Category Archives: Envrionmentalism

Human Appeal Needed For Next Climate Change Treaty—Alice Huntoon

The three articles discussing climate change all point out that time is running short to address it. There is an underlying recognition of human nature and what it will take to motivate countries, who act like people, to start working on the problem of climate change with greater effort. All three articles argue that there has to be more of a human appeal rather than just scientific evidence and threat of enforcement to induce cooperation on climate change. Continue reading Human Appeal Needed For Next Climate Change Treaty—Alice Huntoon

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Climate change intiatives for today: a present to your grandchildren- Kate Cornman

Investing in billions that you may never see the effects of? We question why big players like China and Russia will not cooperate but the problem is more on the basis of an international game of chess with a ticking clock. Many hold that the game needs to disappear but what we really need is to think outside of the board for the answer. If governments in large commercial countries can provide an initiative for big corporations to take larger steps in cutting emissions and investing in long-term projects for environment sustainability, can this provide a short-term initiative to Climate change while we wait for meaningful international change? Action seems to be a better move then waiting for cooperation amongst nations that may not resolve issues that must be fixed in a timely manner. Although it is much easier to focus on the economy or constituents then to foster a binding treaty, politicians must start to focus on the daily effects of climate change and look for a way to change the future. Continue reading Climate change intiatives for today: a present to your grandchildren- Kate Cornman

Climate Change: We Live in the Shadow of the Future – Paige Moeller

Each nation has its own agenda. More often than not, climate change is not on the priority list for each nation. The tangible incentives to effectively handle climate change are not apparent to all nations, especially the nations with the largest emissions such as the United States. In addition, the uncertainty in climate change leads the developing nations to be reluctant to change their measures due to the high costs of emission control. With neither the global powers nor the rising powers taking action to effectively tackle climate change, humanity is running down the clock. Continue reading Climate Change: We Live in the Shadow of the Future – Paige Moeller

Need for the Global Community – Seungmin Song

As much as climate change had been debated, nothing really has done to solve the problem. Since 1990s, including Kyoto Protocol, the international institutions has shown its lack of capacity to manage the issue. In order to prevent further damage and danger, the global community needs a stronger international institution to address the issue effectively. Continue reading Need for the Global Community – Seungmin Song

How Seriously Do States Take Climate Change? – Ilka Vanessa Walker-Vera

Over the years, international organizations have adapted their policies and regulations to the events that have altered both domestic and international affairs. Climate change has been a very delicate issue in the past decade, as scientists have released information that has caught the attention of states across the globe. Human activity has altered the “greenhouse effect” making every single human being culpable and targetable of such change. As a result, states are concerned of the effect this has and might have in their communities in the near future. Governments have been actively involved in the implementation of international treaties to improve the environmental situation globally, decrease the effects of climate change, and prevent atrocious results due to a lack of responsibility.  Continue reading How Seriously Do States Take Climate Change? – Ilka Vanessa Walker-Vera

But where will the Polar Bears Go? Climate Change, Refugees, and the role of UNHCR- Kate Cornman

Every year, large swaths of Arctic Sea ice shrink in the northern ocean displacing polar bears. Similarly every year, between 12 and 45 million people are displaced by sudden onset disasters . In each scenario, climate change has been the culprit. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been faced with this challenge of refugee legality and authorization and have tried to address the issue of climate change refugees without formal modification of international law. Climate change refugees need assistance but aren’t protected under international law. The UNHCR claims to have them protected under conditionality clauses, however, there is no clearly devised plan on the future of climate change refugees. Not only does the future lead to the extinction of the classic Polar Bear Coca-Cola ads during the holiday season- but also the depletion of natural resources, disappearance of territory such as small island States, and the increase of citizens being deemed “stateless.” Legal and operational gaps surrounding climate Change must be filled not only by UNHCR but other horizontal organizations concerned with the migration of people. Climate change refugees, including the polar bears, are and will continue to be a major concern for the future of global governance. Continue reading But where will the Polar Bears Go? Climate Change, Refugees, and the role of UNHCR- Kate Cornman

More on the Move with Climate Change–Alice Huntoon

The question of “Should the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) expand its mandate to include ‘climate refugees’?” is becoming not a question of should, but when it will. Although ‘refugee’ is a legal term, its use next to the words ‘climate’ or ‘environmental’ to explain the millions of people who are becoming more and more displaced because of natural disasters, is still not considered a legal term, although the terms are already in use, and the UNHCR is on its way to creating the legal framework. That means mandated international cooperation and assistance funding for this expanded terminology. Continue reading More on the Move with Climate Change–Alice Huntoon