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