ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND LAW
(The Clean Air Act; Ozone Depletion; Climate Change)
|Environmental Policy & Law||
Chapter 4: Air Pollution
|The Environmental Case||Chapter 14: Acid Rain & Clean Air|
Read the assigned text chapters and be prepared to be examined on session 10 on any or all of the environmental terms, concepts and cases below found therein. Also, in preparation for the exam, familiarize yourself with the three court decisions and the "Clear Skies Act" below.
Your homework assignment for this week involves answering the "Questions to Consider" in Chapter 14 of The Environmental Case.
The Clean Air Act (CAA)
Ozone Depletion has been documented since the mid fifties, and has continued to be a major international environmental concern. The ozone timeline illustrates the efforts that have been undertaken to deal with the problem of ozone pollution and ozone depletion. You will want to familiarize yourself with the ozone depletion phenomenon as well as EPA's ozone depletion website, where information on the science of ozone depletion is presented, as well as the regulatory approach to this problem that the EPA is taking. Please become familiar with substances like CFCs, UVB radiation, halons, and methyl bromide.
International Ozone Control: The major international efforts worth knowing about are summarized in the Congressional Research Service Report "Global Climate Change Treaty" by Susan R. Fletcher. The summary from that report outlines the two major international ozone protection agreements (each is also linked to the original treaty).
Ozone depletion in developing countries has been a major focus of the United Nations since the passage of the Montreal Protocol. This is perhaps illustrated by the outcome of a major international conference consisting of delegates at the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 17th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. One of the major focuses of this conference was how to work with developing countries (or so-called "emerging economies") to reduce or eliminate the use of ozone depleting agents. The United Nations Environment Programme reported that at the conclusion of this conferences that "The Montreal Protocol Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) are recommending that developed countries provide approximately $439m over the next three years to support the developing country phase-out. This funding would constitute the fifth replenishment of the Multilateral Fund, an innovative institution that has promoted the transfer of ozone-friendly technologies and know-how to virtually every developing country in the world. This has enabled these countries to surpass their phase-out goals and reduce their consumption of ozone-depleting substances by over 60%.
Remaining Challenges: According to the United Nations Environment Programme's Ozone Secretariat, the remaining challenges confronting ozone depletion on an international scale include the following: incomplete ratification of ozone treaties, difficulties in complying with the Montreal Protocol, illegal trade of CFCs, many countries are still using methyl bromide (despite it being outlawed in the 1992 Copenhagen Amendment), halon concentrations are still increasing, and many developing countries are experiencing difficulties in completely phasing out CFCs.
Lessons Learned: You will want to review the text to see what "lessons learned" are cited there. Additionally, you might want to take a look at how yet another reviewer has judged the success of the Montreal Protocol. Ben Lieberman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. cites three marked failures of the Protocol that are noteworthy:
The Science of Climate Change (Citing Evidence for Significant Human Contribution to Global Warming): This "science" is a point of significant controversy relative to the true extent that human activities are influencing potentially catastrophic climate change, versus the natural history of climate change fluctuations on the planet. In the interest of understanding the extent to which different groups have different "takes" on this body of scientific evidence, you should take a few moments and peruse how different groups present this information. Undoubtedly, many organizations who take the position that anthropogenic activity is significantly contributing to global warming, do so on the basis of the Third Assessment Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC, created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has published its findings in several volumes. For the sake of this course you ought to peruse the Summary found in the volume Climate Change, 2001: The Scientific Basis. The remaining volumes of this report are entitled Climate Change, 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; Climate Change, 2001: Mitigation; and Climate Change, 2001: Synthesis Report.
Additionally, you might want to take a look at how a Canadian agency looks at this issue and compare it to the position on global warming taken by the Pew Foundation, by the U.S. National Academies of Science, (the full text of the report on climate change as well as a brief summary can be found at the National Academies Press website). Thereafter, you might wish to compare their position to the guidelines on reporting on climate change provided by the Environmental Health Center of the National Safety Council NSC. Note that most of these position statements on climate change and global warming are very dependent upon the IPCC report. You can find a set of web links provided by North Carolina State University that take you to a host of agencies dealing with this issue.
The Science of Climate Change (Citing Evidence Against Significant Human Contribution to Global Warming): To experience the position of those critical of these scientific reports, look at James Glassman's article in Capitalism Magazine, publications from the National Center for Policy Analysis such as those authored by Dennis Avery and Sterling Burnett, Kent Jeffery's report on "Why Worry about Global Warming," and a series of articles, reports and books produced by the Cato Institute and by the Heritage Foundation, such as the article by Richard Lindzen of MIT, a report on climate change by Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia and a book by Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling. Researchers at the Heritage Foundation are also critical of the scientific evidence for global warming, as evidenced by the work of Sallie Baliunas of the Marshall Institute, and Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
The Science of Climate Change (Citing Evidence Against Significant Human Contribution to Global Warming): To experience the position of those critical of these scientific reports, look at James Glassman's article in Capitalism Magazine, publications from the National Center for Policy Analysis such as those authored by Dennis Avery and Sterling Burnett, Kent Jeffery's report on "Why Worry about Global Warming," and a series of articles, reports and books produced by the Cato Institute and by the Heritage Foundation, such as the article by Richard Lindzen of MIT, a report on climate change by Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia and a book by Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling (where Balling teaches at Arizona State University). Researchers at the Heritage Foundation are also critical of the scientific evidence for global warming, as evidenced by the work of Sallie Baliunas of the Marshall Institute, and Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
The Hockey Stick Analogy: You should become familiar with the analogy of the increase in global warming as represented by the graphic image of a "hockey stick" which was introduced by Michael Mann, Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes (Nature, 1998; Geophysical Research Letters, 1999). Likewise, you should be aware of the criticism that was subsequently directed toward this model, as in the article "Breaking the Hockey" Stick by David Legates of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C.
More Terms and Treaties: Be familiar with terms like "anthropogenic greenhouse gases," "carbon dioxide sinks," and be familiar with The Climate Change Convention, The Kyoto Protocol, and the Earth Summit.
QELROs: In considering the Kyoto Protocol, be aware that some of the most strident controversy surrounds the so-called Quantified Emission Limitations and Reduction Objectives (QELRO) that have been established for industrialized countries. To understand how these limits are assigned to different nations, you need to also need to understand the different "annex levels" to which each nation is assigned. The Powerpoint slide presentation provided by Joseline Goco, Head of the IACC Secreatariat provides a very thorough introduction to the Kyoto Protocol and how QELROs are applied to different nations and groups of nations.
President George W. Bush and Kyoto: President Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol and triggered what some have referred to as "Climate-Gate." To more fully understand the current administration's position on global warming, you need to become familiar with the U.S. Climate Action Report, produced by the U.S. Department of State, in May 2002 which represents the third national communication on climate as mandated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), also known as the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro (1992). For this class, familiarizing yourself with the introduction and overview of this 2002 report should prove sufficient. While President Bush has received much criticism internationally and within the U.S. for this decision, there are those who find support for his decision.
For instance, look at the policy analysis memo entitled "Climate-Gate" that was written by Michael Catanzaro, a staff member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and distributed by e-mail on June 20, 2003. This memo is impressive not only in terms of the information that it presents, but also in terms of other documents that also call for the U.S. to not sign the Kyoto Protocol.
Significant among these other sources is the so-called Oregon Petition presented by Frederick Seitz Past President, National Academy of Sciences, and President Emeritus of Rockefeller University that included more than 17,000 verified signatures from scientists around the nation and the world. This petition was based, in part, upon research published by Arthur Robinson, Sallie Balinuas, Willie Soon and Zachary W. Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and the George C. Marshall Institute entitled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" (1998). Catanzaro also refers to a study funded by NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Petroleum Institute conducted by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Smithsonian Institute entitled "Lessons & Limits of Climate History: Was the 20th Century Climate Unusual?"(2003). This is a very important paper that provides significant insight into President's Bush's decision on Kyoto.
Kyoto Mechanisms: The three Kyoto mechanisms are:
Kyoto Terms: Some additional Kyoto related terms that you will want to be familiar with are Designated Operational Entity (DOE), Designated National Authorities (DNA), "clean development mechanisms," "conference of the parties (COP)," "entry into force," G77/China, "Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI)," and "Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)."