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Politics, Environment,

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Politics, Environment, & Sustainability Ch. 24 Free enterprise = change and innovations that lead to new tech., products, and opportunities for profit. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Politics, Environment,


1
Politics, Environment, Sustainability
  • Ch. 24

2
The Role of Government in the Transition to More
Sustainable Societies
  • Through its policies, a government can help to
    protect environmental and public interests, and
    to encourage more environmentally sustainable
    economic development.

3
Government Can Serve Environmental and Other
Public Interests
  • Balance between government intervention and free
    enterprise
  • NOT EASY!
  • Government is the best mechanism to deal with
  • Full-cost pricing
  • Market failures
  • The tragedy of the commons

4
How Can Government Serve Environment and Other
Public Interests?
  • Environmental policy laws, regulations, and
    other policy mechanisms conserning environmental
    issues and sustainability

5
Policy Life Cycle
  • 4 stages
  • Recognition
  • Formulation
  • Implementation
  • Control

6
Exclusion of environmentally harmful costs from
market prices
Stepped Art
Fig. 24-2, p. 639
7
Democracy Quick Solutions
  • Democracy Government by the people through
    elected officials representatives
  • United States is a constitutional democracy

8
Democracy Quick Solutions
  • Special-interest groups pressure the government
  • Profit-making organizations
  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Politicians focus on problems with short-term
    effects, not long-term

9
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
10
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 1. The humility principle Understanding of how
    our actions affect nature

11
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 2. The reversibility principle Try not to make a
    decision that cannot be reversed
  • Hazardous toxic waste
  • Nuclear waste
  • Carbon emissions

12
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 3. The net energy principle Do not encourage use
    of technologies with low net energy yields

13
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 4. The precautionary principle Take measure to
    prevent/reduce harm

14
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 5. The preventive principle Prevent a problem or
    prevent making worse

15
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 6. The polluter-pays principle Regulations
    economic tools to ensure that polluters bear the
    cost of dealing with pollutants/waste
  • (full cost pricing)

16
7 Principles Designed to Minimize Environmental
Harm
  • 7. The environmental justice principle
    Environmental policy so that no group of people
    bears an unfair share of the burden.

17
How Is Environmental Policy Made?
  • Involves enacting laws, funding programs, writing
    rules, and enforcing those rules with government
    oversight

18
Environmental law
  • Body of laws and treaties that broadly define
    what is acceptable environmental behavior

19
Developing Environmental Policy Is a
Controversial Process
  • Funding needed
  • Regulations and rules needed to implement the law
  • Policy important role of environmental
    regulatory agencies
  • Regulated businesses try to have their members
    appointed to regulatory agency

20
How Democratic Government Works The U.S. Model
21
Laws
Legislative branch
Executive branch
Courts
Lobbyists
Regulators
Lobbyists
Public hearing
Civil suits
Environmental organizations
Corporations and small businesses
Patronize or boycott
Membership support
Individuals
Purchase recyclable, recycled, and
environmentally safe products
Walk, ride a bike, or use a carpool or mass
transit
Reuse and recycle various items
Plant an organic garden
Donate clothes and used goods to charities
Use water, energy, and other resources
efficiently
Fig. 24-3, p. 642
22
Major Environmental Laws and Amended Versions
Enacted in the U.S. Since 1969
NO major new environmental laws have been passed
since the 1970s!!!!!
  • Major Types of Environmental Laws in US
  • Set standards for pollution levels
  • Screens new substances
  • Encourages resource conservation
  • Sets aside or protects certain species,
    resources, and ecosystems
  • Requires evaluation of the environmental impact

Fig. 24-4, p. 643
23
Environmental Lawsuits Are Difficult to Win
  1. Legal standing has the plaintiff suffered health
    or financial problems?
  2. Very expensive
  3. Public interest law firms usually cant recover
    attorneys fees
  4. Have you been harmed and did the company cause
    the harm?

24
Environmental Lawsuits Are Difficult to Win
  • Statutes of limitation
  • Appeals years to settle
  • Strategic lawsuits against public participation
    (SLAPPs)
  • Major reforms are needed

25
Science VS Politics
  • Science
  • Politics
  • Any scientific claim must be based on hard
    evidence and be subject to peer review
  • Scientists can never establish absolute truth
  • Scientists vigorously debate the validity of
    scientific research
  • Science advances through open sharing and peer
    review of research methods, results, and
    conclusions
  • Politicians are most concerned with getting
    reelected
  • Disregard scientific evidence, or pick and choose
    facts to support a political position
  • Personal attacks versus discussion of facts
  • Spread of disinformation in media/online

26
Who opposes U.S. environmental laws?
  • Some corporate leaders and other powerful people
  • Some citizens who see threats to private property
    rights
  • Some state and local officials who dont like
    being forced to implement federal laws and
    regulations

27
Why the opposition?
  • - Environmental issues not as easy to see now
  • - Environmentalists as bearers of bad news

28
What Are the Major Roles of Environmental Groups?
  • Grassroots groups are growing and combining their
    efforts with those of large environmental
    organizations in a global sustainability
    movement.

29
Student Pressure on Campuses to Carry Out
Environmental Audits
  • Gather data on practices that affect the
    environment
  • Propose changes

30
Science Focus Greening American Campuses
  • Accomplishments of environmental audits by
    students at American colleges and universities
  • Specific examples
  • Oberlin College, OH nations greenest college
  • Northland College, WI green residence hall
  • Buying local and organic food
  • Producing renewable energy

31
Ecofriendly Environmental Living and Learning
Center, Northland College, Wisconsin
Fig. 24-11, p. 654
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