The Gnat Is Older than Man: Global Environment and Human Agenda

Overview

Why are globe-spanning environmental problems on the rise and what can be done about them? Christopher Stone presents a concise and balanced overview of the risks, from climate change and ozone depletion to deforestation and biodiversity loss. Exploring the institutional framework, Stone shows why global problems do not always benefit from "global solutions," how environmental diplomacy has to account for the growing tensions between rich and poor nations, and why even checking population growth would not heal ...

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Overview

Why are globe-spanning environmental problems on the rise and what can be done about them? Christopher Stone presents a concise and balanced overview of the risks, from climate change and ozone depletion to deforestation and biodiversity loss. Exploring the institutional framework, Stone shows why global problems do not always benefit from "global solutions," how environmental diplomacy has to account for the growing tensions between rich and poor nations, and why even checking population growth would not heal the planet. Stone's latest work, at once theoretical and realistic, is a major contribution to our understanding of one of humanity's greatest challenges.

Moving beyond the familiar and increasingly unproductive confrontation between "greens" and "realists" in the debate over the global environment, Stone presents a clear and balanced overview of the range of perils facing the human race: climate change, deforestation, wetlands loss, threats to biodiversity, toxic waste, and stresses on marine resources.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A sweeping critique-its proposals cool, smart, and imaginative-with enough common sense to give the most die-hard environmentalist pause."Kirkus Reviews

"It would be difficult to find a more balanced appraisal of our global environment dilemma than Christopher Stone provides in The Gnat Is Older Than Man. His first chapter alone is a welcome ray of light into the murky waters of doomsday prediction amidst scientific uncertainty."Virginia Quarterly Review

"It is to Stone's credit that he elucidates his themes with a clarity and modesty that maintains academic rigor even as it opens his subject to a wide range of readers. Highly recommended for public, academic, and professional collections."Choice

"[Stone] debunks much of the environmental hype that is designed to scare the public into action but also points out that hard evidence leaves plenty of cause for concern in some areas. The real contribution of the book is to examine the philosophical underpinnings of growing concern with the environment, address sympathetically the weaknesses in what could be called the environmentalist creed, and attempt to provide remedies for those weaknesses. It is a levelheaded, thoughtful, and informative essay."—Richard Cooper, Foreign Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691001654
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 367
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. I Diagnosis: The Earth Has Cancer, and the Cancer Is Man 3
In the Doctor's Judgment 3
Diagnosis at Rio 5
A Second, Less Foreboding Opinion 18
Prognosis: Social Choice in the Face of Uncertainty 26
Ch. II The Condition of the Earth from the Legal Perspective 33
Astronaut and Diplomat 33
A Nation's Abuse of Its Own Environment 37
Ch. III Transboundary Pollution 50
The Preventive Techniques 52
The Reactive Techniques 57
Consensual Transboundary Pollution 66
Ch. IV Managing the Global Commons 71
A Nation's "Internal" Activities Damaging the Commons 72
A Nation's Activities on the Commons Damaging the Commons 88
A Nation's Activities on the Commons Damaging Another Nation 94
Ch. V Treaties as Antidotes 96
The Virtues of a Treaty-Based Approach 96
The Impediments to Treaty Formation 98
Under What Circumstances are International Negotiations Likely to Succeed? 116
Ch. VI The Economist's Prescriptions: Taxes and Tradable Permits 122
The Economic Ideal 123
Institutionalizing the Economic Ideal 129
Pro Rata Cutbacks 132
Effluent Taxes 134
Tradable Emissions Permits 141
Ch. VII Medicating the Earth: Preventatives and Remedies 153
Need Our Responses Be Fully Global? 154
Is Prevention Better than Cure? 159
The Deferred, Go-It-Alone Policy as a Second-Best Strategy 160
A Review of the Home-Grown Remedies 162
The New Generation of Legislation 174
Ch. VIII Taking Out Calamity Insurance 182
The Application of Conventional Insurance to Climate Change 187
Modes of Government Participation 192
The International Precedents and Prospects 197
Alternative "Insurance" 198
Ch. IX Paying the Bills: Toward a Global Commons Trust Fund 201
The Global Financing Options 203
The Global Commons Trust Fund 208
Financing Options in the Light of Domestic Policy Alternatives 220
The Virtues and Vices of Global Funds: The Donors versus the "Democrats" 226
Ch. X The Spiritual and Moral Dimensions of the Environmental Crisis: Of Humankind and Gnats 235
The Spiritual Roots of the Environmental Crisis 235
The Moral Dimensions 242
What Does an Environmental Ethic Aim For? 268
The Arguments against an Environmental Ethic 271
The Burdens an Environmental Ethic Faces 276
One Further Level of Abstraction: The Metaphysical Underpinnings 278
Notes 281
Index to Topics and Institutions 331
Index to Authors 337
Index to Conventions 340
Index to Legal Cases 341
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