The following experts can speak to various issues associated with the upcoming implementation of the Kyoto protocol.
Associate Professor of Environmental Law, Bruce Pardy,says: “Like most environmental law academics, I believe that climate change is real and serious. But unlike most, I think Kyoto is not the way to fix it, and is generally a bad idea.” In his paper, The Kyoto Protocol: Bad News for the Global Environment, he says “Kyoto is the latest in a series of international environmental ‘first steps’ that are politically appealing but inadequate in form as well as substance," (in Journal of Environmental Law & Practice, 2004). His other publications include "Changing Nature: The Myth of the Inevitability of Ecosystem Management" (2003) Pace Environmental Law Review, and "Asking the Dog to Guard the Puppy Chow: Three Objections to Environmental Voluntarism" (2003), Journal of Environmental Law and Practice.
Queen’s climatologist, Harry McCaughey, says the Kyoto protocol “is an essential first step to resolving the problem of climate change. However, it represents a small first step and the successive steps, after 2012 (the end of the first Kyoto period), are of the greatest importance.”
McCaughey is a microclimatology specialist who focuses on boreal forests, climate change, instrumentation and data management. He is co-author of the study 'Magnitudes and seasonal patterns of energy, water, and carbon exchanges at a boreal young jack pine forest in the BOREAS northern study area' (1997,Journal of Geophysical Research).
Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal recipient, and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, John Smol heads Queen’s Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL). His research group removes core sediment samples from lake bottoms and investigates present-day lake systems to understand the algal and invertebrate communities. Their findings help them track long-term ecological changes related to recent climatic warming and other environmental changes. Such data are required to define natural environmental variability, to generate and test hypotheses, and to evaluate computer models that are now being used for the study of global environmental change.
Dr. Smol is currently involved with the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s international project to study the ecosystem impact of melting ice in the western Arctic.
Kyoto and social movements:
Queen’s sociologist, Richard Day, says “Kyoto is a big red herring. It converts what should be an opportunity for doing something about global inequality and global environmental catastrophe into an opportunity for intensifed exploitation and profit, by selling the right to pollute. The Canadian government has, appropriately, hired a top-notch comic to tell individuals to cut back their activities, while allowing corporations further slack. A several-ring circus.”
He is an anarchist activist and scholar who is interested in how radical social change can be achieved through the construction of alternatives to the system of states and corporations. This has led to research into service groups like Food Not Bombs, Independent Media Centres, factory and land occupations, as well as indigenous movements for self-determination. Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements', a book based on this work, will be published by Pluto Press in September 2005.
Federal/Provincial relations and Kyoto’s implementation:
Kim Nossal, head of Queen’s Political Studies Department, and Canadian foreign policy expert, can speak to the federal-provincial aspects of the implementation of the Kyoto treaty.
Dr. Nossal has written a plethora of books and articles on international politics, including “World Politics: Global Anarchy, Global Governance,” in Rand Dyck, ed., Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science (2002), and "Canadian Studies in a Post-National Era: The Case of International Relations," Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 1-4 July 2000; also see "Home-Grown IR: The Canadianization of International Relations,' Journal of Canadian Studies(Spring 2000)
Political/Environmental Studies researcher Anita Krajnc can speak to how Canada can meet its Kyoto-prescribed targets through such measures as imposing fuel efficiency standards and green taxes, and funding public transit.
Dr. Krajnc's doctoral thesis was entitled "Green Learning: The Role of Scientists and the Environmental Movement." The first Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral fellow with Queen’s Political Studies Department, Dr. Krajnc is writing a book that explains major changes in social movement strategies in response to changes in the domestic and international environments. Adapting Social Movement Strategies builds on her doctoral work on the Canadian environmental movement.
Queen's Research Chair in Biochemical and Cell Culture Engineering, Andrew Daugulis, can speak to biological routes to manufacturing – such as “bionylon”– which he feels would have a beneficial effect on the environment.
Dr. Daugulis researches bioprocess development, focused on the design, modeling and implementation of bioreactors for applications in bioremediation of contaminated waste streams and in biosynthesis of high-value products. His work on the development of Partitioning Bioreactors has led to several patents. These novel bioreactors have been used in environmental applications for the biodestruction of highly toxic compounds, including benzene, toluene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Dr. Daugulis has worked as a consultant to companies in Canada and the US, as well as to government organizations world-wide.
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Sarah Withrow 613.533.3280 or Therese Greenwood 613.533.6907, News and Media Services.