Environment

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  • Created by: Becca96
  • Created on: 15-06-15 15:38
When did the environment first become a political issue?
The 19th century, when there was a backlash against Western industrialisation.
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When did the environment become a prominent political issue and what was this growth in importance characterised by?
The 1970s and 1980s. Characterised by growth of activists and NGOs such as Greenpeace.
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What did environmental politics focus on in the 1970s? What reinforced this concern?
Resource problems. Reinforced by oil crisis of 1973.
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What three environmental ideas emerged in the 1980s?
'Green parties'. Links drawn between globalisation and environmental degradation. 'Sustainable development' promoted.
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What did environmental politics focus on in the 1990s?
Climate change, brought about by greenhouse gas release and ozone depletion due to CFCs.
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Give five ways in which the environment can be considered a global issue.
Ozone-depleting impact of CFCs impacts globally.Enviro probs such as acid rain transcend borders.Exploitation of global commons affects shared resources.Exploitation on local level globally common.Exploitation links to wider pol/socioecon processes
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What are resource problems?
Depletion of non-renewable natural resources.
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Give three ways in which attempts are made to manage resource problems.
Reducing use of non-renewable energy sources, increasing use of renewable energy sources, controlling population growth to limit consumption.
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What proportion of world energy consumption do fossil fuels account for?
95%
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What are sink problems?
Contribution of unwanted pollutants into the environment.
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Give three ways in which attempts are made to manage sink problems.
Reducing pollution levels, recycling waste and developing greener technologies.
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Give an example of a sink problem.
Carbon dioxide which allows short-wavelength solar radiation in but reflects long-wavelength heat radiation back into atmosphere.
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What are ethical problems?
Concern attempts to restore the balance between nature and humankind.
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Give three ways in which attempts are made to manage ethical problems.
Wildlife/wilderness conservation, animal welfare and changed agricultural practices.
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What is ecologism?
The idea of an intrinsic relationship between humankind and nature. Nature is an interconnected whole, and therefore human society is intimately connected to the natural world.
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When did ecologism become recognised as a political ideology in its own right?
1970s.
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What is 'shallow ecology'?
Green ideological perspective that applies lessons of ecology to human needs and ends.
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What two concepts is shallow ecology associated with?
Conservation and sustainability.
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What is 'deep ecology'?
Green ideological perspective that rejects anthropocentrism and gives priority to the maintenance of nature.
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What three values is deep ecology associated with?
Ecocentrism, diversity and decentralisation.
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What do deep ecologists believe humans should accept and be happy about?
Should accept a lower standard of living and be happy with 'being' rather than 'having'.
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Give three features of modernist ecology.
Seeks to reconcile principles of ecology with features of capitalist modernity. Recognises that ultimately environmental degradation will harm prosperity; 'get richer slower'. Encourages appreciation of 'higher' pleasures (e.g. nature).
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Give four features of social ecology.
Ecological principles applied to social organisation. Eco-socialism: capitalism is enemy of nature. Eco-anarchism: Decentralisation will lead to balance of nature. Eco-feminism: Domination over women is domination over nature.
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What is the 'tragedy of the commons'?
The idea that environmental vulnerability arises from people having open access to collective resources, because it encourages them to act in a rational, self-interested way. Causes resource depletion - self-defeating.
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What is the free-rider problem?
A rational strategy as each actor attempts to 'pay' as little as possible individually to take as much advantage as possible of a resource. Thus, states are unwilling to participate in non-binding targets, so binding targets are set lower than needed
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What do liberals believe is the solution to the tragedy of the commons?
To abolish common resources and extend property rights/privatise land.
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What do socialists and anarchists believe about the tragedy of the commons?
They reject the tragedy of the commons as they have a positive view of human nature and don't believe that humans act in a self-interested way.
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What do ecosocialists believe about the tragedy of the commons?
That selfish use of resources is the result of exploitation and that common ownership promotes respect for the environment.
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What are the three possible responses to the tragedy of the commons?
'Exploit and move on'. Privatisation. Norms, rules and regulations.
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Who typically uses the 'exploit and move on' technique and why is it unsustainable?
Agricultural communities. Unsustainable as the environment cannot recover so there are fewer places to move on to.
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Why is privatisation difficult to enforce?
Difficult to enforce in resources such as seas which transcend borders.
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Why have EU rules and regulations been ineffective?
Based on political negotiation as opposed to scientific evidence. Have therefore done little to address problems such as sustainable fishing where states are reluctant to comply.
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Give five features of reformist ecology.
'Shallow'/'modernist'. Recognises limits to growth; 'get rich slower'. Belief in utilitarianism - human happiness prioritised (anthropocentric). Focuses on methods such as cutting use of finite resources. Promotes sustainable dev.
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Give three reformist solutions to environmental degradation.
'Market ecologism'/'green capitalism' (e.g. green taxes). Human ingenuity and development of green technologies (capacity for invention shown by Industrial Rev. can be repeated). International regulation through global governance.
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Give four features of radical ecology.
'Deep' ecology. Dismisses reformist ecology as it promotes anthropocentrism - prefer ecocentrism. View capitalist modernity as root cause of environmental degradation. Solution lies in 'zero-growth' and 'post-industrial age'.
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What do radical ecologists believe society should reject and accept instead?
Reject modern technology, instead existing in small rural communities relying on craft skills.
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What four events between 2003-2007 caused climate change to become a serious concern?
A string of warm years. Massive melting of ice caps. High oil prices. Devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
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What prediction is made by scientists regarding global temperature increases?
Global temperatures will rise by 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
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Why do climate change sceptics question the link between global warming and human activity?
Emphasise the natural variability of the Earth's climate.
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Give an example of politicians exploiting disagreement over global warming in order to take minimal action.
The Bush administration (2001-2009).
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Name four greenhouse gases.
Carbon dioxide. CFCs (chloroflourocarbons). Methane gas. Nitrous oxide.
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Why is reducing the 'greenhouse effect' through curbing economic growth difficult?
Increased employment, lower personal consumption, and reduced corporate profits (which may result in labour exploitation).
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What is the 'triple dilemma' of global warming? (Three points)
Short term, predictable costs with long term, less predictable benefits. Specific groups pay costs (e.g. oil companies, workers) whereas everyone benefits. Collective goods dilemma - costs extracted from individual states, but benefits felt globally.
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Name a prominent climate change organisation that has produced important reports in relation to the progress of climate change.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
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What four things did the IPPC's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report note about weather changes in the last 50 years?
Very likely that cold days/nights have become less frequent, whereas hot days/night more frequent. Likely that heat waves more common. Likely that frequency of heavy precipitation has increased. Likely that incidence of extreme high sea levels incr.
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What two things did the IPPC's 2014 Fifth Assessment Report note?
1983-2013 was the warmest 30-year period for 1400 years. Sea level rise since the middle of the 19th century has been larger than the mean sea level rise of the prior two millennia.
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What has been the trend in Atlantic hurricane activities since the mid-1990s?
Increased by 40%.
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What is likely to happen to Bangladesh if current rates of sea level rise continue?
1/6 of Bangladesh's land area could be lost by 2050, leaving 13% of the population with nowhere to live or farm.
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What is mitigation?
Moderating or reducing the impact of something; in particular, reducing carbon emissions to limit climate change.
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Give three examples of mitigation.
Use of nuclear power. Use of renewable energy sources. Use of energy-efficient vehicles.
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What is adaptation?
Changing in the light of new circumstances; learning to live with climate change.
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Give two examples of adaptation.
Improving sea walls and storm surge barriers. Improving climate sensitive disease surveillance and control.
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What are the four main obstacles to international cooperation against climate change?
Conflict between collective goods and national interests. Tensions between developed and developing states. Economic obstacles. Ideological obstacles.W
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Explain the problem of conflict between collective goods and national interests.
The fact that tackling global warming imposes costs on individual states whilst having universal benefits encourages states to 'pay' as little as possible to enjoy the benefits of a healthier environment - 'free rider' problem. Targets weakened.
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Why are more economically developed states the most reluctant to make an effort to manage climate change?
Costs are greater - extensive industrial infrastructure etc.
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Why does democracy potentially pose a threat to the management of climate change?
Party competition tends to be orientated around rival claims about the ability to deliver growth and prosperity.
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Give three reasons the South is resentful towards the North in terms of managing climate change.
Outsourcing means 1/3 of emissions associated with developed world consumption are emitted outside their borders. North has been able to benefit from exploiting resources. South disproportionately affected by climate change, not v capable of managing
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How should global targets be structured from the Southern perspective?
Should either not be imposed on developing countries (as at Kyoto) or should at least take account of historic responsibilities and impose heavier burdens on developed countries.
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Give two arguments made by the North against favouring the South when structuring global targets.
The damaging actions of the North were carried out when the consequences were unknown; targets should focus on current emissions. Growing importance of NICs means developing world must play a significant role.
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Why do radical ecologists blame economic and ideological factors for lack of management of climate change?
The capitalist system has anti-ecological tendencies. Businesses drawn towards cheapest, most easily available energy source-fossil fuels. Short term profitability prioritised. Materialist values dominate human society who seek rising living standard
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Describe the success of CFC management.
Montreal Protocol of 1987 led to CFCs being reduced from the mid-1990s onwards, with a view to being completely phased out by 2030, allowing the ozone layer to completely recover by 2050.
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Why can climate change not be managed in the same way as CFCs?
The origins of climate change lie not in the use of a particular substance or practice but, arguably, in the process of industrialisation itself.
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When was the IPCC established and what happened in 2007?
Established in 1988. Shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.
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What is the UN international treaty that acknowledges the possibility of harmful climate change?
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
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What happened in 1992 and how many states were represented?
Rio Earth Summit. 150 states represented.
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When was the Kyoto Protocol established?
1997.
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Why was the Kyoto Protocol so significant?
Set binding targets for developed states to limit or reduce emissions by 2012.
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What were the respective targets for the USA and EU?
Reductions of 8% and 7% respectively.
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What were the Kyoto Protocol targets accompanied by?
A 'cap and trade' mechanism which allowed emissions trading.
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Give three strengths of the Kyoto Protocol.
Introduced first binding targets on greenhouse gases. Targets applied to developed states, preparing the way for later participation of developing states. Allowed emissions trading, promoting idea of carbon as a commodity and allowing flexibility.
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Give three limitations of the Kyoto Protocol.
Targets set were inadequate in reaching goals. USA failed to ratify, setting back progress by over a decade. Restricting targets to developed states compromised it - USA used exclusion of China and India as an excuse not to participate, and China's emissi
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When was the Copenhagen conference?
2009
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What was the purpose of the conference?
To develop a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
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How many countries participated in the Copenhagen conference?
163
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Give three key outcomes of the Copenhagen conference.
Pledge to prevent global temp. rises of more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. North to provide $30 billion 2010-2012 to help South to cut emissions/adapt. By 2020 South to receive $100 billion a year from North (half will be from private companies).
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Give three limitations of the Copenhagen conference.
Failed to create ANY legally binding OR non-legally binding targets on cutting emissions. Vagueness surrounds where funds to help developing countries will come form. Exploited by emerging powers as a way to demonstrate growing influence.
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Give three strengths of the Copenhagen conference.
Showed USA policy had shifted- Obama proposed to cut US emissions by 4% on 1990 levels by 2020. Kyoto did not involve developing countries, Copenhagen did. Should not be judged on specific achievements but in terms of preparing for future action.
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When was the Durban conference and what was its purpose?
2011. Purpose was to establish a new treaty to limit carbon emissions.
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Give two examples of progress that took place at the Durban conference.
It was decided that specifics of a legally binding treaty would be decided by 2015 and take effect in 2020. A Green Climate Fund was also set up, which will give $100 billion to the South annually to help adaptation.
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Where will the 2015 conference take place?
Paris.
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Give four reformist solutions to climate change.
Modest greenhouse gas emission targets. Allowing for economic growth through 'green capitalism'. Developing 'green technology' to create a carbon-neutral economy. Promoting green market solutions such as emissions trading.
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Give four radical solutions to climate change.
Major greenhouse gas emissions targets. Rejection of 'industrialism', restructuring of economy. Tackling of materialism and consumerism. Anti-globalisation - the formation of a 'pre-industrial society'.
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Card 2

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When did the environment become a prominent political issue and what was this growth in importance characterised by?

Back

The 1970s and 1980s. Characterised by growth of activists and NGOs such as Greenpeace.

Card 3

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What did environmental politics focus on in the 1970s? What reinforced this concern?

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Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What three environmental ideas emerged in the 1980s?

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Card 5

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What did environmental politics focus on in the 1990s?

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