National Environment Policy Analysis


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This assignment maximum length should be 2000 words 20% of course mark
Research question:
Why during the fifty-odd years since it came into being has the modern environmental movement been unable to convince governments to make environmental protection a priority �C and in the case of climate change to convince governments to take anything even close to effective action?
Subject and scope: focus on Canada, with perhaps some reference to US and other countries; address all issues, but perhaps more examples from climate change than others.
Purpose: develop an ANALYTICAL argument which answers a Research Question, by means of a coherent organization of the paper.
Suggestion: You might simply use the question above in italics as your research question (RQ) but you probably will want to modify it to fit your particular subject and scope of that subject.
-Detailed Instructions: (MUST answers
[**Examine two or three of what you think are the most important factors, and then develop an analytical argument showing one is the more important than the others;
eg, Environmentalists are outside the business-government relationship of mutual dependence, and so do not have the same automatic access to government decision makers as business firms is a possible explanation, as does weakness of the ENGOS�� ability of organizing, but the major factor which limits the ability of environmentalists to convince governments to make environmental protection a priority is the fact that Business holds structural power, but environmentalists do not (i.e. government relies on industrial business for economic development, such as the Alberta government and oil sands industries).]
-List: Factors explaining weakness of the modern environmental movement
To help you get started, I have listed here some of the factors we have discussed in class. (This is not a complete list.)
1) Priorities of the government leader (the Centre) do not include environment.
2) Some political parties (eg, US Republicans, Canada federal Conservatives) are ideologically opposed to giving priority to environmental protection.
3) For a variety of reasons, the ability of science to support the need for environmental protection is not as strong as it might be.
4) Pro-environment values are largely anthropocentric rather than ecocentric, and those values only call for marginal changes in policy. Deep Ecology, on the other hand, which would lead to fundamental policy change, is on the margins of the political debate.
5) The dominant paradigm of sustainable development is anthropocentric and allows economic growth.
6) Only environmental values which coincide with pre-existing dominant values, such as efficiency, have been widely adopted. Those which conflict, such as a steady-state economy or intrinsic worth of nature regardless of value to humans, are marginalized.
7) Environmentalists are outside the business-government relationship of mutual dependence, and so do not have the same automatic access to government decision makers as do business firms.
8) Business holds structural power, but environmentalists do not.
9) In addition, business uses discursive power to reinforce the public perception that the market is preferable to the state.
10) Environmental organizations have trouble organizing (working together to lobby for the same environmental policy goal) which weakens their power. But then, business also has trouble organizing.
11) Since the source of their power is public support, environmentalists have less ability to influence government policy when issues are not in the news media.
12) For a variety of reasons, the environment department has difficulty exerting influence within government.
13) The Canadian system of intergovernmental relations needed to develop national environmental policy is weak because it can only make decisions by consensus and agreements cannot be enforced.
14) Governments have not always used fully effective environmental policy instruments, eg laws with strong enforcement or economic instruments with taxes high enough to influence behaviour.
15) A variety of factors explain the failure to develop effective Canadian national climate policy.
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