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Environmental Policy 220 Lectures 1-3

by: Kiara Notetaker

Environmental Policy 220 Lectures 1-3 ENVS 220

Marketplace > Humboldt State University > Environmental Science > ENVS 220 > Environmental Policy 220 Lectures 1 3
Kiara Notetaker
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Introduction to Environmental Policy; Environmental Values, Political and Environmental Values, Six Stressors, Governments, Politicians and Policy.
Environmental Science INtroduction to Policy
Kathleen Lee
Class Notes
Environmental Policy, values, Government, Politics, Policy, Biases




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kiara Notetaker on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVS 220 at Humboldt State University taught by Kathleen Lee in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Environmental Science INtroduction to Policy in Environmental Science at Humboldt State University.

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Date Created: 01/21/16
Environmental Science 220 st 1 Lecture: Introduction to Environmental Policy; Environmental Values Vocabulary Environment: The combination of external physical conditions that effect the growth and development and survival of an organism. Politics: Art and science of the government. Basically priorities; who get what, when, and how. Policy: Plan or course of action that an entity (government, party) uses to influence decisions and actions. ENVS Policy: Manage human actions on the natural world.  Action today based on future.  Sacrifices NOW for the future –prove?- Anthropogenic: Term given to current period.  “human activities bang to forever alter geologically significant processes and conditions” -Crutzen and Stoermer Status Quo: The way things are now, standards. Eons > Eras > Periods > Epochs Holocene Epoch: Relative stable climate, well oexygenated oceans. Humans have the ability to live almost anywhere, but changes natural system. Humans vs. Nature  Humans are dependent on nature so we have to face the consequences.  Industrial and agricultural revolution change human and natural world balance; fossil fuel, fertilizers, and irrigation.  Nature seems to be under control of humans. (until recently) Limits Population, trees, fish, water, oil and gas, pollution: If limits, what does that mean for modern life??  American way of life: not sustainable.  Cannot have infinite growth in a finite system. Views on Future The Jetsons: Technology will solve all the world’s problems. Tend to support status quo. Mad Max: Dog-eat-dog future, collapse of civilization. Less invested in status quo. Hobbiton: Economic and social collapse but current system will be replaced by a simple lifestyle like in the Hobbit. The Rapture: All problems indicate the end of History is near. Faithful will go to heaven. Appeals to Evangelical Christians. Commoner’s Law of Ecology st 1 Law: Everything is connected to everything else, no species or element is isolated. nd 2 Law: Everything must go somewhere, nothing disappears when it is thrown away. 3 Law: Nature knows best, humans attempts to manage frequently backfire. 4 Law: There is no such thing as a free lunch (Politics), Interactions with nature always carry a cost. Rules of Politics  No such thing as a free lunch  Nothing is a simple as it seems > if it were easy to do it would already have been done.  Everyone is biased.  We are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts. It’s not really true but politicians “feel it in their gut”. Facts and Cognitive Dissonance (a tension or clash resulting from the combination of  two disharmonious or unsuitable elements) US belief: Problems such as pollution, climate change, and resource depletion exists as a liberal position. Outlier: Teddy Roosevelt. Not the case in other countries. Party Identification is the most influential part of people’s environmental views. NOT education,  NOT pay. BIASED. Especially in Congress. Confirmation Bias: Embrace information that confirms our own pre­existing belief. Rejects any  challenges to beliefs. Epistemic Beliefs: Believing we already know the origin and refuse to believe other people’s  opinions. How do we know? Where does the knowledge come from? Origin?  Environmental Science 220 2nd Lecture: Political and Environmental Values, Six Stressors Political Ideologies and Views Libertarians > Freedom Conservationist > Order Liberal > Freedom unless it conflicts with equality Communitarians > Order unless it conflicts with equality  A way of thinking about political issues that a person uses to justify actions and attitude (position) Views of Nature – Schwartz and Thompson “Divided We Stand” Environmental Ideologies – Corbett Way of thinking about nature that is used to justify actions. “Spectrum of Environmental Ideologies” Anthropocentric ----------------------------------------------------------------Ecocentric Unrestrained Instrumentalism Natural world should exist for human use only and shouldn’t be restricted. Conservationalism Wise use, greatest good for greatest number. Preservationism Reason beyond bottom line, benefit beyond monetary value or resources. Ethnic and Value (driven) Non-human entities have values in and of themselves. Humans are members of a biotic community. “Right to exist” Transformative Same as above but looking fo root causes of environmental damage (hierarchy and exploitation). Environmental Values Why should the government intervene? Aesthetical Value Preserve nature because it is beautiful. Ex: John Muir Resource Value (Conservationism) Conserve so that resources will continue to be available. Ex: Gifford Pinchot Recreational Value Maintains natural areas so people can experience the natural world. National Parks. Ex: Steven Mather; encourage golf and amusement. Inherent Value Preserve nature and species because we are just one part of it and we have no right to dominate. Ex: Aldo Leopold Survival Value: Preserve nature because lives depend on it. Can’t exit without the natural world. Ex: James Lovelock * Environmental Policy conflicts are best viewed as conflicts between competing values rather than good and evil. How can we change these views and values?? * Self-interest (economics) is a HUGE part of it. * Although policy positions can change, it is very difficult to get people to change underlying values. Synchronous Failure Many things go wrong at once and the reaction can be huge. Apart, these catastrophic events are fine, but together they are unmanageable. *EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED Environmental Science 220 3rd Lecture: Governments, Politicians and Policy Theories of Democracy Procedural: If you follow democratic procedures you have democratic results.  Problem: Majority rules over minorities. Ex: Jim Crow Laws Substantive: Democratic ends as well as democratic means. Outcome of elections is representative of the people. There are underlying principles; contract with the government.  Problem: Principles must be defined and everyone must agree. Ex: Constitution limits government’s power. Majoritarian Model: Government works best when majority gets what they want.  Problem: Assuming citizens vote and have knowledge. Ex: elections, initiative. Pluralist Model: Government works best when groups with competing interests come together and compromise. Mass electorate through interest groups.  Problem: Assuming a level playing field, focus on policies not political advantage. Ex: Local collaboration for problem solving. The Political and Institutional Setting in the U.S. Environmental laws and regulation are limitations on the power of individuals, companies, and government to:  Extract resources  Manufacture the resources  Dispose of waste from that resource Assumptions: Resources are there to be used. Institutional Bias in the U.S. Government Instrumentalism: Alternative is never considered, or slightly different. Short Term Bias: Event horizon is next election. (events won’t affect next election) Ideological Bias: Forgone assumption in favor of economic growth. Response to Crisis: When we actually see a change in policy.  Why? Attention of media, changes public opinion, government is under pressure.  If action is delayed, media and public may forget. Ex: Civil rights movement, environmental movement. Political Actors: Intergovernmental Legislative and Staff: Committees for appropriation and authorization. Executive Branch: Departments, regulatory agencies (EPA/ regulate). Judicial Branch: Rule on constitutionality of laws and executive action. Political Actors: Extragovernmental Interest groups: Organized body of individuals that share goals and influence policy. Media: Set political agendas. Academics: Research and Identify problems that need addressing, used by interest groups and media. Political Parties: What helps win elections. Social Movements: Minority views seek to convince majority; public opinions. Citizens: Influencing and voting behaviors. Challenges of Environmental Policy  Unaware of costs of policy (dams)  Limiting costs to humans  Not placing value on environment beyond the resource value.  Commodification of the Environment.  Future discounting.  Cost/benefit analysis. Tools Cost Benefit Analysis: Assigning dollar amounts  Advantages: Efficient, objective, transparent/open.  Disadvantages: Doesn’t work well in the environment, doesn’t consider fairness and morals. Ex: What is the sheep worth? Wolf? Should we encourage wolf populations in Yosemite around the local sheep farms? Externalities: Health and environmental impacts, price does not reflect the true cost.  Ex: Coal…money and fuel vs. health and environmental impacts.  Environmental Policy is taking externalities and incorporating them into the policies that hurt the capitalist parties the most. Risk Analysis: Measure relative risk, not an all or nothing approach.  Exception: to ban uses on toxic materials.  Hierarchical view: limiting pollution or resource use.  Seldom possible to take a “zero tolerance” approach. Environmental Accounting: Any evaluation should include non-marketed goods, non-marketed services, and natural capital.  Still runs into challenges of conflicts in views of nature and environmental values. Market Based Policies vs. Command and Control Market Based Policies: Use the market to provide incentives for voluntary compliance.  Types: Tax incentives (solar energy), trading permits, voluntary.  Problems: Continue despite taxes. Command and Control: Government created restriction.  Types: Mandates, emission controls, outright bans.  Problems: People look for ways around it, fines are the cost of business.


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