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Environment, Development and

Climate Change
GS F212
Environment, Development
and Climate Change

will explore the relationship between human societies


and the larger natural environment

the environmental issues we face are almost always


profoundly social issues..

Sociology points us beyond technical and scientific


issues to the social roots of contemporary ecological
issues

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Relation between Society and Environment

Environment
all the things which affect our life or activity
a complex phenomenon and consists of various forms such as

physical environment (the geographical, the climatic and the controlled


geographical environment)

biological environment (plant and animals)

social environment (economic, cultural and psycho-social environments)

supra-social environment (God or supernatural power)

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Physical Environment

Natural - uncontrollable like sun and stars, the


winds and rains, the mountains and the seas,
the seasons, the tides and the ocean currents

Artificial- can be modified(even slightly). lands


,the rivers streams.etc

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Influence of Physical
Environment

Geographical environment parameters influenced


Civilization
Culture.
Population,
Economic life,
political & social life
Growth of civilization has minimised the
influence of physical environment
Man cannot be regarded as natures slave.
Man modifies his physical environment rather than
environment modifies man.
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Physical Environment

Geographical environment alone cannot


determine the progress of civilization

It can only define and decide some of its


limits.

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The Social Environment

Consists of three kinds of environment,

Economic

Cultural

Psycho-social environments

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The Social Environment

Life and character of the society have always been


responsive to economic environment

Karl Marx had asserted that the economic environment is


the primary determinant of all social change

But mere economic goods are not an ultimate end of


mens Endeavour
Men do seek health or happiness or knowledge or art for
the direct satisfaction

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The Social Environment

The cultural environment includes the customs, traditions,


laws, modes of thought and forms of knowledge and
belief.

sex-relationship, ownership, comradeship, the exchange


of services and goods is ordered, supported and
controlled by elaborate system of usage known as
tradition.

There are laws which the regulations enforced by some


are constituted authority.

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The Social Environment

Psychosocial factors such as


stress,
hostility,
depression,
hopelessness,
job control
is associated with physical health

It is the most pervasive of all the environments and is so


necessary to the life of a man

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Development

Economic growth was regarded as central


to the development endeavors up to the
1980's.
Now, Multidimensional concept which
should encompass material, social,
environmental, political and cultural
components- sustainable development

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Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited places on earth.

Only some 150 square miles in area, it lies in the Pacific Ocean,
2,000 miles off the west coast of South America and 1250 miles
from the nearest inhabitable land of Pitcairn Island.

Despite its superficial insignificance, the history of Easter


Island is a grim warning to the world.

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Easter Islands Collapse

According to radiocarbon dating, Polynesians settled


Easter Island, located in a remote part of the Southeast
Pacific Ocean, around 900 AD.

It is the story of a people who, starting from an extremely


limited resource base, constructed one of the most
advanced societies in the world for the technology they
had available

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Easter Islands Collapse

The society was stratified into various factions of chiefs


and commoners, splitting the island into multiple
territories designated by giant stone statues
termed moai, 113 of which stand today.

However, the demands placed on the environment of the


island by this development were immense.

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Easter Islands Collapse

The most striking story of Easter Island, however, is its


collapse.
Easter Island is one of the most extreme examples of
deforestation in the world: the entire forest is gone and
all tree species extinct.
Evidence suggests forest harvesting started around
900AD and peaked in 1400AD.
By the time Easter Island was discovered by Dutch
explorer Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Day (5 April) in
1722 it was completely deforested

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Easter Islands Collapse

What followed was a catastrophe of untold proportions:


without trees the ecosystem collapsed

without ecosystem functions, food and fresh water


quickly diminished

without trees, escape boats were not built

since escape was impossible resource infighting


occurred, until only a fraction of the population remained.

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Easter Islands Collapse

A striking example of the dependence of human societies


on their environment and of the consequences of
irreversibly damaging that environment

the story still draws an unsettling parallel to


contemporary global ecological destruction

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Climate change and the
collapse of civilizations
Civilization Issue
Akkadian Empire (2,170 BC) Established between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Collapsed because climate change destroyed its agricultural
base. Cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean influence rainfall in
the Middle East.

Mayan Civilization (900 AD) Located in the Yucatan Peninsula. Collapsed after 200 years of
lower precipitations.

Roanoke settlement, North First permanent British colony vanished after 4 years.
America (1587) Corresponded to the worst drought on the East Coast in 700
years

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Environmental Paradigms

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?
Why have some societies treated their environment differently
than others?
What makes the way modern societies interact with their
environment different from the way earlier ones did?

Is it technology and industrialization?


Is it our economic system?
Is it too much or too little democracy?
Does religion or culture make a difference?
Does science help, or is it actually part of the problem?

How do power and status affect whose ideas about natural


resources are given priority?
who actually suffers the effects of pollution, toxic waste, loss
of biodiversity, and environmental degradation?

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ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

Conservationism-early form of environmentalism that


flourished in the first decades of the twentieth century.
focused on the wise and efficient use of natural
resources.
Preservationism focused on protecting specially
designated nonresidential areas

the preservationist strand of the conservationist


movement was an important precursor to the modern
environmental movement.

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Environmental Movements
(1960s and 1970s)
Rising affluence Growth of leisure and tourism (pristine environments).

Rising levels of Better-educated people developed greater awareness of


education environmental problems
Environmental Many environmental organizations founded. National Wildlife
organizations Federation (1936); United Nations Environment Programme
(1972); WorldWatch (1974).
Pollution Water pollution, waste disposal and acid rain became the first
widely noticed hazards
Scientific evidence Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962) and The Population
Bomb by Paul Ehrlich (1968)
Politics Decade when environmental issues began to become
politicized. Green parties: Political parties focusing primarily on
environmental issues

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Silent Spring

Every once in a while in the history of mankind, a book has


appeared which has substantially altered the course of
history, Senator Ernest Gruening, a Democrat from
Alaska

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Silent Spring

Silent Spring presents a view of nature


compromised by synthetic pesticides, especially
DDT

pesticides entered the biosphere, they not only


killed bugs but also made their way up the food
chain to threaten bird and fish populations and
could eventually sicken children

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Silent Spring

On June 4, 1963, Rachel Carson,


testified before a Senate subcommittee
on pesticides
She was 56 and dying of breast cancer.
Shed already survived a radical
mastectomy
Her pelvis was so riddled with fractures
To hide her baldness, she wore a dark
brown wig.

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Environmentalism and the Global
Crisis

Carried the roots of environmentalism beyond local and national scales to the global
scale.
Transnational dimensions of many environmental problems:
Many environmental problems do not recognize boundaries.
Acid rain in Western Europe (Sweden) and North America.
First UN Conference on the Human Environment:
Stockholm, 1972.
Creation of the UN Environmental Programme.
Rise of the neo-Malthusian perspective
Rising concern over population growth.
Formation of the Club of Rome (1972).
Publication of the Limits to Growth and the formation of ZPG.

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Environmental Retreat (1980s)

Creation of a sustainable development ideology


Carbon Dioxide was found to cause global warming (1983).
A hole in the ozone layer was found over the Antarctic (1985).
Brundtland Report Our Common Future(1987)
Sustainable is used for the first time.
Maintenance of life support systems.
Working to reduce the threats to those systems represented by
erosion, pollution, deforestation, etc.
Preservation of genetic diversity.
Providing us with insurance for the future by guarding against
the ravages of crop diseases.
Investment for future crop-breeding or pharmaceutical
development.
Sustainable development of species and ecosystems

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Environmental Globalism
(1990s)
UN World Conference on Environment and Development
Rio de Janeiro (1992):
Largest such gathering ever (100 heads of state).
Placed the environmental agenda at the center of the world
stage.
Development made possible by the end of the Cold War.
Establish Agenda 21, a blueprint for action.
Europe and Japan
World leaders in environmental affairs.
USA
Role of obstructionist.
Objected to any negative references concerning
consumption patterns in the developed countries.
Had the most to lose.

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Agenda 21(Blueprint for Action)

Commitment to sustainable development through a set of four program


areas.

1) Promoting sustainable development through


trade.
2) Making trade and environment mutually
supportive.
3) Providing adequate financial resources to
developing countries:
4) Encouraging economic policies conducive to
sustainable development

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Environmental Globalism
(1990s)
An important achievement of the summit was an agreement on the Climate
Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol

recognized that CO2 emissions are warming the planet

- stabilize CO2 at "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic


interference with the climate system.

- requires precise and regularly updated inventories of greenhouse gas


emissions from industrialized countries

-"Parties to the Convention agree to develop national programs


to slow climate change; meet at Conference of Parties (COPs)
where binding international treaties (i.e. Kyoto) can be made

- establishes a "framework" document -- something to be amended


or augmented over time

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The Kyoto Protocol - background

1992: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

- places the heaviest burden for fighting climate change on


industrialized nations

- general target: collectively reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2000


(but no mechanisms, enforcement proposed)

- support developing countries climate change activities

- developing countries emissions will grow before they shrink

- developing countries will have largest climate change impacts; work to


mitigate

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Kyoto Protocol

negotiated in 1997
open for signature in 1998
came into force February 16, 2005
160 nations formally adopted the protocol

Developing countries, mainly China and India, objected exempted

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Kyoto Protocol-Highlights

Reduce climate-altering gases ( Carbon dioxide,Methane


,Nitrous oxide,Hydrofluorocarbons ,Perfluorocarbons ,Sulphur
hexafluoride ) by 5.2% below 1990 levels between 2008
and 2012.

Compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by


2010 without the Protocol, this target represents a 29% cut.

National targets range from


8% reductions for the European Union ,
7% for the US
6% for Japan
0% for Russia
permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland.

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Kyoto Protocol-Highlights

PENALTY:
Non-compliant countries will have to reduce emissions by
1.3 units for every unit of emissions overshoot in
subsequent commitment period.

Ex: if your emissions target is 7Gtons per year by 2012,


and you end up at 10Gtons/yr, in the next commitment
period (2013-2020)
will have to reduce by 4Gtons/yr (in addition to any new
targets) to be compliant

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Kyoto Protocol

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Kyoto Protocol

The Protocol defines three "flexibility mechanisms" that can


be used by parties in meeting their emission limitation
commitments
International Emissions Trading (IET)

the Clean Development Mechanism(CDM)

Joint Implementation(JI)

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Kyoto Protocol

International Emissions Trading (IET)

If participant countries continue with emissions above


the targets, then they are required to engage in
emissions trading;

i.e. buying "credits" from other participant countries who


are able to exceed their reduction targets in order to
offset.

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Joint Implementation

Country can invest in an emission reduction project in any


other (Annex I) country as an alternative to reducing
emissions domestically.

In this way countries can lower the costs of complying


with their Kyoto targets by investing in projects that
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an Annex I country
where reducing emissions may be cheaper

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The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Promotes clean development in developing


countries

allows developed countries to invest in


sustainable development projects (excl. nukes)
in developing countries

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Kyoto Protocol

169 countries have ratified the agreement.


Of the signatories, only 2 refused to ratify Kyoto up until
December of 2007 - Australia and the USA.

Note: Aus was allowed an 8% increase in emissions


Australia holds the shameful record for the highest amount of carbon
dioxide emissions per person.
USA, the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in total of any country.
US signed in 1998 (Clinton) but withdrew in in 2001
Reason:
emissions targets arbitrary and not based on science
protocol's binding limits on emissions could harm the U.S. economy
Several big emitter countries, such as China (the number 2 emitter)
and India (number 6) are totally exempted

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Kyoto Protocol

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Kyoto - success or failure?

even before the 2008-2012 (averaging period ), carbon


dioxide levels in the atmosphere were rising at a
frightening rate with no sign of slowing.
Global temperatures are continuing to rise.

The scientific basis behind Kyoto is shaky


Without the USA ratifying the protocol or recently
emerging economic powerhouses such as China
reducing emissions drastically; the targets will likely not
be met.

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ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENTS IN INDIA

BISHNOI MOVEMENT
CHIPKO MOVEMENT
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
SILENT VALLEY MOVEMENT
BALIYAPAL MOVEMENT
PLACHIMADA STRUGGLE

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