The case “Environment Issues” presents how environmental issues have shifted from the margins to obtaining central place on the international agenda. In particular, John Vogler touches the issues of climate change, sustainable development, environment degradation, and the importance of international cooperation. Contemporary world is experiencing environment degradation because of continuing environment pollution and global clime changes. Global warming is the major concern of researchers. Moreover, new forms of transnational pollution appear as, for example, acid rains.
Such problems, as global climate change and thinning of the ozone layers, are truly global in scale.
The author stresses that in the late 19th century environment politics was strictly limited, but since 1960s the issues has gained international concern meaning that environmental problems have acquired transnational and global dimension. The process of environmental protection was stimulated by three UN conferences of 1972, 1992 and 2002 that stressed the importance of international cooperation in fighting global environmental challenges.
The key function of international cooperation is argued to regulate transnational environment problems and to sustain global commons.
In other words, international cooperation doesn’t simply established governance regimes; moreover, it embraces agreements between states concerning the major environment issues. Nonetheless, international cooperation often neglects the pursuit of power and status in their discussion, although international meetings often reflect struggles for national and international advantage.
It means that many organizations are seeking ways to maintain their financial and staff resources and to ensure better place within UN system. The problem is that international cooperation meetings may become just a way to issue declarations aimed at persuading the government and people that something is being done. However, the reality is that environmental conditions are deteriorating and it seems that nothing is done to fight climate change and to decrease air and water pollution. Transboundary trade is related to pollution control.
Thus, the long-term function of international cooperation is to regulate transnational environment problems as animals, water and pollution are crossing frontiers. Joint efforts are promoted by multilateral and regional agreements as it gives an opportunity to manage resources and to control water and air pollution. The most important functions of the state are taxing and promoting trade. Thus, imposing restrictions on international trade may be used as one of instrument of nature conservation. Relations between international trade and environmental deterioration are broader than they are presented in researches.
For example, green activists claim that international trade damages environment, destroys agriculture and encourages environmentally damaging transportation of goods. International cooperation is needed for developing environmental norms and for assisting participation of developing countries. The role of international cooperation is crucial to contemporary world as it provides governance regimes and regulations for the global commons. Further, the author underlines the problem of global climate change, especially the challenge of global warming and ozone layer problem.
Scientists have been long debating over the problems of ozone layer thinning and greenhouse effect, but only in the end of the 20th century international consensus started to monitor the issue. Scientists have failed to come to an agreement whether human-induced changes in mean temperatures have led to global climate changes. Vogler says that greenhouse effect negatively affect the life on the Earth because greenhouse gases are insulating the surface by trapping solar radiation. Industrial revolution has negatively affected environmental.
See, before industrial revolution the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was not more than 280 parts per million, whereas the concentration has significantly grown because of burning of fossil fuels. One more negative consequence is that methane emissions have grown exponentially with the growth of agriculture. Vogler stresses “if nothing is done to curb intensive fossil fuel emissions, there will be a likely rise in mean temperatures of the order of 2. 4-6. 4 grad C by 2099”. (p. 361) Turbulent weather conditions and seal level rise are expected.
The results of climate change are presented as following: melting glaciers, increasing flood risks, reducing water suppliers, declining annual crop yields, rising sea levels, increasing vulnerability of ecosystems, etc. It is argued that the warmer the world gets the faster the climate changes as higher temperatures are associated with increases chances of triggering abrupt and large-scale changes. Climate catastrophe can be avoided in case the temperature increase is held below 2 grades. Moreover, concentration of carbon dioxide should be kept below 550 ppm.
Scientific community fears that the 21st century will be marked by unusual weather patterns, melting of polar ice sheets and stormy events. If not managed, climate change will cause threatening changes in living conditions and will challenge patterns of energy use and its security. Kyoto protocol appeared to be the first step on the long road to preventing further climate change. Kyoto protocol bound most of developed and developing countries to set emission cuts, although some scientists argue that Kyoto protocol is not wholly adequate in terms of global warming problem.
The USA refused to sign the Kyoto protocol and scientists argue it is impossible to proceed without the USA as the country produces more than 25% of carbon dioxide emissions. The Kyoto target may be achieved by 2012, and even this figure remains uncertain. Climate change is characterized by all-embracing nature and is claimed to be rooted in essential human activities. Climate change challenges international environment cooperation. Vogler admits that environmental scientists are interested in identifying conditions under which international environmental cooperation has emerged as a response of environmental challenges.
Of course, the scientists’ arguments differ in their attitudes towards international environmental regime, shared scientific knowledge and impact of non-government actors. Scientists relate environmental changes to armed conflict stressing that traditional thinking about environmental security should be defined in terms of attacks upon the state. Vogler concludes that climate change, especially global warming and greenhouse effect, remains the most painful problem of the 21st century. The rise of environmental issues is associated with globalization, resource depletion, increased consumption levels, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Globalization has contributed developing transnational green policies and intervention programs. International environment tries to respond to climate changes by establishing global environmental governance through international environmental cooperation. Environmental Issues: Opinion I think that environmental issues raised in the paper are very important to contemporary world as environmental conditions are still deteriorating and it seems that nothing is actually done to regulate global warming, greenhouse effect and sea level rise.
When reviewing the issues, Vogler is persuasive and valid as all the arguments are supported with real-life examples, in-depth economic analysis and Vogler cites viewpoints of respectable researchers. Thus, I can say I agree with most of author’s ideas as the problem of global warming and greenhouse effect is shaking the world. Poverty rates are increasing, income in developing and undeveloped countries is decreasing. The situation can be hardly called promising. We see the author combines theoretical research with practical application offering recommendations and strategies to respond to environmental challenges.
Vogler is very persuasive in defending position that international environmental cooperation is the only possible way to develop solutions to increased poverty, global warming, greenhouse gases emissions, unusual weather patters and stormy events. I agree with the author that international cooperation will positively affect society and will show that something is being done to improve the situation. Even the slightest changes in the world’s temperatures will result in dangerous and abrupt changes in world’s well-being and well-being of every human.
Thus, the problem of climate change should be not simply talked about; it should be properly responded and addressed. I think that Vogler’s tendency towards international cooperation is the only effective way to fight global crisis. As far as the crisis is transnational, only global measures should be undertaken to address them. As far as climate change is international, it requires international collective action to make measures driving and effective. In my opinion, climate change management should consider long time horizons, economic risks and uncertainties, possibilities of non-marginal changes, etc.
Nowadays it is necessary to consider physical effects of climate change on environment, economics and human health. Different technologies should aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Economic models should be involved to estimate economic effects of climate change and global warming, as well as to assess efficiency of low-carbon economics. Moreover, global warming results in sudden shifts in weather patterns and may lead to consequences which affect water availability and flooding threatening millions of people in tropical and subtropical regions.
Fighting climate change is an urgent challenge calling for building collective action. It includes shared understanding and requires promoting leadership and trusting with others in collective work. Clear perspective is needed to stabilize and to stop concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Even collective action will hardly be sufficient to meet the desired goals and objectives. Summing up, collective action is needed to reduce negative effects of climate change. Possible steps are cooperation between countries, shared goals and objectives, cooperation between private and public sectors, etc.