POLIS 2122 Global Environmental Politics

POLIS 2122 Global Environmental Politics

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POLIS 2122 Global Environmental Politics

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POLIS 2122 Global Environmental Politics

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Course Code: POLIS2122
University: The University Of Adelaide

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Country: Australia

1. Identify a linking theme that stood out for you across the weekly topics.2. Articulate and explain how the subject material fostered within you a sense of responsibility, commitment to take action as an engaged actor in international climate politics. Why/why not? In what ways? 
Since the late 1960s, the environment has been the primary concern on the political agenda across many countries in the world. Much has been happening from that time but the main question to ask ourselves is whether the planet is better off.  From popular heuristic measures seen from various studies, the environmental state i.e. the ecological footprint, affirms that things are still bad and becoming steadily worse. In the 1980s, it became clear to certain thoughtful people that the continuity of the environmental degradation, population, poverty and the shortages of resources were increasing at an alarming rate which should be minimized. This lead to the rise of environmental movements which brought about well-publicized solutions on the environmental threats that were seen to majorly affect the humankind welfare.(Blühdorn, 2012)
The knowledge that I have acquired on the subject of environmental politics will stand off to be of most importance when faced with issues concerning the environment. This knowledge will play a role in my engagement as an engaged actor in the international climate politics because environmental issues are considered to be important in their right hence affecting the world politics. These aspects include trade, action on humanitarian, development of the economy, security and the wide social policy. The evolvement of the global concern towards the environment has led to the increased scientific understanding about the raised impact on the humanity’s impact on the biosphere. What it has is true that many by-products of growth of the economy have led to the cumulative stress put on the physical environment and is now becoming a threat to the health of humans and economic well-being.(Blühdorn, 2013)
During my studies, I have learned that environmental threats possess serious human and socioeconomic threats and human costs. As an advocate of the environmental sustainability, I am a strong defender of the many authors that propose an increased cooperation by many countries that should aim to halt or reverse the degradation of the environment. This is necessitated by the failure of individual countries in solving these problems. Global politics in the environment is driven by key factors such as the global economic and developmental macrotrends. The production of wastes, population and the consumption of resources have been the key factors influencing the stress on human potential towards the environment. One method of measuring this impact can be foreseen by the ecological footprint which compares the consumption of humans against the ability of the earth to regenerate its capacity. This is because the earth has exceeded its ability of what it can renew compared to the annual human demand on the natural world.(Buttel, 2015)
My sense of responsibility has been fostered by the subject matter that relates environmental politics with the consumption of resources and its direct proportionality with the growth of the population. The experience I have gained in my studies has offered me with decision making and cognitive skills that will help me in questioning my ways of living and the place I occupy in this world. As an occupant of this earth, many factors influence the environment I live in hence impacting on how I carry out various day to day life activities. It is seen that the pollution emission, the increased need for resources and the production of wastes caused by the growth in population has been significantly affecting the environment we live in.(Dandy, 2014)This fact has led to the affirmation that the rapid increase in the human population over the few decades has greatly influenced the environment and will continue doing so throughout the century.
My commitment to the advocacy of the implementation of suitable government policies towards the sustainability of the environment has been greatly influenced by the experience gained in this course. On the case of natural resources and pollution, the carbon footprint has been recognized to have the greatest aggregate impact that individuals have on their biosphere. This large impact has been seen to increase more than tenfold since the late 1960s. China and the United States have been seen to be topmost producers of the footprints where China emits 28 percent of the total global emissions of carbon followed by the United States which contributes to about 15 percent. I would advocate for the use of renewable energy in the energy sector which should be transited in many parts of the world. This transition will minimize pollution and the same time is becoming the major source of electricity behind the use of coal.(Frieden, 2013)
The efforts to realize the consistent climate goal of about 3 degrees has not been realized despite the positive progress towards moving the world onto that pathway.(Wysocki, 2012) The years 2012 to 2015 were the warmest four year period where 2015 was considered the warmest of all the years according to the world meteorological organization. As an actor in the climate politics, we should fight to encourage the nation’s zeal in helping avoid the rise of these global temperatures which will pose a negative effect on the environment. We should, therefore, encourage implementation of frameworks such as the millennium ecosystem assessment which examines the overall consequences of the changes in the ecosystem for the benefits of the human’s well-being. This work done by over 1370 experts was sponsored by the United Nations and other organizations who conducted reviews of the current literature reviews, knowledge and data on the field. (Kumar and Zattoni, 2016)Their findings provided a scientific appraisal of the current world’s trends and condition of the ecosystems and outlined the services they provide, the options available to conserve, enhance and restore the sustainability of the application of the defined ecosystems.
Environmental quality continues to be a great problem, and the situation could become worse in the urban areas. Although numerous cities provide a great scale of economies for significant technology and environmentally friendly practices, the rise in urbanization has led to great water and air pollution with consequential high rates of the consumption of natural resources. This pollution necessitates the introduction and emergence of the global environmental politics which has greatly influenced the subject matter being dealt with in this course. This provides significant knowledge that will enable us to be fully equipped in the fight against such destruction of the environment. Air pollution has already caused more than one million deaths annually due to their harmful levels in numerous urban areas.(Layfield, 2014)
The linking theme of global environmental issues has been seen to stand out in most of the topics in environmental politics. This issues can be analyzed in many ways. When we look at the economist’s viewpoint, we can affirm that environmental problems essentially represent negative externalities. This can be defined as the unintended side effects and subsequent consequences of an individual’s actions that are borne by others. These externalities have been existing, but when they are used together with helpful but pollutant technologists such as herbicides, plastics, and power plants, they tend to exhibit serious global issues. This begs me to classify the international environmental problems into four main clusters. These clusters are shared natural resources, the commons, issues that are linked and the externalities that are transboundary.(McBeath and Rosenberg, 2014)
The literature studied on this topics describes Commons as the essential life support services together with the natural resources that are owned by all humankind rather than an individual country or person. This includes resources such as the high seas, the ozone layer, and the outer space. Shared natural resources are described as biological and physical systems that exist across and into the jurisdiction of two or more nations. Transboundary externalities manifest from activities that result within an individual state jurisdiction but produces results that affect the citizens and environment in other states. They may include environmental consequences such as the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion which contaminated parts of Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria. (Mellor, 2012)This brings to the point that various combination of factors such as the impact of international organizations, political forces, and policy goals, can enormously influence an individual nation’s preferences on policies concerning environmental issues.
Certain topics have challenged me to focus on components such as the environmental movements. Movements can possess both direct and indirect consequences of the environmental policies. The effects are dependent on the movement’s levels of funding, the characteristic level of organization governance and the primary activities of the movement. (Swaffield and Bell, 2012)As an engaged actor in the fight for a politically stable environment, one can consider joining certain social movement institutions that employ the various range of tactics which pursue aims that range from educational campaigns, tactics in an institution and other activities. Most of these movements focus on protests which may have considerable effects on the enactment and implementation of policies in environmental control. In my opinion, the largest component should be spent on the public awareness and environmental education. This should be followed by political advocacy and the provision of extensive support for the other components such as the political opportunity framework and the drivers of the environmental politics.(Nagel, 2013)
In my experience concerning environmental politics, my central argument is that ecologism should be emphasized as an ideology specific to its individual right. It offers me to critically review my knowledge on climate politics and also evaluate my understanding on the various issues that are responsible for the current crisis in ecology. This is because the environmental movements and ecologism out mostly bring out significant challenges in the established traditions in the political levels of action, policies, and ideas. Most states and governments have taken important steps concerning the environmental governance which introduces a myriad of organizational and administrative reforms that help improve the planning, integration, and participation in the process of policymaking. This ability has enabled environmental groups in preventing specific proposals or the introduction of amendments to legislation which are initiated by the industrial interests. (Newell, 2012)
In the business perspective, businesses remain to be primary obstacles to the development of sustainability. This is because businesses hold their privileged positions in the process of making policies while at the same time being dominated by policy networks that prevail in numerous policy areas. When we consider the new paradigm used by environmentalists, we can posit that economic calculations in policy do not require factors in the resource scarcity and degradation of the environment. The exclusionists claim that there is no need to take steps in avoiding problems of the environment before them occurring but they can be remedied after the occurrence if the demand of the market requires it.(POLI, 2016) Therefore, I support the implementation of policies that will accelerate the global growth in the economy as it will provide the required resources in the protection of the environment.
On a personal evaluation, I am a strong defender on the fact that global politics in environment involve activities in the interactions among states, government organizations and various actors that affect the environment and its natural resources.(Rootes, 2014) Much of the efforts are focused on the negotiation and implementation of agreements and other mechanisms that enhance cooperation in the protection of the natural resources and the environment. The differences in the political, environmental and economic interests pose a great challenge in the achievement of unanimity towards the environmental problems. Other obstacles originate from the socioeconomic paradigms that are exploitive of nature and have an impact in the pollution and poor ecosystems that affect the social and economic human well-being. Therefore, the knowledge and experience I have gained in the course will enable me to understand how the evolution of the global environmental politics is associated with the context of the current and historical connection between the developing and industrialized nations. This context will be about the economic and social development pillars. It will be of much importance in my future career to champion for the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which influence the politics in a global environment.(Scrivener, 2014)
The environmental politics manifests with various unique characteristics that differentiate its analysis from other policy fields. This is because it is not centered on a sole discursive framework rather it contains numerous frames that have distinct interaction fields. It also has competing notions that merely possess driving forces towards the degradation of the environment hence resulting in several approaches towards the adoption of environmental policies. Together, these factors promote the combined approach rather than the traditional ones regarding the study of politics hence recognizing both the unique and common aspects that comprise the various dimensions in environmental politics.
Blühdorn, I. (2012). Environmental NGOs and ‘New Politics’. Environmental Politics, 4(2), pp.328-332.
Blühdorn, I. (2013). A theory of post?ecologist politics. Environmental Politics, 6(3), pp.125-147.
Buttel, F. (2015). The Environmental and Post-Environmental Politics of Genetically Modified Crops and Foods. Environmental Politics, 14(3), pp.309-323.
Dandy, N. (2014). Environmental politics in Asia. Environmental Politics, 16(1), pp.154-159.
Frieden, B. (2013). Environmental politics. 1st ed. Berkeley: Institute of Urban & Regional Development, University of California, pp.56-76.
Grundmann, R. (2012). Climate change and knowledge politics. Environmental Politics, 16(3), pp.414-432.
Kumar, P. and Zattoni, A. (2016). Institutional Environment and Corporate Governance. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 24(2), pp.82-84.
Layfield, D. (2014). New politics or environmental class struggle?. Environmental Politics, 17(1), pp.3-19.
McBeath, J. and Rosenberg, J. (2014). Comparative environmental politics. 1st ed. Dordrecht: Springer, pp.35-54.
Mellor, M. (2012). Green politics: Ecofeminist, ecofeminine or ecomasculine?. Environmental Politics, 1(2), pp.229-251.
Nagel, S. (2013). Environmental politics.. 1st ed. New York: Praeger, pp.21-34.
Newell, P. (2012). Politics in a warming World. Environmental Politics, 4(4), pp.276-279.
Rootes, C. (2014). Environmentalism: Movements, politics and parties. Environmental Politics, 1(3), pp.465-469.
Scrivener, D. (2014). The international politics of the environment. Environmental Politics, 1(4), pp.280-284.
Skovgaard, J. (2012). Learning about Climate Change: Finance Ministries in International Climate Change Politics. Global Environmental Politics, 12(4), pp.1-8.
Swaffield, J. and Bell, D. (2012). Can ‘climate champions’ save the planet? A critical reflection on neoliberal social change. Environmental Politics, 21(2), pp.248-267.
Wysocki, J. (2012). The Environment Has No Standing in Environmental Governance. Organization & Environment, 25(1), pp.25-38.

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