New Haven, Conn. -- Ten global environmental threats and how they can be addressed through treaties, new forms of government and international cooperation are examined in a new book, Global Environmental Governance.
The book, written by Yale Dean Gus Speth and political scientist Peter Haas outlines shortcomings of current efforts to address climate disruption, loss of biodiversity, acid rain, ozone depletion, deforestation, desertification, degradation and shortages of freshwater, decline of marine fisheries, toxic pollutants and excess nitrogen -- all of which contribute to creating dead zones in the world's oceans.
The book also tells how in recent decades nations, non-governmental organizations, scientists and multinational corporations have created an unprecedented set of laws and institutions intended to help solve large-scale environmental problems. Global Environmental Governance is the first in the Foundations of Contemporary Environmental Studies series produced by Island Press in collaboration with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
'The sheer size of the growing human population, coupled with exponential growth in the world economy and its integration internationally has given environmental challenges not only a distinctly global cast but also a new urgency," say the authors. "Whether we like it or not, we are now at the planetary controls and must make the hard choices necessary to address global environmental challenges."
Accompanying the 20th century's vast economic expansion were two categories of change of enormous consequence for the natural environment. First is the dramatic increase in consumption of the earth's natural resources, the so-called "renewable resources" of forests, air, soils, fish, animal life and fresh water. The second change has been the exponential gr