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This chapter considers whether, and if so, how, the right to life may be violated by pollution and, at the least, a wilful failure to seek to tackle climate change. A serious violation of international environmental law leading to death is ipso facto violative also of the right to life. This includes also the situation where environmental pollution in one State affects the environment and the population in another. Pollution has a significant and growing impact on the lives of children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lower respiratory infections are among the largest causes of mortality in children, accounting for 15% of deaths in 2015. In 2020, a death certificate in England listed air pollution as a cause of death for the first time.
This volume analyzes past, current, and future conditions in ten river basins from six continents, each located in arid or semi-arid climates, equipped with engineered dams designed to increase year-round water availability for irrigated agriculture, cities, and environmental flow; and each important for world food production and basin economies. This introductory chapter details the history of the inquiry and the research project. In the Challenge section of the book, we ask how water supply and demand are changing as a result of climate change, reservoir sedimentation, depletion of groundwater, and declining environmental flows. We then present case studies of each of the selected rivers: How do they recognize challenges and how do they deal with them? In the Response section, we discuss three important options for improved water management: water-wise irrigated agriculture, carefully designed inter-basin water transfers, and strong stakeholder participation.
Chapter one investigates how the SED used nature conservation and environmental protection to strengthen its socialist state, domestically and internationally. The chapter traces communist economic and nature conservation practices after the Second World War and the problems they generated. The GDR claimed science and technology would forge a rational, technocratic future that both employed and protected nature in the service of socialism and the East Germans. This chapter situates the SED’s actions in the context of an environmental awareness emerging on both sides of the Iron Curtain in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The SED harnessed the popular topic of the environment to leverage its position at a moment when questions about consumption and the future gripped leaders and citizens around the world. The GDR merged German traditions and Soviet-style communism in an attempt to balance the needs of the economy with a deepening commitment to environment protection.
This chapter considers issues of investment treaties and human rights through the prism of the transboundary haze pollution which has recurred throughout South East Asia for decades, arising from forest and peat fires in Indonesia. There have been a range of responses, which have included action within Indonesia and by individual States, such as Singapore, as well as by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This chapter analyses the responsibility of States to prevent transboundary pollution and to protect the human rights of those within their jurisdiction, as well as those residing in neighbouring States. As there are limited means to compel States to comply with international law in this area, this chapter explores two other avenues of enforcement. It considers whether claims could be brought against a State under a relevant investment treaty when an investor’s investment has been affected by the haze pollution. It also examines whether a claim could be brought against those companies which have caused or contributed to human rights violations by their own actions in relation to haze pollution or by actions of third parties with whom they have a business relationship.
This final chapter explores the aesthetics and materiality of stone, water and air. Theories of assemblage, non-human agency and differential time show how innovative was Scott’s approach to the relationships between people and the environments in which they live. Time frames are a key theme throughout the book: here, Jeffrey Cohen’s theory of lithic (stone) time, Rob Nixon’s account of the ‘slow time’ of many forms of environmental violence and Donna Haraway’s investigation into how animals over time became ‘companion’ species raise questions about permanence, solidity, transformation and modes of perception. Weather, seascapes and night skies are explored. Case studies compare Scott’s poetry and fiction with writing from American transcendentalism. Geographically, the chapter ranges from Scotland’s Borders, the Solway Firth, Shetland Isles and deeper Atlantic Ocean towards Iceland and Greenland. The chapter ends with episodes from Redgauntlet and Guy Mannering that look to the night sky, space and the stars.
While land improvement is a commonplace theme in Scott’s writing, this chapter looks at counternarratives in which he foregrounds negative environmental impact. Literary forms that are discussed include elegy and gothic. Theories used include ecogothic and ecophobia. Species loss is shown to memorialize the untimeliness of war deaths. Case studies look at environments in which evidence of cruelty, including violence against the land, refuses to be buried or, conversely, remains manifest in the form of depletion and absence. Scott’s most disturbing fiction often features trees and other plants that have been mutilated, grow unusually and in strange places, or do not grow at all. The effect is a disruption of places more usually understood to be reliable, familiar or homely. The chapter demonstrates how Scott shows aesthetics commonplace to Romantic thought to be destabilized by what grows or fails to grow, creating uneasy and uncanny ecologies.
Chapter 9 provides an environmental history of the Copperbelt and the polluting effects of mining. It explains how mine companies’ control of land and official assumptions about urban society rendered the region’s widespread agricultural activities as illegitimate and ‘out of place’. It explains why many Copperbelt residents, particularly women, farmed, both as an everyday economic activity and, increasingly over time, as a response to hardship and economic crisis. It explores how pollution, particularly the poisoning of air and water with sulphur dioxide emissions, was ubiquitous yet ‘invisible’ in the minds of policy-makers, companies and – to a considerable extent – Copperbelt residents themselves. The chapter then explains how environmental impact assessment by companies, states and international and local NGOs raised local awareness of pollution, making it a central subject of community mobilisation in the early twentieth century, even as newly privatised mining companies ‘offshored’ responsibility for the legacy of historical pollution to poorly resourced states.
Describes mounting scientific evidence for individual, lifelong poisoning by man-made chemical emissions, showing how it begins in the womb, continues through childhood, accumulates through life and persists after death. Chemical exposure is mainly from food, drinks, cosmetics and air in the home, workplace, urban and rural environments. Pollution the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today.
This chapter describes the threats posed by the abundance of marine plastic pollution and links it to broader concerns about climate change, biodiversity conservation, and human health. While evidence remains inconclusive there are indications that microplastic pollution in the oceans, in particular, poses grave threats, and this presents not only collective action problems but environmental justice concerns as well. Responding to the crisis generated by the nexus of these issues is a form of collective adaptation that the international community cannot ignore, moving toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Will the climate, biodiversity, and health agendas adapt to the presence of the microplastic pollution issue? Some policy suggestions are discussed along with pertinent knowledge gaps and future marine concerns.
This study aimed to investigate the environmental contamination of nucleic acid at 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV) vaccination site and to evaluate the effect of improvement to the vaccination process. Nucleic acid samples were collected from the surface of the objects in 2019-nCOV vaccination point A (used between 15 November 2020 and 25 December 2020) and point B (used after 27 December 2020) in a comprehensive tertiary hospital. Samples were collected from point A before improvement to the vaccination process, and from point B (B1 and B2) after improvement to the vaccination process. The real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction method was used for detection. The positive rate of vaccination room was 47.06% (24/51) at point A. No positive result was found in point B1 both at working hours (0/27) and after terminal disinfection (0/27). In point B2, the positive results were found in vaccine's outer packaging and staff gloves at working hours, with a positive rate of 7.41% (2/27). The positive rate was 0 (0/27) after terminal disinfection in point B2. The nucleic acid contamination in the vaccination room of 2019-nCOV vaccine nucleic acid sampling point is serious, which can be avoided through the improvement and intervention (such as personal protection, vaccination operation and disinfection methods).
The chapter provides a broader comparative view of the League’s environmental concerns. The main aim of the discussion in this chapter it to weave these different initiatives (which are described separately in each chapter) into a coherent and broad regime, ones that has a common ground, continuity, and certain dynamics. As each chapter explains the role played by central theories, ideas, conflicting interests, environmental challenges, and scientific or professional concerns, this chapter puts them together and explain some of the differences and common patterns. Moreover, this analysis also revises the League’s different endeavors from contemporary environmental perspectives, and assesses their relevance to current dilemmas where nature protection conflicts with human needs.
Each of the chapters explores a different dimension of the League’s environmental policy. They focus on the environmental impacts of pollution of the sea by oil, the growing whaling industry and endangered whales, rural hygiene and sanitation problems in the periphery, and timber production and fears of spreading deforestation. There may well be other interwar concerns that also involved environmental perspectives. However, I present a sweeping legal-historical overview of several of the central environmental challenges that the interwar world faced, in order to understand the notions behind the League’s leadership and to explain its shortcomings and achievements.
In the history of how the law has dealt with environmental issues over the last century or so, the 1920s and 30s and the key role of the League of Nations in particular remain underexplored by scholars. By delving into the League's archives, Omer Aloni uncovers the story of how the interwar world expressed similar concerns to those of our own time in relation to nature, environmental challenges and human development, and reveals a missing link in understanding the roots of our ecological crisis. Charting the environmental regime of the League, he sheds new light on its role as a centre of surprising environmental dilemmas, initiatives, and solutions. Through a number of fascinating case studies, the hidden interests, perceptions, motivations, hopes, agendas and concerns of the League are revealed for the first time. Combining legal thought, historical archival research and environmental studies, a fascinating period in legal-environmental history is brought to life.
The chapter presents temporal and spatial trends of main water indicators. Attention is given to the interaction between water resources and society over time in various parts of the world, the effects of climate change on the available water supplies, the technological means available to cope with water scarcity and deteriorated quality, the institutional and legal means developed in different countries, and the types of decisions needed to manage water resources. As such, the chapter motivates the book’s structure and contents.
Though economists typically eschewed non-welfarist arguments in the post-WWII period, there is at least one prominent instance in which such arguments were very much in play, both directly and as underpinnings for welfare-related arguments: The debate over the Coase theorem. This debate saw the Coase theorem regularly challenged on both welfarist (efficiency) and non-welfarist grounds. This then raises the question of what it was about the Coase theorem that led economists into this non-welfarist territory. This essay revisits the early debates over the Coase theorem, where non-welfarist arguments featured prominently, in order to bring out the nature of those arguments and attempt to understand the rationale(s) for their deployment. As we shall see, this move was a function of forces internal and external to economics, including the environmental turn in society and the profession, a concern with issues of fairness and equity in the evaluation of how to resolve externality problems, and a view, prominent in certain quarters, that the environment and environmental preservation is an end in itself.
With the future of liberal internationalism in question, how will China's growing power and influence reshape world politics? We argue that views of the Liberal International Order (LIO) as integrative and resilient have been too optimistic for two reasons. First, China's ability to profit from within the system has shaken the domestic consensus in the United States on preserving the existing LIO. Second, features of Chinese Communist Party rule chafe against many of the fundamental principles of the LIO, but could coexist with a return to Westphalian principles and markets that are embedded in domestic systems of control. How, then, do authoritarian states like China pick and choose how to engage with key institutions and norms within the LIO? We propose a framework that highlights two domestic variables—centrality and heterogeneity—and their implications for China's international behavior. We illustrate the framework with examples from China's approach to climate change, trade and exchange rates, Internet governance, territorial sovereignty, arms control, and humanitarian intervention. Finally, we conclude by considering what alternative versions of international order might emerge as China's influence grows.
Environmental public interest litigation (EPIL) by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged in China over the last decade amidst the growing focus on environmental issues and the increasing political need to bring greater public participation to the area. This article examines the current practice of EPIL by NGOs in order to understand the potential flaws and deficiencies of NGO participation in this relatively new field of environmental litigation. The article sets out by exploring EPIL as a legal pathway for the public to become involved in China's environmental governance. It then analyzes the legal provision of environmental litigation in China before critically examining several instances of EPIL initiated by NGOs between 2015 and 2019. The article finds that NGOs show weaknesses in their current EPIL practice, including in case selection and litigation risk assessment, but are willing to test and potentially expand the scope of EPIL into new areas of environmental protection such as noise pollution and renewable energy. It concludes that these weaknesses and strengths of NGO involvement in EPIL reflect the constantly evolving landscape of environmental governance and environmental litigation in China.
Adaptive Intelligence is a dramatic reappraisal and reframing of the concept of human intelligence. In a sweeping analysis, Robert J. Sternberg argues that we are using a fatally-flawed, outdated conception of intelligence; one which may promote technological advancement, but which has also accelerated climate change, pollution, the use of weaponry, and inequality. Instead of focusing on the narrow academic skills measured by standardized tests, societies should teach and assess adaptive intelligence, defined as the use of collective talent in service of the common good. This book describes why the outdated notion of intelligence persists, what adaptive intelligence is, and how it could lead humankind on a more positive path.
In a standard overlapping generations model, we show how the health effects of pollution impact the balanced-growth path (BGP) and the transition dynamics of the economy. The key driver is the differential between physical and human capital accumulation. The differential occurs because pollution alters the incentives to save and to invest in education via reductions in longevity and alters the effectiveness of education expenditures via impaired cognitive learning. Two predictions of the model are noteworthy. The first prediction is the existence of two stable BGPs with a separating saddle path. One BGP is desirable featuring high economic growth and low pollution, whereas the other should be avoided because it is associated with low economic growth and high pollution. The second prediction is that economic and environmental cycles may emerge, implying inequality between generations. These theoretical results are supported by empirical evidence and imply a role for government to steer the economy toward the desirable BGP and eliminate the cycles.
The monsoon has changed significantly over the past century. In particular, Northwest India and Pakistan have dried in the latter part of the twentieth century along with northern China. The Indian Peninsula and South China have however become wetter. Some of the aridification is the result of increased aerosol concentrations due to industrialization as well as the southward migration of the Westerly Jet in northern China. The Indus basin is particularly susceptible to drying. Changes in atmosphere circulation have pushed typhoons away from the South China Sea and towards eastern China, although rainfall in South China has strengthened due to locally sourced storms. Dry years in South Asia resulted in significant reductions in the food production. Increased agriculture linked to deforestation has reduced soil moisture and has a negative impact on the climate, especially in Northwest India. Times of drought and poor food production push up prices and have resulted in civil disturbances exacerbated by policies introduced during the Green Revolution. Reduction in biodiversity on farms has reduced resilience to future climate change and caused more harm than changes in the environment over the recent past.