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Climate change is not 'a problem' waiting for 'a solution'. It is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon which is re-shaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity's place on Earth. Drawing upon twenty-five years of professional work as an international climate change scientist and public commentator, Mike Hulme provides a unique insider's account of the emergence of this phenomenon and the diverse ways in which it is understood. He uses different standpoints from science, economics, faith, psychology, communication, sociology, politics and development to explain why we disagree about climate change. In this way he shows that climate change, far from being simply an 'issue' or a 'threat', can act as a catalyst to revise our perception of our place in the world. Why We Disagree About Climate Change is an important contribution to the ongoing debate over climate change and its likely impact on our lives.
For decades, experts and the public have been at odds over the nature and magnitude of risks and how they should be mitigated through policy. Experts argue that the fears of the public are irrational, and that public policy should be based on sound science. The public, on the other hand, is skeptical of experts, and believe policy should represent their interests. How do policy analysts make sense of these competing views? Science, Risk and Policy answers this question by examining how people evaluate evidence, how science is conducted, and how a multi-disciplinary framework to risk can inform policy by bridging the gap between experts and the public. This framework is then applied to four case studies: pesticides, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and nuclear power. By tracing the history of the science, policies and regulations, and evaluating arguments made about these risks, Andrew J. Knight provides a guide to understand how experts and the public view risks.
Inhaltsangabe:Introduction: For more than two decades, scientific and political communities have debated whether and how to act on climate change. This discussion moved on. Today science is very clear about the magnitude of the risks imposed by unmanaged climate change: What we are doing is redifining where people could live and if we do that as a world than hundreds of million of people will move. Probably billions will move. We are talking about gambling the planet, we are talking about a radical change of the way in which human beings could live and where they could live and, indeed, how many of them. With regard to these risks the application of the precautionary principle telling us to better be safe than sorry appears to be imperative and makes traditional cost-benefit analysis become obsolete. Thus combating global warming has become one of the most important issues facing the world in the 21. century. As nobody would be immune from the transformation the planet faces, avoiding this gamble should, in theory, be in the interest of all nations. Unfortunately, a common response in the scale necessary is hard to organize. While the industrialized countries fear the costs of the transformation from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy, it is the poorest people who are facing a double unequity as they 1. will be hit earliest and hardest by the adverse impacts of climate change, and 2. are least responsible for the stock of current concentrations in the atmosphere. This inequity consequently leads to a great sense of injustice in developing countries being asked cut emission, while knowing, that the developed world got rich on high-carbon growth. Without any doubt the outcome of this is a historical responsibility of industrialized countries to take over leadership in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. However, bearing in mind that by 2050, approximately eight out of nine billion people in the world will be living in developing nations, it is impossible to get down to emission levels needed without at the same time covering the developing world as well. Against this background international climate protection is a sociopolitical, economical, and ethical challenge, concerning all nations, which have to understand that they are a community based on the principle of mutual solidarity. The international climate regime is regarded as the main platform to further cooperation between nations in order to succesfully combat global [...]
The greenhouse effect is a vital process which is responsible for the heat on the earth?s surface. By consuming fossil fuels, clearing forests etc. humans aggravate this natural process. As additionally trapped heat exceeds the earth?s intake capacity this consequently leads to global warming. The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is already 30% higher compared to pre-industrial levels and unmanaged this development is likely to result in an increase of up to 6.4ø C towards the end of the century. Especially the poorest regions of the world are facing a double inequity as they a) will be hit earliest and hardest by the adverse impacts of climate change, and b) are least responsible for the stock of current concentrations in the atmosphere. Seeing this the application of the precautionary principle telling us ?to better be safe than sorry? appears to be imperative and makes traditional cost-benefit analysis become obsolete. Thus combating global warming has become one of the most important issues facing the world in the 21st century. The international climate regime is the main platform to further cooperation between nations and to tackle this problem. Since the first world climate conference in 1979 the international community of states pursues the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, the 15th COP of the UNFCCC aimed at achieving the final breakthrough with regard to framing new long-term mitigation commitments. However, the regime theory tells us that states behave as rational egoists and solely follow selfishly defined interests to maximize own profits. So it not only has to be assumed that just states with a favourable benefit-cost ratio will take the role of a ?pusher? in international climate negotiations but also that powerful states are more likely to reach a favourable outcome. Indeed the highly ineffective Kyoto Protocol, which amongst others had to deal with the exit of the United States, the creation of ?hot air? reductions and an overall lack of compliance incentives, has already shown the difficulties of creating an effective climate regime. In Copenhagen it became obvious that influential actors still do not seem to have an interest to significantly change their energy consumption patterns in order to reduce emissions. The majority of developing countries, politically prioritize the protection of their economic development which heavily depends on the use of cheap energy from fossil fuels. Especially China by no means intends to cut its impressive GDP growth figures to please international crowds. Meanwhile the hands of the US President on the international stage were once again tied by domestic restrictions. However, although it seemed that the long prevailing differences of interests between industrial and developing countries are more than ever insuperable, there is hope. A ?global race? towards renewable energy and related jobs has already started. Nations and international corporations are positioning themselves to take advantage of the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. This could be the starting point for a sustainable bottom-up policy architecture on the international level replacing the current top-down approach.
This book is about the history, present and future of one the most important policy ideas of the modern era – that there is a single, global dangerous amount of climate change. That dangerous amount of climate change is imagined as two degrees centigrade of global warming above the pre-industrial average. Though the two degree idea is based on the value system of elite policy actors, it is been constructed in public discourses as scientific fact. This false representation of the concept undermines opportunities for positive public engagement with the climate policy debate, yet it is strong public engagement which is a recurring aspiration of climate policy discourses and is considered essential if climate mitigation strategies are to work. Alongside a critical analysis of how the idea of a single dangerous limit has shaped our understanding of what sort of problem climate change is, the book explains how the public have been kept out of that decision making process, the implications of this marginalisation for climate policy and why the dangerous limit idea is undermining our ability to mitigate climate change. The book concludes by exploring possibilities for a deliberation about the future of the two degree limit which allows for public participation in the decision making process. This book illustrates why, at this critical juncture in the climate policy debate, the two degree limit idea has failed to achieve any of the policy goals intended. This is the first book dedicated to questioning the issue of the two degree limit within a social science framework and should be of interest to students and scholars of environmental policy and politics, climate change communication, and science, technology and society studies.
This book is an original, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to the severe and broad-ranging challenges that climate change presents and how societies can respond. It synthesizes and deploys cutting-edge scholarship on the range of social, economic, political, and philosophical issues surrounding climate change. The treatment is introductory, but the book is written "with attitude", for nobody has yet charted in coherent, integrative, and effective fashion a way to move societies beyond their current paralysis as they face the challenges of climate change. The coverage begins with an examination of science, public opinion, and policy making, with special attention to organized climate change denial. The book then moves to economic analysis and its limits; different kinds of policies; climate justice; governance at all levels from the local to the global; and the challenge of an emerging "Anthropocene" in which the mostly unintended consequences of human action drive the earth system into a more chaotic and unstable era. The conclusion considers the prospects for fundamental transition in ideas, movements, economics, and governance.
Scientists and politicians are increasingly using the language of risk to describe the climate change challenge. Some researchers have argued that stressing the ‘risks’ posed by climate change rather than the ‘uncertainties’ can create a more helpful context for policy makers and a stronger response from the public. However, understanding the concepts of risk and uncertainty - and how to communicate them - is a hotly debated issue. In this book, James Painter analyses how the international media present these and other narratives surrounding climate change. He focuses on the coverage of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and of the melting ice of the Arctic Sea, and includes six countries: Australia, France, India, Norway, the UK and the USA.

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