The Combined Arms Strategy to Fighting Climate Change

As we come closer to the time when we will need to replace the Kyoto Protocols, the debate circulates about how and what should replace these protocols. The answer could be found in combining multiple view points.

According to David Shore, the protocols should not be replaced with another binding treaty, but with a shaming and peer pressuring system he calls the MRV mechanism, or measurement, reporting, verification. He also successfully argues that this system is more effective for motivating countries to act of climate change.

However, he does also denounce the opinions, such as the ones similar to Gelman’s argument that domestic initiatives are the main answer for seeing successful climate change results. There is merit in believing that Domestic initiatives can help make a dent in climate change, but that is all it can do, help.

In order to see real results there needs to be a collective effort across the board. What is needed is grass roots domestic initiatives that produce local outcomes for producing success against climate change. This needs to be combined with the mobilizing power that international cooperation can yield. Obviously there is two major problems in both spheres. The answer that makes the most sense would be to have MRV mechanisms on the international scale and forceful laws on the domestic scale to produce cooperation on all fronts.

-Jeremiah Landin

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4 thoughts on “The Combined Arms Strategy to Fighting Climate Change”

  1. This post does an excellent job of addressing the readings and the general plan for the future as far as climate change is concerned. The closing paragraph illustrates a general plan of action for the world and how we might be able to see results in this realm. You say that a combination of both local and international level agreements needs to be made. My question is what might this look like? If needed, who would be prioritized? Do signed treaties among nations come before assisting the individuals suffering at the front lines of this new fight for the planet? This isn’t to attack the basic premise of what needs to be done, but rather how it will be implemented. What do you believe could be more effective? Do you believe that measures hailing from various national governments or actions that can be undertaken by individuals on their own? You call for a marriage of these two practices, but I wonder how this might work in practice.

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  2. You make a good point that just domestic initiatives won’t be able to achieve the results we need across the board. However based on the discussion we had in class and who the major aggregate culprits for atmospheric pollution, I think you are too quick to disregard the importance of domestic policies. While it makes sense that for many countries, acting on their own would have little global impact. However there are countries (China or the US) that if because of some internal pressure was forced into domestic changes in policies could see a real difference. I think the way you approached the problem was on the macro level and I agree that it would be the most effective solution. However I think that Gelman’s argument has merit, especially within countries that produce a lot of pollution and whose people have the means to lobby/control the government (help to bypass the tragedy of the commons problem). In that case (a great potential example would be the U.S.) one country’s change could make a substantial impact.

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  3. The main trouble with playing on the domestic front is that, admittedly like the international one, fraught with variables. In some cases, I find that it is arguable that it just might hurt the cause more than help. If one political party within a country were to support reducing climate change, than it is entirely possible that the opposing side would make it a political issue to stop them, on the basis of trying to get them to not succeed at something to gain more votes. This is what happened with Gore in the US. Prior to him, there was no major climate change debate in the American government. However, this domestic initiative has led to huge polarization along party lines, and it begs the question “are we hurting the issue by making it a popularly debated one?”

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  4. Although it is important to see a collective effort across the board in regards to climate change, in order for there to be change, we need to enhance a bottom-up scale approach to coming up with solutions for climate change. While the Kyoto Protocol needs restructuring, by working at a domestic level, we are able to implement change through domestic initiatives, right at our hands and feet. Through this process, there will be evident worth by starting to implement change locally and then internationally. Although monitoring or regulating through the MRV mechanism will be able to work in theory, it is important that laws are enforced at a domestic level because issues that are meant to be solved almost always begin with a small dent in the system. I agree with the other commentator that to begin that change, assistance through other states with a credible resources can assist in implementing a substantial impact. Although the U.S. is heavily involved in a tremendous amount of projects whether it is defense spending for an IO or working on health issues with regional organizations, climate change can impact our entire international community within only a short matter of time, and if states like the U.S. that contains a source of opinion in regards to climate change can assist at a more micro level that can translate into a macro effect.

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