What's Wrong with Climate Politics and How to Fix It

Overview

Governments have failed to stem global emissions of carbon dioxideand other greenhouse gases causing climate change. Indeed,climate-changing pollution is increasing globally, and will do sofor decades to come without far more aggressive action. Whatexplains this failure to effectively tackle one of the world's mostserious problems? And what can we do about it?

To answer these questions, Paul G. Harris looks at climate politicsas a doctor might look at a very sick patient. He ...

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Overview

Governments have failed to stem global emissions of carbon dioxideand other greenhouse gases causing climate change. Indeed,climate-changing pollution is increasing globally, and will do sofor decades to come without far more aggressive action. Whatexplains this failure to effectively tackle one of the world's mostserious problems? And what can we do about it?

To answer these questions, Paul G. Harris looks at climate politicsas a doctor might look at a very sick patient. He performs urgentdiagnoses and prescribes vital treatments to revive our ailingplanet before it's too late.

The book begins by diagnosing what’s most wrong with climatepolitics, including the anachronistic international system, whichencourages nations to fight for their narrowly perceived interestsand makes major cuts in greenhouse pollution extraordinarilydifficult; the deadlock between the United States and China, whichtogether produce over one-third of global greenhouse gas pollutionbut do little more than demand that the other act first; andaffluent lifestyles and overconsumption, which are spreadingrapidly from industrialized nations to the developing world.

The book then prescribes several "remedies" for the failed politicsof climate change, including a new kind of climate diplomacy withpeople at its center, national policies that put the common butdifferentiated responsibilities of individuals alongside those ofnations, and a campaign for simultaneously enhancing humanwellbeing and environmental sustainability. While these treatmentsare aspirational, they are not intended to be utopian. As Harrisshows, they are genuine, workable solutions to what ails thepolitics of climate change today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Deceptively simple, but innovative... Harris’s analysiswill serve as a good introduction to the politics of climatechange."
E-International Relations

"From front cover to concluding punchline, with brilliant insightsin between, this is a great book - exactly what is needed toreinvigorate a stale climate debate."
Times Higher Education

"A great virtue of the book is its exceptionally clear structure... Harris' mix of cultural and ethical change is certainly a keycomponent in the sources of transformation we need to focus ourattention on."
Journal of Global Faultlines

"'Fixing' climate politics is a near-impossible task, but PaulHarris points to a way forward that does hold out some hope. Hisclearly written book will also be useful as an introduction to theproblem of climate change and the politics associated withit."
Peter Singer, Princeton University

"I very much enjoyed reading this book. It is well written,accessible, and engaging, and packed full of ideas and observationsabout the challenges of climate politics. I have no doubt thatstudents will find it stimulating."
Neil Carter, University of York

"A carefully researched and well-presented work."
John Sweeny, National University of Ireland Maynooth, in theIrish Examiner

"Well-written ... an excellent, easily understood review of thesorry status of international cooperation to find a global solutionto climate change."
Donald Brown, Widener University School of Law, in Ethics andClimate

"For a student or interested citizen wishing to delve deeper intosome of the issues behind the current climate policy impasse, thiswell researched book offers an accessible and engaging read."
Christopher Shaw, Oxford University, in LSE Review ofBooks

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745652511
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/6/2013
  • Series: PWWS - Polity Whats Wrong Series, #7
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul G. Harris is Chair Professor of global and environmental studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

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Table of Contents

About the Author vi

Preface vii

1 Introduction 1

Part I: Diagnoses

2 Cancer of Westphalia: Climate Diplomacy and the International System 33

3 Malignancy of the Great Polluters: The United States and China 64

4 Addictions of Modernity: Affl uence and Consumption 93

Part II: Treatments

5 People-Centered Diplomacy: Human Rights and Globalized Justice 119

6 Differentiated Responsibility: National and Individual 144

7 Consumption of Happiness: Sustainability and Wellbeing 171

8 Conclusion 197

Notes 224

References 245

Index 277

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