Ford School Currents: Professor Barry Rabe

December 8, 2020 0:03:20
Kaltura Video

Professor Barry Rabe speaks about the shifting global politics of climate change.


This is Ford School Currents with Professor Barry Rabe. Professor, we've

seen a lot of climate events in the news,

record heat in the West, active hurricane season in the South.

Record heat in Europe. On one side, in the US, you have calls

for urgent action, while others say that this amounts to climate alarmism.

Isn't acknowledging climate change the first step in being able to tackle

the issue? There is a real sense of transition and change in part

because of these very, very high profile visible events, which do not affect

any part of the country identically, it differs from place to place,

but begins to add up and enter the public imagination.

Within the last year, we've begun to see some non trivial changes in

public opinion about how Americans view this issue. When we're talking about

climate change, we're also looking at the notion of climate justice,

which ties environmental policy to human rights and wider equity issues.

Are social movements influencing these domestic or international development

policies as they relate to the environment? I do think in the United

States over this last year or two, we have begun to see some

integration and thinking about this and not looking just at what's the quickest

way we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, important though that is,

but then think about the distributional justice or equity, whether that's

a carbon pricing system, a tax, where revenue might be allocated or reallocated

to different kinds of communities. So in that realm of social policy and

how it's responding to climate change, what are the differences between

the United States and for example, the European Union and how they're approaching

it? This is such an interesting comparison because it seemed 25 years ago

that it was the United States who would really lead the world on

this issue. The sad irony is that early American interest in this has

not been sustained through policy, but we are, as I noted earlier,

seeing some significant signs of major policies and exhibit A right now

across the entire world would probably be the member states of the European

Union. So Europe really is emerging as a truly a global leader,

but that's also being matched in other places around the world,

including some nations of Asia. In North America, that would certainly include

Canada, but one of the laggards in this remains the United States and

that is truly to be seen at this

movement and surge of interest in global warming in the United States and

concern about these very kinds of events that we were discussing actually

can translate politically into policies that can be adopted and then to

be implemented over time. Professor Barry Rabe, thank you very much.

Thank you very much. Take care.