Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Start Forums Courses Current Debates and Themes in Global Environmental History Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange Reply To: Mon 3 March: Ecology, History and Unequal Exchange

Author Replies # Posted on March 5, 2014 at 13:19

Current Themes and Debates in Global Environmental History
Yu Wang
History department&Global Environmental History

Reply to saelrodr’s comment
Dear Saelrodr:
Thank you so much for your comments on my recfection. I also notice that I forgort to mention my view in the end about question “What is wrong with the nation-state as a unit of analysis for GEH?” I have to say that the function of analtysing GEH as a unit of the nation-state is not easy to get proper answer when we look at different situations. I agree that nation- state as unit will help people to focus on GEH on a high level and also give the politicions more pressure to do more things agaist the polution today. What I really question is, how to ask and even believe in that the political system could make the balance between “The central government with local governments” and “Economic development with environmental protection”? We can not escape from the question about police implementation. In China, the local goverments always have big pressure of develop economic. The proportion of GDP accounted extremely important achievements in local government evalution system.From the south to north, from the east to west, the unbanlanc economic development characteristics making it is easier to transfer the results of the environmental damage from an rich area to other poorer regions.
Another significant issue is the envrionmant law as a legal issue. National level does have more power higher level on pass environmental protection laws, but the abstract concept of state, especially for the country that democratic process has not been established totally, the countries always play in the adverse environmental effects. They excluside individuals own jurisdiction on environmental rights. China, for example, due to the previously mentioned the different interests betwteen local government and the central government, China more emphasis on environmental protection by the State as a subject. But the result is that individual citizens lose their right to sue. Environmental pollution is treated as public interest litigation from legal level, and the state becomes to the only prosecution body. What we notice is in China, Nation-State as the subject of proceedings, almost never prosecuted any environment pollution behavior, but the consequences of pollution are borne by everyone like us.
My conclution about the question is, “the nation-state as a unit of analysis for GEH” is too general, ignore the particularity of national structures. And the realistic results is due to this particularity powerless to prevent contamination.