate change and the best
way to act on it and despite numerous treaties there has been very little
change due to a lack of reinforcement
Many countries are against the proposals due to the fact that they slow
economic growth
The US is seen in the world as taking little to no action on climate change
and is mocked at many climate change conferences since they backed out
of the Kyoto Protocol
o Global Culture: Sameness or Difference
o Environment
Environmental Pessimism
Believe that our population will soon exceed the earth’s carrying
o Seeing the earth’s resources as finite
Believe that the industrialization creates enormous amounts of
pollution that the earth can’t withstand
o In essence we are killing the thing that allows us to survive
They look specifically at the example of Easter Island where tribes
had generation long wars and used resources up at such a rapid
pace that they exceeded the carrying capacity
o This resulted in the entire population being wiped out by
either violence or starvation
Environmental laws are rarely enforced and are seen more as
trophy laws
Many companies continue to pollute in different ways and
greenwash their product to make the public believe otherwise
The diminishing resources available will limit our innovation
Environmental Optimism
Point to the bigger picture over a much longer period of time
where a trend develops based on the sun heating up and cooling
Believe that carbon dioxide doesn’t make up enough of the gases
in the atmosphere and so industrialization isn’t the main
contributor to global warming
By cutting back emissions in countries their endangering the
economy of the world
Argue that with the ban of CFC’s in the developed world as a
result of the Montreal Protocol, and now in much of the developing
world that the ozone layer has begun to recover

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Believe pessimists underestimate our ability to adapt, natures
resilience, and our technological innovation
They believe everyone recognizes their stake in the environment
and are doing their part through reduce, reuse, recycle programs
and Earth Day
Countries have domestic government agencies whose sole purpose
is helping the environment
Tragedy of the Commons
During the medieval times in England grazing area was public and
because of this it became chewed up and useless very quickly
meaning everyone lost
As a result the enclosure movement occurred causing the common
areas to be divided up and sold to individual farmers
o The land was then fenced off by these farmers to avoid
nomadic grazing herds
This is shown in everyday life through un-owned areas such as the
seas, near space, and Antarctica
o UNCLOS created an internationally treaty that established
responsibility for these un-owned areas that gave areas of
the seas to countries based on location relative to their land
referred to as exclusive economic zones
o Anything outside this area remained international public
o Antarctica became an international ecological “park” in
1959 with the Antarctica Treaty
Oil use has been rising drastically since 1850 due to population
growth and industrialization mainly
OPEC is a cartel made up of oil exporting countries and is
considered to be one of the strongest in the world and controls the
supply of oil and through this the price
Upon its formation it cut the supply of oil causing prices to
skyrocket and created the first big oil crisis in Western Society
o As a result the prices of other goods went up since many
rely on oil for transportation causing stagflation in the
economy (inflation without equal economic growth)
The oil crisis ended when OPEC decided that cutting the west off
oil wouldn’t be positive in the long term
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