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CU DENVER / Environmental Studies / ENVS 1042 / What is the definition of lobbying?

What is the definition of lobbying?

What is the definition of lobbying?


School: University of Colorado Denver
Department: Environmental Studies
Course: Intro to Environmental Science
Professor: Daniel litzpin
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Environmental Studies, Introduction to Environmental Studies, and sustainability
Cost: 25
Name: Week 2: Environmental Policy
Description: This document includes lecture/textbook notes from the chapter of the textbook titled, "Environmental Policy," which will be covered on Exam 1.
Uploaded: 02/12/2017
5 Pages 107 Views 3 Unlocks

Environmental Policy

What is the definition of lobbying?


1. The Characteristics of Environmental Systems

● A complex system - exhibit responses that are not easily understood or easily predicted ○ Emergent property - a response that arises from the behavior of a system as a whole rather than from a predictable combination of individual pieces

■ Includes responses of ecosystems to major events

● Exhibit nonlinear changes, meaning that their changes are not

directly proportional to the change

2. Feedback Loops

● Positive feedback loop - a cycle that occurs when part of a system responds to a change in a way that accelerates or amplifies the change

○ Example - during a drought, vegetation covers declines. The resulting area of bare ground are prone to soil loss due to winds, and the loss of soil leads to further vegetation loss

What is the law that focuses on the conservation of plants/animals at risk of extinction and the preservation of their habitat?

● Negative feedback loop - a cycle that occurs when part of a system responds to a chance in a way that slows or reverses the change We also discuss several other topics like What instrument has carved horse head at top, long necked bowed fiddle and accompanies mongolian throat singing?

○ Example - drought causes a decline in some in some types of vegetation, reducing the competition for resources such as nutrients and the remaining water, so the drought-tolerant vegetation grows more quickly

3. Scientific Uncertainty

○ Scientific uncertainty - the lack of predictability in the outcome of a specific process or set of processes

○ Probability - the statistical likelihood that something will occur

4. The Language of Science

○ Data - the information sets that come from observations or measurements i. Qualitative and quantitative, both which are used in environmental studies ii. Graphs that consists of dependent and independent variables

What year was the national environmental protection act (nepa) passed?

5. Environmental Policy

Policy - a principle, rule, or set of guidelines to guide decisions under specific circumstances

○ Environmental policy - includes the rules, principles, and guidelines focused on human's’ relationships with the environment

○ Decision process framework -

i. Develop initial policy options We also discuss several other topics like What are arms sanctions?

ii. Revise policy options

iii. Plan and predict outcomes of policies

iv. Debate potential impacts of policies and obtain stakeholder input

v. Set rules or guidelines

vi. Enforce rules

vii. Resolve disputes

viii. Evaluate success

ix. Repeat if needed


1. Stakeholders - those who will be affected by the decision If you want to learn more check out What is the energy caused by elevation in a gravity field?

2. Community’s opinion is considered when policy is made

○ Risk

i. High risk - high threat, high consideration

ii. Medium risk - low probability, high severity

iii. Low risk - low threat, low consideration

6. Types of Environmental Policy

○ Administrative law - governs the actions of the various government agencies and the entities that operate under these agencies

i. Ex. Oil drilling on the Gulf of Mexico is regulated by the U.S. Department of Interior

○ Criminal law - addresses individual activities that cause harm to other individuals and breaks specific laws passed by federal or state governments

i. Deepwater Horizon Disaster, 11 rig workers died; supervisors are facing manslaughter charges

○ Civil law - governs relationships between individuals and between individuals and private institutions We also discuss several other topics like What are the main characteristics of living things?

i. After the Deepwater Horizon Spill, local people lost income due to their inability to fish and the decline in tourism. By filing a civil lawsuit, people or companies affected by an action can seek to be compensated for their losses We also discuss several other topics like How is the interaction described among the elements and principles of design that creates an aesthetic result?
Don't forget about the age old question of What are the components of innate immunity?

○ Taxes

i. Provide an income stream that sustains government functions.

ii. They provide a mechanism with which to encourage or discourage certain behaviors

1. For example, a tax credit is given to companies that use clean

energy from wind -- encouraging certain behavior

2. For example, increasing gas prices for larger, less environmentally friendly cars -- discouraging certain behavior

○ The Market in Environmental Policy

i. Free market - a system by which buyers and sellers exchange

goods/services and in which prices and wages are determined through competition among private businesses

ii. Cap and trade - a powerful approach to reducing pollution in our

atmosphere. It's our best shot, environmentally and economically, for

curbing emissions that drive global warming. The cap on greenhouse gas emissions is a limit backed by science.

1. Clean Air Act of 1990

○ Voluntary Decisions in Environmental Policy

i. Advertising, labeling, etc. encourage voluntary decisions for bettering the environment such as using recycled paper towels

ii. Businesses using wind/solar powered energy

1. All of these are up to the individual; could have no affect on overall sustainability

7. The Feds and Environmental Policy

i. Legislative Branch - Congress proposed law through a bill, bill is voted on, sent to president, he/she passes or vetoes (or ⅔ majority of House and Senate can pass it)

ii. Executive Branch - responsible for enforcing environmental laws; a law may be translated into regulations (must offer a balance between interest of business and environmental/human concerns

1. Departments that run different things (ex. Department of Labor)

iii. Judicial Branch - responsible for deciding which laws are just and which are not

8. U.S Federal Environmental Laws

○ National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) 

i. Passed in 1970

ii. Administered by the Council of Environmental Quality, mandates that all decisions regarding projects involving the expenditure of federal funds or permits issued by a federal agency are made with full consideration of their impact on the natural environment

iii. Most powerful/wide-reaching

○ Environmental Assessment (EA) 

i. Used by a federal agency to determine whether an activity is likely to have significant environmental impacts

○ Environmental Impact Statements 

i. A document that provides a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of a proposed action, alternative approaches that could be used, and the implications of taking no action at all

ii. Once this info is gathered, it is released to the public

9. Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

○ Clean Air Act 

i. Specifies maximum acceptable concentrations of airborne pollutants allowed in an area

○ Clean Water Act 

i. Established maximum contaminant levels for freshwater bodies

ii. Requires a permit to release contaminants into water through pipes or ditches

10. Human Health and Safety Federal Laws

○ Food Safety Modernization Act

i. Attempt to prevent outbreak of disease by improving the monitoring of food production facilities

11. Endangered Species

○ Engendered Species Act 

i. Law that focuses on the conservation of plants/animals at risk of extinction and the preservation of their habitat

ii. Threatened Species are those at risk of extinction

iii. Illegal to kill any animal/plant on this list

12. State and Local Environmental Policy

○ States are required to meet federal standards

○ States can pass laws that are stricter than federal laws

○ Must satisfy local building codes

○ Planning for vehicle and bike traffic

○ Use of renewable/alternative energy

13. Corporations and Non Government Organization in U.S. Environmental Policy ○ Lobbying - process in which special interest groups attempt to influence the decisions of a public official or politician

○ Elections are influential in environmental policy

○ Corporations seek to influence public opinion through direct advertising ○ Non Governmental Organizations - nonprofit groups that are involved in the development of national and international policies (ex. The Sierra Club) i. Other methods include conserving land, forming partnerships, etc. 14. International Environmental Policy

○ Treaty 

i. formal agreement between two or more counties

ii. Bilateral - between two counties

iii. Multilateral - between more than two countries

○ Once the treaty is signed, it then must be implemented and enforced ○ Antarctic Treaty 

i. 1961

ii. International agreement that states Antarctica shall only be used for scientific purposes

○ Montreal Protocol 

i. International treaty that established a process to end the use of chemical compounds responsible for the destruction of the ozone

○ Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) i. 1975

ii. Treaty governing the worldwide trade in endangered and threatened species

○ Kyoto Protocol 

i. Aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases responsible for human-caused climate change

○ Paris Agreement

i. Commits counties to reducinggreenhousegas emissions inorderto limit climatewarmingto2.0degrees C

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