Alec Johnson

April 11, 2017

SOC 370

Trading a Livable World


            Our world has undoubtedly been disturbed and warmed due to human interaction and the burning of fossil foils. There is one organization of the world that has the task of solving it as a globe and that is the United Nations. They held a meeting in late December in 2009 in Copenhagen to discuss what actions need to be made. The agreement was denied new to the fact that poorer and smaller countries were getting an unjust slice of the pie. It was said to be an unequal and ineffective framework for addressing climate change.

Core Ideas

This book dives into many topics about climate change and in this chapter we look at why is the response to climate change in the contemporary era been so utterly inadequate and inequitable. We know and have full support from the scientific community that climate change is real and it is being caused by human activity. We want to look at why has not been taken on by the whole globe and what factors are at play to signal why countries are using up so much fossil fuel. We also want to look at what we need to do to reverse climate change so we have a world that our children’s children can live on. To change our climate we have to have an overhaul of our economies and societies. We see that has a huge reason to why wealthy countries are resisting taking action on reducing fossil fuels.

Key Thinkers

            It states in the book, An Italian social theorist by the name of Antonio Gramsci offered us insight to a strategic view of power relations, attentive to how emerging transnational political coalitions, including state, market, and civil society actors, are able to navigate a rapidly shifting world order to shape the global governance of climate change.” The globe is a difficult place to maneuver there are very power players in the world that shape the way everything works and how everything is run. This way of power has doomed the world into global warming but these powers have noticed that and have allowed for poorer countries to see the effects of this global warming at a way faster and alarming rate.

Critical Potential I

            Climate change has so many social and natural sciences to it, in the article it shows how china and how they started to use an alarming rate of fossil fuels over the last few decades. This is because they wanted to gain more social power. A main topic in this chapter is over a topic called climate injustice, which shows how social groups can use their power to gain control over other social groups of less power. The poorer the country the less of a say they are going to have on the say of the climate. These social groups are going to have negative impacts from climate change such as famine or floods and it wont even be their fault. These vulnerable groups will suffer from all sorts of environmental, economic, and social inequalities that the countries who do the carbon emitting will not have to face.

Critical Potential II

            The political factors for this chapter will all have to deal with the United Nations and how there has been such lobbying in there from companies in the fossil fuel industry. This chapter gives six criteria that need to be in the climate treaty to optimize it, first we must give all nations equal voice so there is no injustice and it is a fair and equal vote. Second the decisions must be based of science, which is a sad thing they have to put in there. Third all nations must have an equitable sharing of the global burden of reducing emissions. Fourth, there must be disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups. Fifth, a just international climate policy could include the trading of permits to emit greenhouse gases has split environmental and environmental justice movements. Sixth, the cost of adapting climate change should fall of the shoulders of who proportionately cause the problem and can not come from the poor.


            In article touched on a lot of great points and one I want to talk about is how this movement needs to come with a grassroots movement everybody needs to understand this issue and come together to solve it. It is important the United Nations delivers us a fair and achievable climate treaty so we can start working on it immediately and we can start to see a future where fossil foils and non-renewable gases are a thing of the past.

Personal Essay

I think this was a great opening chapter to this book to look at and open up to the main arguments of the whole book. Being just one human being on this earth who has never been outside the United States it is hard for be to grasp since a large scale problem that I have only seen in person. I see the major problem behind how humans are supposed to see climate change and they are supposed to change their way of life to help the earth. These major industries and major nations see these other countries as places they can destroy and make a huge profit and they have since they crazy thought they made that country better because they created jobs in the country. The United Nations is a subject that of course I know what it is but I have never seen them at work. In this chapter they talk about how climate injustice is happening and these poor countries can do nothing about it. I agree with the smaller country when they said the line about they are only get 50 silver coins in this deal, these major players need to understand the six objectives to making a fair and just climate policy. To bring all these nations together and figure out a climate policy and allow every one to have a voice and make sure that the paris climate agreement is not just a voluntary idea but it needs to adopted by all nations.