CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Earth Day - Essential Resources from the Carnegie Council. Illustration by Dennis Doyle Illustration by Dennis Doyle

To mark Earth Day, we present this selection of Carnegie Council resources. They address ways to cope with the alarming changes brought about by climate change and the increasing degradation of our environment. 

In all likelihood, some island nations and endangered species are already doomed. Yet our contributors believe that it's still not too late for the planet as a whole. From discussions at the international level to local projects, some progress has been made, and there are plenty of good ideas.  But time is running out.


WE SHALL OVERCOME—IF WE ACT NOW

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must—and How We Can—Manage Nature for Global Prosperity
Paul Collier, Oxford University
What are realistic and sustainable solutions to correcting the mismanagement of the natural world?

The Global Deal: Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity
Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics
Renowned economist Lord Nicholas Stern estimates that it will cost only about 2 percent of global GDP to control climate change at manageable levels by 2050. But we cannot delay. The cost of inaction is far greater and more perilous. (Public Affairs Program, May 2009. Video, audio, transcript)

Confronting Climate Change
Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University
Michael Oppenheimer explains climate change and discusses ways to deal with this mounting crisis. A self-described optimist, he believes that we can change our behavior and prevent complete catastrophe.
(Public Affairs Program, May 2007. Audio, transcript)


INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND POLICIES

CLIMATE CHANGE

The Climate Change Negotiations in Copenhagen
Darrel Moellendorf, San Diego State University
Moellendorf discusses what happened in Copenhagen and what it means for future negotiations on climate change. (Ethics & International Affairs Journal interview, March 2010. Audio, transcript)

U.S.-China Climate Change Leadership: Five Ideas for a Common Agenda
The Carnegie Council (USA) and the China Reform Forum (PRC) propose five business-oriented steps their nations could take together to combat climate change while meeting energy needs.
(Announcement, September 2009)

Treaty Norms and Climate Change Mitigation
Darrel Moellendorf, San Diego State University
UNFCCC norms constrain the range of acceptable agreements for the distribution of burdens to mitigate climate change. Therefore any legitimate treaty must put much heavier mitigation burdens on industrialized countries. Of the various proposals, two in particular stand out.
(Ethics & International Affairs article, Fall 2009)

PROTECTING ECOSYSTEMS

Justice and the Convention on Biological Diversity
Doris Schroeder, University of Central Lancashire; Thomas Pogge, Yale University
By legislating for a system of justice-in-exchange covering nonhuman biological resources in preference to a free-for-all situation, the Convention on Biological Diversity provides a small step forward in redressing the distributive justice balance. (Ethics & International Affairs article [Abstract online], Fall 2009)

Ecological Intervention: Prospects and Limits
Robyn Eckersley, University of Melbourne
In this groundbreaking article, Eckersley extends the already controversial debate about humanitarian intervention by exploring the morality, legality, and legitimacy of ecological intervention and its corollary, ecological defense. (Ethics & International Affairs article, Fall 2007)

See also the accompanying online symposium.

ANTARCTICA

Can Antarctica Be Preserved?
Janet Belkin, Berkeley College, NY
Antarctica is unique in that it has no governing body, no electorate (or citizens), and no permanent human inhabitants. One of the greatest ethical dilemmas currently facing the nations of the world is how and to what extent mankind should regulate this vast region. (Carnegie Ethics Online article, January 2008)


THE CHANGING SECURITY LANDSCAPE

Environmental Security
Simon Dalby, Carleton University
"Peace-building is literally about building now," says Dalby. "It's about constructing buildings that don't need large quantities of energy, both because of climate change and so that they are not dependent on supplies from the other side of the planet." (Ethics & International Affairs interview, February 2009. Video, audio, transcript)

Climate Change and New Security Issues
H.E. Dr. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland
H.E. Dr. Grimsson discusses how Iceland has successfully reduced its use of oil and coal, and how the fate of nations large and small is being affected by climate change.
(Public Affairs Program, April 2008. Video, audio, transcript)


WHO PAYS?

You Do It and You Clean It Up
Evan O'Neil, Carnegie Council
Two primary questions impede international climate negotiations: Whose responsibility is it to act first? And, whose carbon is it? (Lesson plan August 2009, including resources and discussion questions)

The Common Tragedy of Consumerism
Evan O'Neil, Carnegie Council
Should the costs of mitigating carbon emissions and moving to a sustainable economy be borne by consumers directly, or passed on to them through the supply chain by the companies and retailers with which they do business? (Lesson plan August 2009, including resources and discussion questions)

The Cost of Climate Change
William Vocke, Carnegie Council
Is climate change a common public burden, or should individuals make their own choices? Do modernized countries have an obligation to developing countries?
(Global Ethics Corner, December 2009. Two-minute multimedia segment)


WATER

Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Steven Solomon, Author and Journalist
Everything hinges on water; it is essential to life and to civilization. Will there be enough fresh water for 9 billion of us by 2050? (Public Affairs Program, April 2010. Video, audio transcript)

Oceans, Garbage, and Food
Evan O'Neil, Carnegie Council
Can we regulate international space like the oceans? Pollution and illegal or unregulated fishing plague international waters. How can the problem be managed to maintain the health and beauty of our seas? (Global Ethics Corner, September 2009. Two-minute multimedia segment)

Security and Scarcity, the Two-headed Problem of Asian Hydropolitics
Saleem H. Ali, University of Vermont
With the Tibetan plateau serving as a "third pole" of available water, and the rift widening between China and the Dalai Lama's government in exile, it is high time that innovative strategies be considered for conflict resolution and water scarcity in Asia. (Global Policy Innovations article, July 2009)

Managing Water Well
Christina L. Madden, Carnegie Council Contributor
The economic stimulus bill signed by President Obama includes billions for water projects in the United States, but this is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the need for global water management. (Global Policy Innovations article, February 2009)


WHEN YOUR ISLAND SINKS

"We Will Not Die Quietly"
Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives
"We gather in this hall today as some of the most climate-vulnerable nations on Earth. We are vulnerable because climate change threatens to hit us first; and hit us hardest. And we are vulnerable because we have modest means with which to protect ourselves from the coming disaster." (Global Policy Innovations, November 2009. Transcript)

When Your Island Sinks
Christina L. Madden, Carnegie Council Contributor
By 2050 some estimate that climate change will displace 150 million people, but the displaced won't qualify as refugees under international law. What should be done about relocation? (Global Ethics Corner, October, 2009. Two-minute multimedia segment)

The Right to Relocation: Disappearing Island Nations and Common Ownership of the Earth
Mathias Risse, Harvard University
Risse is concerned with humanity's common ownership of the earth, which has implications for a range of global problems. In particular, it helps illuminate the moral claims to international aid of small island nations whose existence is threatened by global climate change—such as Kiribati. (Ethics & International Affairs article, abstract online, Fall 2009)


INNOVATIONS

A Permaculture Strategy for Port-au-Prince
Geoff Lawton, Permaculture Research Institute; Evan O'Neil, Carnegie Council
Lawton discusses how to deploy sustainable local food production across Haiti as part of earthquake relief and long-term recovery.
(Global Policy Innovations Interview, February 2010. Transcript)

Taking the Waves
Andrew Macdonald, Islay Energy Trust; Evan O'Neil, Carnegie Council
An innovative tidal power installation off the coast of Scotland could help demonstrate the ocean's potential for delivering renewable energy.
(Global Policy Innovations Interview, February 2010. Transcript)

Building Sustainability for PlaNYC
Betty Cremmins, Carbon Disclosure Project
If New York's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan becomes law this week it will be a significant step toward urban environmental sustainability. Can these policies be adopted in cities around the world? Global Policy Innovations article, December 2009)


BUSINESS

Green Jobs
A panel including Peter Poschen, International Labour Organization and Michael Renner, Worldwatch Institute, discuss the new report "Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World." (Global Policy Innovations, September 2008. Video, audio, transcript)

Good Energies
Richard Kauffman, Good Energies; Julia Kennedy, Carnegie Council
Good Energies invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency firms at all stages of development. It has more than $2 billion invested in solar and wind assets.
(Ethics in Business Interview Series, September 2009. Audio, transcript)

Tracking Down Carbon Emissions
Sujeesh Krishnan and Euan Murray, Carbon Trust; Julia Kennedy, Carnegie Council
Julia Kennedy talks to Carbon Trust staff about the journey to discover the biggest sources of emissions for businesses, and finds that sometimes the answers are not what you might expect. (Ethics in Business Interview Series, June 2009. Audio, transcript)

Responsible Profit: Climate Change and the Green Economy
Short summary of conference, with links to audios from the event. (Workshop for Ethics in Business, November 2007)

Read More: Environment, Business, Climate Change, Environment/Sustainable Development, Global

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