This political science course explores how competing ideas regarding environmental protection and conflicting interests impact global environmental politics. The course gives special attention to the foundations of environmental conflict, including the root economic and social factors that drive resources depletion and environmental degradation. The course addresses existing environmental laws and international agreements, as well as the processes by which binding environmental rules are enacted. A major focus of the course is to explore how policy processes at the local, national, and international level work to address global environmental problems. Some of the environmental problems addressed include: the management of trans-boundary pollution, the challenge of climate change, the pursuit of renewable energy alternatives, management of endangered species, waste management systems, large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts, resource scarcity and international conflict, and others. As a political science course, the class gives special attention to the diverse factors that promote political action for environmental protection.
Field WorkCountry: China
Day: 2 - Hong Kong - Sunday, 08 February
The Saffron Junk will take participants to the west side of Hong Kong to learn about marine debris and what it means to ecosystem. Participants will trawl for plastic debris with a sampling net and hearing a presentation about plastic debris in the ocean, its effects on Hong Kong, and what can be done to make a difference. Academic Objectives: 1. Gain understanding of the global problem of plastic waste in marine environments. 2. Understand how environmental activists operate with the Chinese system. 3. Understanad the steps that are being taken to address plastics problem.