Dressed casually in a tweed jacket, navy tie, and checkered shirt, Dr. Mathiason began his lecture by discussing the two main responses to climate change; adaptation and mitigation. “If an area is under water, we need to teach the residents how to swim.” He said as the adaptation response. He explained how climate change mitigation most often involves reductions in concentration of greenhouse gases by reducing the sources or by increasing their sinks. He also discussed the international regime theory and how it brings people together because of a common interest in climate change.
An international regime, as defined by International Relations professor Stephen Krasner, is a set of principles-explicit or implicit-, rules, norms and decision-making procedures around which expectations of actors converge in order to coordinate. “Climate change today is an incomplete regimen, in that while the principals (statements of fact), norms (obligation of states) and some rules (how nations are expected to implement their obligations) have been agreed upon in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, many of the rules and most of the procedures have not been agreed upon.” Dr. Mathiason explained.
Global climate change is becoming an increasing area of concern and Dr. Mathiason’s lecture resonated with those who came to hear him speak. The audience in attendance was comprised of mostly ESF professors along with a few students, and many were intently taking notes. CollegeHour seems to be off to a successful start and ESF students can look forward to many more interesting and informative speakers to come.