Evolving Governance Across a Stressed Planet
In the previous chapter we examined the long history of the complex two-way interaction between humans, their evolving cultural endowments and practices, and the atmosphere. In this chapter we explore how this dynamic unfolded with particular reference to the evolution of governance in the post-Kyoto Treaty context. Specifically, we focus on the implications for the Modern conception of governance, the extent to which human societies may have embarked upon an adaptive transition, and the modalities of such a transition. Even though the Kyoto Protocol came into force in February 2005, influential voices could still be heard contesting or downplaying the evidence for global warming and consequent climate change. It was as if key elements of world society remained in active denial. Nevertheless, the steady flow of scientific assessments eventually focused public discourse. The likely social, economic and political ramifications at all levels (from the local to the global) were so wide-ranging and profound, and the need for a comprehensive response so urgent that UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in 2007, referred to it as ‘a defining issue of our time’.1 A CLIMATE FOR CHANGE The Kyoto Protocol, though its defined targets constituted at best a partial and provisional response, would at least map the boundaries of the global political terrain upon which subsequent responses could be built. It represented an important symbolic moment in the evolution of public discourse and policy. Countries that had ratified the Protocol were now widely thought to occupy the moral high ground. With the United States,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.