Author profile: Rodger A Payne

Rodger A Payne

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Hurricane Sandy: a Climate Change 9/11 for IR Scholars?

Hurricane Sandy: a Climate Change 9/11 for IR Scholars?

Many discussions of global environmental politics eventually get around to this question: should analysts or activists employ doom-and-gloom language to scare people into action?

Making Sausage

Making Sausage

IR scholars rarely have access to real-time “insider” data on climate summits, though it is telling that virtually all of the world leaders make claims that we would have expected.

Climate Change and Godwin’s Law

Climate Change and Godwin’s Law

The Heartland Institute placed the above billboard along the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago this past week. For $200, they bought a lot of publicity for climate change skeptics.

To Santorum et al: What would Reagan do?

To Santorum et al: What would Reagan do?

A group of self-proclaimed climate conservatives operates a website positing what Reagan would do about climate change, making for interesting reading.

The US is Not a Climate Outlaw?

n all, the US record on climate change is very far from perfect. On the other hand, imperfect states are not generally viewed as outlaws. The US has long been engaged with the international community on climate negotiations, it has been reducing emissions growth for more than a decade, and has pursued a number of domestic policy initiatives.

Is the US a Climate Outlaw?

Is the US a Climate Outlaw?

With less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. manages to emit nearly 20% of greenhouse gases. While Barack Obama’s election seemed promising to many environmentalists, it seems clear nearly 3 years into his term that the real U.S. position on climate matters is not all that much better.

Scaling down climate action

Scaling down climate action

International climate negotiators have sought a top-down “grand solution” to climate change that is not easily attained, for all kinds of reasons. Indeed, over the past few weeks, several actors have taken promising steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These have not exactly been below the radar, but they do suggest that more-and-more groups recognize the need for diverse kinds of climate action.

China and the Green Energy Future

China and the Green Energy Future

While environmentalists are rightly very worried about the effects of mining and burning the world’s remaining coal reserves, many are now just as concerned in the post-Fukushima world about the safety of nuclear energy. Prior to this year, nuclear power was increasingly viewed as the most feasible near-term alternative to coal-fired electricity.

Protestant Doubt about Climate Change

Last week, in his regular religion column for the Louisville Courier Journal, journalist Peter Smith discussed the results of a recent survey about climate change. As per usual in the U.S. context, the survey asked whether particular people believed in global warming — as if the science on this question was not largely settled.

American Doubt

Many Americans doubt climate change science. Consider the results of a poll released in October by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The poll, called Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change, conducted from June 24 – July 22, surveyed over 2000 Americans about “how the climate system works, and the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming.”

Wikileaks and climate diplomacy

The Guardian website has a portal that allows users to search the Wikileaks database for particular US embassy cables regarding issue areas or specific countries. A search for “climate change” turns up 14 cables — and 4 recent Guardian stories about those particular cables.

Hot times?

This blog went silent again for a few months and I’m very sorry about that. I taught International Security this term and spent a lot of time thinking about the war in Afghanistan and the prospects of Iranian proliferation. And not much time thinking about climate change politics.

A Green Dictator?

International relations scholars are self-described pessimists — at least the realists among us speak in this way. However, it would appear IR realists are not alone, at least on the question of international cooperation on climate change.

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