Faced with worsening environmental indicators, cooperation hurdles, and the limited effectiveness of current institutions, reforming international environmental governance has proven elusive, despite various diplomatic initiatives at the UN level over the last two decades. Overcoming the current dead-end, however, may rest less in devising new arrangements than in challenging how the problem has been approached. Presenting a multi-facetted exploration of some of the key issues and questions in global ecopolitics, this book brings together recent advances in research on global environmental governance in order to identify new avenues of inquiry and action. Each chapter questions elements of the current wisdom and covers a topic that lies at the heart of global environmental governance, including the reasons for engagement; the evolving relationship between science and policy; the potential and limits of the EU as a key actor; the role of developing and emergent countries; and the contours of a complex governance of international environmental issues. Laying the foundation for rethinking at a time of great transformation in global ecopolitics, this book will be important reading for students of environmental politics and governance. It will also be of relevance to policy makers with an interest in going beyond the prevailing discourse on this crucial topic.
Scientific Cosmology is clearly one of the most active physics research fields at present, and likely to remain so in the near future. Shortly after the pioneering cosmological work of Einstein, Georges Lemaitre proposed a model which some years later to be known as the big-bang model. In the early fifties an alternative proposal, the so called steady-state (expansion at constant density) model, became the fashionable model in prominent academic circles. The discovery of the cosmic background microwave radiation (Penzias & Wilson, 1965) made the steady-state model almost untenable. A quarter of a century later the inflationary model was proposed, becoming extraordinarily popular almost immediately. For some it seemed to combine attractive features of both the steady-state and the big-bang models, by postulating a very early violent (constant density) expansion during a very tiny fraction of a second. The book makes use of the best and most recent observational data, from the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE, 1992) to the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP, 2003), to discuss the merits and demerits of inflationary cosmology for a general readership acquainted with the basic facts of scientific cosmology. A complete Glossary and a detailed Index help the reader to follow controversial topics, such as dark matter, dark energy, cosmic flatness and accelerated expansion.
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