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Princeton WWS 586 - Global Environmental Issues

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Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Spring 2005 WWS-586e Global Environmental Issues Robertson Room 010 Tuesdays 1:00 – 4:00 PM Professor Denise Mauzerall Robertson Hall, Room 406 Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:30 - 3:30pm 258-2498 (phone) [email protected] (e-mail) Overview: As the global population grows and the world becomes more industrialized the human impact on the global environment also increases. This class will examine a set of global environmental problems including those which affect the global commons such as ozone layer depletion and climate change including the implications of energy technology choices, and those which are of widespread regional importance such as loss of biological diversity, deforestation and desertification, long-range transport of air pollutants, and issues of sustainable development. For each topic the course will first examine the scientific basis of the problems and will then examine current and possible future policy responses. Course Format: Course topics will usually be covered in modules with the first part of the module covering the key scientific concepts surrounding the environmental issue and the second describing the present and possible future policy responses. Class meetings will be divided, very roughly, into half lecture and half discussion. All students are expected to do the required weekly reading which will form the basis for classroom discussion. In addition, during the second week of each topic a student will be asked to read additional material and lead a short discussion of it. Most of the reading is in a course packet available for purchase and the rest is available over the internet with web addresses noted below in the syllabus. A substantial portion of the course grade will be based on class participation. Grading: Grades will be based on class participation, a presentation and a mid-term and final paper. The following percentages will be used: Class participation: 35% Paper in lieu of midterm: 20%Presentation of final paper: 10% Final paper: 35% SCHEDULE OF CLASSES Week 1: February 1, 2005. Course Overview and Introduction. Drivers influencing global environmental problems – growth in population and consumption, increasing global energy consumption, habitat loss. Disparity in wealth and consumption between developed and developing countries. Reading: Protecting Our Planet, Securing Our Future – Linkages among Global Environmental Issues and Human Needs, UNEP, NASA, World Bank, 1998. Read the Executive summary: pp. xv-xvii, Part 1, Introduction and Part 2, Global Environmental Issues: pp. 1-30. E.O. Wilson, The Future of Life, chapter 2 “The Bottleneck”, pp. 22-41, 2002. McDevitt, TM., World Population Profile: 1998, U.S. Census Bureau, 1999, pp. 1-2, 9-18 (in course packet). The complete document is available at http://blue.census.gov/ipc/prod/wp98/wp98.pdf. Week 2. February 8, 2005. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion – Science Ozone in the stratosphere protects life on earth from excess ultra-violet (UV) radiation. It has been depleted at all latitudes except the tropics by the emission of anthropogenic (human produced) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and related substances. Increases in UV radiation result in an increase in the incidence of skin cancer, eye cataracts, decrease in productivity of some ecosystems, and a decrease in air quality. A near global phase-out of the production of CFCs is expected to permit a partial recovery of the ozone layer later this century. Reading: An introduction to the science of stratospheric ozone depletion and reasons behind the global phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has been compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is posted at: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/sc_fact.html An international assessment evaluating the scientific understanding of ozone depletion is conducted every four years. The executive summary for the most recent report completed in 2002 is available at: http://www.unep.org/ozone/pdf/execsumm-sap2002.pdfAn excellent compilation by the 2002 international assessment committee of twenty questions and answers regarding the science of stratospheric ozone depletion is at: http://www.al.noaa.gov/WWWHD/pubdocs/assessment02/Q&As.pdf and is also included in your course packet. Week 3. February 15, 2005. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion – International policy response – the success of the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect stratospheric ozone, has resulted in a near global phase-out of CFCs and related substances. This treaty is considered one of the worlds global environmental success stories. We’ll explore what made it possible and the lessons that can be taken from it to address other global environmental problems. Reading: Protecting the Ozone Layer: The United Nations History by Stephen O Andersen and K Madhava Sarma, United Nations Environment Program, 2002. Chapter 10 pp. 345-368. Week 4. February 22, 2005. Climate Change – Science Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, and deforestation are increasing the concentrations of gases in our atmosphere which trap heat. We will examine the current understanding and evidence for climate change as well as its potential future impacts. Reading: The Great Global Experiment, Jonathan Shaw, Harvard Alumni Magazine, December 2002. 13 pages. The entire three part report on climate change written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is available on the web at: http://www.ipcc.ch/ However, for class, please focus on: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, Technical Summary, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group I, at: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/010.htm . If you’d prefer to read a shorter summary for policymakers, you can instead read: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/005.htm Climate Change Science: An analysis of some key questions, National Academy Press, 2001. Protecting Our Planet, Securing Our Future – Linkages among Global Environmental Issues and Human Needs, UNEP, NASA, World Bank, 1998, Available at: http://www-esd.worldbank.org/planet/ Appendix 2, p. 81.Week 5. March 1, 2005. Climate Change – International policy response – Framework Convention, Kyoto Protocol and the


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