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Although writers have explored the relationship between humans and the natural world for centuries, they primarily viewed the environment as subordinate to the needs of civilization and human progress. However, by the middle of the nineteenth century, writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson began to reinterpret the significance of nature and our relationship to it. Although not writing of pollution specifically, these writers laid the groundwork for an evolution in environmental thought and ethics in which the environment was seen as more than just a natural resource. For example, in Walden and other writings, Thoreau pointed out that our natural environment had far more to offer than material resources to be exploited. Rather, Thoreau noted that nature and the environment were sources of spiritual truth and support. Although these writers and others, like John Muir and Aldo Leopold, helped educate the public about nature and the environment, one of the first...

How This Book Was Written

This book started out as a blog ( in November 2007. Initially the blog was written by just a handful of contributors, but soon many more partners and clients were added, up to a total of roughly 25 writers. The content also grew quickly fromjust a few posts to hundreds covering a range of topics including carbon offsets, design ideas, green recruiting, energy policy, new technology, and the like, all within about three months. It eventually became a repository for many of the issues, ideas, and examples in this book. It hosts many of the public links to articles and resources used to research the book. The blog is similar to a wiki in the sense that it collected a large body of information that is self-corrected by both the bloggers and anyone using the Internet who chooses to comment on it.

Motivation Opportunity and Framing

A buildup of pressure from multiple stresses, a rapid-fire series of shocks, and a weakening of resilience can combine to push a society over the edge, as indicated in chapter 5. From the third century on, these processes pum-meled the Roman empire contemporary writers noted that everything seemed to be going wrong everywhere at the same time that Rome had to cope with a seemingly never-ending barrage of barbarian attacks, assassinations, internal unrest, troop revolts, famine, plague, and financial crisis.84 Rocked by these foreshocks, the empire started to crack apart.

COMiNG iN From The Cold

Around the late 1980s reports on wildlife began creeping up on to the first three pages of mainstream newspapers. I deliberately use the term reports on wildlife, and not wildlife journalism, because the latter as a genre was still in its infancy. Usha Rai was still holding the fort almost single-handedly, but Raj Chengappa who wrote widely on environmental issues was also emerging, while Bittu Sahgal's Sanctuary performed the admirable and critical role of nursery for writers on wildlife but still limited very much to a tiny niche market.

An interesting footnote

One more note In the Maldives, in the late 1980s, just at the same time as some south Asian countries were forming fora of environment writers journalists, some Maldivian writers on environment, in association with the government's environment and information department, did form a similar forum. The forum was thus from the very outset a body that was under tight control of the government and the members did not have full independence. Unfortunately, despite the Maldives being world famous at that time as a sinking paradise due to global warming and sea-level rise, the association was never successful in becoming an environmental lobby of writers campaigning for the protection as well as bringing to the public eye the status of the country's environment. As international fund was by then available, some of the forum's writers managed to travel to other south Asian countries to attend conferences. Their presence was thus known internationally and regionally. However, within the...

Early Writing About Climate And History

By coincidence, many writers at the time of this Little Ice Age and some of the early scientists then living were much interested in what has become known as the 'climate theory' of the 'humours' and character tendencies of the various peoples of the world. This is a theory which goes back at least to Hippocrates and ancient Greece. Aristotle had described the 'natural character' of men respectively in the cold, warm and middle zones of the Earth, and so arrived at a basis for believing in the superior quality of the Greeks of his time (the Hellenes) which should fit them to rule the world if only they could be united among themselves. This was a dangerous theory, which each nation soon took up in whatever form was most flattering to its own ego, thus contributing to the heady growth of chauvinism in the seventeenth century. It lingered on into some of the fanatical nationalisms of the twentieth century. Theatre audiences in Shakespeare's time loved presentations of foreign parts with...

Democracy And Green Political Thought

In this book some of the leading writers on green political thought analyse these questions, examining the discourse of green movements concerning democracy, the status of democracy within green political thought, and the political institutions that might be necessary to ensure democracy in a sustainable society. The debates are not simply about the compatibility of democracy with green ideas, but also about how best to define democracy itself.

The Green Case For The Cooperative

Green political thought is replete with favourable references to co-operatives. Sometimes co-operatives are simply included in a list of desirable or necessary reforms with little elaboration or explanation. More often they are deemed to merit a paragraph or two extolling some of the virtues of co-operative organisation. The more perceptive thinkers point to various difficulties associated with co-operative working. But few green writers attempt more than a superficial examination of the co-operative. To surmount this problem this section reconstructs, from a disparate range of texts and essays, the explicit green arguments for co-operatives. Porritt is just one writer who develops this argument in another way to suggest that the individual co-operative will therefore be more concerned about the local community However, green writers offer few detailed arguments in support of this important claim. This section evaluates the various green claims for co-operatives against both...

America Demands Protection

From the beginning, and most famously with Henry David Thoreau's Walden, published in 1854, American literature featured evocative testimonies to the awesome beauty of the North American landscape and the intricacy of its ecology. In the twentieth century, however, writers began to sound warning notes, and then in 1962 Rachel Carson hit a national nerve with Silent Spring.1 Almost overnight, the perfect, potent title and Carson's devastating revelations about pesticide blight (DDT, specifically) gave unofficial birth to the environmental movement. The trade-off between economic development on the one hand and the natural world and public health on the other was now front and center for mainstream America, and it has stayed there for more than forty years.

World Assembly Of Muslim Youth

The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was established in 1972 as an initiative of the Saudi Ministry of Education for the purpose of spreading hard-line Wahhabism internationally.17 WAMY receives Saudi government funds, and its operations are facilitated globally by Saudi embassies and consulates. It publishes and distributes Wahhabi texts around the world, with its top writers including Muslim Brotherhood terror theoreticians Sayyid Qutb and Muhammad Qutb and JUI jihad celebrant Sayyid Maududi. Hate tracts directed against Shiites and the alleged Jewish conspirators behind their unacceptable religion are also a staple of the WAMY literary effort. To round out their selections, WAMY's Saudi headquarters also publishes materials on bomb making, some of which were found in the homes of plotters of the 1993 World Trade Center attack.18


It was Saneeya who first introduced me and many Pakistani journalists to the concept of 'environmental journalism'. She had been my editor at the Star Weekend, the magazine section of Karachi's daily evening The Star and, fed up of 'the red scribbles from upstairs', left in early 1988 to join the communication unit of the Karachi office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Conservation Union.1 Those were the Zia years,2 and writers of a progressive, liberal bent were often banned. We'd smuggle them on the pages under pseudonyms (some had several reincarnations) until the powers-that-be discovered their identities and booted them out again. Politics, journalism and gender were interlinked in a way that was peculiar to Pakistan in those war-on-communism-through-jihad years when the Zia regime was promoting the green flag of radical Islam to drive the red Russian bear out of Afghanistan. Saneeya forged such linkages not just through consultations and...

Fiction and fairytales

Global warming makes a good story, tempting writers to use it as a basis for fiction. Like with movies (see the section, Science on the Red Carpet, earlier in this chapter), however, the underlying science isn't always presented properly. First, here are a couple of solid efforts

Early Enthusiasm Too Cheap to Meter

Strauss, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in the 1950s. Speaking at a science writers meeting, he stated It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy electrical energy in their homes too cheap to meter. The phrase was used in a New York Times headline on September 17, 1954, the day after the speech.11 A fuller version of Strauss' remarks, as they appeared in his prepared text, indicated a broadly euphoric technological optimism about nuclear energy and its applications 16, p. 2 .

Evolution of an alternative agenda

Back to twin traditions of environmentalism and social economics (see Pepper (1996) and Lutz (1999) for excellent reviews), it has emerged in recent years from the environmental movement and built upon the work of writers such as E. F. Schumacher (1993) to develop a body of theory about how a 'humanistic' economics concerned with justice and social wellbeing could be envisioned and practised. Schumacher's landmark book 'Small is Beautiful' proposed a human-centred alternative to mainstream neo-classical economics in which social and environmental wealth is valued and protected within the context of 'human-scale' participatory democracy, localised economies and modest consumption levels. He termed this 'Buddhist economics', an 'economics as if people mattered' and this preoccupation with scale - the scale of the economy and the scale of social organisations which best serve the development of human potential - resonated with other writers of the 1970s seeking answers to the...

Public opinion and international environmental regimes

The effectiveness of responses to the issue of global warming will ultimately depend more on the attitudes and values of the public than on expert knowledge. The importance of public attitudes towards environmental issues is well established by writers on international environmental politics. Brenton (1994 xv) attributes the salience of the environment on Western political agendas from the 1970s onwards to the 'great upsurge' of Western popular concern about the environment. General levels of awareness are thought to explain the 'push' or 'drag' (Porter and Brown 1991) status of states in negotiating fora in respect of a range of environmental issues. According to Porter and Brown (ibid. 20), 'Public opinion has had a substantial, if not decisive influence on the outcomes of global bargaining on whaling, Antarctic minerals and ozone depletion and could be a key factor in negotiations on global climate change.' Examples abound of public opinion driving the policy process.

Hazardous Waste and the Love Canal Followup Study

Time's writers who visited waste sites were struck by the eerie nature of the newly created wastelands. Associate Editor Kurt Anderson was most impressed by Times Beach, Missouri, which was evacuated in 1982 83, after being contaminated by dioxin. Times Beach, said Anderson, looks as if a neutron bomb hit it. Houses are standing, windows are broken, some toys are still scattered around, but nobody walks the streets. Senior correspondent Peter Stoler and Chicago correspondent J. Madeline Nash experienced a strong sense of d j vu as they updated their 1980 reporting. Stoler was reminded of John Brunner's 1972 science fiction novel, The Sheep Look Up, which described a world that was poisoning its air. I thought it far-fetched, recalls Stoler. Now I wonder if Brunner shouldn't have been more hysterical. Nash, who traveled from the Stringfellow Acid Pits in California to burned Fly Bog in New Jersey, was particularly disheartened by the Lone Pine landfill in New Jersey I had to wear a...

Development Of Virtualreality Technology

Much of a visionary nature has been written about the implications of the information revolution for the future (Dertouzos, 1998 Lucky, 1989). I find some of the projections and speculations about the impact that information technology is likely to have on our lives to be exciting and inviting, and some to be disconcerting. I have been surprised and disappointed not to find more emphasis given by visionary writers to the implications good or bad that uses of information technology could have for the environment.

Mind Labor and Nature

In his 1995 article, Are You an Environmentalist, or Do You Work for a Living environmental historian Richard White observed that most people (such as the New England colonists and timber workers), through most of human history, have known nature through their bodies, by working in it directly. In the New England forest economy, cutters, barkers, teamsters, and raftsmen cut down trees, moved logs across rough terrain, and risked their lives to float them downstream, working daily from sunrise to sunset. They put out enormous energy, interacting with nature through bone, brain, and muscle to produce physical work. Ordinary people, throughout the settlement of the country, labored directly in nature, whether in forests or on farms. Only the elite (such as Belknap, Dwight, and Kendall) were exempt from the bodily toll taken by work. As the country was industrialized and more people worked in urban industries, an increasing physical and intellectual distance between people and nature...

Critique of regime approaches

One of the key problems with applying regime theory to the global climate regime is that regime theory pursues generalisable hypotheses that apply across issue areas, whereas the particular political dynamics and problem structures that characterise global warming are such that it differs significantly even from seemingly similar global atmospheric issues such as ozone depletion (Rowlands 1995). The notion that different issues give rise to different sets of political relations is not pursued by writers on international regimes, despite Young's observation that explanations of the success of a regime are 'substantially determined by the nature of the problem a regime is expected to solve' (Young et al. 1991 9). 5 The very use of the term regime has come under a great deal of fire from scholars (Stein 1990 Strange 1983) who argue that it has 'no conceptual status' (Stein 1990 26). For these writers the term is misleading in respect of the power it assumes international institutions to...

What Do The Challengers

To perform a proper systems analysis all sides of an issue must be examined. There is no problem finding those that disagree with the view that something like Fusion Hydrogen is desirable. One of the most thorough reviews of objections to dramatic environmental remediation is presented on-line by the Cato Institute The Cato Institute is a conservative policy analysis group that studies policy matters, writes on the subject and lobbies for conservative causes. They present on line a long list of books, and policy analysis papers concern all aspects of the environment. After reading a significant number of the policy papers two conclusions were reached. One, these authors where all competent able writers, and two, they all felt that, if given time, current business practices would solve all the problems. Shortages of oil could be remedied by more drilling, shale oil or making oil products from coal. The conversion would be driven by higher prices. Robert L. Bradley Jr. wrote Cato Policy...

Hot its not climate economics according to Lomborg

If he had confined himself to actual examples of oversimplification and exaggeration in climate change rhetoric, Lomborg could have written a short, useful article - perhaps making the point that it is unhelpful and unnecessary to overstate the case, since the real problems of climate change are serious enough. Unfortunately, Lomborg did not write that article, but instead stretched his story into a book-length claim that climate change is only a moderately serious problem, while the proposed remedies are all prohibitively expensive. Many other problems, in his view, are both more urgent and cheaper to solve. He deserves attention here because he is one of the most effective writers raising economic arguments against active climate policies.1

Local politics and the demand for recognition

On the other hand, local activists claim that there are many defective or untrue data in the EIA report, which makes them doubtful of the motive of its writers. They argued that there are rich creatures and plants in the nearby areas, but those were not mentioned in the EIA report. For them, the report was biased because the data were collected only during the winter and dry seasons, which are when the animals hibernate. They are also concerned that the rainy season (spring and summer) and typhoons might bring heavy rain and landslides which may cause a leak and affect underwater, soil, and land. The value of local knowledge and experiences has not been recognized. As one activist said, The government tends to think that the experts are always right The report was done hastily, which failed to consider the welfare of the local creatures and plants. hazardous waste facilities site to evaluate the essential potential impact. Local activists argued that the role of Environmental Impact...

The Bioregional Boundary

Recent writers are divided on the nature of the bioregion. One school of thought sees natural regions as a series of nesting bioregions while others see them as a series of overlapping functional regions. Brunkhorst supports the idea that natural forms, whether they are coastlines or organisms, reflect miniscule, self-similar building blocks 'These basic elements of form are called fractals by those who study

The Size Of The City Region

Writers and planners deliberating about ideal city size tended to increase this size as the twentieth century developed. Howard, at the end of the nineteenth century, was suggesting satellite cities of 32000 and a central or core city of 58 000 people. The planned sizes of new towns built after the Second World War were increased progressively from 50 000 to 250 000. While arguments about the ideal size of cities have occupied the minds of some scholars, cities - particularly in the developing world - have grown at a very rapid rate, so that cities having a multimillion population are now common. Mexico city is an exemplar of the city that will become common as this century

Early Consideration of the Alternatives

When the possibility of nuclear energy first was recognized in the 1930s and early 1940s, it had the attraction of offering very large amounts of energy from very small amounts of material. This excited the imagination of scientists and writers, and fission was looked upon as a very promising potential energy source. Following the technological success of the World War II atomic bomb program, it appeared likely that commercial nuclear energy would prove to be practical.

Current approaches to the study of global warming

There has also been an attempt by some writers to explore in more detail the ethics of climate politics. See for example Grubb (1995b), Paterson (1993b, 1994) and Shue (1992). Whilst Mintzer and Leonard (1994) offer a valuable insight into the formation of the Climate Convention from the point of view of a range of actors involved in the process, their volume does not lend a great deal to our understanding of the political impact of the non-governmental actors researched here. Faulkner (1994) and Rahman and Roncerel (1994) provide NGO perspectives on the key issues and defining moments of the negotiations, and other writers provide, in passing, comments on the influence of different NGOs (Andresen and Wettestad 1992 Grubb 1995a). In the majority of these accounts, however, the level of analysis is the state, and international institutions the fora in which the key bargains are struck, and hence are the presumed loci of explanations of cooperation. Where mention of NGOs is made, it is...

Allocation And Distribution

Although some writers like to emphasize a trade-off between efficiency and equality, it is useful to recognize that these concepts complement each other and that the conflict between them, insofar as one exists, is largely overstated. Analysts who believe that efficiency is an important social value do so, in general, because they conceive of the social good as the satisfaction of preferences, weighted by their intensity, however arbitrary or contingent these preferences may be. Philosophers who emphasize the claims of justice or equity too often do not disagree with this conception of the good but may rely on it. When the good is conceived in this way - when it is assimilated to preference taken as it comes and measured by WTP - then it is unsurprising that a conception of the right, that is, a conception of justice, should be prior to it. Some have argued that an adequate philosophy of right has yet to be written one that shows how we should balance a conception of justice with a...

Review of chapter conclusions

Focus on the work of the scientific community in relation to global warming may be particularly pertinent to projecting the future of climate politics, given the emphasis by many writers upon the way in which further political action on the issue is contingent on a greater degree of scientific certainty (Skolnikoff 1990). While Chapter 3 shows that this is a simplistic assumption, the work of the IPCC can be expected to help shape the contours of future policy debates. More so than other issues, global warming is thought to be characterised by a dependence by policy-makers upon scientists to define (and legitimate) responses to the issue (ibid.). These forms of influence are shown significantly to change the 'pay-off matrix' within which states operate, in ways that have not thus far been widely acknowledged by writers on global environmental politics. The impact of industry lobby groups has received even less attention than their environmental counterparts in this literature. The...

The Rights Of Future Generations

Some writers have suggested that the way we use the environment could change if we balanced our consumer interests with those of future generations. Some of these writers have worked hard to define a social rate of discount 22 to determine how we should take the interests of future consumers into account.

The Development of Hydrogen Energy

From the early 19th century on, hydrogen obtained from coal and combined with carbon monoxide in a mixture called town gas was widely used to heat and light homes, apartments, businesses and to provide street lighting. However, with the advent of electricity, and the development of naturally occurring oil and natural gas that could be used directly without former processing, the importance of hydrogen as a fuel rapidly declined. Today, the use of hydrogen as a fuel is limited to niche markets, principally as a rocket propellant and to potential development as a transportation fuel. Nevertheless, starting in the 19th century, the unique properties of hydrogen fascinated generations of scientists, futurists and even science fiction writers. As early as 1874, Jules Verne in one of his visionary books, The Mysterious Island, describes in a discussion between his characters what would

Reconfiguring political influence

In this sense familiar A-B formulations of the power of one actor over another, which assume there are no intervening variables, other actors or complicating issues are unhelpful. They may be more appropriate for attempting to assess comparatively which is the more powerful - the NGO actor or the state - than for exploring the ways in which NGO actors may be able to influence state behaviour. The core issue here is how to gauge influence. One definitional issue is the potential difference between power and influence. Bachrach and Lawler (1981 25) argue that there exists a circular relationship between the two concepts, where 'Power implies its use, use implies influence, and influence, by definition, implies power.' They distinguish between power and influence on the grounds that 'Power is inherently coercive and implies involuntary submission whereas influence is persuasive and implies voluntary submission' (ibid. 12). For Arts (1998), in his work on NGOs and climate change, power is...

Anchoring adjustment and contamination

Storytellers obey strict rules of narrative unrelated to reality. Dramatic logic is not logic. Aspiring writers are warned that truth is no excuse you may not justify an unbelievable event in your fiction by citing an instance of real life. A good story is painted with bright details, illuminated by glowing metaphors a storyteller must be concrete, as hard and precise as stone. But in forecasting, every added detail is an extra burden Truth is hard work, and not the kind of hard work done by storytellers. We should avoid, not only being duped by fiction - failing to expend the mental effort necessary to 'unbelieve' it - but also being contaminated by fiction, letting it anchor our judgments. And we should be aware that we are not always aware of this contamination. Not uncommonly in a discussion of existential risk, the categories, choices, consequences, and strategies derive from movies, books and television shows. There are subtler defeats, but this is outright surrender.

Environmental Protection And Economic Development

According to one view, the relationship is described by an inverted U When per capita income is increased above minimal levels the degradative environmental effect increases, but as income grows further the relationship reverses and the degradative effect begins to decrease (Dietz & Rosa, 1997 Grossman & Krueger, 1995). The idea is that, in the early stages of economic development of an undeveloped country, the emphasis is totally on economic growth, and little concern is shown for any degradative environmental impact of this growth. Yet as the standard of living reaches a certain level, the citizenry begins to pay more attention to environmental issues because it can afford to do so (Beckerman, 1992). Some writers have pointed out positive relationships between specific indicators of environmental concern or quality and per-capita income levels at least for levels above some minimum value (Vincent & Panayotou, 1997).

The Conservation Movement

Elites who hiked in the Appalachian Mountains, western sportsmen who hunted and fished in the Rockies, women's groups, birders, nature writers, artists, scientists, and foresters who saw wild nature vanishing under ax and plow and valuable resources wasted under exploit-and-move-on policies.

Existing approaches to explaining global environmental politics

Most analysis of global environmental politics emanating from the discipline of international relations remains firmly rooted in a state-centric paradigm (Paterson 1996a Saurin 1996 Willetts 1993). In other words, it takes as given the preeminent status of the nation-state as the key point of reference in seeking to account for the way in which issues unfold on the global agenda.1 The principal theoretical tools are derived from various versions of liberal institutionalism in international relations (Paterson 1996a Saurin 1996 Smith 1993). The use of existing paradigms is particularly ironic given the repeated emphasis by writers from this discipline upon the way in which environmental issues transform our understanding of world politics (Rowlands 1992 Saurin 1996).2 For most scholars of international relations, global warming is one of a series of collective action problems following in the trail of issues such as ozone depletion. Ward's (1996 850) depiction of the issue highlights...

Policy process increasing complexity and implementation failure

As part of 'low politics', it therefore makes sense to talk of an international policy process that encompasses much more than just decision-making at the international level plus the politics of ratification. Environmental issues are the foremost example of the need for this approach, and not just because non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are active at most levels and stages of this international policy process. It also no longer makes much sense to talk only in terms of whether in international arenas states are willing to allow 'interde-pendency norms' to prevail over 'sovereignty norms'. Many writers (for example, Mitchell, 1998, 275) still account for the development of MEAs in these terms, but agreements like the FCCC and the Kyoto Protocol contain features which can no longer be accounted for thus. They attempt the detailed specification, monitoring and even enforcement of policy instruments at the international level and, beyond mere ratification, the adoption and...

In search of possible causes of mass extinctions

There are in fact only a few geological phenomena that can plausibly be invoked. The problem is to discriminate between them one particular phenomenon can have multiple environmental effects on a global scale. Impacts by comets or asteroids, sea-level changes, and volcanism can all affect climate, and climatic change can affect sea level and the degree of oxygenation of the ocean water. Disentangling the critical factor can be difficult, and some people have been tempted to throw up their hands and admit a role for every factor that might be relevant. This can be called the Murder on the Orient Express scenario, after the celebrated Agatha Christie whodunnit in which the final resolution turns out to be that everybody did it. Other writers have promoted one factor as the dominant, if not the only, cause of all mass extinctions, both major and minor. The approach preferred here is to attempt to steer a course, Odysseus-like, between the Scylla of one overriding cause and the Charybdis...

Structural factorsbargaining assets

Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen (1996) supports her argument about the influence of the IPCC with the counterfactual argument that policy-makers' acceptance of the WG1's emphasis on research has gone further than would have been the case if governments had been left to their own devices. Haas (1990b, 1992) also develops his argument on a speculative basis. He notes, for example, that without the presence of the epistemic community it is likely that there would have been less cooperation, enforcement would have been slower and less aggressive, and variation among efforts would have been much wider (Haas 1990b 358). Consistent with both the general approach in this book and with the type of analysis employed by these writers, a combination of conceptual and empirical material and examples of observable and tacit non-observable influence will be drawn together to understand the nature of the influence of WG1.

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EDITOR IN CHIEF Manette DiChnstina MANAGING EDITOR Ricki L. Rusting CHIEF NEWS EDITOR Philip M. Yam SENIOR WRITER Gary Stix EDITORS Davide Castelvecchi, Graham P. Collins, Mark Fischetti, Steve Mirsky, Michael Moyer, George Musser, Christine Soares, Kate Wong CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Mark Alpert, Steven Ashley, Stuart F. Brown, W. Wayt Gibbs, Marguerite Holloway, Christie Nicholson, Michelle Press, John Rennie, Michael Shermer, Sarah Simpson

Why Prolong Human History

Many modern philosophers deny that ethical needs involve realities of that sort. I myself find their doctrines profoundly depressing. What if I suddenly became converted to them I'd inevitably continue to prefer some things to others, and no doubt I'd find myself recommending things to other people. But I think I'd see no real point in painful efforts, or in doing without what I happened to like. From my present viewpoint at least, real point looks to be tied to how some things are better than others as a straightforward matter of what's real, of 'the fabric of the world', as an eighteenth-century writer might say, without which all that we could have would be being really motivated to seek some things rather than others, which is altogether different. Selfishness itself could have any real point only if various things which selfish people could get for themselves had a goodness which was part of the world's fabric so I am not saying that being converted to the depressing doctrines...

Historical Records And Their Interpretation

In all these sources, the historical climatologist is faced with the difficulty of ascertaining exactly what qualitative descriptions from the past are equivalent to in terms of modern-day observations. What do the terms drought, frost, or frozen over really mean How can qualifying terms (e.g., extreme frost) be interpreted For example, Baker (1932) notes that one seventeenth century diarist recorded three droughts of unprecedented severity in the space of only five years An approach to solving this problem has been to use content analysis (Baron, 1982) to assess in quantitative terms, and as rigorously as possible, climatic information in the historical source. Historical sources are examined for the frequency with which key descriptive words were used (e.g., snow, frost, blizzard, etc.) and the use the writer may have made of modifying language (e.g., severe frost, devastating frost, mild frost, etc.). In this way an assessment can be made of the range of descriptive terms that were...

The Downside of Dominance

Published the book Silent Spring, which served as a catalyst for the modern environmental movement.2 Carson was a brilliant writer, and her image of springtime with no birdsong, a prospect resulting from lavish overuse of pesticides, caught the public's imagination as had no previous environmental metaphor. Rather than an unquestioned boon to humanity, the use of substances such as DDT was portrayed as a practice that extracted a price, sometimes a high one, for the benefits produced. Carson was attacked mercilessly by those in the pesticide industry and by scientists in their pay.3 But gradually most of the scientific community got into the fray on her side, and her basic concerns were found to be more than justified.4 Sadly, she died of cancer in 1964, before she could see any of the advances in environmental safety her work stimulated, such as the banning of DDT for most uses in the United States in 1972.

Light liquidmercury mirrors which can potentially be made much larger than glass mirrors may enable astronomers to

No one knows who first conceived of a liquid mirror. Newton himself may have originated the idea. The great natural philosopher understood that the surface of a rotating bucket of water takes a parabolic shape, and it was he who invented the first reflecting telescope. Still, the concept was never pursued seriously until the beginning of this century, when Robert Williams Wood, an eccentric physicist and writer at Johns Hopkins University, tried to construct a liquid-mirror telescope.

Principles of ecology

Design, in the broadest sense, consists in shaping flows of energy and materials for human purposes. Ecodesign is a process in which our human purposes are carefully meshed with the larger patterns and flows of the natural world. Ecodesign principles reflect the principles of organization that nature has evolved to sustain the web of life. To practise industrial design in such a context requires a fundamental shift in our attitude towards nature. In the words of science writer Janine Benyus, it 'introduces an era based not on what we can extract from nature, but on what we can learn from her'.9

Expansion Of Oil And Gas Development Drilling The Last Best Places

Efforts are currently underway to halt some of the most egregious projects before they irreparably damage critical habitats, but the pressures to accelerate and expand oil and gas projects in the West will continue without an overarching strategy that fundamentally shifts the nation's demand for energy toward cleaner alternatives. Drilling for more oil is not the solution. As outdoor writer Hal Herring wrote for Field and Stream, We cannot sacrifice the wildlife and wild country of this planet while doing nothing to develop alternative fuels and improving the fuel efficiency of our cars, factories, and homes. 59

The Transition From Static To Dynamic Theories Of Growth

The Walrasian model applies only to exchange transactions, and does not attempt to explain either production or growth. Growth was and is, however, an obvious fact of economic life. It was attributed by theorists in the 19th century to labor force (that is, population) growth and capital accumulation. The latter was attributed to capitalist 'surplus' by Marx or savings by most of the marginalists. Apart from the work of Keynes (discussed below), the most influential models of the 1930s and 1940s were based on a formula attributed to Fel'dman (1928, 1964) equating the rate of growth of the economy to the savings rate divided by the capital-output ratio, or (equivalently) the ratio of annual savings to capital stock. The formula was 'rediscovered' by Roy Harrod and Evsey Domar (Harrod 1939 Domar 1946). These models, which emphasized the role of central planning, a relic of academic Marxism, dominated early postwar thinking about development economics.4 For instance, a well-known...

The mobilization of traditions

In 1962 the arcadian tradition found a contemporary voice in the biologist-turned-science-writer Rachel Carson. After writing two best-selling nature books in the 1950s, Carson had grown extremely concerned about the impact that the new chemical insecticides were having on the forests and on the animals that she loved so much. Her four-year investigation of the environmental consequences of one of those pestkillers resulted in a new form of political broadside, a book of scientific poetry. Silent Spring announced a new kind of arcadian ecology that was to have a major influence on the cognitive praxis of the emerging environmental movement (Jamison and Eyerman 1994 92ff). But it would also inspire a new generation of arcadian ecologists to reframe their message and challenge the routinized, established approaches of the older conservation movement. To a large extent, the historical dichotomy between the imperialists and the arcadians would be replayed in the conflicts over direction...

Developing a sustainable design focus

Build a portfolio of LEED-registered and LEED-certified projects as quickly as possible. Look for other projects that have sustainability elements and try to incorporate them into your case studies as quickly as possible. One firm hired a writer to craft more than 30 case studies profiling its successful project experience in sustainable design that it uses to market these services and provide to the media to help in profiling the firm's expertise.

How new are the greens

Production was for local and community needs and where workers were able to make products that were both useful and beautiful. However, there were also differences that make it hard to see them as greens of the same kind as those who emerged after the 1960s. The idea of nature as having intrinsic value aside from its use for humans is not present in the writings of any of the green socialists or anarchists of this period, nor is the idea of limits to growth. There is no sense in either writer of the kind of diversity of identities which has made the idea of life in homogenous small communities seem potentially oppressive to many contemporary greens.

Sustainable Development

There seems to be widespread agreement that solving global problems means the adoption of policies and programmes that lead to sustainable development. Sustainable development, however, has many different meanings (Pearce, 1989). The shades of meaning given to sustainable development closely mirror - or perhaps match - the writer's intellectual or emotional position along the spectrum of green philosophy. There is also a great danger that the concept will become meaningless, or simply be used as another wordy panacea instead of action for dealing with the environmental ills that befall the planet. The pursuit of a sustainable future for the human race in an environment of quality will require the design of effective policies and programmes which directly address the related problems of unsustainable activities and environmental degradation they must also be politically acceptable in the jurisdiction where they are proposed. If these policies and programmes are grouped beneath the...

Is there a relationship between impacts and other massextinction horizons

After the success of the impact research agenda for the K-T boundary, great enthusiasm was expressed by some scientists that they had perhaps found the key, not just to the K-T event, but to all mass extinctions. This was certainly Luis Alvarez's hope, if not expectation, before he died, and the view of at least one distinguished palaeontologist, Dave Raup. In fact bolide impact was seized upon by many neo-catastrophists as a kind of deus ex machina. This Latin phrase, usually translated as 'god out of the machine', actually derives from the ancient Greek theatre. Machina means 'scaffolding' as well as 'machine', and in the appropriate context 'god out of the scaffolding' is the better translation, because it refers to actors playing gods descending to the stage. Thus a writer finding difficulties in

Notes For Chapter

46 In Judaeo-Christian teaching the coupling of these two relationships begins with the Creation stories in Genesis. These stories go on to describe how humans disobeyed God (Genesis 3) and broke the partnership. But the Bible continually explains how God offers a way back to partnership. A few chapters on in Genesis (9 8-17), the basis of the relationship between God and Noah is a covenant agreement in which 'all life on the Earth' is included as well as humans. A relationship based on covenant is also the basis of the partnership between God and the Jewish nation in the Old Testament. But, after many times when that relationship was broken, the Old Testament prophets looked forward to a new covenant based not on law but on a real change of heart (Jeremiah 31 31-34). The New Testament writers (for example Hebrews 8 10-11) see this new covenant being worked out through the life and particularly through the death and resurrection of Jesus,

Stakeholders vs institutions

Following the influential work of writers such as Douglass North, John Meyer and Paul DiMaggio, institutional theory suggests that firms need to conform to the social norms in a given business environment because they cannot survive without a certain level of external social approval (legitimacy) (DiMaggio and Powell 1983 Meyer and Rowan 1977 North and Thomas 1973). In contrast to stakeholder theory, firms often conform not because external actors are powerful but because certain practices 'are taken for granted as the way we do these things ' (Scott 2001, 57). Put simply, companies imitate what others do in order to remain socially acceptable.

Current State Of The Issues Atmospheric turbidity

Environment Problems

One of the first environmental issues to be considered in a global context was the rising level of atmospheric turbidity, which was the centre of concern in the mid-1970s. It linked air pollution with the cooling of the earth. Cooling had been taking place since the 1940s, and some writers saw the world descending into a new Ice Age. It was clear a decade later that the cooling had reversed, and atmospheric turbidity began to receive less attention. Evidence also began to appear indicating that increased atmospheric turbidity might actually contribute to atmospheric warming. Currently, it raises little concern among the general public, except under exceptional circumstances such as those created by the Kuwaiti oil fires and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Both of these events initiated cooling and serve as a reminder that exceptional conditions capable of augmenting turbidity cannot be ignored. Although air pollution may be serious in specific areas, the human contribution to...

General Circulation Ideas And Controversies s To Early s

Erik Herbert Palm

To appreciate the momentous changes that took place in general circulation theory between 1940 and 1955, one has only to read Brunt's classic text (Brunt, 1944, Chap. 19), and follow this with a reading of Eady's (1957) contribution 13 years later, The General Circulation of the Atmosphere and Oceans. From Brunt, the reader is left feeling that a consistent theory of the atmosphere's general circulation is out of reach It has been pointed out by many writers that it is impossible to derive a theory of the general circulation based on the known value of the solar constant, the constitution of the atmosphere, and the distribution of land and sea____It is only possible to begin by assuming the known tempera

Frederick Law Olmsted

Olmsted was also a social critic of America's cities. Joining the Century Association in New York City in 1856 and while living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Olmsted banded together with a group of radical artists, writers and religious leaders William Cullen Bryant, Jacob Reis, Asher Durhan, Rev. Henry W.Bellows, Washington Irving, Peter Cooper and Andrew Jackson Downing to discuss strategies to alleviate poverty, poor sanitation and lack of organization in services to the poor. He was an early champion of providing large-scale 'pleasure ground for all citizens' which would become the central park of the city. There are numerous professional reports published for each of the parks. Olmsted was a prolific writer of articles for numerous journals and newspapers. Additionally, Olmsted corresponded extensively with colleagues and friends. These writings are too numerous to present here.

Phase I focus on the common market

For its part, Article 100 authorized the Council of Ministers, acting unanimously on a proposal from the European Commission, to 'issue directives for the approximation of such provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States as directly affect the establishment or functioning of the common market'. In other words, it might be argued that differences in environmental standards constituted a barrier to free trade, and should be addressed by harmonization. Initially, the Commission took the Article to mean that it could only react to an action by a member state that affected the common market, but legal writers subsequently argued that the Commission could use it proactively to propose measures even in areas where no legislation already existed in the member states (see Rehbinder and Stewart, 1985).

Thomas Robert Malthus

The above frequently used quotation is from An Essay on the Principle of Population as it affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M.Condorcet and other Writers by the English economist, mathematician and clergyman, Thomas Robert Malthus. His principle that population growth will His First Essay on the Principle of Population was written partly as a reaction to the unbridled optimism of his father, Daniel Malthus, who was an admirer of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and a friend of contemporary philosophers of humanitarian optimism, including David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith. It was also written to prove the imperfectibility of mankind and to demonstrate the error of two recent Utopian visions that extolled a future of reason, science, abundance, equality, peace and prosperity An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793), by the radical English political writer and novelist William Godwin, and Esquisse d'un...

Shifting Values in Response to Climate Change

Tamsen Butler was living the busy life of a mother of two, a college student, and a freelance writer when her 15-month-old son could no longer breathe properly. She carried him into the ambulance, clutching my son in one arm while I used my other arm to balance my laptop bag. After a couple of nights in a Nebraska hospital tending to her son and staying up late trying to meet writing deadlines, she had an epiphany My son was in the hospital and I was a fool. Rather than working while her son slept, Butler realized she should have been resting. Rather than clutching my son with only one arm I should have had both arms wrapped around him. When her son recovered, Butler and herfamily began spending less time rushing from here to there and reorganized their lives around their health and their time together. They also gave to charity the many extra toys and clothes they had accumulated.1

A fascinating experiment

On first reading this passage, it seems to be an extract from a bona fide scientific article. But as one reads the text that follows, the realization dawns that the aim of the experiment described was to determine the effect of tomato throwing on the voice volume of sopranos. The article is thus evidently a parody, the work of the French writer Georges Perec (Perec, 1991). But the fact that it is possible to write a parody of this kind, and that the reader may find it humorous, demonstrates that the scientific article - the so-called 'paper' - is by now a well-established genre of text and discourse, with precise codes and expressive rules as regards the abstract, the graphs, the tables, the acknowledgements, and so on.

Neoliberal Institutionalism

Neoliberal institutionalism centres on the work of Robert Keohane, although others involved would include writers such as Oran Young. Perhaps a good way to start is to look at its intellectual origins. It is a product of the development of thought about international law going back at least to Grotius, and the line of international thought which went, through Kant, to the Idealists at the time of the creation of the League of Nations. The perceived failure of much of this thinking to produce a decline in international violence in the inter-war period led to the resurgence of realist thought in Carr and, after the Second World War, in Morgenthau and others. Thus, despite the emergence of the UN after the Second World War, institutionalist thought declined. Two other mechanisms mentioned by other writers are worth highlighting here. Oran Young adds another important aspect. He emphasises how state decision-making is normally bureaucratised, channelled into standard operating procedures...

Systems thinking for environmental responsibility

The three readings in this chapter are extracts relating to systems thinking and its potential for framing what matters in environmental responsibility. What is systems thinking How is it done What's more, why is it frequently invoked as a helpful way of addressing environmental issues There are two key features of systems thinking that take constructive framing to a level where we might take responsibility for our framing devices. First is an appreciation of the interrelationships and interdependencies between all entities. Second is the awareness that systems are human conceptual constructs, and so systems thinking necessarily invites and celebrates contrasting perspectives on issues. Fritjof Capra, an American physicist, writer and environmental activist, is a passionate advocate of systems thinking in promoting (i) a more holistic ecological worldview and (ii) the need for a change in values through taking on a new perspective - adopting what he calls a new paradigm. The two...

The Nine Laws of God Kevin Kellys Out of Control Techno Utopic Program for a Wired World

Kevin Kelly is a brilliant scholar and a gifted writer he is as friendly as he is smart. Largely self-taught, his formal education ended with high school. In 1969, he discovered the first Whole Earth Catalogue and was smitten with Stewart Brand's vision of access to tools and knowledge for individual empowerment and self-education, so he found something better to do than college. With a backpack and camera, Kelly wandered Asia from 1972 to 1978 -- Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and Israel. After a religious conversion experience in Jerusalem, Kelly headed back to the United States where he reconnected with family members by biking and hiking and working around.

The violencenonviolence debate

Violence can also be effective in getting an issue noticed, something long accepted by analysts of social movements (Piven and Cloward 1977 Gamson 1990). As one letter writer to The Guardian pointed out, following fights with the police at the 18 June 'Carnival Against Capitalism' in the City of London 'I am glad that we caused trouble, trashed buildings and some personal property. I am glad that we provoked the police into riotous scenes. I am glad because you had to notice us, you had to wake up and see us express what we passionately feel capitalism hurts everybody' (Marie Mulley 1999).

A broader perspective

Secondly, a broader understanding of the relations between environmental politics and cultural transformation should be informed by a pluralist, or comparative, sensibility. The alternative to the dominant technocratic and universalizing conceptions cannot merely be a relativist particularism, such as those proposed by writers identifying with one or another ethnic or deep ecology ideology. Both within environmental-ism, as well as in the broader discourses of socio-economic development and international relations, it has become fashionable to counter Western, or technoscientific, imperialism by reinventing traditional identities, and although there is much to sympathize with in the writings of many of the new cultural critics, they often exaggerate the contemporary relevance of traditional belief systems (Jamison 1994). A technocratic mindset cannot be adequately challenged by ethnically specific or by explicitly ecocentric alternatives. Science and technology are global possessions...

Scientists And Others To Watch

Kerr Staff writer for the journal Science on climate change. Kolbert, Elizabeth. Field Notes from a Catastrophe Man, Nature, and Climate Change. New York Bloomsbury, 2006. Kolbert is also a staff writer for The New Yorker who contributes pieces to the magazine on climate change. See, for example, The Darkening Sea What Carbon Emissions Are Doing to the Oceans. The New Yorker, November 20, 2006, 66-75. Kolbert's popular treatment provides a personal portrait of many scientists and their work, as well as the dire prospects of continued global warming. Monbiot, George. Heat How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Toronto Doubleday Canada, 2006. Recommendations from a British writer for a cleaner, greener, and cooler future.

Social movements and industrial knowledge

In literature, too, the mechanization that characterized the first wave of industrialization was rejected outright by many influential poets and writers. William Blake decried the dark satanic mills of the industrial cities and scorned the narrowness of the mechanical philosophy, while William Wordsworth and John Keats escaped from the emerging mechanical world into a world of beauty and passion, countering the coming of the machine with new forms of personal expression (Roszak 1973). Many were the romantics - in art, music, and everyday life, as well as in literature - who turned their backs on industrial society to gain inspiration from the wilderness or from the ideals of earlier, pre-industrial epochs. Perhaps the two most significant experiments were those of Mary Shelley and Henry David Thoreau. Shelley's 1819 literary experiment imagined the industrial world-view in the shape of a monster constructed by her mad Doctor Frankenstein and Thoreau conducted his 1840s experiment in...

The City as Wilderness

In reaction to all these changes, a new perception of the city as wilderness emerged. In 1898, writer Robert Woods described The City Wilderness as a dark, dismal, depressing place filled with squalid alleys and poverty-stricken inhabitants. Novelist Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1905), written to expose the unsanitary conditions and working-class misery in Chicago's meatpacking industry, depicted the urban environment as dingy, smoky, and rancid with stockyard odors. Booth Tarkington's The Turmoil (1914) characterized the city as a locale dedicated to growth and the production of wealth at any cost to its inhabitants. Evil wilderness was embedded in the city, by contrast with the good wilderness of clean air and pristine, unblemished nature found in the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains.

The importance of the media in shaping public opinion

Most writers on environmental politics, acknowledge the importance of public opinion without developing ideas about the formation and conditioning of that opinion. There are of course exceptions, and some writers have recognised the importance of the media as a communicator of environmental debates in the public realm, even if they have not pursued those themes (Bramble and Porter 1992 Brenton 1994 Kamieniecki 1993 Litfin 1994 O'Riordan and Jaeger 1996 Susskind and Ozama 1992, 1994 Weizsacker 1994). Hurrell and Kingsbury (1992 10) note, for example, that 'The diffusion of green thinking through the workings of the global media is an additional and insufficiently studied aspect of environmental politics.' Where there is mention in the literature on international politics, it is brief and connections with political outcomes are not emphasised. Other writers, most prominently media studies scholars, have been more direct in attributing to the media the social learning that often precedes...

Creation of the National Parks

Yosemite National Park in California was created through a sequence of acts. First, in 1864, during the Civil War, President Lincoln ceded Yosemite Valley to the state of California for the purpose of its preservation. The mountains around the valley were designated a National Park in 1890, and then the valley was re-ceded to the federal government to become part of Yosemite National Park in 1905. The first tourists had entered Yosemite Valley in 1855, four years after the Mariposa Indian War resulted in the removal of the Yosemite Indians. Soon thereafter, some 400 visitors came by steamboat and stage. By 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was completed, tourists arriving in San Francisco were offered trips into the park. By 1875, wagonloads of supplies were taken to park hotels to supply the needs of tourists. The great champion of Yosemite was naturalist and writer John Muir (1838-1914), who helped to found the Sierra Club in 1892 and was its first president. He encouraged...

Democracy and authoritarianism

Accusations of authoritarianism are never far from the surface where green social change is concerned. In the early days of the contemporary environmental movement, North American writers such as Heilbroner (1974) and Ophuls (1977) appeared to argue that the environmental crisis was so dire that no one could reasonably be expected to accept voluntarily the kinds of measures that would be needed to deal with it, and that therefore only strong government - even authoritarian government - would do. More recently, as the influence of the catas-trophist tendency in green politics has declined, attention has turned to the kinds of values held by political ecologists, and it has been suggested that the political-ecological belief that there is a right way to live the green Good Life is incompatible with the value pluralism normally associated with (liberal) democracy. There are, then, both pragmatic and ethical roots to the palpable tension between radical green objectives and the democratic...

Edward Osborne Wilson

Edward Wilson's influence is in no small part attributable to his skill as a writer, whose elegant prose has confirmed his status as one of the finest communicators of science in the twentieth century. Several of his fluent, beautifully written books are at once important academic sources and accessible, engrossing works of popular scientific literature. They have also earned him many literary honours, including two Pulitzer Prizes, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Publishers' Marketing Association Benjamin Franklin Award, the Sir Peter Kent Conservation Book Prize and the John Hay Award from the Orion Society.

Measuring and Mismeasuring Biofuels Economic Impacts

As examples, at the national level, an Urbanchuck (2005) report for the Renewable Fuels Association used US Bureau of Economic Analysis factors to conclude that 114,844 jobs in the national economy depended indirectly on the operation of all ethanol plants and the purchases that are made by workers (and this did not include ethanol plant employment). Earlier in the decade, when the industry was even smaller, Novack (2002) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City was more upbeat about the job total and reported in a widely read periodical that the ethanol industry added nearly 200,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. This is a curious claim given that the U.S. Department of Commerce's industrial census for that same year (2002) indicated the ethyl-alcohol industry had just 2,200 jobs. How the author got from 2,200 jobs to 200,000 is not revealed, but the writer went on to predict that an additional 214,000 jobs would be created through the economy over the next decade. Last, as just one...

The Concept of Global Environmental Governance

Within the group of writers who employ a phenomenological definition of global governance, definitions differ regarding their scope. Some restrict the term to problems of foreign policy and more traditional forms of world politics. Oran Young, for example, sees global governance as the combined efforts of international and transnational regimes 15 . Lawrence S. Finkelstein defines the concept as doing internationally what governments do at home and as governing, without sovereign authority, relationships that transcend national frontiers 29 . The problem with these narrow phenomenological understandings of global governance is the need to distinguish the term from traditional international relations because it is often not clear what is gained by using the term global governance instead of international relations or world politics . Other writers try to address this problem by broadening the term to encompass an increasing number of social and political interactions. James Rosenau,...

The Comings and Goings of Battery Electric Vehicles

In addition, most people seem to find electric vehicles surprisingly fun to drive. After driving the prototype version of GM's EV-1 in 1995, Matthew Wald, longtime science writer for the New York Times, wrote, If I only owned one car, this car wouldn't be it. But after driving the EV-1 , my Sable wagon and Camry sedan seemed noisy, smelly, and boring. 23 These comments stem from the surprisingly high torque of electric motors, which means faster acceleration at low speeds. In drive clinics and test drives, most drivers affirm that they prefer the smooth, hard acceleration associated with the high torque of electric motors.24

Weve Done it Again From the Garden of Eden to the Tower of Babel

I have long been interested in religion as it is wrestled with, expressed, and practiced not only by elite thinkers and writers, but by everyday people like you and me dealing with the messiness of encountering religion and spirituality in our daily lives and not always knowing what to do with it. While doing doctoral work at Harvard University, I became increasingly interested in the study of lived religion in American history.1 It was there that I also brought my longstanding interest in eco-theology into a new context. At Harvard, and later at Middlebury College, I began teaching and writing about how people bring together their religious identities and their environmental concerns. These interests have blossomed into a full-fledged study of the burgeoning (and interfaith) environmentalism of religious organizations, clergy, and laypeople. What I am talking about here are matters of interpretation, matters of framing, ways of knowing, understanding, and communicating to others that...

Professional environmentalism

Cognitive praxis of many environmental organizations - the knowledge that is produced is rarely subjected to serious academic scrutiny. The academic worlds and the activist worlds seldom meet, and I have gotten a clear impression after reading much of the recent literature that the gap is growing. Academic writers seem not to be following particularly closely what activists are discussing in their popular writings, while professional activists seem to be uninterested and uninfluenced by the concepts and new theories and approaches that are being developed in the academic world.

On the Other Hand A New Ice

Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age screamed a front page Washington Post headline on January 11, 1970. The Post writer David R. Boldt reported that some climatologists were arguing that Earth had entered a cold period in 1950 and it could last for hundreds of years. In support of this argument, the climatologists noted that the global temperature had dropped 0.6 F (0.33 C) since 1950. If the current rate of decline continued, in 240 years Earth's temperature would be 7.2 F (4 C) lower and gripped by an ice age climate more snow in winter, less snow melting in summer. As far as the University of Wisconsin meteorologist Reid A. Bryson (1920- ) was concerned, There's no relief in sight.

The Antitechnology Legacy of the s

Starting with the back-to-nature movement in the 1960s, some writers and philosophers began to advocate that the world should revert to a less technological, more natural way of living. A substantial number of intellectuals believed that it was impossible to fix problems that are associated with

Question Of Questions

Thus the book offers a set of interpretations of global climate politics within the frameworks provided by different strands of IR theory. I will offer an argument that two particular interpretations, those provided by historical materialism, and those by poststructuralist writers focusing on the notion of discourse, both provide convincing explanations. However, there is a clear tension between the two, and this tension and ways in which it could be resolved will be explored in the conclusion. To a great extent, this argument turns on the questions which the perspectives ask, as much as the answers they give. The framework provided by historical materialism means that it asks more expansive questions, allowing us to cover more of the material of climate politics. Realists and liberal institutionalists restrict us by and large to interstate politics, to patterns of conflict and cooperation between states, to processes of negotiation within anarchy, to the relevance of international...

The NGO project and international relations

In many ways, the approach adopted in this book is grounded in the transnationalist project of the 1970s, launched by writers such as Keohane and Nye (1977) and Nye and Keohane (1972), further developed by Willetts (1982) and showing signs of a relaunch in the late 1990s amid discussion about the need to 'bring transnational relations back in' (Risse-Kappen 1995). Much of the importance of the initial work on transnationalism was lost by writers who, when turning their attention to environmental issues, resorted to the use of a state-centred regime paradigm (Keohane 1995 Vogler 1995, 1996). In relation specifically to NGOs, Humphreys (1996 103) quotes Rosenau, who argues that 'although the early work on regimes allowed for the participation of NGOs, subsequent inquiries slipped into treating regimes as if they consisted exclusively of states'. As Risse-Kappen (1995 7) argues, the first debate on transnational relations in IR 'essentially resulted in confirming the state-centric view...

Threats To The Survival Of The Human Race

Estimating the probability that the human race will soon become extinct has become quite a popular activity. Many writers have considered such things as the dangers of nuclear war or of pollution. This book will make few claims to expertise about the details of such highly complex matters. What it will claim instead is that even non-experts can see that the risks aren't negligible. In view of how much is at stake, we have no right to disregard them.2 Besides, even if the 'total risk' (obtained by combining the individual risks) appeared to be fairly small, Carter's doomsday argument could suggest that it should be re-evaluated as large. To get it to look small once more, we should then need to make vigorous risk-reduction efforts. 4 Disasters associated with computers. Computer-initiated nuclear war is the one most often discussed, but there might instead be breakdown of a computer network which had become vital to humanity's day-to-day survival. And, very speculatively, several...

From transnationalism to IPE

A Coxian approach may be useful in another sense. The notion of a 'managerial class' (Cox 1987)7 resonates with the interpretations of global environmental politics offered by Chatterjee and Finger (1994), Hildyard (1993), and Sachs (1993), and can be used to develop a political economy of transnationalism by exploring the strategic and tacit clusters of interest described above. In explaining UNCED, therefore, attention would focus on how the boundaries and assumptions of debate have been drawn and sustained in a way that accommodates challenges and threats to the legitimacy of power brokers, such that it extends and entrenches the power of those policy networks that are faced with addressing the problem. Whilst for the global ecology writers cited above, elitism and insider outsider formulations are the starting point for understanding these coalitions of interest, for Cox the emphasis is more upon class (though rivalries exist within this class and its members do not necessarily...

Roots of Political Ecology

Political ecology rests upon many previous ideas. Many writers have developed parts of it as they sought answers to how people should interact with the natural world. Most explored the relationships among (1) the numbers of people and their consumption habits, (2) forms of knowledge and social organization, and (3) natural functions and processes. Since the mid-1960s, an especially large literature has developed, motivated largely by a sense of impending crisis from environmental deterioration. Almost all of these recent studies have related environmental impacts to one or more of the factors technology, population levels, and consumption levels. Unfortunately, the frameworks developed in this literature were usually inadequate to answer a crucial question How can and should people collectively manipulate the biosphere in order to satisfy the material needs for food for all people A few examples will illustrate the variety of themes in this literature. Some writers, such as biologists...

Part One Global Environmental Issues and Policies

While the other chapters in this section focus on global environmental issues, the chapter by W. Henry Lambright and Anna Ya Ni explores a different environmental frontier space. The chapter is framed around the development of space technology and the subsequent policy change associated with efforts to realize positive uses of space technology and mitigate potential negative impacts. The authors examine three areas of space technology and policy, each with environmental dimensions space-based observation of Earth, near-earth orbit, and deep space. First, the writers illustrate how technological advances witnessed the development of satellites used for space-based observations of Earth's weather, atmospheric conditions (especially ozone levels something that solidified NASA's environmental role in the United States), and land resources. Second, their section on near-earth orbit demonstrates, in what may be surprising to some, the exhaustible nature of space resources, including...

The Supply Of Fresh Water

When farming declined, the region east of the Mississippi reforested. In a fine article, nature writer Bill McKibben celebrates the resurrection of the Eastern forests to their pre-Columbian expanse. He quotes a Forest Service official who wrote that the forest of the East and South has come full circle. By the 1960s and 1970s, the pattern of forest, fields, and pastures was similar to that prior to 1800, its appearance much like it must have been prior to the American Revolution. 62 A survey of fifty nations in the boreal and temperate world found results similar to those of the eastern United States. In the 1990s, the forest biomass in every one of these countries increased.63

Green ideology as leftwing

Seeing green ideology as based on three principles ecology, egalitarianism and democracy has the strength of applying to larger numbers of greens than definitions that privilege ecology It does not prevent us from distinguishing green radicals from environmentalists, or from showing that green ideology is new. However, it also allows us to show why green ideology partly overlaps with other ideologies, particularly anarchism, feminism and socialism and is an ideology of the left. The fact that greens have been unsure about whether or not they are on the left is indicative of the wider uncertainties about what the left means in contemporary politics as well as the problems of classifying the diversity of themes in green party agendas. Their own view of their leftness or their rejection of a left-identity depends mainly on their own perceptions of the national traditions of the left in their own countries (Doherty 1994 ch. 2). However, as socialism has weakened in the 1990s, the...

Ecological modernisation

Conflicts over environmental issues often cut across traditional class and other social divides. Ecological risks such as climate change can affect all groups irrespective of class (Beck 1992), although it is important to add a qualification to this, since even global risks most affect those with least resources (farmers in Bangladesh for instance, or those with poor quality housing in central America are much more vulnerable to the floods and cyclones that result from global warming, than northern Europeans). Yet there are still some risks such as BSE or genetic modification that are less class-specific and all social groups have to deal with the increased uncertainty that these create. A number of writers (Giddens 1994 Cotgrove 1982 Paehlke 1989) have seen the divides over environmen-talism as separate from those between left and right, but while this may be true of environmental debate in general it is not empirically true as regards the green movement. There are certainly...

How Not to Look Ahead

The principal reason that even the cleverest and the most elaborate scenarios are ultimately so disappointing is that they may get some future realities approximately right, but they will inevitably miss other components whose dynamic interaction will create profoundly altered wholes. Suppose that in 1975 (years before the adoption of the one-child policy in China) a group of scenario writers correctly predicted the decrease in China's total fertility rate (and hence the country's much reduced population total). Would they would anybody in 1975 (during the last phase of the Maoist Cultural Revolution and a year before Mao's death) have set that number amidst a more than quadrupled quasi-capitalist economy absorbing annually tens of billions of dollars of direct foreigninvestment and serving as the leading workshop for the world (fig. 1.1) What expert group gathered in 1985 to rank relative standings of major powers in 1995 would have forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union, Japan's...

Storm of Controversy

The man who did so much for nineteenth-century navigation was widely respected for his achievements and well-connected politically for a time, but he was never able to convince the leading American scientists of his day that he was one of them. They fought him for control of meteorology, among other sciences. To men like Alexander Dallas Bache and Joseph Henry, Maury was not a scientist either by training or by practice. He was in all respects a practical military man of large vision and boundless energy and ambition. He was a prolific writer and a popular public speaker on sundry scientific topics, although he was neither a scientific observer nor a theorist. Much of what he wrote was about the scientific work of others, and yet he was notorious for failing to The Physical Geography of the Sea is not a scientific text but a series of unorthodox commentaries, lyrically written and bountifully laced with scriptural references, about marine and atmospheric phenomena. Many of its...

Notes on Contributors

Alice Friedemann has been part of the peak oil community since the first online discussions began on EnergyResources and RunningOnEmpty and has attended many ASPO conferences. She has been interviewed by Salon magazine, spoken at UC Berkeley on biofuels, published at EnergyBulletin, Energypulse, The Oil Drum, and other sites too numerous to mention. She has a BS in biology with a chemistry physics minor from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and is a member of the Northern California Science Writers Association. Her website can be found at

The period of awakening

In the United States the transformation of conservationism into envi-ronmentalism was a gradual process that was brought to a head and to a larger public primarily through the eloquent prose of Rachel Carson. But there were others in the postwar period - writers like Joseph Wood Krutch, activists like David Brower of the Sierra Club, established figures like the American Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, and the nature photographer Ansel Adams - whose activities helped to pave the way (Fox 1985). In particular, the development of a mass culture of television and popular science brought the natural world into the home and with it the importance of saving nature from further degradation could be spread to a mass audience. In 1961 the World Wildlife Fund was established to give this new conservation message a more professional form in terms of fund-raising, public relations, and dissemination. The WWF was started with the express purpose of bringing more resources into the hands of...

Climate change as crisis

Secondly, are those writers and activists dealing with environmental issues and economic development, prominently from developing nation NGOs. Their concern over the global and local environmental impacts emanating from developed nations and local industrial activities has promoted awareness of these issues as constituting 'environmental injustice.' Prominent members of this diverse and numerous group have include Agarwal (Agar-wal and Narain 1991 Agarwal et al. 2002), Bello (Bello and Rosenfeld 1990 Bello 1992), Escobar (1995, 1996), Khor (1993), Sachs (1991, 1992, 1993a, 1993b, 1994, 1996, 1999a, 1999b), and Shiva (1993, 1997, 1998, and 1999), many of whom have addressed the climate change issue. Environmentalist NGOs were highly influential in the development of national climate policies and the FCCC process, and it was these conceptualizations and arguments that formed the basis of the prominent campaigns by such groups as the Climate Action Network, the Centre for Science and...

The Greening of Job Sectors

As the communications field continues to grow with telecommunications, cable networks, and on-line computer networks (including eco-net, bio-net, and others), there is a demand for people who can translate environmental information to the general public. Opportunities for public relations managers, researchers, writers, journalists, and media personalities who gather, analyze, and disseminate environmental information exist in both publication businesses and corporations. People with computer skills, a CD-ROM design background, and or electronic publishing experience can use those skills in translating technical data and environmental information to the general public.

Contemporary technomillennialism

For most Singularitarians, as for most millennialists, the process of technological innovation is depicted as autonomous of human agency, and wars, technology bans, energy crises or simple incompetence are dismissed as unlikely to slow or stop the trajectory. Kurzweil (2006) insists, for instance, that the accelerating trends he documents have marched unhindered through wars, plagues and depressions. Other historians of technology (Lanier, 2000 Seidensticker, 2006 Wilson, 2007) argue that Kurzweil ignores techno-trends which did stall, due to design challenges and failures, and to human factors that slowed the diffusion of new technologies, factors which might also slow or avert greater-than-human machine intelligence. Noting that most predictions of electronic transcendence fall within the predictor's expected lifespan, technology writer Kevin Kelly (2007)suggests that people who make such predictions have a cognitive bias towards optimism.

Technology As Knowledge In Theory

In short, R&D pays off for a sponsoring firm if, and only if, the resulting knowledge can be licensed or monopolized for a significant period of time. To create economic incentives for research and invention, patent and copyright laws have been introduced in all Western countries. In principle, such laws provide temporary monopoly benefits to owners of intellectual property, namely, inventors, composers and writers, by allowing them to demand license fees or royalties from users of the new knowledge. Indeed, the acceleration of technological progress that accompanied and followed the industrial revolution coincided with the introduction of this legal and institutional innovation. The coincidence was probably not accidental.

Environmental traditions

Opposed to the imperialists were the nature-lovers, to whom Worster gave the label arcadian in order to associate their particular version of ecology to the classical ideal of a simple rural life in close harmony with nature that had been depicted by Roman poets in the ancient Greek region of Arcady. The back-to-nature folks began to articulate their counter-program at the dawning of the industrial era as part of the Romantic movement. The arcadians shared many of the modernizing, scientific ambitions of the imperialists, but they came to develop a different way of investigating and understanding nature. Tracing arcadians back to the English pastor and writer Gilbert White and especially to his work The Natural History of Selborne, originally published in 1789, Worster delineated a stream of experiential, or participatory, ecology that was perhaps most influentially developed further by Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century the...

Climate Change In Prehistory

After seven years at the UK National Physical Laboratory researching atmospheric physics, Bill Burroughs spent three years as a UK Scientific Attache in Washington DC. Between 1974 and 1995, he held a series of seniorposts in the UK Departments of Energy and then Health. He is now a professional science writer and has published several books on various aspects of weather and climate (two as a co-author), and also three books for children on lasers. These books include Watching the World's Weather (1991),Weather Cycles Real or Imaginary (1992 second edition 2003), Does the Weather Really Matter (1997), The Climate Revealed (1999), and Climate Change A Multidisciplinary Approach (2001), all with Cambridge University Press. In addition, he acted as lead author for the World Meteorological Organization on a book entitled Climate Into the Twenty-First Century (2003, Cambridge University Press). He has also written widely on the weather and climate in newspapers and popular magazines.


That steadily rose to 36.1 kilograms per person in 1997. The same is true for the amount of fish caught in the wild, which jumped from about 7.5 kilograms in 1950 to 15 kilograms in 1965, where it has remained since then. Another source of fish is aquaculture, which steadily rose in production from about 7 million tons in 1984 to 23 million tons in 1996 (see figure 6-5). Clearly there is no trend toward hunger in the world when it comes to food production. Contrary to the fears of many writers of the past, we are able to produce enough food to feed everyone.

Nspraton value

How should we present our success stories A few writers, especially those from academic background, give more importance to technical details and the 'how to do it' part. Though this is important, if it is only statistics-ridden hard technological detail, that tends to repel the reader. It is the human interest that attracts everybody. Once you use this as an enticement, the technical details can follow. Let these be very simple, crisp and presented in such a way that anybody can easily understand them. Readers easily grasp and remember the information that is blended with human plight, suffering, happiness, etc.

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