Dear U.Va. Community, It is with great pleasure that we present to you the Spring 2012 issue of The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research. This semester’s edition contains an amazing breadth of research—from plant biology to linguistics to philosophy—and is characteristic of the diversity of undergraduate research conducted by the University’s students and their faculty members. Within, you will discover research of the highest caliber that demonstrates the fine quality of work that U.Va. students achieve when guided by their intellectual curiosity. It is our hope that through the process of reading this issue, you may also be sparked by the same thirst for knowledge that drove these student researchers. As our first semester as Editors-in-Chief, we have brought several fresh aspects to the journal. By bringing together the academic communities of the entire university, we have emphasized our goal of multidisciplinarity. For the first time in the history of the journal, our editorial board selected the cover design from a diverse array of competitive submissions from the University’s art community, with fourth year architecture student Diana Fang as our winner. We have also added “Lab Notes,” a section to showcase the latest research conducted by students of U.Va.’s scientific community. In addition, we are highlighting the winners of this year’s Undergraduate Research Network Symposium to display an even greater depth of the research projects conducted at the university. All the while, our editorial board has continued the journal’s tradition of maintaining the highest standard in paper evaluation and selection. This issue could not have been possible without the support of many. The members of our editorial staff devoted several hours each week to evaluate and discuss the paper submissions. We would like to thank them for all of their efforts, and we would like to give a special thank you to the editors who were involved in the layout of the journal and to the members of the Undergraduate Research Network who helped publicize the journal. We would also like to thank the Center for Undergraduate Excellence for their continued support and guidance. Finally, we would like to thank our authors as well as the faculty advisors who guided them through their research, and we would like to thank you for supporting this semester’s issue of The Oculus. Thank you, and we hope you enjoy the journal! Sincerely,
Michelle Choi Co-Editor-in-Chief
Ko Eun “Janet” Shin Co-Editor-in-Chief
Dear Readers, I am honored that the Editors of The Oculus asked me to write a short guest letter for this issue. When I first arrived at U.Va., one of the school deans told me that “The University of Virginia combines the best features of a liberal arts college with the best features of a research university.” The Dean then went on to talk about faculty student engagement; how faculty attend student events; how faculty engage students in research. I have found this “elevator speech” to accurately describe the University: we take great pride in providing research experiences across Grounds for our students who desire to work closely with faculty in knowledge discovery. I am a strong advocate for undergraduate research. My own undergraduate research experience ignited my passion for science, leading to the academic career path I ultimately pursued. Research and teaching are mutually-reinforcing activities, and together form a powerful combination for intellectual growth. One of the greatest attributes of U.Va. is that the faculty continually aspire for excellence in teaching and scholarship, while not forgetting that the primary mission of universities is education. The undergraduate research experiences recounted in this issue show this to be true. I hope you enjoy reading about the research projects described in this issue of The Oculus. Sincerely,
John D. Simon Executive Vice President and Provost
The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Volume 11, Issue 1 Contents Around the University: Mentors and Their Students Undergraduate Edward Smith and Graduate Student Emily Sydnor Arun Dutta
Lab Notes: Ongoing Science Research at the University Christina Knippler and Caleigh Azumaya
Undergraduate Research Network Symposium Winners
Global Climate Change Politics and the Feasible U.S. Policy Strategy: Bangladeshi Insights for an American Solution John J. Nay
Estimating Tree Transpiration Accurately Depends on Wood Type and Species: A Study of Four Southern Appalachian Tree Species Ava Hoffman
Who Owns the Water? An Analysis of Water Conflicts in Latin America and Modern Water Law Thomas Coleman
The Forum of the Dispossessed: An Interpretation of Ambiguity in Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums Ioana Dumitriu
The Identity of Theseus: Ship and Man Jonathan Weinstein
A Model of the Economic, Environmental, Health, and Social Factors Affecting Electric Vehicle Use Julia King, Steve Norum, and Vladislav Sviderskiy
The Experiences and Legacies of the United States Colored Troops Diana Dean
A Roar for Peace: Churchill’s United Europe Walker McKusick
A No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Involved in Research Jessleen Kanwal (originally published Spring 2011)
Co-Editors-in-Chief Michelle Choi and Ko Eun “Janet” Shin Editorial Staff Frank Barrows, Kirsti Campbell, Anh Dao, Arun Dutta, Kate Kingsbury, Jason Liao, Mi Jeong Lim, Shaun Moshasha, Krishi Sharma, Shatila Zaman Senior Editors Hari “Leah” Kim, Sarah Smith, David Wu, Jason Ya Associate Editors Charles “Banks” Griffin, April Hyon, Venkat Iyer, Sharon Rogart Layout Committee Venkat Iyer, Krishi Sharma, Sarah Smith, David Wu, Jason Ya Publicity Committee April Hyon and Kate Kingsbury Cover Design Competition Winner Diana Fang The Oculus is published by the Undergraduate Research Network (URN) in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate Excellence (CUE). All copyrights are retained by the authors; URN holds the rights to non-exclusive use in print and electronic formats for all pieces submitted for publication in The Oculus. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not constitute the opinion of The Oculus.
Around the University: Mentors and Their Students Undergraduate Edward Smith and Graduate Student Emily Sydnor
pon hearing the word “research,” the typical student envisions test tubes, bubbling solutions, and lab coats. But Edward Smith, a third year undergraduate in the highly competitive Politics Honors Program, and his mentor Emily Sydnor, a graduate student in the Department of Politics, are conducting first-class political research under associate Professor of Politics Nicholas Winter. Last spring, they received the Double Hoo Research Grant, an award that funds undergraduate-graduate student research pairs, to support their study of political communication. Nearly one year after the duo embarked on their journey, The Oculus had the chance to sit down with Edward and Emily to discuss their research as well as their take on the undergraduate research experience. Edward and Emily’s work focuses on polarization in political journalism and its effects on public opinion and political behavior. Their research involves performing content analysis of news transcripts to study political civility – in other words, whether political groups behave civilly towards one another. Edward explains, “We have a coding scheme. Basically we read news transcripts and we try to indicate whether a source is being uncivil to another source. So if they say, ‘I’m a Republican, you’re a Democrat, I think your policy is going to fundamentally destroy American values,’ that would be an example of someone being uncivil.”
Edward and Emily are also examining the portrayal of disadvantaged groups in the media. For example, they were interested in whether immigrants were portrayed negatively in the media during the immigration debate in Arizona a few years ago, and if the disadvantaged were viewed negatively in the current health care debate. The two met in Professor Lynn Sanders’s Racial Politics class, for which Emily was a teaching assistant. Emily was interested in applying for the Double Hoo, but needed to find a suitable undergraduate partner. Impressed by the quality of his work, she approached Edward about performing research together. “I taught him, so I’d read his writing. I’d seen how he worked. I knew he was invested in the material,” says Emily. Edward enthusiastically accepted the offer, and the two began their project together that summer. Edward was lucky enough to be presented with an opportunity; for most, however, this is not the case. Many undergraduates do not know where to start looking for research opportunities and mentors. “Make sure you talk to your TA’s,” says Edward. “Be ambitious and go to office hours is my number one piece of advice.” If a student has an idea, Emily also suggests talking to a TA about it. “Most TA’s are going to be happy to give you advice … I think it’s awesome to see what you’re doing outside of the 50 minutes that I get to talk with you [in class].” Many undergraduates become interested in research between their second and third years. Edward suggests that students get started earlier, but not too early. “You have to find you interest first. And sometimes it takes some time to actually find it.” Emily adds, “If in your first year you can find opportunities to learn the research skills, go for it. And then you can work to the point where as a fourth year you’re marrying the skills you’ve already picked up to the topics you’re interested in.” After finding a mentor, undergraduates must realize that research is not a cakewalk. “Research is not always the most interesting thing in the world to do,” says Emily. “You have to really like politics and like reading and be interested in the subject matter.” Both Emily and Edward agree that research takes discipline and hard work. But with challenges come rewards. “[Research] improves your writing skills. It makes you think critically about issues and come up with problem-solving techniques… Just those two skills alone you can apply to anything,” says Emily. Edward adds that research has helped him improve his work ethic and taught him how to manage his time more wisely. Indeed, these skills are vital to
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
balancing his tough course load and extracurricular activities. “Somehow it all gets done,” says Emily, “That’s our mantra.” Additionally, research has revealed new life opportunities for Edward. Before the experience, Edward leaned heavily towards attending law school after graduation, but working with Emily has helped him realize that other options may be more suitable. As a result of this project, he is now strongly considering a master’s degree in public policy or public administration. As a recent graduate, Emily can relate closely to Edward as both a mentor and friend. “She’s also been kind of an unofficial adviser to me in…thesis writing and just classes in general,” says Edward. Although Emily has greatly influenced Edward, she emphasizes that the mentor-student dynamic is one of teamwork. In carrying out the project, she was surprised to find that in many ways she was “mentored” by Edward. “[It] has been a constant reminder for me that I need to strive to do better and that the partnership works both ways…He’s keeping me on task rather than it being the other way around,” Emily explains. As their Double Hoo award wraps up this spring, Edward and Emily will part ways. Although their project is coming to an end, Emily plans on incorporating their results into her doctoral dissertation, while Edward will use his newly-acquired skills to study Super PACs for his Politics Honors thesis. “I’ll miss the collaboration. I hope I can find other students who want to do similar things,” says Emily. “It’s been fun working with Emily…I’m better because of it,” says Edward. Interview conducted by Michelle Choi, Janet Shin, David Wu, and Arun Dutta Profile written by Arun Dutta
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Lab Notes: Ongoing Scientific Research at the University Through inquiry, observations, and experiments, scientists attempt to understand how the world around us works. Because of the nature of science, however, resolving a scientific question can normally take many years, and undergraduate research in the sciences has been underrepresented in The Oculus. To address this, it is with great pleasure that we introduce “Lab Notes,” a new section to our journal that showcases ongoing undergraduate scientific research at the University of Virginia.
Structure and Function of the Mis18 Complex in the Human Centromere Christina Knippler, Third Year Biology and Music Double Major Foltz Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine
uman cells have 46 chromosomes that encode the information required for all aspects of cell physiology and organism development. The centromere region ensures proper segregation of duplicated chromosomes in mitosis. Abnormal copies of chromosomes are characteristic of cancer cells and lead to problems in embryonic development. The centromere of each chromosome distinguishes itself from the rest of the DNA by the incorporation of a histone protein called CENP-A. The assembly of CENP-A nucleosomes requires other proteins, including HJURP and the Mis18 complex, comprised of Mis18α, Mis18β, and M18BP1. The structure and exact function of the Mis18 complex is largely unknown. This research aims to use in vitro reconstitution of the Mis18 complex and in vivo assays to understand the function of Mis18. The Mis18α and Mis18β genes are expressed and purified individually and as a complex in bacteria. Size exclusion chromatography will help define the structure of the Mis18 complex. Tests using an engineered human cell line will further identify the regions of interaction among the Mis18 proteins. The results will provide novel analysis of the Mis18 proteins in their native complex within human cells, further advancing our understanding of essential centromeric proteins.
Mechanisms of Hyaluronan Formation by the Hyaluronan Synthase Caleigh Azumaya, Third Year Chemistry Major Zimmer Lab, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, School of Medicine
yaluronan (HA) is a negatively charged polysaccharide found ubiquitously throughout the extracellular matrix of vertebrates. It is synthesized from UDP-activated glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine units by the membrane-integrated hyaluronan synthase (HAS). The Zimmer laboratory has recently demonstrated that the HAS is necessary and sufficient for HA synthesis and membrane translocation, suggesting that the HAS couples polysaccharide synthesis with its secretion. The glycosyl transfer reaction is postulated to provide the energy for translocation.1 My project is to map the path of HA through its TM-channel via site directed cross-linking. I have mutated different amino acids of Se-HAS to p-Benzoyl-L-phenylalanine (Bpa), an unnatural amino acid that is stable and selectively photoactive (a UV-inducible cross-linker) when excited with 350-360 nm light. I am making inverted membrane vesicles from the E. coli cells, which will be used for in vitro HA translocation assays. By exposing the vesicles to UV light while they are actively synthesizing HA, we hope that mutated residues that are close enough to the HA as it is being secreted will crosslink. We have developed an immunoprecipitation assay with anti-FLAG resin that can be used to determine if crosslinking has occurred. Hyaluronan is a key structural component of cartilage and many extracellular matrices in the human body. HA also affects fundamental physiological processes, such as embryological development, cell migration, adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. My research will help to unravel how the HA polymer is formed and deposited outside the cell, thereby providing the basis for understanding its physiological impact. 1 Hubbard, C, JT McNamara, C Azumaya, MS Patel, and J Zimmer. “The hyaluronan synthase catalyzes the synthesis and translocation of hyaluronan.” Journal of Molecular Biology. 418.1-2 (2012): 21-31.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Undergraduate Research Network Symposium Winners The Undergraduate Research Network hosted its Twelfth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April, 2012. We proudly present below the abstracts of the winners of this year’s Symposium.
Adipose-derived Stem Cells and Their Interactions with Monocytes in a Mouse OIR Model Steven Lee, Katherine Degen, Dian Huang, Fourth Year Biomedical Engineering Majors First Place in Sciences
etinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the leading cause of blindness in infants and is caused by the use of supplemental oxygen to support premature babies. When returned to normal oxygen, the body responds by trying to vascularize rapidly, leading to poorly developed vessels and scarring that can cause retinal detachment and blindness. Current treatments are highly invasive and ineffective; however, adipose-derived stem cells have been shown to have a stabilizing effect on the retinal vasculature of mice with compromised immune systems. This work aims to evaluate the ability of these cells to be effective in a mouse model in which their immune systems are intact by characterizing the interactions between introduced stem cells and the endogenous macrophage population. ROP was modeled with an oxygen induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model utilizing CXC3R-1 GFP +/- mice. The number and distribution of macrophages present in the healthy, diseased, and stem-cell-treated retinas were measured. It was found that significantly more macrophages are present in the diseased state. In both the healthy and diseased instances, macrophages tend to inhabit the peripheral regions of the retina in association with vessel growth. Macrophages were also observed acting as direct chaperones for the developing vasculature, helping to guide filopodial connections. This indicates that macrophages are playing a role in vascular stabilization in addition to their immune functions within the tissue. The injection of stem cells reduced the number of macrophages present and was found to reduce the formation of neovascular scar tissue.
Second Place: Kyle Teegarden, Second Year Electrical Engineering Major
A Proposal for a Federal Engineering and Science Mentoring Initiative for Women Cammie Genda, Third Year Systems Engineering Major First Place in Humanities
rowess in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields was a transformative driver as the United States emerged from its agrarian past to take on a role as a world power. However, as countries like China and Japan increase their technological work force capabilities, the United States’ position of scientific and technical preeminence appears to be in jeopardy. Women represent a source of underutilized human capital, which can be called upon to increase the economic competitiveness of the U.S. economy. Academia and industry have for years shaped the STEM fields of study and career to meet the social, psychological, and academic needs of men, rather than both men and women. This reason among others has caused low retention rates of women in STEM fields. To increase the number of women in STEM fields and ensure that the U.S. retains the best possible workforce, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President has requested a politically feasible, low cost, and effective plan incorporating federal employees that will shape the atmosphere of STEM fields. This research addresses OSTP’s request with plans for a Federal Engineering Science and Mentorship Initiative. This initiative would increase the number of federal employees serving as STEM mentors and would help coordinate disparate mentoring efforts of federal agencies. Aspects of this plan include a new facilitation role for OSTP, e-mentoring, and topdown recruitment of female federal employees as mentors.
Second Place: John Nay, Fourth Year Environmental Thought & Practice Major 4
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Global Climate Change Politics and the Feasible U.S. Policy Strategy: Bangladeshi Insights for an American Solution John J. Nay International negotiations are not likely to yield an effective climate change policy, and given the current U.S. politics, a treaty would not be domestically ratified even if one were internationally negotiated. There are two broad policy options to address climate change: mitigation (the reduction of emissions that cause climate change) and adaptation (adapting to the changes that occur).Given: (a) the failure of the international negotiations; (b) the political institutions in the U.S. and their current and expected composition; (c) the political arguments backing mitigation efforts; and (d) the economic implications of mitigation policy, the U.S. does not have a mitigation policy in its near-term future.However, based on (a) the success of integrating climate change adaptation and economic development in Bangladesh; (b) the link between climate changes in poor countries and U.S. national security expenses; (c) the link between economic development in poor countries and U.S. national security expenses; (d) the already existing modes of overseas development assistance; and (e) the diplomatic gains increased foreign aid could deliver, an adaptation effort conducted primarily through foreign aid in countries most vulnerable to climate change would be a politically feasible option. In arguing for this option, I describe the social and political dimensions of the climate change issue globally and in the U.S., then, based on my research in Bangladesh in July and August 2011, I outline an instructive example of the application of this foreign aid. Finally, I highlight the operational aspects of my strategy and the extent to which they align with the political forces that could implement them. “Public policy, like politics, is the art of the possible, and this is important to bear in mind in combining theoretical insights with realistic readings of practical feasibility.” –Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen (1999)
The Climate Change Issue
nvironmental issues are, at least in part, social issues: “Environmental problems are not problems of our surroundings, but—in their origins and through their consequences—are thoroughly social problems, problems of people, their history, living conditions, relation to the world and reality…” (Beck, 1992, p. 81). Ultimately, climate change in particular is a complex social and political issue. The sociologist
John Jacob Nay, graduating from U.Va. in May 2012, is a double major in Environmental Thought & Practice and in Philosophy. Funded by a Raven Society Research Fellowship and the Senator John Warner Public Leadership Research Grant, he travelled to Bangladesh and the U.K. to conduct independent research. John organized and recorded interviews with 22 senior officials in government, international aid organizations, NGOs, and consulting firms. Based on this field work, John wrote the following paper. Upon graduation, he will begin at Vanderbilt University as an Environmental Law & Policy Ph.D. student, where he will be a member of a four-year research team advising the U.S. Navy on the impacts that social and environmental changes will have on human migration patterns in South Asia.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Joel Best suggests three primary areas for studying social problems: the claims, the claims-makers, and the claims-making process (Best, 1989). As an introduction to the social problem of climate change, I will explore these three areas. Claims We can analyze the content of the social problems (the claims themselves) by the rhetoric of the claims, that is, the deliberate use of language and argument for persuasion. Rhetorical claims are composed of grounds, warrants, and conclusions. Grounds are the data and facts that lay the foundation for the claims making. Part of the grounds component is the definition that sets the boundaries of the problem, which guides the subsequent interpretation of the issue. Warrants provide the justification for taking remedial action. Many times, claims are linked to rights, freedoms, justice, and well-being. Conclusions offer actions that may be taken to work towards eliminating the social problem (Hannigan, 1995). As for the social problem of climate change, the grounds are the worldwide climatic and oceanographic data—the problem is defined in a global manner by natural scientists. The problem is warranted by a variety of rhetorical idioms and motifs. “Rhetorical idioms are image clusters which endow claims with moral significance. They include a ‘rhetoric of loss’ (of innocence, nature, culture, etc.); a ‘rhetoric of calamity’ (in a world full of deteriorating conditions, epidemic proportions are claimed for a few; for example, AIDS or the greenhouse effect)…” (Hannigan, 1995, p. 36). Conclusions for climate change range from carbon trading schemes to community adaptation to geo-engineering. Grounds for the climate change issue can be found in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise” (IPCC, 2011). 194 countries are members of the IPCC, including the United States. As reflected in its reports, the majority of climate scientists tell us that the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere at expected levels will cause higher global temperatures, which will cause an increase in extreme weather events, tropical storm intensity, and precipitation variability. These changes will lead to coastal zone inundation, greater human exposure to storm surges, and less reliably available water. Predicting future climate changes involves much uncertainty, but predicting
the human activities that cause climate change is fraught with possibly higher levels of uncertainty. Population growth and rates of growth in individual industries are main determinants of GHG emissions and are both notoriously difficult to predict with high confidence. The climate change problem is endowed with moral significance by the use of fairness arguments. These arguments take two general forms: intergenerational fairness and international fairness. The former asserts that climate change is an injustice that the present generation is forcing onto future generations; the latter asserts that climate change is an injustice the richer countries are forcing onto the poorer countries. The two predominant conclusions for climate change are: (1) mitigation, reducing our GHG emissions through some type of comprehensive governmental policy and (2) adaptation, adapting to the changes that do occur. The two sides of the policy coin are interrelated: the less we continue to emit, presumably the fewer changes there will be to adapt to. But even if we ceased all emissions immediately, there are already enough GHGs in the atmosphere to cause changes we must adapt to. Actors & Claims-makers: States, IGOs, and Civil Society Categorizing all countries into “North” and “South” masks many important differences within each group (especially between the European Union and the U.S.) and within each country (especially within India and the United States). However, the Southern countries have argued that they are a voting bloc for environmental issues. Indicative of the “Southern” attitude towards climate change, a Bangladeshi delegate to the climate change negotiations told me, “When I was in government from 2007 to 2009, as the secretary of the Environment Ministry, in the global forum I tried to convince the other countries that we have the right to face this problem and we need funding because it is not our fault. It is these other rich countries’ faults, so they need to share the burden.” The Non-Aligned Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, a group of countries taking a neutral stance in the Cold War, and the New International Economic Order, a movement to reduce the South’s economic dependency on the North, were precursors to the “South” as a collective identity in environmental politics (Najam, 2004). “The organizational form of the NIEO movement is the Group of 77 (G77, now consisting of over 130 member states), which began as an alliance within the UN’s General Assembly, and has taken on an organizational identity of its own, including articulating and representing southern interests at international environmental negotiations” (O’Neill, 2009). Southern states forged the link between environmental and economic developmental issues in the framework of ‘sustainable development’ at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. This link is crucial in tying the international fairness warranting to intergen-
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
erational fairness, adding more weight to the claim that climate change is a global social issue requiring policy action. There are two primary sets of international governmental organizations (IGOs) in global environmental politics: the UN system, and the economic institutions—WTO, World Bank, and IMF. The UN programs most involved in environmental policy are the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Commissions on Sustainable Development (CSD). The UNDP, World Bank, and UNEP manage the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which funds projects dealing with global environmental issues. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was started in 1991, is funded by the World Bank, and is administered by UNEP and UNDP. The GEF provides grants and loans for projects that address global environmental problems. In 1993, the GEF was restructured to allow greater participation of NGOs, which are the third type of actor in global environmental politics. They are significant in monitoring international agreements and alerting the global community when a state fails to comply. In developing countries, they implement many, if not most, environmental and developmental projects. The Post-WWII “Bretton Woods” settlements, agreements by the Allied Nations in which rules, institutions, and procedures to regulate the international monetary system were set up, actually accounted for economic vulnerability; safeguards were put into place to protect certain industries. These settlements struck a ‘bargain’ between an open global economy and safeguards to protect the vulnerable, but by the early 1990s this bargain had slid into the supremacy of macroeconomic growth. As this neoliberal globalization mindset was increasingly evident in the international financial and development organizations, critics pointed to the negative impacts on indicators of social and environmental wellbeing. The critical, activist movements have begun to re-frame environmental issues as human rights issues, highlighting inequalities both across current space and through to future generations, and these institutions have begun to listen to these criticisms. Steven Bernstein has identified a normative change in the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and United Nations, of predicating environmental protection on the promotion of a liberal economic order. Liberal economic policies were seen as antithetical to ecological management in the 1970’s, but they became cornerstones to the environmental policy approaches of the 1990’s. In these more recent changes in global governance norms, another ‘bargain’ has been struck, this time, between environmental protection and economic development. In this way, environmental concerns become crucial to the growth of the global economy (Bernstein, 2001).
This development further integrates the intergenerational environmental fairness warranting with the international economic fairness warranting. Claims-Making Process Kate O’Neill (2009) offers some factors that help to determine the relative success of international environmental negotiations. The perception that a crisis is imminent has been critical. With the ozone layer deterioration, the direct threat of skin cancer was very palpable. The effects of acid rain were also identifiable and could be connected to the cause rather easily. On the other hand, the effects of climate change are very uncertain, perceived to be further out in the future, and concentrated disproportionately in developing countries like Bangladesh. The rules of the negotiating game are another important limiting factor for climate change success. The same negotiation process blueprint has been applied to almost every environmental issue. Innovation on this front may lead to more success with climate change negotiations. Another major factor is North-South politics. This is where (and why) the issues of equity and sustainable development have been integrated into climate change negotiations. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” has been incorporated into climate change agreements. This principle runs against the notion of more equal distribution of costs, of which the United States is a proponent. At Stockholm in 1972, the Southern countries were, on the whole, against environmental policies; at the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 they were much more engaged with environmental politics (Najam, 2005). There has been an interesting role reversal between North and South in international environmental and economic discourse. At Stockholm and Rio, the South was more in favor of economic development and the North more in favor of environmental protection. The roles reversed at Johannesburg, where the North held the position that economic development will lead to reduced poverty and improved environment and the South argued for environmental protection as fundamental to economic development (Wapner, 2003). Nonetheless, climate change, macroeconomic development, and poverty alleviation are now undeniably interconnected in global politics. This fact will form the basis of my policy strategy. In the claims-making process, claims-makers adapt their social problem claims to mesh with target audiences (Hilgartner, 1988). The target audiences for my policy proposal are primarily conservative and moderate politicians who are opposed to mitigation policies but may be more open to an adaptation strategy as part of an economic development program. I will adapt the social problem claim of climate change in a way that meshes with my audience: the current and expected composition of the federal government.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Environmental problems are unique social problems in that they often originate in the realm of science. Next, the presentation and legitimation of these problems, like most social problems, is usually done through the mass media—the “layer of proof” here being morality. The contestation of the problem and the mobilization of support is accomplished in the realm of politics—the “layer of proof” here being legality, and the strategy being networking, development of technical expertise, and the opening of policy windows (Hannigan, 1995). In order for a scientific issue to be morphed into a policy issue, it has to become something that is “treatable” (Hannigan, 1995, p. 86). Therefore, at the stage of policy formulation, natural science contribution decreases as economic and technical expert contribution increases. In shaping the European policy response to global warming, input of economists, policy analysts, and technology experts dominated that of natural science findings (Liberatore, 1992). “Public policies seldom result from a rational process in which problems are precisely identified and then carefully matched with optimal solutions. Most policies emerge haltingly and piecemeal from a complicated series of bargains and compromises that reflect the biases, goals and enhancement needs of established agencies, professional communities and ambitious political entrepreneurs” (Walker, p. 90). In attempting to understand the relationship between science and environmental policy-making within the complicated political process, it seems promising to use the policy window concept. The policy window model is based on three major process streams in government agenda setting: “(1) problem recognition; (2) the formation and refining of policy proposals; and (3) politics. These three streams usually develop and operate largely independent of one another. However, at critical times the three streams may come together or ‘couple’” (Hannigan, 1995, p. 88). This is referred to as the opening of a policy window. The intricacies of the third stream, (3) politics, explain why we do not have a comprehensive international climate policy in place even when there is (1) problem recognition and (2) extensive formation and refining of policy proposals. It is especially difficult to attach political relevance to global environmental problems where origins and impacts are geographically and temporally diffused. Also, even if climate change did gain a high level of distinction and relevance, familiarity with the issue may ultimately create issue fatigue among the public—this seems to be currently happening in the United States, where belief in human induced climate change has actually decreased recently. I have briefly described the social dimensions of the issue by outlining the claim, the actors and claims-makers, and the relevant institutions. As for the claim’s making and treating process, under the policy window model the politics stream is not align-
ing with the problem recognition and policy proposals. Based on the current political structure that I will outline, I will then offer a policy proposal that could feasibly be implemented, i.e. that aligns with current politics and problem recognition in the United States. Because environmental and economic developmental issues are so interconnected now, strategies that address both, simultaneously and sustainably, are much more likely to be politically feasible. My adaptation strategy is an explicit means of positively addressing both concerns with the same actions.
Climate Change Policy
The International Relations of the Kyoto Protocol International climate change policy efforts began to gain momentum at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED); the result of the conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), took effect in 1994. The parties that signed this treaty agreed to cut emissions to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the Earth’s climate system.” There was almost universal adoption of the treaty, including the United States, but no countries made any specific commitments. At the third Conference of the Parties (COP-3) in 1997, there was agreement on the Kyoto Protocol. The signatories to Kyoto collectively committed to reduce average annual GHG emissions between 2008 and 2012 by 5.2 percent compared to their 1990 levels. The United States was a major player in all stages of the Kyoto negotiations. However, in 1997, the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 for the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, rejecting any international climate agreement that did not include specific and binding commitments to GHG reductions in developing countries. The Clinton administration did not present the Protocol to the Senate for ratification and instead allowed three years for possible negotiations to lead to binding commitments to GHG reductions in developing countries. These negotiations failed to materialize and George W. Bush, succeeding to the Presidency three years after the Protocol’s signing, rejected the plan. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries were not required to limit emissions, and a Clean Development Mechanism was implemented, enabling developed countries to offset emissions by paying developing countries to reduce theirs. This explains the almost universal acceptance of the protocol by developing countries. In 2005, Kyoto was ratified by the required number of countries and officially went into effect. Russia had already met its target emissions level by 1997 due to economic collapse. It did not need to do anything to work towards compliance with Kyoto; in fact, Russia would gain financially from the deal by being able to sell business-as-usual credits to countries that needed them to offset their emissions. In stark contrast, the U.S. had the most demanding target relative to its business-as-usual predictions: its
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Kyoto target was a 7% reduction, while its anticipated “business-as-usual” emissions increase during that same period was 31% (Harrison & Sundstron, 2007). The expected emissions trajectories of Germany and the United Kingdom help to explain the European Union’s adoption of Kyoto. Germany achieved significant emissions reduction in the 1990s by shutting down inefficient East German power plants after East Germany was reunified with West Germany. The UK was already looking to replace coal with newly tapped offshore reserves of gas, which would significantly reduce their emissions. The proposed reduction targets of Germany and the UK together accounted for more than 100% of the EU’s commitment. This allowed for emissions growth in other EU countries within the EU ‘bubble,’ which is a means for measuring the success of the group of emitters by focusing on their overall collective action. “The terms of the Kyoto Protocol reflected a grand compromise between the U.S. (and its allies) and the EU, in which the US conceded to a deeper reduction than it had originally proposed while the EU agreed to various flexibility mechanisms proposed by the US. However, in relaxing its principled opposition to emissions trading and other flexibility mechanisms, the EU actually gained materially—both because it cut its own reduction commitment to roughly match that of the US and because it too stood to benefit from international flexibility. Thus, the nature of the central compromise reached in Kyoto, between US material interests and EU norms, had the effect of increasing the disparity in costs between these two jurisdictions” (Harrison & Sundstron, 2007, p. 5). This disparity in costs between rich regions, in addition to the bargaining problem with a global emissions reduction deal that would impose most of the immediate costs on rich nations and deliver most of the immediate benefits to poor nations (because they are the most vulnerable to the effects of emissions), led to the failure of the 1997 Protocol as a globally successful deal. In response to the Durban negotiations that concluded on 11 December 2011, Nick Robins, an energy and climate change analyst, said, “There is a fundamental disconnect in having environment ministers negotiating geopolitics and macroeconomics.” This alludes to the fact that politics on a much broader scale than strictly “environmental” concerns are at play. The relations between Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan, and the three emerging superpowers—China, India and Brazil—are fundamental to these negotiations, and these international relationships are directed in part by each nation’s domestic politics. Therefore, we now turn to the comparative politics of mitigation policy. The Comparative Politics of the Deal Kathryn Harrison (2007) asserts that American and Canadian voters indicated support for Kyoto ratification in polls but were rather apathetic to the
issue. When voters are not attentive, politicians will place more emphasis on interest groups that are involved in an issue and lobbying for a certain policy outcome. Not surprisingly, environmental interest groups supported ratification in all countries and, at the same time, “the degree of business and labor opposition was consistent with the magnitude of reductions below the business-as-usual trajectory… thus, the US saw formidable opposition to ratification” (Harrison & Sundstron, 2007, p. 7). Opposition strategies in the U.S. included various political and legal measures. An example is the legal challenges by the auto industry to California’s regulation of carbon emissions from automobiles. The Competitive Enterprise Institute launched a campaign against GHG mitigation, using the slogan, “They call it pollution; we call it life.” The differences in political institutions across countries also play a role in explaining variance in willingness to adopt international climate policy. Proportional electoral systems can more closely represent the interests of voters deeply concerned about climate change, usually through Green parties. Proportional representation in some EU countries and in the European Parliament helps to explain the EU’s strong support for climate change policy (Busby & Ochs, 2005). The majoritarian electoral systems in the U.S., Canada, and Australia’s lower house result in representatives being more attuned to the average voter, who is generally less passionate about climate change, especially in these three countries. In countries like the U.S. that have multiple veto points, opponents to climate policy have an easier time attaining their goals than proponents, given that creating climate policy would be a change to the status quo. The U.S. Senate could veto the ratification of Kyoto, and the Byrd-Hagel Resolution signaled the certainty of the veto to the Clinton administration, which accordingly never presented the treaty to the Senate. U.S. Congress members’ electoral calculus is largely based on their jurisdiction’s economic interests (Harrison & Sundstron, 2007). This, along with the great degree to which U.S. Congress Members and Senators must rely on private campaign contributions, as opposed to the public campaign finance contribution systems in other countries, helps explain their rejection of Kyoto ratification and domestic mitigation policy at the behest of industrial and energy business interests, which donate significant sums to campaigns. International factors such as normative pressure from foreign governments and NGOs, side payments to reduce political and economic costs, and business concerns in the global economy, all play a role in domestic decisions on global climate policy. The first two factors help explain why countries that could benefit from being perceived as a good international citizen and from diplomatic side payments were more likely to ratify. The third factor, business concerns, played a
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
determinant role in Australia’s and the United States’ rejection of Kyoto. Both countries explicitly cited concerns about competition with firms in countries with fewer restrictions on emissions as a primary reason for rejection. Vladimir Putin, in signing Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on 5 November 2004, was concerned that Russia be seen as a good world citizen. The Russian government released a statement as it signed the Protocol, explaining, “The decision on ratification was passed taking into account the significance of the protocol for the development of international cooperation and, likewise, taking into account the protocol will take effect only under the condition of the Russian Federation’s participation in it” (Myers, 2004). However, as mentioned above, Russia would benefit materially from Kyoto and that probably played a larger role in its decision to ratify the protocol. “In the case of Canada, a desire to promote the norm of multilateralism was cited by many observers as a factor in Jean Chrétien’s decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Here the normative argument is less fettered because Canada accepted tremendous material costs in ratifying…” (Harrison & Sundstron, 2007, p. 11). The United States, in general, is less concerned about complying with international norms; this becomes evident in U.S. – UN relations. Therefore, normative pressures from foreign governments and NGOs have little effect on U.S. motivation to address the issue. After the U.S. rejected Kyoto, the EU was very concerned with securing Russia as part of the protocol. At the same time, Russia was attempting to join the WTO and needed the EU’s approval. Russia’s ratification of Kyoto and the EU’s approval of Russia’s entering into the WTO occurred at about the same time, offering credence to the suggestion that the WTO acceptance was a side-payment for Kyoto ratification. The EU also made significant concessions in order to induce ratification by Canada and Japan. Although these factors help explain their first round commitments, Russia, Canada, and Japan have all recently refused to commit to a second round of commitments under Kyoto. The U.S., not as concerned about international norms and not in need of, or in the position to accept any, diplomatic side payments, had only one significant international factor guiding its decision on the first round of Kyoto: global economic concerns. Furthermore, there was (and still is) a sentiment of American exceptionalism and an antagonism towards foreign governments and international organizations. This is another important factor in the failure of international climate policy. U.S. Isolationism As I mentioned above, I am attempting to sell my strategy to conservative American politicians, so we should investigate the trends in foreign policy approaches within this group. Republicans tend to fa-
vor either isolationism or a foreign policy that acts on superpower status, while, “Democrats are more supportive of a U.S. role as a ‘normal nation’ that pursues its interests in conjunction with others, including through the United Nations. Stated somewhat differently, members of the GOP appear more inclined to favor unilateral action in the pursuit of national interests, whereas multilateralism finds stronger support among Democrats” (Holsti, 1996, p. 150). Although pragmatic nationalist conservatives are generally willing to collaborate with others in the international community in order to advance U.S. interests, conservatives within the most conservative UN member state, the U.S., are in a distinct minority position in UN forums and are unlikely to support an organization where they do not have an influential voice. Furthermore, the number of internationalist Republicans has been decreasing. There are shifts throughout the spectrum of willingness to engage with other countries, but the pragmatic internationalist wing of the Republican Party is becoming increasingly smaller. A significant minority of Americans do not trust the political systems of other states, “so it is not completely incongruous to see the simultaneous growth of people-to-people, Peace Corps, and student exchanges and of anti-foreign government rhetoric, as is the case today” (Luck, 1999, p. 77). Many Americans do not hate the citizens of other countries, just their governments. This supports the notion of private development funding, which I will discuss in my strategy, rather than government-to-government funding, or even worse, government-to-UN-to-government funding. The UN is seen by some as a Trojan horse for moving economic power away from the U.S. to the rest of the world. Thus, the U.S. is in loyal opposition to the UN. “Americans have become the perpetual gadflies, the habitual in-house critics, of international organization….perhaps there is an element in the American ethic that takes comfort in standing alone, in asserting individuality for its own sake” (Luck, 1999, p. 129). It seems that Americans are more comfortable with flexible, task-specific actions instead of formal inter-governmental arrangements with universal membership—a feasible climate change strategy should take this into account along with causes of current foreign policy difficulties: the end of the cold war consensus on American foreign policy, the rise of single-issue interest groups, the polarization of the political parties, massive budget deficits, and the media’s sensationalized coverage and systematic exclusion of centrist positions (Wiarda, 2006). The problem of multilateralism is woven into American politics because the House of Representatives, which appropriates the money, is elected every two years; the Senate, which must consent to treaties before they can be ratified, is elected every six years. The current composition of Congress is crucial to the success of multi-lateral relationships. Negotia-
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
tors failed to recognize congressional limitations in the ratification of Kyoto, or possibly ignored them with the hope of bringing in developing countries in follow-up negotiations. Rather than a massive intergovernmental treaty under UN auspices, negotiations with fewer parties (Canada, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, EU), or bilateral actions, such as the targeted development funding I suggest, are more amenable to domestic support in the U.S. During the negotiations of Kyoto, the United States pushed for each European country to be treated as equal to the United States in terms of each having specific reductions that must be made internally, rather than as part of the European bubble. However, trading within Portugal is very different than trading within the large and economically diverse United States. This would have allowed the U.S. to trade with less-developed European nations and it would have imposed much higher costs on competing countries (Yandle, 2000). This illustrates that climate change policy should be analyzed as grounds for agents with competing interests to via for a deal that benefits each of them: a further challenge for a successful mitigation effort. A ‘Fair’ Deal Climate change impacts will have more negative implications for poor people than the rich because they are more vulnerable, lacking economic and organizational capacity to adapt. In addition, poor people may live in the more disaster prone areas because these are historically more marginalized areas. So the climate change impacts may be categorically worse for poorer regions. Developing economies depend more on weather-related activities, such as agriculture, that are more negatively impacted by changes in the climate and natural disasters. Poor countries are less able to devote capital to “climate-proof” infrastructure or to improve extreme weather forecasting. These realities are hard for any party to a global climate change deal to deny, but the contrasts in different countries’ proposals for global reductions in GHG emissions are as stark as their respective correlations between domestic economic growth and GHG emissions—the connection between the proposals and those correlations does not go unnoticed. There is one view that pleads, “don’t punish us with a global deal that does not take into account how structurally poor we are or how little we have done to cause the problem.” According to this oftcited view, poor countries have less adaptive capacity because of structural poverty, and a history of dependency, colonialization, and imperialism. According to the IPCC (2001), adaptive capacity is “a function of wealth, technology, information, skills, infrastructure, institutions, and equity” (p. 905). Proponents of this view argue that, “climate change is environmental colonialism at its fullest development—its ultimate scale…Climate change is the re-
sult of global processes that were neither caused nor can be mitigated by the inhabitants of the majority of climate-sensitive world regions now experiencing the most unprecedented change” (Crate, p. 11). Climate change is a global connection, which is tied to global inequities. The wealth of developed nations is intimately linked with their massive use of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gas by-products. Those by-products have degraded a shared common resource—the earth and its natural systems linked by carbon sinks. Therefore, the present global distribution of wealth is the result of the wrongful taking and degrading of a resource that is in no way exclusive to the wealthy (Singer, 2002). In a hypothetical international legal framework, this could be grounds for a torts case, with damages payments due to the poor countries with high climate change vulnerability from the liable (and presumably negligent) rich countries historically emitting large stocks of GHGs. There is also a contrasting view that replies “don’t punish us in this global deal because our economy is structurally based on fossil fuels.” Countries with high emissions say that a global deal based on past emissions is unfair to them because of structural economic and geographic reasons. According to this view, it is not necessarily within their control that their land had abundant resources and/or that global trade and foreign demand led their economy to be highly based on fossil fuel. Therefore, climate change policy will have unfair negative implications for them. Some nations depend on carbon-based energy for not only their domestic consumption but also as their main export. Other nations, arguably just as historically arbitrarily, have a silicone-based economy driving the majority of their export revenues. To the extent that the composition of the economy being based on fossil fuels is out of the direct control of the country’s energy policies, that country should not be punished while service and silicone-based economies are rewarded. Both of these parties’ arguments rely on the premise that it is not morally right to punish an agent for something that was out of the agent’s control. Almost every potentially burdened region has some argument for structural socioeconomic or geographic factors causing their perceived reduction of benefits or imposition of costs in global GHG emissions reduction deals. “States have tended to suggest definitions that favor their own particular circumstances. Those with particularly energy-efficient economies propose carbon intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) as a criterion, poorer countries suggest per capita income as an equitable basis, etc. As New Zealand anticipated in a comment on burden-sharing within Annex I, ‘seeking agreement on apportioning responsibility (e.g., on the basis of emissions per capita, per GDP or specific economic structures or fuel mixes) will rapidly lead towards pleading on the grounds of individual national circumstances which are unlikely
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
to be either testable or economically efficient’… a sufficient number of legitimate arguments exist such that different countries can readily attach a philosophical label to any position that happens to align with their economic interests” (Reiner & Jacoby, 1997). Tax or Trade? Political Problems with Both The two primary mitigation policy proposals, taxing carbon emissions and tradable carbon emissions permits, would both induce large transfers of wealth. Taxes lead to large transfers of income from businesses to the government. Suppose a firm was emitting ten tons of carbon and the efficient abatement (where marginal cost of abatement equaled marginal benefit) was twenty percent. With an efficient tax imposed upon the firm, for this example $10, the firm would reduce emissions to eight tons at a cost less than or equal to the cost of reducing its emissions by two tons, $20 (otherwise, if the cost of abatement were higher than the tax, the firm would pay the tax). Yet the firm would have to pay taxes on the remaining eight tons of emissions and the tax bill would be $80; the tax bill will be at least four times the abatement bill. With taxes, the transfers from business to government are more than the abatement costs. “The political problem is not just that firms dislike paying taxes; rather, it is that the transfers would be so much larger than the abatement costs that they would completely dominate the political debate. A firm that might be willing to pay $1 million to reduce its emissions by 20 percent would almost certainly be hostile to a policy that required it to pay $1 million plus an additional $4 million in taxes” (McKibbin & Wilcoxen, 2002, p. 119). Permit trading, first of all, is less efficient than a tax in the climate change case. The marginal cost curve for reducing GHG emissions is very steep; in other words, as we reduce more emissions, the cost of reducing the next unit of emissions rises rather quickly. The marginal benefit curve for reducing emissions is also rather flat. Because so many GHGs are emitted and because they stay in the atmosphere for very long periods of time, the first ton of carbon emitted and the last ton emitted in a year will have a very similar contribution to the greenhouse effect. When the marginal cost curve is steep and the marginal damage curve is flat and marginal costs are not completely certain, a tax is more efficient than a cap. If the cap is set at a point that is not optimal, then there will be much larger welfare losses (since the marginal cost curve is very steep) than if a tax was set at either too high or too low (since the marginal benefits curve is rather flat). Secondly, international permit trading would have permit allocation issues and generate large transfers of wealth from richer countries to poorer countries. The economics Nobel Laureate, Thomas Schelling, said, “Global emissions trading is an elegant idea, but I cannot seriously envision national representa-
tives sitting down to divide up rights in perpetuity worth a trillion dollars” (Sagoff, 1999). To the extent that trading aids efficiency, it also produces transfers between parties—trades will be made if they are in the interest of both parties, and trades necessarily involve transfers. McKibbin and Wilcox (2002) estimate U.S. firms would need to spend between $27 billion and $54 billion to buy pollution permits abroad annually under a cap and trade system. The U.S. government spent $8 billion in 2000 for international development and foreign aid. If climate change adaptation was integrated into this $8 billion, we would be realizing both the benefits of poverty alleviation and the benefits of addressing climate change impacts (with positive national security implications discussed below) in poor countries. Furthermore, this funding would be more politically feasible than a permit trading regime, given that it would be conducted at a much lower cost and the funding could be spent within U.S. donor guidelines, unlike the payments made to foreign governments in the form of permits. Domestic Limitations In the three major successful international environmental policy regimes, persistent organic pollutants, CFCs, and whaling, we see the following trend play out: the U.S. domestically adopts broad policy to deal with the environmental issue, then approximately ten years later is able to persuade the international community to buy into the same level of regulation. We have not seen the beginning of a domestic GHG regulation scheme, but we are also not likely to see the same trend play out. We have not seen the domestic law because this pollutant is a fundamental byproduct of economic growth given the present domestic economic structure—GHG emissions are presently highly correlated with economic growth in the United States, whereas, persistent organic pollutants, CFCs, and whaling were not nearly as deeply connected to macroeconomic growth. The cost of implementing a broad mitigation policy in the U.S. will most likely be very high and the direct and immediate benefit to the U.S. will be relatively low. At the conceptual core of the arguments calling for broad mitigation policy is an appeal to the two main notions of fairness I outlined above, rather than to U.S. economic gain. If we are concerned with the well being of future generations, then the argument for the mitigation plan becomes more plausible. The benefits of future climate security may be greater than the costs of present mitigation. This is a call for current costs, which generate benefits for future generations. Most of the benefits derived from the costs of current mitigation will be realized in the reduction of future generations’ adaptation costs. If we are concerned that poor people do not have an adaptive capacity as high as rich people, then the argument for the mitigation plan becomes more
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
plausible. Also, poor people would bring down an attempt at intergenerational fairness because they would be unable to pay for efforts that ensure future climate security. Therefore, international fairness concerns must be part of addressing the intergenerational fairness concerns. However, as I discussed above, these fairness arguments hold little or no weight given the current U.S. political composition. The reality is that we need a convincing argument for near-term U.S. benefits—the U.S. needs to get something out of the policy, and it needs it quickly. To be sure, a mitigation policy is likely the most efficient course of action the United States could take based on a cost-benefit analysis (especially one that took into account an American willingness-to-pay to prevent loss of foreign lives), even if the future benefits are discounted accordingly; however, as I am arguing, the climate change issue is a prime instance of the failure of problem recognition, policy proposals, and politics to align (see the “policy window model” discussion in my claims-making process section above). There seem to be mitigation policy proposals that maximize American welfare more than a lack of any mitigation policy, but unfortunately these policies are not currently politically feasible for the U.S.. The U.S. political parties are in rather strong agreement over international climate change policy, as we saw in the 95-0 Senate vote for the Byrd-Hagel Resolution in regards to the Kyoto Protocol. The bi-partisan vote essentially declared that the U.S. was not going to enter into an agreement that could damage the comparative competitiveness of the U.S. economy or an agreement that did not include the large developing economies’ GHG reductions as an integral part of the deal. At the same time, the U.S. political parties are in a growing disagreement over domestic climate change policy. The Democrats, on the whole, want more investments in renewable energy and the internalization of some of the presently external costs of fossil fuels. The Republicans, on the whole, want less investment in renewable energy, more investment in fossil fuel extraction, and no regulations on GHGs. Notwithstanding the Democrats’ acceptance of domestic regulation, there are significant institutional limitations to ratifying a global mitigation deal: “Increased willingness in Congress to approve aggressive domestic limits on greenhouse gas emissions should not be confused with a similar appetite for new international treaties. The relative difficulty of having Congress approve a traditional treaty—which requires sixty-seven votes in the Senate—compared with the challenges involved in passing domestic legislation must be kept in mind as a climate strategy is designed” (Pataki & Vilsack, 2008, p. 31). Furthermore, we should view any increased willingness for domestic limits on GHGs as an increasingly minority view. We may be experiencing a Re-
publican majority in the House and Senate very soon. Looking back at the effects of a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress in the 1990s will be instructive as to how it might affect climate change policy in the near future. There are exceptions to the rule of Republican antagonism towards climate policy found in the Republicans for Environmental Protection group, and former Senator John Warner. Many large companies are also now proponents of climate change policy and large businesses generally support the Republican Party. But generally, Republicans are against climate change policy. In the 1994 ‘Republican Revolution,’ the Republicans went from minority to majority in both Houses. As majority party they could then establish their own agenda by controlling which bills receive consideration, exercising control over committee chairmanships, and convening hearings. Right after the 104th Congress began on 3 January 1995, the House Committee on Science began attacking environmental laws. “Under the leadership of a handful of powerful Republicans, the Committee on Science led an all-out assault on existing environmental regulatory research programs. For example, Rep. Tom Delay (R-Texas) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-California) each introduced bills to repeal the ongoing accelerated phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Also, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) and Rep. Robert Walker (R-Pennsylvania) introduced bills that proposed sizable cuts in environmental research, particularly in climate change and energy research” (McCright & Dunlap, 2003, p. 361). The House of Representatives passed these cuts. The Republicans for Environmental Protection organization was created in 1995, presumably as a response to the antienvironmental backlash in Congress. On 2 April 2012, the Republicans for Environmental Protection dropped the term “Republican” and is now calling itself ConservAmerica; the Republican Party has now distanced itself too far from environmental policies for the group to plausibly include the name. The Republicans were not very successful in rolling back environmental protections because the President, with substantial public backing, was able to prevent it; however, Republicans have been much more successful in preventing climate change policy. In response to the Kyoto negotiations, “through an abundance of activities, such as flooding the media with brief press releases, holding policy forums, and sponsoring press conferences for policy-makers, the entrepreneurial leadership of 14 conservative think tanks challenged the environmental community’s claims about global warming. In doing so, they primed the public arena for the activities of the climate change skeptics” (McCright & Dunlap, 2003, p. 367). An empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S. from 20022010 indicates that the most important factor accounting for changes in levels of concern is political
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
mobilization by elites and advocacy groups (Brulle, Carmichael, & Jenkins, 2012). Amidst the Republican aversion to climate policy, GHG mitigation proponents have at least one encouraging avenue: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of GHGs under Clean Air Act authority. The Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency [127 S. Ct. 1438 (2007)] signifies a watershed achievement for the environmental movement. On the first page of the Court’s opinion, it is accepted that anthropogenic climate change is real and has serious implications. According to John Cannon, Professor and Director of the University of Virginia Environmental Law Program and EPA General Counsel during the Clinton Administration, Supreme Court Justice Stevens’ decision in the case “implicitly accepts the notion that systemic injuries are just as real and just as serious—indeed more serious—than the discrete injuries that have traditionally supported standing.” This case represents the United States Supreme Court’s embrace of environmentalism, since “the court has accepted—indeed has seemed to internalize—the beliefs, assumptions, and values that animate the environmentalists’ views on climate change” (Cannon, 2007, pp. 57, 61). This Supreme Court decision led the government down a pathway of mitigation regulation as the only national climate policy we currently have. The EPA is proceeding very carefully; it has limited the number of facilities covered by the regulatory program. There are congressional threats to repeal EPA’s authority— because it is a statutory decision Congress has the power to change it. EPA is treading lightly and starting with only the biggest and newest (or significantly modified) facilities first for two primary reasons: (1) it does not want to harm the economy, which would hurt President Obama’s image and fuel the critics’ arguments against regulation, and (2) Congress could end the regulation rather easily. Practically, this means there is something in place, and U.S. firms have to consider mitigation policy as a reality. This is certainly not the ideal means for regulating GHGs; a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system would be much more economically efficient, but the practical implications of Massachusetts v. EPA are that the U.S. government is able to ‘practice’ regulating GHGs. This regulation represents an institutional significance more than a practical significance. Once a major concern for a social problem is transformed into institutional action, interest groups and interested parties invested in those actions will work to maintain the system—history reminds us of this path-dependency. The inertia is now in favor of continuing down the path of GHG regulation. There are very strong congressional forces that can knock us off that path, but those forces will be working against the status quo of regulating GHGs. To be sure, this status quo is a function of (a) the Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court
case and (b) President Obama’s election and subsequent actions. If we have a Republican President in 2012 and Republican majorities in both houses, this regulation will not continue and the U.S. will have no climate change policy in place, aside from modest investments in renewable energy.1 If President Obama is reelected, then we will likely continue down this path of regulation. But, because the regulation is (1) dependent on the 2012 election, (2) already inefficient and weak, and (3) politically the very best mitigation we can accomplish in the near-term, we should turn to adaptation through development. However, with a Republican President and Congress, it is also unlikely that we can count on any increased foreign aid; therefore, part of my strategy will be to move funding from less efficient and effective foreign aid programs to the programs I outline. Before we advance a policy implementation strategy of this nature, let’s look at an instructive case study for the receiving end of that development assistance.
Bangladesh: Case Study
Natural and Demographic Disasters Bangladesh is essentially a delta formed by the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river system—sixty-five percent of the landmass is floodplain. In 1998, there was extensive flooding; sixtyeight percent of the country was flooded, affecting thirty million people (Chowdhury & Ahmad). Forty-two percent of the 1.9 million cyclone-related deaths in the past two hundred years have occurred in Bangladesh, and a 2010 natural disaster risk index ranked Bangladesh as the country most at risk of natural disasters (Maplecroft, 2011). Researchers often assert that the frequent natural disasters have been a major cause of the country’s continued state of poverty (Ahmad & A., 2002). Especially in a dynamic, unpredictable, and vulnerable region, the environment must form the context for any development strategy and this is being increasingly recognized and institutionalized. About eighty percent of the land is floodplain, with very low mean elevation above sea level. The surface water system is dominated mainly by the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna rivers, which cover seven percent of the land surface and form an outfall only behind the Amazon system; the rivers discharge 142,000 cubic meters per second at peak periods (Rahman, S., & Conway, 1990). More than a tenth of the world’s population lives in costal areas between zero and ten meters above sea level, and seventy-five percent of them live in Asia (IIED, 2007). Bangladesh, a country the size of Iowa with a popu1 These last three paragraphs are based partly on a 23 November 2011 discussion the author had with Jonathan Cannon. Cannon authored the memo on the EPA’s authority to establish greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act that led to the Supreme Court decision: Massachusetts v. EPA.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
lation of more than half of the U.S. population, has roughly half of its 165 million inhabitants living in areas less than five meters above sea level. Medium sized floods (10,000 to 25,000 hectares flooded) had been observed frequently before the mid-1970s and have been seldom observed since (Hofer, 1998). Predominately minor and very high intensity floods have occurred over the past thirty years, presumably because the climate is changing (Agrawala, Ota, Ahmed, & Aalst, 2003). Flash floods cause extensive damage to crops and property; flood timing is very important for crops and early floods generally cause severe damages. Damages to infrastructure such as road and railway embankments and bridges, and riverside buildings also occur during high flash floods. Ninety percent of the rainfall that falls into the large South Asian catchment of the GBM watershed flows through Bangladesh; when the rivers cannot drain the runoff, it spills over the banks. Discharge is impeded by low gradients, unplanned infrastructure, and the effects high ocean stages have on the confluence of the rivers. The Bangladesh rivers are alluvial and highly unstable. Since all of the sediment that flows into Bangladesh does not make it to the Bay of Bengal, the rivers are progressively silted and their channel depth is reduced, which increases the potential for flooding. In addition to flooding, drought is also an issue. Mean annual rainfall is 2,300mm but there is wide spatial and temporal variability: annual rainfall ranges from 1,200mm in the far west to over 5,000mm in the east (MPO, 1991). Susceptibility and severity of drought in the western districts are much higher than elsewhere. Salinity intrusion is a major problem in southwestern Bangladesh, and the reduced flow of the Ganges in the dry season has exacerbated the northward movement of the salinity front. Human infrastructure is also at risk to natural disasters. The floods of 1988 covered the runways of Dhaka International Airport and disconnected the country from the rest of the world for 11 days. During the cyclone of 1991, the telecommunication system was destroyed and the entire coastal belt was disconnected for weeks. The flooding of 1998 rendered most parts of Dhaka, the capital city of 15 million, inaccessible by vehicle. Damage to national highways is estimated at 1,011 km by 2030 and 3,315 km by year 2050. Damage to embankments is estimated at 4,271 km by 2030 and 13,996 km by 2050 (Bureau of Research Testing and Consultation (BRTC), 2005). Climate Change Climate change is exacerbating the effects of these already extremely costly natural disasters. Bangladesh’s high vulnerability to climate change is due to (1) location in South Asia with unique geo-climatic conditions; (2) deltaic topography/low elevation; (3) exposure to monsoons that lead to extreme climate variability over time and space; (4) high population
density; (5) high poverty levels; and (6) the majority of the population being directly dependent on local agriculture, which is highly influenced by changes to the climate. Climate change will cause the country to be even more susceptible to: increased flooding, increased drought, increased salinity intrusion, and possibly increased frequency and severity of cyclones. These physical changes will affect: (a) agriculture; (b) livestock production; (c) aquaculture and fish production; (d) coastal shrimp production; and (e) forests and vegetation. Rice is the most important crop in Bangladesh and the total area suitable for rice production is predicted to decrease (World Bank, 2000). A large amount of water tanks inside embankments are used for fish farms, but breaches in these embankments release the fish out into the open water. Climate change is predicted to increase the extent of monsoon flooding, which poses a threat to fisheries (GOB, 2005). Climate change may well cast uncertainty onto the success of the coastal shrimp business since a further rise in temperature would lead to a high mortality rate for the small shrimp fries. The coastal zone of Bangladesh is very vulnerable to climate change because it is subsiding and so is affected by twice the mean predicted global rate of sea level rise. A one-meter sea level rise could displace fifteen to twenty million Bangladeshis, giving more legitimacy to the term ‘climate refugee.’ According to the International Federation of Red Cross, climate change disasters are currently a bigger cause of population displacement than war and persecution. Estimates of climate refugees in 2006 range from 25 to 50 million, while the official refugee population in 2006 was 20.8 million (Perez, 2006). According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), climate-related disasters have displaces more than forty-two million people in Asia over the past two years, and the 13 March 2012 ADB report goes on to recommend the Asian region spend $40 billion a year through 2050 to prepare for the impact of climate change (AFP, 2012). “Floods and other weather-related disasters have also caused nearly 10 million people to migrate from Bangladesh to India over the past two decades, creating immense population pressures…the climate refugee problem will intensify as global warming increases, potentially yielding between 150 million and 200 million refugees” (Perez, 2006, p. 33).2 Besides the Bay of Bengal to the south, Bangladesh is surrounded almost entirely by India. With post-independence communal conflicts between different religions and ethnicities in these two countries, migration from Bangladesh into India may cause an increase in violent conflict. 2 At the same time, it is worth noting that the term ‘climate refugee’ implies a mono-causality about the reasons for migration (except where the land is literally submerged by water); economic and political concerns cannot be divorced from an understanding of the decision-making process of those who choose to migrate.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Institutional Responses Transforming the Bangladeshi Disaster Management Bureau towards proactive thinking and disaster preparedness has begun, and continues, in the context of climate change and its accompanying enhancement of climatic extremes. Civil society, environmental groups and NGOs have been influencing the reformulation of governmental policy from merely reactionary to preventative and capacity building. Nobel Peace Prize winner and Grameen Bank founder, Muhammad Yunus, said, “Bangladesh’s capacity to withstand natural disaster shocks has improved significantly. Following the massive floods of 1998, per-capita GDP fell sharply, but a flood of similar scale in 2004 had a negligible impact on growth. This resilience is attributable to a more diversified economy and improved emergency response capabilities, including early warning systems and cyclone shelters, throughout the country” (Yunus, 2007, p. 108). During the 1998 flood in Bangladesh mentioned above, Grameen Bank declared forty-two percent of their centers ‘disaster centers’ and suspended the collection of loan installments for five months. In disaster situations, Grameen Bank encourages borrowers to create their own disaster funds rather than rely on donations, “when we were distributing free wheat to Grameen Bank borrowers during the 1998 flood, we encouraged them to agree to make small weekly savings in a disaster fund. After normalcy returned and they started earning money, that would eventually add up to the value of the wheat they’d received. This new savings pool will be a community fund to help them cope with the next disaster” (Yunus, 2007, p. 115). Grameen Bank offers a compelling model for preventative and collaborative strategies in dealing with natural disasters. The NGO community of Bangladesh has deep insights to offer. During the 1980s, many NGOs viewed participation in emergency response activities with relief support as detrimental to their efforts in promoting self-reliance among the people. However, the major disasters in 1987, 1988, and 1991 caused them to acknowledge that ‘development’ is, after all, about reducing vulnerability of poor people to hazards of various nature: man-made as well as natural. The need for a pragmatic combination of short-term relief and long-term preparedness support is now largely understood and accepted by the NGOs in Bangladesh and by the government. The NGO, BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), has a large program in Koyra covering education and advice on climate resilience to over a thousand villages, including training on how to adapt their livelihoods to cope with the brackish, salinated water that has covered their farmlands and traditional fresh water fisheries. Local farmers are growing maize for the first time, as it is able to grow on brackish land, as well as different varieties
of salt-tolerant rice. The NGO sector has strong linkages with the community base, and can exhibit great flexibility in procedural matters (Vinod, 1997). The Bangladesh government is also supporting projects at local levels that involve community, civil society, and NGOs such as the Sustainable Environment Management Programmes, Participatory Ecosystem Management, and Community Environmental Awareness at Grassroots. Bangladeshis are pioneering a mix between low-tech and high-tech responses to climate change: using floating gardens that allow you to continue growing during times of flooding, for example, while also developing an insurance protection mechanism based on high-technology satellite tracking of storms. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB), primarily through the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has recently taken explicit action to address climate change. In 2005 the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) was developed; in 2009 the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) was published; and in 2010 a Climate Change Unit was established. Over the last three years, the GoB has made significant changes to the budget allocation. For the first time, there were specific allocations to address climate change impacts. In the fiscal year 2009, the total allocation was $100 million USD. These funds are allocated under the Bangladesh Climate Trust Fund (BCTF). In each fiscal year, 2010 and 2011, another $100 million USD was added. Sixty-six percent of the total $300 million USD has been made available for implementation of the policies and programs of the BCCSAP and the remaining thirty-four percent is reserved to address emergencies. Another funding mechanism was created by the GoB, the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF), with $94.6 million from the UK, $13.6 million from Sweden, $11.7 million from the EU, $3.8 million from Switzerland, and $1.8 million from Denmark. This fund will implement the projects and programs under the six themes of the BCCSAP. See Appendix 1 for more on the BCCSAP and its projects—this outlines specific actions to be taken. Ninety percent of the BCCRF will be used by the public sector and ten percent by civil society and private sector, where the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation will administer it. The World Bank will serve as the Trustee of the BCCRF until 2014, when the GoB will take over financial management. If the U.S. was to contribute significantly to a fund of this nature, we should specify that a larger percent be spent by the civil society and the GoB spend a smaller percent. This would likely lead to more support for funding within the U.S. and to better results for Bangladeshis. The third source of funding is the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPcR), which is managed by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group and the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries). The PPcR will implement five specific projects: (1) Promotion of Climate Resilient Agriculture and Food Security; (2) Coastal Embankments Improvement and Afforestation; (3) Coastal Climate Resilient Water Supply; (4) Sanitation, and Infrastructure Improvement; and (5) Climate Change Capacity Building and Knowledge Management. The total amount requested under the PPcR framework is $110 million USD. Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, Bangladesh, said to me, “On adaptation, specifically, and climate change more broadly, the Government of Bangladesh is, relative to other developing countries (and I do a lot of work in developing countries across the world), really a pioneer. It has taken this issue much more seriously than most other countries. It has invested in it intellectually and financially itself, which many others have not done yet.” Bangladesh just assumed the chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum after a meeting in Dhaka on 14 November 2011, where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was present. This will allow Bangladesh to raise concerns over the adverse impacts of climate change already being felt in the most vulnerable country groups: the least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), and Africa. Also, on 19 November 2011, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh agreed on climate adaptation collaboration after a two-day summit in Bhutan. They agreed on cooperation and knowledge sharing in energy, water, food, biodiversity, and disaster management issues (Associated Press, AP, 2011). In my 21 July 2011 recorded interview of Dr. Huq, he continued, “We are quite disappointed, both the government and the people of Bangladesh, at the state of play with regard to a legally binding agreement on emissions reduction by the major emitting countries. On another issue that is dear to Bangladesh, the funding of adaptation in developing countries, particularly in the least developed countries, things are moving forward quite well. Funds are being generated at the global level; they are being allocated with the prioritization of the least developed countries, which is an argument that Bangladesh has been making on their behalf for some time.” In addition to this being an argument made on the behalf of Bangladesh, I will now make an argument for the same type of funding, but on behalf of the United States’ interests.
In my discussion regarding the Kyoto Protocol, I described how the EU negotiated for a global deal that was favorable to their economic and political circumstances but not necessarily to the economic circumstances in the U.S. and Canada. In fact, countries may have been working to gain a competitive economic advantage through the deal, which should
be expected. I also offered some explanation as to why the EU continues to limit its emissions even without the U.S. significantly limiting its emissions. Europe’s self-imposed restriction on its level of GHG emissions is not a viable attempt at global mitigation itself. Without having binding emission caps for at least China, the United States, India, and Brazil, Europe’s emissions reductions will be negligible; the European politicians and policymakers fully understand this. Their adoption of GHG mitigation policy is a reflection of their voter’s preferences, their political institutions, and other domestic variables. At the same time, though, we should consider an international dimension to these domestic political outcomes. It is instructive to view their climate change policy as a signal of their willingness to cooperate in a global deal and make sacrifices as part of that deal. These ‘sacrifices’ might be in their economic interest in the long run but the accomplished mitigation, nonetheless, has global benefits and local short-term costs. The same goes for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce GHG emissions with a capand-trade system in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Western Climate Initiative comprised of California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec (Energy Advantage, 2008). Obviously these small groups of states do not think that their local reductions are going to make a difference in total global emissions. They should be viewed as creating these caps to signal their willingness to cooperate in a national and, eventually, global deal.3 If our goal is to address climate change in a way that avoids large costs and human suffering, then we need some sort of mitigation. However, given the current political institutions and their current elected composition, the United States will not have a significant mitigation policy in the foreseeable future. Given trends of global economic integration, which can lead to more international pressures, and worsening physical and social impacts of climate change that may galvanize public demand for action, we may have a mitigation policy sooner than I predict. But until drastic changes occur in the physical and political environment, we will not have mitigation policy in the United States. We need to consider whether there is other action we could engage in that would signal a willingness to cooperate, besides a comprehensive mitigation 3 The general idea of this paragraph was developed in consultation with William Shobe, director of the Center for Economic & Policy Studies at the University of Virginia. In 2007, Dr. Shobe worked on the research team that designed the carbon allowance auctions for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
policy. It cannot be in the form of a pledge, or a nonbinding agreement, which is only worth the paper that it is printed on; it must be in the form of action. We must bind ourselves to some sort of strategy. For a successful response to climate change (like any global issue), the United States, with its economic and political power, must play a leadership role in inducing cooperation. But what actions can we perform as part of a larger strategy if mitigation legislation is currently impossible to pass? Assisting in adaptation in developing countries may provide the U.S. with at least some avenue to address this pressing global issue, which, in turn, may grant the US more global legitimacy in other realms of foreign policy. In addition to the diplomatic gains, there is a purely economic argument with the same policy conclusion. Wars and military responses to disasters cost an exorbitant amount; climate change mitigation would also cost a large amount; my strategy works to reduce the amount of money spent on wars and disaster responses and to address climate change in a far less costly manner (at least in the short term) than mitigation regulation. There is a view that adaptation policy will signal that we are giving up on climate change mitigation. I disagree; in fact, adaptation will likely aid in the eventual adoption of a mitigation policy. If climate change is real and as dire as the majority of scientists claim it to be, then there will be an information feedback loop that will become stronger as climate change intensifies. By focusing on the changes that are occurring and planning, for example, for rising sea levels in Bangladesh, it will be increasingly recognized and accepted that humans are causing the climate to change this abruptly; the need for mitigation will then be more obvious and the demand more palpable. Support for adaptation can also be a political tool for mitigation by “inducing the least developed countries to join international agreements on climate change and demonstrating that the industrialized countries are acting in good faith to address the full range of consequences of climate change. Those least developed countries can, in turn, join in pressuring the rapidly emerging economies to take steps to reduce their emissions” (Pataki & Vilsack, 2008, p. 65). There are three areas for the United States to focus on in a larger adaptation strategy. The first is in efforts to know future climate impacts; there is a great need for information in planning infrastructure and in predicting disaster impacts. Secondly, institutions that will work towards adaptation need to be created and promoted. Agriculture futures markets are an example of this sort of institution that “aids in the hedging of risks and encourage actors in the private sector to gain the information they need about climate and weather impacts” (Victor, 2004, p. 24). The third, and most salient, area is in adaptation and economic development in the most
vulnerable countries. Actions towards the third area should be framed in the context of U.S. national security, which today, extends far beyond merely protecting the homeland from purposeful attacks by other states. Climate Change and National Security Climate change exacerbates social problems in poor countries and in doing so increase the likelihood of costly U.S. national security issues. The connection between climate change in poor countries and U.S. national security is being increasingly recognized within the U.S. government. Sherri Goodman, General Counsel for the Center for Naval Analyses, remarked at the Mount Vernon Forum on Climate Change and Leadership, “The construct of global climate change as a threat multiplier is an important insight because it recognizes that the effects of climate change play out in complex ways, carrying the potential to result in multiple chronic conditions occurring globally at the same time.” At the University of Virginia Miller Center in 2008, Republican Senator John W. Warner said, “I was chairman of the Armed Services Committee when I first started, and I could see, in consultation with the senior members of the Department of Defense, there is very clearly a nexus between climate change consequences and the military roles and missions of our forces in the years to come. In a lot of the nations that have borne the brunt of these climate changes, particularly Africa with its droughts, it causes conflict between nations. That causes instability, and instability then draws the attention of not only the military forces of our country but of other countries” (Miller Center, UVA, 2008, p. 61). Former Senator John Warner is now the spokesperson for the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, which was launched in July 2009 (Trusts, 2011). Major climate-change-induced vulnerabilities include human displacement and migration, drinking water shortage, reduced agricultural productivity, food insecurity, health and disease hazards, energy shortage, and increasingly frequent and devastating natural disaster damage. The UN Security Council recently declared that adverse effects of climate change might aggravate threats to international peace and security. More extreme weather events create potential for resource conflict. According to the National Intelligence Council, 800 million more people will face water or cropland scarcity by 2025. A 22 March 2012 report by the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said that South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa would face major water problems that could increase political instability. The report said, “The use of water as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives also will become more likely,” and that the increasingly scarce fresh water supply poses a risk of social disruption, ranking the Brahmaputra river basin, which flows through India and Bangladesh, as the highest risk region (Quinn, 2012). According to Dr. Solomon Hsiang of Princeton
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
University and his colleagues, social unrest is six percent more likely to devolve into warfare during periods of El Niño activity, which brings drought and extreme weather. El Niño activity, giving us a glimpse into projected climate changes, has played a role in one out of every five civil conflicts since 1950; according to Hsiang, that makes this periodic climate shift as significant as any geopolitical or economic factor (Hsiang, 2011). When climate change impacts are not properly planned for, they can exacerbate existing problems of poverty, social tension, and weak political institutions in developing countries, leading to U.S. military resources being drawn on to provide stability (Trusts, 2011). Some poor countries that are the most vulnerable to climate change may be of particular interest to the U.S. as military base sites, allies, sources of raw materials or other economic relationships, or sites of transportation corridors. When natural disasters occur the United States is called upon for relief efforts (for example, the relief efforts in Bangladesh after a 2004 tsunami and in Pakistan after a 2005 earthquake) and adaptation measures will be a prudent investment to reduce total costs of disaster response. Preventative measures pay off: the U.S. Geological Survey and the World Bank estimate that an investment of $40 billion would have prevented disaster losses of $280 billion in the 90s; the Chinese spent $3 billion on flood control to save an estimated $12 billion in losses (Busby J. W., 2007, p. 13). Africa’s growing oil exports and concerns over terrorism have increased U.S. military interest in the continent as “declining food production, extreme weather events, and drought from climate change could further inflame tensions in Africa, weaken governance and economic growth, and contribute to massive migration and possibly state failure, leaving ‘ungoverned spaces’ where terrorists can organize” (Busby J. W., 2007, p. 9). Humanitarian disasters are the most likely military concern for Africa, considering that the U.S. military would be pressured to deploy forces or logistical support for large humanitarian emergencies. Therefore, the U.S. has an interest in preventing or minimizing the exacerbating effects of climate change through economic development and adaptation strategies. According to a five-year global research project conducted on behalf of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, climate change will lead to unpredictable changes in rainfall patterns in most African river basins (Than, 2011). A 2007 report from a military board convened by the Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board followed the lead of 2004 reports from the Pentagon and 2000 reports from the CIA, in deeming climate change a “threat multiplier” (CNA, Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board, 2007). In May 2009, the Chief of Naval Operations created Task Force Climate Change (TFCC) to ad-
dress the naval implications of a changing global environment (Navy). The TFCC anticipated that floods or food shortages in Bangladesh could trigger mass migrations to India, increasing ethnic conflict and repression in the region. The U.S. Navy recently granted $7 million to a five-year interdisciplinary research team at Vanderbilt University, of which I will be a member starting in August, to investigate how climate and social changes will affect human migration patterns in South Asia; this demonstrates that the U.S. military sees climate change adaptation as a significant national security concern. Economic Development and National Security Improvements necessary for U.S. foreign policy align with my strategy calling for increased economic development investments in poor countries. Given that the greatest foreign policy challenges today are political and economic, the U.S. overinvests in traditional military approaches and underinvests in foreign assistance. In 2007, the U.S. spent $572 billion on the military, $11 billion on international security (mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan), $14 billion on development and humanitarian aid, and $11 billion for diplomatic functions such as the State Department and embassies (White House OMB, 2007). Britain’s General Sir Rupert Smith has argued that military conflict is too focused on the anachronistic notion of “industrial conflict,” which applied to WWI and WWII but not to today’s international security affairs where conflicts are open-ended, not always between two state actors, and are taking place predominately in the developing world (Smith, 2006). In fact, all of the U.S. military operations since 1959 have taken place in the developing world: Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq-Kuwait, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. These operations have not ended well politically for the U.S. The U.S. military is primarily engaged in developing countries that recently experienced state failure primarily caused by a lack of economic development, as economist Jeffery Sachs notes, “at the core of the failed state problem are problems of poverty” (Sachs, 2008, p. 279). These poverty problems are most effectively addressed proactively through targeted foreign aid for economic development and environmental security, rather than reactively through military combat. The link between economic development and U.S. national security can gain bipartisan support in an otherwise increasingly polarized foreign policy atmosphere. For example, under Republican President George W. Bush in 2006, the National Security Strategy stated: “Effective economic development advances our national security by helping promote responsible sovereignty, not permanent dependency. Weak and impoverished states and ungoverned areas are not only a threat to their people and a burden on regional economies, but are also susceptible to exploitation by terrorists, tyrants, and international
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
criminals. We will work to bolster threatened states, provide relief in times of crisis, and build capacity in developing states to increase their progress.” Official development assistance (ODA) is not as partisan of an issue as mitigation policy, and so is a more politically feasible avenue for addressing climate change. Under President George W. Bush’s administration U.S. ODA expanded more than under any other administration since the Kennedy administration (Washington Post, 2006). Adaptation projects conducted under the auspices of national security also have much greater potential for bipartisan support than policies that specifically and explicitly address climate change. The current House Republican’s Appropriations Bill would eliminate 2012 funding for the Climate Investment Funds, a family of World Bank-managed funds to allow developing countries to invest in clean technology and prevent deforestation. This program was created as a longterm way for the United States to contribute $2 billion toward a $6.5 billion global project. Funding for this year stands at $375 million and President Obama has requested $590 million for 2012. Compare this to the military spending bill: the tentative $518 billion grand total would be only two percent less than what the House advocated, and four percent less than what Obama initially sought, but one percent more than what the Senate planned to spend, which was based on the number agreed upon in this summer’s debt limit deal. Environmental adaptation mainstreamed into economic development policies would be a much more politically achievable means for addressing the climate change issue. No Regrets Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into existing modes of overseas economic development assistance for poor developing countries seems to be a much more politically achievable means partly because it relies less explicitly on climate change per se, and more on risk reduction regarding “natural” disasters and poverty alleviation. In 2011 in Bangladesh, I investigated the nexus of climate change adaptation and economic development in order to delineate a working policy distinction between general development projects and climate change adaptation projects. The two categories have significant overlap; this overlap is due to “mainstreaming” climate change concerns into development policy. Also, notwithstanding any explicit connection to climate change, overseas development assistance will contribute to the goal of climate change adaptation by building the general economic and organizational capacity of poor countries. The IPCC defines adaptation as “adjustment in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. This term refers to changes in processes, practices, or structures to moderate or offset
potential damages or to take advantage of opportunities associated with changes in climate. It involves adjustments to reduce the vulnerability of communities, regions, or activities to climatic change and variability” (IPCC, 2001). Ali (1999) and Leary (1999) outline rationales for public adaptation policies or projects relative to relying on private action. A notable characteristic that many scholars associate with adaptation policy is its ability to generate economic or environmental benefits independent of climate change (Carter, 1996). In my study of adaptation, I focus on this “no regrets” criteria for public adaptation policy that requires net benefits independent of climate change. If we discover that climate change was not as serious an issue as is it is currently made out to be, we will not regret having pursued these strategies. For example, U.S. conducted military-to-military environmental security initiatives on disaster management and emergency response were beneficial even if no environmental gains were made. U.S. Central Command deputy commander Lieutenant General Michael P. DeLong highlighted this in a speech, “The United States would not have had access to Central Asia bases to fight the war on terrorism were it not for the relationship established through environmental security programs” (Busby J. W., 2007, p. 11). Associated fees of these conferences are only in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range; this cost is very low considering the benefits, even if those benefits are only realized in better ties between militaries. The IPCC reports, “It is widely accepted that planned adaptations to climate risks are most likely to be implemented when they are developed as components of (or as modifications to) existing resource management programs or as part of national or regional strategies for sustainable development” (IPCC, 2001). My strategy is to mainstream climate adaptation concerns into existing economic development programs through existing funding avenues. Most general development activities, such as creating more effective markets and agriculture extension services, simultaneously improve the lives of the poor and aid in adapting to natural disaster shocks and long-term changes in climate. Microfinance Microcredit loans, non-recourse loans made to very poor people without requiring collateral, are a successful development strategy pioneered in Bangladesh. The reported repayment rates on these loans have been very high, generally above ninetyseven percent, and millions have been lifted out of absolute poverty. Microfinance, with the mission to strengthen the economy from the bottom by offering access to financial services for the poor, is a very promising mechanism to facilitate adaptation through economic development. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have large networks with the rural
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Figure 1: “Sectoral focus of programs financed by 22 major MFIs in Bangladesh” (Agrawala S. M., 2010).
poor, especially women, who are the most vulnerable to amplified inequalities due to climate change impacts. Additionally, “The nature of microfinance lending, meanwhile, consisting of high volume, limited value loans is also consistent with the fundamental nature of a majority of adaptation actions that will ultimately consist of thousands of decentralized actions by households, communities and private actors as they continuously seek to internalize current and anticipated climate risks in their various activities” (Agrawala S. M., 2010). In helping the poor reduce general vulnerability, microfinance enhances the capacity to deal with the impacts of climate change. The largest microfinance industry in the world is in Bangladesh. The four largest MFIs there, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Association for Social Advancement (ASA), and Proshika, grew between seventy and seventy five percent between 2003 and 2006. In Bangladesh, the programs supported by microfinance can be divided into the following categories (shown below): employment generating activities; agriculture, livestock and fisheries; water and sanitation; health; housing; forestry; disaster relief and preparedness; information and technology transfer; education; and renewable energy (Agrawala S. M., 2010). Agriculture, disaster relief and preparedness, water and sanitation constitute the majority of sectors that MFIs support and are directly linked to climate change adaptation. Also, the more general economic development helps to reduce overall vulnerability. Agrawala et. al (2010) also determined that forty-three percent of existing microfinance programs in Bangladesh are already win-wins for climate change adaptation, and thirteen percent of existing programs may need to be altered to account for future climate change impacts.
Specific programs are currently enhancing longterm resilience to climate change. Loans are given to build storm surge and flood-resistant housing. Some of these loans are made with flexible eight-year repayments schedules. Loans are also given to promote hybrid crop varieties that can tolerate saline intrusion, drought, and flooding; this is especially important in the coastal areas of Bangladesh where sea levels are expected to rise. Disaster relief preparation, water management of irrigation and quality, and crop diversification programs all aid in adaptation. Microfinance is also promoting aquaculture, which is “the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world, especially in the Least Developed Countries. It helps the poor adapt to the impacts of both floods and drought” (Agrawala S. M., 2010, p. 23). There are also areas where microfinance activities could be changed to further facilitate adaptation. Construction in the expected areas of highest climate change impact risk should be avoided. These high-risk areas can be determined by utilizing climate models and geographic information systems. In areas where income is generated primarily from seasonal agriculture, more flexible repayment schedules should be imposed, and interest rates should be lowered. Disaster relief project loans should continue to be provided at zero interest. Loan programs for hybrid crops, crop diversification, disaster preparation (building of housing and shelters; community plans and warning systems; technical training and community adaptation education programs), water management (irrigation and sanitation), aquaculture, and floating gardens should all be rapidly scaled-up. Furthermore, MFIs and formal insurance companies are providing insurance to the poor, but access to this insurance is very limited. MFIs should begin to provide insurance as another key financial service for the poor.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Currently, international and national-level climate change adaptation plans do not emphasize mechanisms of microfinance, and emphasizing the role of microfinance will require start-up capital. Without initial funding, most MFIs would have to charge interest rates above what borrowers could afford. The U.S. could invest in the Adaptation Funds that Bangladesh has created and require that the money be used in microfinance programs that promote adaptation. Private investors could directly finance MFIs, and given the market opportunities that microfinance offers, banks may invest in the MFIs as well. Bjorn Lomborg, in Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming (2007), argues that the costs of addressing climate change are too high when we have so many other pressing issues to address with limited economic resources. Climate change adaptation in the way I have described it addresses the other pressing issues Lomborg and I are both deeply concerned with (poverty, economic development, fairness, and maximizing well-being) while simultaneously implementing part of the climate change policy regime that environmentalists desire. In other words, it is the middle ground: a place where “no regrets” policy exists. Implementation Based on my arguments that both general economic development and climate change adaptation in least developed countries promotes U.S. national security interests, those concerned about national security will find reason to support the policy. Since the argument for national security concerns is not completely premised on climate change, but instead more fundamentally based on natural disasters and poverty that may or may not be attributed to a human-altered climate, the adaptive capacity building development assistance is not as politically contentious as a mitigation policy that is wholly premised on anthropogenic climate alteration. The connection to national security is important for my strategy’s political feasibility. On 26 March 2012, Senator John Kerry, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “You can’t talk about climate now. People just turn off. It’s extraordinary. Only for national security and jobs will they open their minds” (Struck, 2012). The foreign adaptation and economic development aid to microfinance programs and the other adaptation programs in Appendix 1 should be administered in the most vulnerable countries and those of high strategic interest to the U.S. Maplecroft, a risk analysis firm, released its Climate Change Vulnerability Index in November 2011, ranking almost two hundred nations in terms of vulnerability to climate change. Thirty countries are listed as being at “extreme risk.” The top ten at risk are Haiti, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Madagascar,
Cambodia, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, and the Philippines. The most at-risk cities are Calcutta in India, Manila in the Philippines, Jakarta in Indonesia, and Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh. USAID is deliberately designing many of its projects to be resilient to climate change impacts (USAID, 2008), and the World Bank is developing a plan to integrate climate change vulnerability into all of its developing country projects (World Bank; Global Environmental Facility, 2006). Many private development initiatives are also integrating climate change and environmental concerns into their core strategies (MacArthur Foundation, 2010). Especially in the context of the United States, this is a promising avenue for American citizens to address the issue. The OECD publishes a report comparing government assistance of twenty-two donor countries by amount of aid donated as a percentage of gross national income. The U.N. Millennium Project set a goal for all donors to reach 0.7 percent of GNI. Only five countries have met this goal: Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Denmark. In absolute terms, the United States is by far the largest donor, with $28 billion in 2005.4 But this is only government aid; U.S. private giving was over $95 billion in 2005. American private and voluntary organizations gave more than the governments of Japan, the U.K., Germany, and France each did in 2005 (OECD, 2007). Evident in the above discussion of U.S. – U.N. relations, Americans are much more interested in working through more decentralized and privatized mechanisms, compared to citizens of most European countries where almost all aid is administered through their national governments. Adaptation should also be mainstreamed into privately delivered American economic development assistance (foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations, universities and colleges, and religious organizations), especially since it comprises $95.2 billion, compared to official governmental assistance of $27.6 billion. In addition to private efforts, the U.S. government should collaborate with Canada, which this year became the first country to announce it would not meet its Kyoto target. Canada had a target of a six percent emission cut on average over the years 2008-2012. Canada’s emissions have increased by 29 percent instead. On 12 December 2011 Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol and became the first country to formally renounce it. Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, said on 12 December, the day after the Durban negotiations concluded, that, “The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world’s largest two emitters, United States and China, and therefore cannot 4 The OECD numbers do not take into account that U.S. military support after natural and political disasters, and U.S. research into medicine, after adding this in the U.S. governmental assistance is significantly higher.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
work. It’s now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward to a global solution to climate change. If anything it’s an impediment.” Kent went on to say that signing Kyoto was one of the previous government’s biggest blunders (Gillies, 2011). As described in sections above, Canada and the United States are in very similar positions with respect to climate change. Furthermore, we have one of the most successful bilateral relationships in the world; we are the world’s largest trading partners, and share the world’s longest international border (Bureau, 2011). Much of our foreign policies are aligned as well. Evident in the acid rain issue, the two countries have a history of working towards environmental solutions. Most significantly, on 29 November 2011, Peter Kent stated, “Our commitment is to a realistic plan to reduce greenhouse gases in alignment with our neighbor and closest trading partner with whom we have very integrated economies to reduce our greenhouse gases on a continental basis” (Mail, 2011). Canada’s climate policy is to wait for the U.S. to act and then to harmonize with that action. I propose that the U.S. and Canada collaborate on this adaptation strategy, since neither one is currently going to be part of a global mitigation strategy. My adaptation strategy is a short to mediumterm plan implemented in an adaptive decisionmaking context. We are working with two black boxes: the climate, and the political and economic systems. We do not know how either will respond in any detailed way to our policies. My plan is one that can more easily have environmental and economic information adaptively and iteratively applied to it as we learn more about causes, effects, and costs. The evolution of the natural science findings and the evolution of the human institutions are related; we will alter our climate policies as we learn more about climate change through community adaptation and planning and as we learn more about the economic and political efficacy of our programs. The EPA’s regulation of GHGs and the EU’s Kyoto Protocol are both far from optimal solutions but they are social experiments, which will hopefully inform future iterations. My foreign policy strategy is the practical, action-based American solution that is currently politically feasible, and action should be taken to implement it immediately. Because of the political institutions in the United States, the actors that are currently filling the governmental roles, and the comparatively conservative polity, mitigation policies, with the effects of increased governmental intervention, will not be implemented. According to most scientists, climate change is real and will impose major costs throughout the world. Since the United States is a global political leader and has water management and environmental protection expertise, a response to this issue requires our leadership. Furthermore, the adaptation efforts in economically disadvantaged
countries can be seen as “proving grounds” at which we may develop and perfect strategies and technologies to use in the U.S. The practical option we can pursue immediately is adaptation aid that is administered bilaterally, either directly through USAID programs or indirectly through funding the government of Bangladesh, MFIs, and adaptation program administering NGOs. We should significantly scale-up the microfinance programs that align with climate change adaptation. This can be implemented by bipartisan governmental action or through private, decentralized action. If implemented through government funding, instead of the politically impractical task of increasing overall foreign aid spending in today’s Republican dominated House, we should redirect foreign aid from programs that conflict with long-term adaptation to the programs I have identified as generating both economic and long-term environmental benefits, most notably, microfinance initiatives.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
2.3 Strengthen our cyclone, storm surge, and flood early warning systems to enable more accurate short, medium, and long-term forecasts
The Climate Change Action Plan (MoEF, 2009) The Climate Change Action Plan is a 10-year program (2009-2018) to build the capacity and resilience of the country to meet the challenge of climate change. The needs of the poor and vulnerable, including women and children, will be mainstreamed in all activities under the Action Plan. In the first five year period (2009-13), the programme will comprise six pillars:
3. Infrastructure It is imperative that existing infrastructure (e.g., river and coastal embankments) is well-maintained and fit- for-purpose and that urgently-needed infrastructure (e.g., cyclone shelters, urban drainage) is put in place to deal with the likely short- and medium-term impacts of climate change. Under this pillar we will:
Appendix 1: The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 (BCCSAP)
1.Food security, social protection and health Climate change is likely to impact the poorest and most vulnerable in society most severely. Every effort will made to ensure that they are protected and that all programmes focus on the needs of this group for food security, safe housing, employment and access to basic services, including health. Under this pillar we will: 1.1 Increase the resilience of vulnerable groups, including women and children, through development of community-level adaptation, livelihood diversification, better access to basic services and social protection (e.g., safety nets, insurance) and scaling up 1.2 Develop climate change resilient cropping systems (e.g., agricultural research to develop crop varieties, which are tolerant of flooding, drought and salinity, and based on indigenous and other varieties suited to the needs of resource poor farmers), fisheries and livestock systems to ensure local and national food security 1.3 Implement surveillance systems for existing and new disease risks and ensure that health systems are geared up to meet future demands 1.4 Implement drinking water and sanitation programmes in areas at risk from climate change (e.g., coastal areas, flood-and drought-prone areas) 2. Comprehensive Disaster Management Comprehensive Disaster Management systems will be further strengthened to deal with the increasingly frequent and severe natural catastrophes as a result of climate change. We will build on and extend our experience in this area. Under this pillar we will: 2.1 Strengthen the governmentâ€™s capacity and that of civil society partners and communities to manage natural disasters, and ensure that appropriate policies, laws, and regulations are in place 2.2 Strengthen community-based adaptation programmes and establish them in each of the disasterprone parts of the country
3.1 Repair and rehabilitate existing infrastructure (e.g., coastal embankments, river embankments and drainage systems, urban drainage systems) and ensure effective operation and maintenance systems 3.2 Plan, design, and construct urgently needed new infrastructure (e.g., cyclone shelters, coastal and river embankments and water management systems; urban drainage systems, river erosion control works, flood shelters) to meet the changing conditions expected with climate change 3.3 Undertake strategic planning of future infrastructure needs, taking into account the likely (a) future patterns of urbanisation and socio-economic development; and (b) the changing hydrology of the country, because of climate change 4. Research and knowledge management Research will be undertaken to estimate the scale and timing of climate change impacts on different sectors of the economy to inform planning of future investment strategies. We will also ensure that Bangladesh is effectively linked to regional and national knowledge networks, so that Bangladeshi organisations and the general public are aware of the latest research, lessons, and technologies available in other countries. Under this pillar we will: 4.1 Model climate change scenarios for Bangladesh by applying global climate change models and methodologies at regional and national levels 4.2 Model the likely hydrological impacts of climate change on the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna system to assess likely future system discharges and river levels in order to derive design criteria for flood protection embankments 4.3 Monitor and research the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity 4.4 Research the likely impacts of climate change on the macro-economy of Bangladesh (a Bangladesh â€˜Stern Reportâ€™) and key sectors (e.g., livelihoods and food security) and contribute to developing a climate-proof national development plan
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
4.5 Research the linkages between (a) climate change, poverty and vulnerability and (b) climate change, poverty and health (disease incidence, nutrition, water, sanitation) in order to identify possible interventions to increase the resilience of poor and vulnerable households to climate change 4.6 Establish a Centre for Research and Knowledge Management on Climate Change (or a network of centres) to ensure Bangladesh has access to the latest ideas and technologies from around the world, and ensure that data is widely and freely available to researchers 5. Mitigation and low carbon development Even though Bangladesh’s contribution to the generation of greenhouse gases is very low, we wish to play our part in reducing emissions now and in the future. Under this pillar we will:
ment, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Local Government Engineering Department; National Agricultural Research System, the health system, the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs) 6.4 Build the capacity of the government to undertake international and regional negotiations on climate change. Regional and international cooperation is essential in order to build necessary capacity and resilience 6.5 Build the capacity of the government, civil society and the private sector on carbon financing to access various global climate funds Appendix 2: Bangladesh 2011 Research Project Recorded Interviews All interviews conducted by John Nay Bangladesh Government
5.1 Develop a strategic energy plan and investment portfolio to ensure national energy security and lower greenhouse gas emissions 5.2 Expand the social forestry programme on government and community lands throughout the country 5.3 Expand the ‘greenbelt’ coastal afforestation programme with mangrove planting along the shoreline
Syeedul Haque Joint Chief Ministry of Planning Government of Bangladesh Former Climate Change Specialist, BRAC University Co-Author of multiple UNEP reports on climate change adaptation
5.4 Seek the transfer of state-of the art technologies from developed countries to ensure that we follow a low-carbon growth path (e.g., ‘clean coal’ and other technologies)
Mirza Shawkat Ali Deputy Director (International Convention) Department of Environment Government of Bangladesh
5.5 Review energy and technology policies and incentives and revise these, where necessary, to promote efficient production, consumption, distribution and use of energy
Monowar Islam Director General Department of Environment Ministry of Environment & Forests Government of Bangladesh
6. Capacity building & institutional strengthening To meet the challenge of climate change, the capacity of government ministries and agencies, civil society and the private sector will be strengthened. Under this pillar, we will: 6.1 Review and revise, where appropriate, all government policies (sector by sector) to ensure that they take full account of climate change and its impacts 6.2 Mainstream climate change in national, sectoral and spatial development planning (in government ministries and agencies, local government, the private sector, civil society and communities) and ensure that impacts on vulnerable groups and women are prioritized in plans
Quazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hashmi Director of Planning Department of Environment Government of Bangladesh Mizanur Rahman Director Prime Minister’s Office Government of Bangladesh Dr. Nomita Halder Director Prime Minister’s Office Government of Bangladesh
6.3 Build the capacity of key government ministries and agencies to take forward climate change adaptation (e.g., Ministry of Food and Disaster Manage-
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Bangladesh Non-Governmental Organizations, International Aid Organizations
Bangladesh Research Centres, Universities, and Consultancy Firms
James S. Pender Development & Natural Resource Management Advisor Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme
Nazmul Huq Senior Research Officer Action Research for Community Adaptation in Bangladesh (ARCAB) Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies
A H M Rezaul Kabir Former Secretary, Government of Bangladesh Current Advisor, BRAC Disaster Environment & Climate Change Program BRAC Centre, 75 Mohakhali Dhaka 1212 Bangladesh
Professor Ainun Nishat PhD FIE Vice Chancellor BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
M. Aminul Islam Assistant Country Director Disaster Management UNDP-Bangladesh Majeda Haq Programme Analyst and Head of Local Poverty Reduction Cluster UNDP-Bangladesh Arif Mohammad Faisal Environment Specialist Bangladesh Resident Mission Asian Development Bank Mohammed Zahidur Rahman Management Professional BRAC Disaster Environment & Climate Change Program Joao Anselmo Operations Manager-Food Security European Union Delegation to Bangladesh Anisuzzaman Chowdhury Program Officer, Disaster Management & Climate Change Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh Office
Saleemul Huq Director International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD), at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) Senior Fellow, Climate Change Group , International Institute for Environment and Development, London UK Lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Lead Author of the chapter on Adaptation and Mitigation in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report. Group Interview: Rokeya Zevin Kaisari Md. Nurul Kabir Md. Hamidur Rahman Md. Nurul Huda PRIP Trust, Climate Change and Environment Department Trevor Birkenholtz, Ph.D. Contributor to “Water, Waves, and Weather: Climate Change and the Future of South Asia” Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh that I attended. Assistant Professor Department of Geography Rutgers, New Jersey
Adrian Shaw Climate Change Officer Church of Scotland Edinburgh, UK Malcolm Rooney Climate Change Consultant, Church of Scotland Aid Minister of Kirriemuir: Old Church, ‘Eco-Congregation’ Matthew Bicket Former Bangladesh Agriculturalist Long-term Bangladesh Development Project Leader Minister Carnoustie: Panbride Church
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
1. Agrawala, S. T., Ota, A., Ahmed, K., & Aalst, S. A. (2003). Development and Climate Change in Bangladesh: Focus on Coastal Flooding and the Sunderbans. Paris: OECD. 2. Ahmad, Q., & Ahmed, A. (2002). Bangladesh: Citizens’ Perspectives on Sustainable Development. Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad , 225. 3. Ali, A. (1999). Climate Change impacts and adaptation assessment in Bangladesh. National Assessment Results of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses: CR Special 6 , 109-116. 4. Associated Press. (2011, November 20). Himalayan nations agree on climate adaptation plan. Retrieved November 20, 2011, from stltoday: www.stltoday. com/news/world/himalayan-nations-agree-onclimate-adaptation-plan/article_07a45b0a-a6865934-897d-ca9d43b7c8c0.html 5. Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society - towards a new modernity. London, UK: Sage. 6. Bernstein, S. (2001). The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press. 7. Best, J. (1989). Images of Issues: Typifying Contemporary Social Problems. New York, NY, USA: Aldine de Gruyter. 8. Bureau of Research Testing and Consultation (BRTC), B. U. (2005). Final Report of the Sectoral Working Group on Industry and Infrastructure. Dhaka. 9. Bureau, U. C. (2011, December 10). Retrieved from Foreign Trade: http://www.census.gov/foreigntrade/top/dst/current/balance.html 10. Busby, J. W. (2007, November). Climate Change and National Security: An Agenda for Action. 32. 11. Busby, J., & Ochs, A. (2005). From Mars and Venus Down to Earth: Understanding the Transatlantic Climate Divide. In D. Michels (Ed.), Beyond Kyoto: Meeting the Long-Term Challenge of Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). 12. Cannon, J. (2007). The Significance of Massachusetts v. EPA. Virginia Law Review in Brief , 93 (53). 13. Carter, T. (1996). Assessing climate change adaptations: the IPCC guidelines. In Adapting to Climate Change: An international perspective (pp. 2743). New York, NY, USA: Springer-Verlag. 14. Chowdhury, E., & Ahmad. (n.d.). Socio-Economic Implications of Climate Change for Bangladesh. 15. Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board. (2007). National Security and the Threat of Climate Change. Washington D.C.: CNA Corporation. 16. DeSombre, E. (2002). The Global Environment and World Politics: international relations for the 21st century. New York, NY, USA: Continuum.
17. Easterly, W. (2006). The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. New York, NY, USA: The Penguin Press. 18. Energy Advantage, W. C. (2008, June 30). Energy Advantage. Retrieved from http://www.energyadvantage.com/content/view/168/95/lang,en/ 19. Eriksson, R., & Anderson, J. O. (2010). Elements of Ecological Economics. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. 20. Gillies, R. (2011, December 12). Canada pulls out of Kyoto Protocol. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from San Francisco Chronicle : http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/12/12/ international/i141501S45.DTL 21. GOB, G. o. (2005). National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), Final Report. Dhaka: Ministry of Environment and Forest. 22. Haas, P. (1992). Obtaining international protection through epistemic consensus. (I. R. Greene, Ed.) Global Environmental Change and International Relations. 23. Hannigan, J. (1995). Environmental Sociology: A social constructionist perspective. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. 24. Harrison, K., & Sundstron, L. (2007). The Comparative Politics of Climate Change. Global Environmental Politics , 7:4. 25. Hilgartner, S. A. (1988). The Rise and Fall of Social Problems: a public arenas model. American Journal of Sociology (94(1)), 53-78. 26. Hofer, T. (1998). Floods in Bangladesh: A highlandlowland interaction? Institute of Geography, University of Berne Switzerland. 27. Holsti, O. (1996). Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy. University of Michigan Press. 28. IIED, I. I. (2007). Climate Change: Study Maps Those at Greatest Risk from Cyclones and Rising Seas. 29. Index, C. C. (2012). Retrieved from GermanWatch: http://www.germanwatch.org/klima/ccpi.htm 30. IPCC. (2011). Retrieved December 10, 2011, from http://www.IPCC.ch/organization/organization.shtml 31. IPCC. (2001). Chapter 18 of the Third Assessment. 32. Jaggard, L. (2007). Climate Change Politics in Europe: Germany and the International Relations of the Environment. New York, NY, USA: Tauris Academic Studies. 33. Leary, N. (1999). A Framework for benefit-cost analysis of adaptation to climate change and climate variability. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change , 4 (3-4), 307-318. 34. Liberatore, A. (1992, June). Facing global warming: the interactions between science and policy making in the European community. International Sociological Association Thematic Group on Environment and Society.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
35. Lindert, P. (2004). Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth Since the Eighteenth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 36. Lomborg, B. (2001). The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 37. Luck, E. (1999). Mixed Messages: American Politics and International Organization 1919-1999. Washington, D.C., USA: Brookings Institution Press. 38. MacArthur Foundation. (2010). Conservation and Sustainable Development: Grantmaking Guideline. www.macfound.org. 39. Mail, G. A. (2011, November 28). Canada adds its objections to $100-billion climate fund. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-addsits-objections-to-100-billion-climate-fund/article2252782/ 40. Maplecroft. (2011, October 26). Maplecroft. Retrieved from http://maplecroft.com/about/ news/ccvi_2012.html 41. Marocco, J. (2008). Climate Change and the limits of knowledge. In B. Vitek, & W. Jackson (Eds.), The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge. Lexington, Kentucky, USA: University of Kentucky Press. 42. McCright, A., & Dunlap, R. (2003). Defeating Kyoto: The Conservative Movement’s Impact on U.S. Climate Change Policy. Social Problems , 50 (3), 348-373. 43. McKibbin, W., & Wilcoxen, P. (2002). The Role of Economics in Climate Change Policy. Journal of Economic Perspectives , 16 (2), 107-129. 44. Miller Center, UVA. (2008). Climate Policy Blueprint: Report of the National Conference on Climate Governance. Charlottesville: University of Virginia. 45. MoEF. (2009). Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. Ministry of Environment and Forests. Dhaka: Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. 46. Montreal, M. (2011, October 13). The Gazette. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://www. montrealgazette.com/business/Companies%20 empt%20climate%20regulations/5541883/story. html 47. MPO, M. P. (1991). National Water Management Plan: Phase II, Final Report. Water Development and Flood Control. Dhaka: Ministry of Irrigation, Government of Bangladesh. 48. Myers, S. (2004, November 6). New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from International News: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/06/international/europe/06kyoto.html 49. Najam, A. (2005). Developing Countries and Global Environmental Governance: From Contestation to Participation to Engagement. International Environmental Agreements (5), 303-321.
50. Najam, A. (2004). Dynamics of the Southern Collective: Developing Countries in Desertification Negotiations. Global Environmental Politics (4.3), 128-54. 51. Norton, B. (1999). Ecology and Opportunity: Intergenerational Equity and Sustainable Options. In Fairness and Futurity: Essays on Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. 52. OECD. (2007). Development Co-operation Report, Vol. 8 No. 1. Hudson. 53. O’Neill, K. (2009). The Environment and International Relations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 54. Pataki, G., & Vilsack, T. (2008). Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy; Report of an Independent Task Force. New York, NY, USA: Council on Foreign Relations. 55. Penny, C. K. (2007). Greening the Security Council: Climate Change as an Emerging ‘Threat to International Peace and Security’. International Environmental Agreements , 7, 35-71. 56. Perez, T. (2006). Climate Refugees: The Human Toll of Global Warming. Center for American Progress. 57. Rahman, A., Huq, S., & Conway, G. (1990). Environmental Aspects of Surface Water Systems of Bangladesh: Introduction. In Environmental Aspects of Surface Water Systems of Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh: University Press Ltd. 58. Reiner, D., & Jacoby, H. (1997, October). Report #27: Annex I Differentiation Proposals: Implications for Welfare, Equity and Policy. MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change . 59. Sachs, J. (2008). Common Wealth: Economics for a crowded planet. New York, NY, USA: The Penguin Press. 60. Sagoff, M. (1999). Controlling Global Climate: The Debate Over Pollution Trading. 19 (1). 61. Singer, P. (2002). One World: The Ethics of Globalization. USA: Yale University Press. 62. Smith, R. (2006). The Utility of Force. New York, NY, USA: Penguin Books. 63. Solow, R. (1974). Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources. Review of Economic Studies: Symposium on the Economics of Exhaustible Resources . 64. Spash, C. L. (2002). Greenhouse Economics: Value and Ethics. London, UK: Routledge. 65. Stern, N. (2009). The Global Deal. New York, NY, USA: Public Affairs. 66. Stone, D. (1997). Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. New York, NY, USA: Norton & Company. 67. Than, K. (2011, December 16). National Geographic. Retrieved December 17, 2011, from Africans Must Adapt to Drought in Warming World: Report: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/ news/2011/12/111216-africans-adapt-rainfallshortages-warming-world/
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
68. Trusts, P. C. (2011, 12 1). Retrieved 12 10, 2011, from http://pewenvironment.org/campaigns/ pew-project-on-national-security-energy-climate/id/8589935509 69. USAID. (2008). Global Climate Change Brochure: USAIDs Global Climate Change Program. www.usaid.gov. 70. Victor, D. (2004). Climate Change: Debating Americaâ€™s Policy Options. New York, NY, USA: Council on Foreign Relations. 71. Vinod, S. (1997). Disaster Management. New Delhi: Indian Institute of Public Administration. 72. Wapner, P. (2003). World Summit on Sustainable Development: Toward a Post-Joâ€™burg Environmentalism. Global Environmental Politics (3.1), 1-10. 73. Washington Post. (2006). Reforming Foreign Assistance, Editorial. January 3, 2006. 74. Wiarda, H. J. (2006). The Crisis of American Foreign Policy. Lanham, MD, USA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. 75. World Bank, R. D. (2000). Bangladesh: Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Report No. 21104-BD. Dhaka, Bangladesh. 76. World Bank; Global Environmental Facility. (2006). Managing Climate Risk: Integrating Adaptation into World Bank Group Operations. www. worldbank.org. 77. Yandle, B. (2000). Bootleggers, Baptists, and Global Warming. In T. Anderson, & H. Miller (Eds.), The Greening of U.S. Foreign Policy. Stanford, CA, USA: Hoover Institute Press. 78. Yunus, M. (2007). Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. New York, NY, USA: Public Affairs.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Estimating Tree Transpiration Accurately Depends on Wood Type and Species: A Study of Four Southern Appalachian Tree Species Ava Hoffman The measurement of sap movement in trees is a valuable way to estimate forest evapotranspiration, or the return of water vapor to the atmosphere. The accuracy of these measurements is essential to determining forest evapotranspiration. Importantly, forest evapotranspiration is a major component of water budget, and subsequent water lost through this process affects other fluxes such as streamflow and surface water supply. Using a dual thermal dissipation probe system inserted into sapwood, the difference in temperature (ΔT) between the two probes can be related to sap flux density using an empirically derived equation. The universality of the power function coefficients proposed by Granier in this empirical equation has recently come into question regarding different tree species. Notably, Granier’s coefficients may not be universal among different wood types and among trees with varying sapwood to heartwood ratios. It has been suggested that each species should be validated before using the universal coefficients. Using four tree species indigenous to the southern Appalachians (Betula lenta, Liriodendron tulipifera, Nyssa sylvatica, Rhododendron maximum), this study estimates sap flux through excised woody stems using two independent methods: gravimetric and thermal dissipation. This study evaluates whether the species differ significantly among each other by comparing aforementioned gravimetric measurements. Replicates of excised stems were selected from trees growing in the Coweeta basin. Our results indicated that three of the four species require coefficients that differ from Granier’s (Betula, Nyssa, Rhododendron). Furthermore, there are significant differences between all but two of the species (Liriodendron and Rhododendron). Future studies will focus on testing other major tree species in the southern Appalachians to improve the accuracy of stand-level transpiration measurements.
ap flux density is the movement of water through the vascular system of a tree per unit area per unit time (Js, g H2O m-2 sapwood s-1). Sap flux measurements at the tree-level allow scalar calculation of stand-level canopy transpiration (Et) and stomatal conductance [Tang et al. 2006], allowing estimates of the forest water budget. Other variables in the water budget include stream runoff, interception, change in groundwater storage, and soil evaporation. An understanding of forest water budgets and Et are particularly important to mountainous areas with a history of erosion caused by prevalent logging and construction [Mattson and Swank 1989; Meyer and Tate 1983]. Ava Hoffman is a fourth-year distinguished major in Biology. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a graduate career, applying her knowledge of forest processes to difficult questions regarding natural resource management, conservation, and climate change. This study was conducted during the summer of 2011 through the U.S. Forest Service at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, part of the Long-Term Ecological Research Network. She is profoundly grateful to her advisors, Drs. Steven Brantley and Chelcy Ford, for their wisdom and guidance.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Sap flux density may be measured using a dual thermal dissipation probe system (Figure 1), which, although invasive, causes minimal damage to the tree. Thermal dissipation probes are commonly used within the United States, though other methods such as the heat pulse velocity technique [Ĉermák et al. 2004; Smith and Allen 1996; Tognetti et al. 2004] may be used as well. In the thermal dissipation system, a heated probe is placed at a fixed distance downstream (“higher” on a living trunk) from a non-heated reference probe. The heated probe measures the temperature of the sapwood as well as the temperature of the water moving around the probe. Water movement cools the probe as heat is removed downstream (hence “thermal dissipation” probe). The non-heated reference probe measures only the sapwood temperature. The difference in temperature (ΔT) between the two probes provides a useful numerical value; it indicates the heat conducted away from the probe due to sap flow, where ΔT decreases as flow increases. In other words, values of ΔT and sap flux (Js) vary inversely; this can be observed in a diurnal time series of ΔT and resulting Js values (Figure 2). The relationship between ΔT and Js is represented by a power function. Granier [1985, 1987] expressed ΔT as a function of Js using the thermal dissipation system, resulting in fitted coefficients to the power function which were deemed ubiquitous, applying to not only all species but all materials (mesh, wood, sawdust, etc.). However, recent studies suggest that probe placement, sapwood anatomy, and wounding may affect the accuracy of Granier’s coefficients [Bush et al. 2010; Clearwater et al. 1999; Taneda and Sperry 2008; Wullschleger et al. 2011], often yielding an underestimate of Js [Bush et al. 2010; Wullschleger et al. 2011]. As a result, it has been suggested that each tree species be independently validated, and calibrated if needed to account for anatomical differences. Sapwood varies widely among different species, based on the arrangement of vessels within an annual ring (ring-porous or diffuse-porous), proportion of sapwood to heartwood, and variable Js gradients within the sapwood [Ford et al. 2004; Phillips et al. 1996]. Ring-porous species have one or occasionally two years growth of active sapwood (shallower sapwood) whereas diffuse-porous species have multiple years of active sapwood and therefore a greater depth from the outer surface (deeper sapwood) (Figure 3a). The difference is based on the diameter of the individual conducting elements in the sapwood—xylem vessels. Js gradients occur within these classifications of sapwood according to Ford et al. . Variation within the sapwood may drastically influence measurements of ΔT because the probe measures an average ΔT along the probe. Ideally, probe length should cover the entire sapwood radius. This avoids accidently contacting non-conductive heartwood (probe is too long) as well as measuring only faster moving sap in the outermost vessels (probe is too short).
The purpose of this study is to measure sap flux density using two independent methods, gravimetric sap flux density (Js) and thermal dissipation, of four woody species in the southern Appalachians and compare their derived power function coefficients to those proposed by Granier. Species selected for the study were Betula lenta (BELE), Liriodendron tulipifera (LITU), Nyssa sylvatica (NYSY), and Rhododendron maximum (RHMA). We hypothesized that Granier’s coefficients would be inadequate for providing estimates of Js (often underestimating sap flux) , and that the fitted coefficients among species would vary.
Stem samples were gathered in low-elevation sites in the Coweeta basin in Otto, NC. Sites were chosen based ongoing sap flow studies in the basin. Terrain in the area is considered variable: mountainous and often semi-riparian. Five stems of 4.5–5.5 cm diameter were selected from each species. These four species represent >60% of the forest community leaf area, and >70% of stand level Et in these sites. These species show variation in amount of heartwood, although all may be classified as diffuse-porous (Figure 3b). LITU and NYSY generally contain lower sapwood to heartwood ratios. Stems were cut at a length twice the average vessel length for each species to prevent embolism and to ensure that water would flow through vessel end walls. The stem was secured vertically with clamps, and a positive pressure system consisting of a bottomless graduated cylinder was affixed over the bark onto the top of the stem with paraffin wax. A large Erlenmeyer vacuum flask maintained constant water pressure within the graduated cylinder, supplying water through the open end. This system maintained constant hydraulic pressures to force water down through the stem’s vascular system. This system also allowed changes in the hydraulic pressure to achieve faster or slower sap flow though the stem. Three target hydraulic pressure ranges were used: 2–5, 8–12, and 14+ cm. Typically, 20–30 minutes were allowed for flow to equilibrate to each pressure. The positive pressure applied simulated the effect of transpiration (maintained via tension within living trees). Greater hydraulic pressure within the graduated cylinder represented a greater tension via transpiration. Thermal dissipation probes were installed in each stem by drilling holes of appropriate length into the sapwood. The signal output from the probes, ΔT , was logged every 5 minutes using a Campbell CR10X data logger (Campbell Scientific, Logan, UT, USA). At the same intervals, water flowing out of the stem was independently recorded and weighed with a balance (i.e., gravimetric values). Cross-sectional sapwood area was measured on each stem; conductive sapwood was determined by staining with Congo Red dye. Gravimetric values were then converted to volumetric units based on water temperature (g m -2 s-1).
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Values of ΔT collected from the data logger were first converted to the dimensionless quantity k, where ΔT m is the maximum ΔT under zero flow. k = (ΔT m – ΔT)/ ΔT The quantity k was then regressed onto Js using a power function and two coefficients: Js = akb Coefficients were fit using numerical maximum likelihood solutions with the PROCNLMIXED function in SAS (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA) described by Peek et al. (2002). We also used Granier’s coefficients with k values and compared them to our fitted values on the same stems.
Figure 1. Model of thermal dissipation probes. Note the heated probe (red) is upstream of the non-heated probe (silver).
Results and Discussion
Visual comparison of k to Js indicates that use of Granier’s coefficients will likely yield an underestimate of sap flux density depending on the species (Figure 4). Our analyses indicate that coefficients for BELE, NYSY, and RHMA differed from predictions using Granier’s coefficients (all p < 0.05); however, coefficients for the power function for LITU did not significantly differ from Granier’s coefficients (Figure 5). Because sap flux density though RHMA stems was slow, we show those values magnified for clarification in Figure 6. Analyses also indicate that most species differ from each other. BELE/LITU, BELE/ NYSY, BELE/RHMA, LITU/NYSY, and NYSY/ RHMA all showed significant differences (p < 0.05) in their respective coefficients. Coefficients for LITU and RHMA did not significantly differ from one another. Errors in sap flux measurement are likely due to misplacement of the thermal dissipation probes or differences in sapwood anatomy among species. Wide variation in coefficients among species and from Granier’s coefficients necessitates a cautious approach if very accurate evapotranspirative measurements are needed. Ideally, all species must be validated before use to determine if Granier’s coefficients will yield a suitable estimate. A Web of Science search on scientific literature citing Granier’s original work  shows that this method is quite popular and is increasing in relevance; indeed, it has been cited over 300 times. Granier’s coefficients have been used with little criticism in many species in other environments. In species occupying the southern Appalachians, these coefficients provide a more accurate Et estimate for LITU than for the other species we evaluated. Our data suggest that Granier’s coefficients may yield underestimates for many species. Based on our work for southern Appalachian woody species, speciesspecific coefficients will yield more accurate estimates of sap flux density than those published by Granier.
Figure 2. Values of ΔT (left) and gravimetric sap flux (Js) (right) vary inversely, diurnally. Figure credit to Steven T. Brantley, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Future plans include validating and calibrating, if needed, other southern Appalachian woody species. Our methods may also be optimized to include sources of error: minimizing probe contact with heartwood, minimizing wounding/trauma to the probe insertion site, and increasing understanding of sapwood properties and gradients of sap flux density at different sapwood depths. Minimizing probe contact with heartwood yields more accurate measurements, should the Granier coefficients be used. Minimizing wounding/trauma may be the most
pressing challenge, as cavitation may cause underestimates of flux. Embolized vessels often close around the wound site. Effectiveness of sap flux probes on ring-porous species must also be maximized. Ring-porous species, such as Quercus alba, can often reach old-growth status in the southern Appalachians and, as such, can contribute substantially to stand-level Et (Figure 3a). Differences between individuals of the same species should also be examined, as they may vary among different environments or growing conditions (e.g.,
Figure 3. Staining study of stems used in sap flow measurements; hydroactive sapwood is stained red, nonfunctional heartwood is not stained. (a) Top left, Liriodendron tulipifera, a diffuse-porous species, and bottom left Quercus alba, a ring-porous species. Yellow boxes indicate sapwood radius. Note the absence of dye where the probe was inserted. (b) BELE (top left), LITU (top right), NYSY (bottom left) and RHMA (bottom right) sapwood, stained red. Note the unstained heartwood in LITU and NYSY. LITU and NYSY generally contain lower sapwood to heartwood ratios.
Figure 4: Summary of all species indicated by data points, where k is a unitless quantity based on ΔT, and sap flux density represents independently measured, gravimetric values (Js). The solid line represents estimated sap flow based on Granier’s equation and Granier’s coefficients. Note the apparent underestimate of the solid line.
Figure 5. Breakdown of species data points (circles) and Granier estimates (crosses), where k is a unitless quantity calculated from ΔT, and sap flux density represents independently measured, gravimetric values (Js). Equations shown in each panel are based on the best-fit coefficients to the observed data. The Granier equation and coefficients are shown above. Note the differences in coefficients. RHMA is also shown with different scale in Figure 6.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Figure 6: A closer examination of RHMA indicates that Granier estimates are, in fact, an underestimate of sap flux.
soils, elevation, slope, or aspect). Influence of growth rate and yearly biomass accumulation might have unforeseen effects on the species’ coefficients. The results of this study suggest that the coefficients proposed in Granier  are not universally applicable, and that tree species should be independently validated and calibrated, if needed, to avoid errors in Et estimates. Differences in xylem anatomy necessitate this tailored approach. Placement of thermal dissipation probes must also be examined to ensure the most accurate coverage of sapwood.
1. Bush, S. E., K. R. Hultine, J. S. Sperry, J. R. Ehleringer, N. Phillips. 2010. Calibration of thermal dissipation sap flow probes for ring- and diffuse-porous trees. Tree Physiology. 30:1545-1554. 2. Ĉermák, J., J. Kučera, N. Nadezhdina. 2004. Sap flow measurements with some thermodynamic methods, flow integration within trees and scaling up from sample trees to entire forest stand. Trees. 18:529-546. 3. Clearwater, M.J., F. C. Meinzer, J. L. Andrade, G. Goldstein, N. M. Holbrook. 1999. Potential errors in measurement of nonuniform sap flow using heat dissipation probes. Tree Physiology. 19:681687. 4. Ford, C. R., M. A. McGuire, R. J. Mitchell, R. O. Teskey. 2004. Assessing variation in the radial profile of sap flux density in Pinus species and its effect on daily water use. Tree Physiology. 24:241249. 5. Granier, A. 1985. Une nouvelle méthode pour la mesure du flux de sève brute dans le tronc des arbre. Annals of Forest Science. 42:81-88. 6. Granier, A. 1987. Evaluation of transpiration in a Douglas-fir stand by means of sap flow measurement. Tree Physiology. 3:309-320. 7. Mattson, K. G., W. T. Swank. 1989. Soil and detrital carbon dynamics following forest cutting in the southern Appalachians. Earth and Environmental Science. 7:247-253.
8. Meyer, J. L., C. L. Tate. 1983. The effects of watershed disturbance on dissolved organic carbon dynamics of a stream. Ecology. 64:33-44. 9. Peek, M. S., E. Russek-Cohen, D. A. Wait, I. N. Forseth. 2002. Physiological response curve analysis using nonlinear mixed model. Oecologia. 132:175-180. 10. Phillips, N., R. Oren, R. Zimmermann. 1996. Radial patterns of xylem sap flow in non-, diffuseand ring-porous tree species. Plant, Cell and Environment. 19:983-990. 11. Smith, D. M., S. J. Allen. 1996. Measurement of sap flow in plant stems. Journal of Experimental Botany. 47:1833-1844. 12. Taneda, H., J. S. Sperry. 2008. A case-study of water transport in co-occurring ring- versus diffuse-porous trees: contrasts in water-status, conducting capacity, cavitation and vessel refilling. Tree Physiology. 28: 1641-1651. 13. Tang, J., P. V. Bolstad, B. E. Ewers, A. R. Desai, K. J. Davis, E. V. Carey. 2006. Sap flux–upscaled canopy transpiration, stomatal conductance, and water use efficiency in an old growth forest in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Journal of Geophysical Research. 111:1-12. 14. Tognetti, R., R. d‘Andria, G. Morelli, D. Calandrelli, F. Fragnito. 2004. Irrigation effects on daily and seasonal variations of trunk sap ﬂow and leaf water relations in olive trees. Plant and Soil. 263:249-264. 15. Wullschleger, S. D., K. W. Childs, A. W. King, P. J. Hanson, N. Phillips. 2011. A model of heat transfer in sapwood and implications for sap flux density measurements using thermal dissipation probes. Tree Physiology. 31:669-679.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Who Owns the Water? An Analysis of Water Conflicts in Latin America and Modern Water Law Thomas Coleman Water is the world’s most important natural resource. Some would say it is our most important commodity whose allocation should be governed by pricing mechanisms and market transactions. Yet water is unlike any other resource in its mobility, its form, and its centrality to the maintenance of human life and human communities. Water’s physical, conceptual, and social plasticity precludes easy categorizations, creates uncertainty regarding its handling, and poses critical questions regarding use and management. During the past three decades, international economic institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have sought to confront such questions by forcing privatization policies on developing nations in accordance with their neoliberal economic philosophies. These policies privatize state water services generally transferring the rights to large multinational corporations (MNC’s) and ultimately transform water from a public good into a private economic asset with corresponding private property rights. Lower and middle class groups have often suffered as a result of these policies and have risen up in opposition to the MNC’s and their governments claiming an international right to water. This article focuses on three water conflicts in Latin America in order to elucidate the convergence of coinciding systems of water law: an international legal framework of water as a human right and domestic systems of water as a property right. Specifically, this essay examines conflicts in Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile within the context of diverse economic responses to the legal challenges posed by water’s uniqueness as a resource. The article draws conclusions about analyses of social conflicts, current conceptions of law and global economic theory, as well as present implications regarding the state of water law.
n February 4, 2000, military police from La Paz, Bolivia, clad in urban camouflage and anti-riot gear entered the city of Cochabamba to suppress a series of mass protests carried out by Cochabamba’s rural and urban inhabitants. Demonstrators, chiefly citizens from the lower and middle classes, were protesting the privatization of water services in the Cochabamba valley and the subsequent spike in monthly water rates. In protesting, the Cochabambinos asserted their right to have access to water, which they felt had been trampled by the sharp increase in water prices. Despite the Bolivian government’s attempts to quell the demonstrations, the Cochabambinos ultimately prevailed in forcing the rescission of the water contract with Aguas del Tunari, a Bolivian subsidiary of the American Bechtel Corporation.
Thomas Coleman is a third year student at the University of Virginia in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is pursuing a double major in Foreign Affairs and Spanish. His areas of academic interest include writing, foreign language, studies of international relations, and law. In the coming years he plans to pursue a law degree, and aspires to work in the realm of international law. He would like to thank Professor Brian Owensby for inspiring him to research on this topic and for guiding him during the course of his research.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Four years earlier, in Tucumán, Argentina, a similar, yet not as well-known conflict had arisen in reaction to the privatization of provincial water services. As in Cochabamba, the federally mandated transfer of water services from the municipalities to Agua del Aconquija, the Argentine subsidiary of a French multinational corporation (MNC), triggered a dramatic increase in rates and a decline in water quality. The citizens of Tucumán subsequently organized, claimed a right to sanitary, affordable access to water, and refused to pay their water bills. They too were successful in forcing the municipalities to unilaterally forfeit the contract with the Argentine subsidiary. Going back further, in the 1980’s a series of legal battles broke out in Chile over distinct interpretations of water rights by users of the same water source. The conflict emerged when a Chilean electric company, ENDESA, built two separate dams diverting water flows from downstream farmers and irrigators. The farmers and irrigators sued on the grounds that the dams interrupted their usage of the water. Unlike the previous two cases, the claimants were not as successful as their Cochabambino and Argentine counterparts—the Chilean Supreme Court controversially ruled in favor of ENDESA holding that the farmers’ and irrigators’ usage would be marginally affected. In all of these cases, members of the lower and middle classes claimed a right to water, clashing with MNC’s and governments over water management. Aside from being a precondition for human survival, water plays a crucial role in certain industries such as agriculture, electricity, and sanitation. In light of the manifold uses for water, it is no surprise that water is a source of significant and intensifying—yet often overlooked—conflict in the world. Many disputes, like the ones in Bolivia and Argentina, have traditionally been analyzed along social and political lines, while the conflict in Chile has remained largely uninvestigated. This is chiefly because the Chilean conflict did not involve large-scale social upheaval, but rather materialized within the Chilean judicial system at a time of military dictatorship, which left little space for opposition or probing research. Furthermore, the Bolivian and Argentine cases entailed conflicts over a fundamental human right to access water whereas in Chile, the conflicts concentrated on private property rights of water. The convergence, even collision, of these two aspects of water law will be the subject of this article. Specifically, the essay examines each of the water conflicts mentioned above within the context of water as a human right and as a property right, and then draws conclusions from the evidence gathered. Such conflicts have traditionally been analyzed along the lines of social and political motives, with scant attention to the legal background of the confrontations. This is because the long-term implications of major conflicts tend to be societal rather than legal. Nonetheless, analysis of the legal aspects provides a
critical perspective when looking at large-scale social upheaval. I will begin by outlining the global political and economic preconditions of the conflicts. Then I will demonstrate that there is significant legal backing in international law instruments to support the claim that human beings have a fundamental right to water. Next, I will provide an overview of water in terms of property rights and explain how the nature of water poses a problem to clearly defining property rights. In a final section, I will examine three sets of conflicts over water in Cochabamba, Bolivia; Tucumán, Argentina; and two river basins in Chile. In doing so, I will look to the social and political history of each nation in order to flesh out the legal aspects of each conflict in context.
The Latin American water conflicts cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the political and economical context of the late twentieth century—that is, when water became a commodity.1 The idea that water could be commodified emerged from massive changes in thinking regarding the role and ambit of markets in social life. In policy terms, these changes took form in the late 1970’s in the governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. This new economic model, referred to as neoliberalism, pushed governments “to give up foreign investment control, liberalize trade, deregulate their internal economies, privatize state services and utilities, and enter into head-to-head competition.”2 By the 1980’s institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and regional development banks adopted and begun to espouse this philosophy. In their view, economies function best under conditions of minimal government involvement and robust private ownership of the factors of production. This view also holds that the market is an impartial indicator of value. When the market is allowed to operate freely, according to proponents, goods are distributed most efficiently, economic growth increases, and society prospers. Thus, the World Bank, backed by northern governments, pressured developing nations into adopting these policies through structural adjustment plans which stipulated that developing nations would only receive World Bank funding through strict adherence to neoliberal principles. The results have been highly controversial as MNC’s have transformed traditionally public goods into commodities, excluded or reduced access to these goods through increased prices, and induced substantial capital outflows from southern countries. The commercialization of water has been no different. 1 A commodity is “an exchangeable unit of economic wealth, especially a primary product or raw material.” See Collins English Dictionary 2003. 2 Maude Barlow, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, (Toronto: 2007), 37.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
In this regard, the World Bank and MNC’s have sought to transform water from a public good into private property.3 As private property, the rights to water usage and ownership entail the right to exclude access and transfer those rights, all under the protection of law. Thus, under the neoliberal framework, the state’s role with regard to water should be limited to “protecting property, enforcing contracts, and reducing transaction costs and barriers to exchange.”4 From this perspective, well-protected property rights promote secure, private investment, and give the holder liberty to reallocate or alienate those rights as he sees fit, allowing the cost of exchange (as governed by supply and demand) to indicate the good’s true value. In many cases, however, the value of water according to the market is much higher than many citizens can afford in developing nations, and this has resulted in large-scale deprivation for poorer communities. As a result, human rights organizations, NGO’s, and the United Nations have adopted the stance that water is a fundamental human right and that states have a responsibility to “respect, protect, and fulfill” that right.5 The idea of access to water as a human right is a recent development, yet it is gaining importance in various jurisdictions around the world. Nevertheless, the human right to water is a complex issue because it is difficult to enforce. Just like property rights, a human right to water would confer upon individuals and communities legal protection and opportunity for redress in the case of infringement on that right. It is therefore necessary to outline below the international legal framework behind the right to water. Before proceeding, it is worth mentioning that systems of property rights to water are more often recognized than the human right to water—even if governments or MNC’s ignore or undermine the former, a point I will further explore later in my essay.
Water as a Human Right
Although water is not generally recognized as a fundamental human right, there are substantial grounds in international legal instruments to suggest that a human right to water is just as legitimate 3 A public good is one that is nonexcludable and nonrivalrous. That is, one cannot exclude others from using that good, nor can the consumption of the good in question reduce or limit a third party’s consumption of that good. David Colander, Economics 8th Edition (McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.: 2009), 415. 4 Carl J. Bauer, “Bringing Water Markets Down to Earth: The Political Economy of Water Rights in Chile, 1976-95,” World Development, Vol. 25, No. 5 (1997): 640, accessed November 16, 2011, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ article/pii/S0305750X96001283. 5 World Health Organization, “The Right to Water,” WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data (Geneva: 2003): 7, accessed November 22, 2011, http://www.who. int/water_sanitation_health/en/righttowater.pdf.
as the “right to life, liberty and security of person,” and that the idea of such a right is gaining ground.6 To understand this, it is first necessary to state the basic principles upon which human rights are founded, and then apply those principles to the right to water. According to Amnesty International, “Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.”7 Rights, in turn, are based on specific principles such as equality, equity, and accountability, which are to be recognized internationally by governments, institutions, and individuals.8 This means that rights are equal for all and their implementation and protection must be impartial and just. Governments must establish mechanisms to promote and protect these rights and provide redress in case of violation. In the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, participating nations held that “human rights are universal, indivisible, inter-related and inter-dependent” and that “there is no hierarchy of human rights.”9 In other words, no single right is ancillary to others and all human rights reinforce each other. I will elucidate these principles and ideas as I detail the various human rights instruments concerning water below. United Nations international law instruments take many forms, including treaties, conventions, agreements, declarations, conferences, and resolutions. Treaties, conventions, and agreements are interchangeable and binding on signatory states. Declarations, conferences, and resolutions, on the other hand, are often non-binding on member states and may indicate certain developments in the formulation of international customary law. However, widely accepted, recurring standards may be incorporated into international customary law and would therefore be binding on states, as evidenced by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.10 The first UN instrument to make explicit mention of a universal right to water was the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Article 14, Section 2, Clause 6 UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III), available at http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/, accessed December 5, 2011. 7 World Health Organization, “The Right to Water,”10. 8 World Health Organization, “The Right to Water,”10. 9 Belinda U. Calaguas, “The Right to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and the Human Rights-Based approach to development,” Water Aid (1999): 5, accessed November 22, 2011, http://www.righttowater.info/wp-content/uploads/humanrights.pdf. 10 Thorsten Kiefer, et al, Legal Resources for the Right to Water and Sanitation -International and National Standards 2nd Edition (Amsterdam: Primavera, 2008): 21, Accessed December 4, 2011, http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/ fileadmin/wwc/Programs/Right_to_Water/Pdf_doct/ RWP-Legal_Res_1st_Draft_web.pdf.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
H of the convention orders that “States parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, … the right … to enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply.”11 Article 14 specifies women in rural areas as having a right to water supply. However, the convention is not exhaustive in its delineation of who may enjoy the right to water supply. Section 2 explicitly states “on a basis of equality of men and women” which implies that men previously possessed a right to water supply. Furthermore, as noted above, human rights are based on principles of universality and equality, and therefore this right may be applied to all human beings. Similarly, the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child declares in Article 24, Section 1 that children have the right to the “highest attainable standards of health.” 12 Section 2, Clause C holds that in ensuring that right, states have an obligation to provide “adequate nutritious foods and clean-drinking water.” Just like the previously mentioned UN convention, the Convention on the Rights of the Child can be applied to all human beings on the basis that all human rights are universal. Although this statement on its face applies narrowly to children, it would defy common sense to conclude that children have a right to water, but lose it once they become adults. Overall, these two conventions explicitly mention a right to water for women and children. Moreover, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women claims this right on the grounds that men and women are equal. In applying this principle of equality, various criminal law treaties, such as the Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War or the Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, delineate a right to access water.13 These explicit mentions constitute an international recognition of a human right to water regardless of circumstance. 11 UN General Assembly, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 18 December 1979, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, p. 13, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/ docid/3ae6b3970.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 12 UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b38f0.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 13 International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/ docid/3ae6b36c8.html, accessed December 5, 2011. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/ docid/3ae6b36d2.html, accessed December 5, 2011.
Aside from these explicit provisions, multiple treaties and conventions exist asserting implicit rights to water. At the forefront of these implicit instruments is the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) of 1966.14 This covenant makes multiple statements with noteworthy implications. To begin with, Article 11 proclaims that “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living” which includes a right to food, clothing, and housing. Though this statement cannot be read as an explicit assertion regarding a right to water, it is worth noting that water is an input for many foods and more important, it is a prerequisite for human life and therefore to an “adequate standard of living.” “An adequate standard of living” assumes at a bare minimum sufficient access to water. Article 1, Section 2 states, “In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.” In many parts of the world, rural and indigenous communities depend on water not just for drinking but also as an input towards agriculture. For many of these communities agriculture is a source of livelihood and water being necessary for its realization, is protected under this covenant. It is also worth noting that Section 2 mentions “a people,” implying that rights have a collective component. This is significant because rights have traditionally been understood to have an individual rather than collective meaning, that is, rights belong to individuals not to groups of individuals. The distinction between the two meanings carries implications with respect to methods of remedying water rights violations. It is more difficult for an individual to file a suit claiming human rights violations than it is for a community as a whole, and it is often large groups who are victims of human rights violations instead of individuals. Finally, Article 1, Section 1 pronounces that all individuals may “freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation.” Sections 1 and 2 jointly imply a right to subsist, through which a right to water is construed as a necessary precondition to survival. However, Section 1 also seems to assert a human right to control those natural resources under an individual’s possession without outside interference, hence implying an individual right to property. The potential for contradiction is clear. Section 1’s statement may have been unintentional, but it does crystallize the tension between different views of rights and water, an issue to which I will return. Regardless, the ICESCR prescribes a set of rights from which the right to water is derived. 14 UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993, p. 3, available at: http:// www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b36c0.html, accessed December 5, 2011.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
In spite of only implicitly providing for a right to water, the ICESCR is often the most cited instrument when asserting said right. This is due to the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights’s explicit mention of a human right to water in General Comment No. 15.15 In 2002, the aforementioned committee adopted General Comment 15 to provide “guidelines for states on the interpretation of the right to water” under the ICESCR.16 General comments are not legally binding, however they signify an authoritative interpretation of specific covenants.17 General Comment No. 15 specifically states that “the right to water clearly falls within the category of guarantees essential for securing an adequate standard of living, particularly since it is one of the most fundamental conditions for survival.” The committee also announces multiple obligations that General Comment No. 15 confers upon states, for example the obligation to “move as expeditiously and effectively as possible towards the full realization of the right to water.” Overall, the committee affirms through General Comment No. 15 that the ICESCR is not be interpreted exhaustively, that the right to water falls within the framework of the ICESCR, and that water shall be recognized as a human right in the future. In 2006, the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights developed a list of standards for the realization of the right to water based on General Comment No. 15. These standards include: sufficient water (approximately 50-100 liters daily per person); quality (water must be safe for consumption and use); accessibility (water must be within thirty minutes collection time); affordability (“The direct and indirect costs of securing water and sanitation should not reduce a person’s capacity to acquire other essential goods, such as food, housing, education and health care”); allocation and availability (water should be made readily available for domestic purposes); non-discrimination; and participation and access to information (everyone has a right to participate in the realization of the right to water, as well as a right to adequate information regarding that right).18 In conclusion, significant references, both explicit and implicit, in UN international law instruments seem to establish a universal right to water. General Comment No. 15 elucidated the right to water, and the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights outlined a set of standards dictating the scope of the right and how it may be
applied. It is worth noting that in addition to international acknowledgment of this right—as demonstrated by the act of signing and possibly ratifying the aforementioned treaties—national governments are beginning to recognize a human right to water. Uruguay, for example, has amended its Constitution to recognize water as a basic human right and to prohibit its privatization within the country’s borders.19 Judicial systems are beginning to uphold this right in court decisions, although many forms of redress are still lacking. Still, if a universal human right to water continues to gain ground, more robust forms of redress will develop.
15 UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), General Comment No. 15: The Right to Water (Arts. 11 and 12 of the Covenant), 20 January 2003, E/C.12/2002/11, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4538838d11.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 16 “General Comments No 15,” http://www.righttowater.info/progress-so-far/general-comments-2/. 17 Thorsten Kiefer, et al, Legal Resources, 6. 18 Thorsten Kiefer, et al, Legal Resources, 9-12.
19 Thorsten Kiefer, et al, Legal Resources, 61. 20 Terry Lee Anderson and Laura E. Huggins, Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity (San Francisco, Hoover: 2003), 3-4. 21 Carl J. Bauer, “Bringing Water Markets Down to Earth,” 646. 22 Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick and Rajendra Pradhan, “Legal Pluralism and Dynamic Property Rights,” International Food Policy Research Institute (2002), 17.
Water as a Property Right
Property rights are legal instruments that seek to protect the assets of citizens granting individual owners legal authority to exclude others, including governments and states, from limiting the use, possession, or alienation of the assets in question.20 In this light, property rights regimes are just as much of an economic institution as a political one, and this fact is essential when looking at property rights of natural resources, particularly water. When looking at systems of property rights, it is important to remember the economic implications of private property—as such water becomes a commodity. Hence, water can be transferred (bought and sold) to generate profit and taxed in order to encourage conservation and efficient use. Property rights regimes necessitate infrastructure to coordinate the economic aspects of a private good. For example, adequate infrastructure must be available to accurately calculate taxes or to facilitate the transfer of water, i.e., through canals, aqueducts, or dams.21 Nevertheless, understanding systems of water property rights is complicated because the nature of water presents many problems to clearly defined rights. Furthermore, societies often have different views on the roles of certain assets— some societies, particularly those in Latin America, may acknowledge a private right to an asset so long as it is used productively. As a result, regimes of water property rights often differ by country. On the one hand, water is a mobile resource, which creates ambiguity as to its location and quantity in a given moment.22 Water can change forms from solid, to liquid, to gas, and is highly dependent on environmental factors, such as the hydrological system as well as natural events. It may lay immobile in a pond or lake, or flow in a river. It may fall from
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
the sky. Given the fact that water can change location and quantity independent of human control, how can governments define water rights for seemingly public sources? And how do property regimes distinguish between ground water and surface water and rainwater? The Romans were the first to address these questions, defining water in public rivers and lakes as subject to usufruct, whereas water sources limited to private land were considered private.23 Similarly, “groundwater was regarded as part of the subsoil, and hence owned by the owner of the property.”24 Of course, modern governments have differing adopted approaches in dealing with these concerns. On the other hand, governments are not fully capable of managing all of the available water resources at a given time, and therefore property rights have in many cases been left to individual control.25 In these cases, water management and appropriation is based on societal relationships between the individuals and groups that share the land. This is especially prevalent in indigenous communities where rights to water usage are determined by the dynamics of social relations, that is, heads of families or village elders might make decisions regarding water (the decision-makers are usually male). In such contexts, according to Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick and Rajendra Pradhan, a variety of legal systems come into play, a concept known as legal pluralism.26 It is important to note that Meinzen-Dick and Pradhan define legal systems in broad terms as “cognitive and normative orders generated and maintained in a social field such as a village, an ethnic community, an association, or a state.” Thus, legal pluralism entails systems of international, statutory, religious, and customary law, or local norms and all may coexist and be used to rationalize different claims to property rights in a single society. The specific legal system invoked by a claimant or group of claimants depends on his, her, or their position within society. Thus indigenous or rural populations might invoke systems of religious and customary law in justifying a claim to water, as their usage is largely governed by tradition and a cultural connection to the land. In contrast, MNC’s would most likely invoke systems of international or statutory law, as they perceive rights to water in terms of clearly defined political and economic in23 Betty Dobkins, The Spanish Element in Texas Water Law (Austin: William Byrd Press Inc., 1959), 48-49. 24 T.N. Narasimhan, “Water, law, Science,” Journal of Hydrology Volume 349, Issue 1-2 (2007), 128, accessed November 19, 2011, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.10.030. 25 Philippe Cullet, “Water Law in a Globalised World: the Need for a New Conceptual Framework,” Journal of Environmental Law (2011), 237, accessed December 9, 2011, ielrc.org/content/a1102.pdf. 26 Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick and Rajendra Pradhan, “Legal Pluralism and Dynamic Property Rights,” International Food Policy Research Institute (2002), 2-6, accessed December 5, 2011, http://www.capri.cgiar.org/pdf/CAPRIWP22. pdf.
struments. Taking these various legal claims into consideration, it is evident that property rights regimes are difficult to develop and maintain without certain areas of dissension. Finally, the diverse categories of water usage present problems to regimes of property rights. These include domestic use, irrigation, industrial use, hydroelectric use, and waste disposal, and some regimes may not be able to effectively prioritize such uses given a lack of sufficient legislation or government infrastructure. Moreover, a single regime might have different categories of right holders, some of which may share the same water source.27 Prioritizing water rights constitutes a major source of conflict for property rights regimes. On the whole, systems of property rights for water are complex institutions that require effective infrastructure and clear legislation. Property rights must be well defined so as to avoid ambiguities and limit disputes. Even then, in legally plural environments, there are limits to certainty. Property rights regimes also depend on governments that will consistently and reliably enforce those rights, for “laws are only as strong as the institution or collectivity that stands behind them.”28 But as we shall observe below, this is not always the case.
The Water Conflicts
In the following section I will examine three water conflicts in Latin America, beginning with Cochabamba, Bolivia, continuing onto Tucumán, Argentina, and closing with two legal disputes in Chile. In all cases I will explore the human rights and property rights aspects of the conflicts, however in the first two cases more emphasis will be given to the former—and in Chile the latter—due to the information available. In conducting my analysis I will also refer to the social and political histories of each region, as these shed light on the preconditions for conflict and the possibilities for resolution. Cochabamba, Bolivia In 1985, the Bolivian government enacted the New Economic Policy, a plan to decrease government involvement in the economy and to attract foreign investment. The New Economic Policy was principally written in order to “[regain] the support that the IMF, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the United States withdrew” in the years prior to its enactment.29 In 1993, Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada instituted the Plan de Todos (Plan for All) and effectively solidified the neoliberal policies envisioned by the New Economic Policy. During the following four years, the Plan de Todos completely restructured the constitution, and 27 Meinzen-Dick, “Legal Pluralism,” 17-18. 28 Meinzen-Dick, “Legal Pluralism,” 5. 29 Benjamin Kohl and Linda Farthing, Impasse in Bolivia (New York: Zed Books Ltd., 2006), 65.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
revolutionized the judicial systems as well as the nature of citizenship. The chief goal seems to have been to privatize all previously state-owned companies, with the exception of the mining industry, and to minimize the role of the state in relation to the citizenry. Socially, the Plan de Todos benefited the indigenous populations as de Lozada greatly enhanced indigenous rights; however, this was accomplished at the expense of the campesino and working-class populations, which were largely alienated from political participation.30 In 1999, the Bolivian government under President Banzer authorized Water Law 2029, which established a regime of concessions for the provision of water. This regime established a national Superintendency for Basic Sanitation, which transferred all concessions from the public sector to private entities, with the concessionaire enjoying exclusive rights to water within the concession’s jurisdiction. This meant that all other private entities, individuals, cooperatives, and communities had to enter into private contracts with the concessionaire.31 These concessions were intended to provide water to areas with at least 10,000 inhabitants with the contracts lasting 40 years. Traditionally, rural communities and cooperatives controlled water sources, and therefore “developed their own rules, distribution systems, and criteria for assigning water rights and tariffs.”32 Communities developed their criteria based on customary uses of water that generally regarded water as a public good and a prerequisite for their livelihood. Water Law 2029 virtually brought an end to the system of water rights and management in the rural communities. For Cochabamba, Aguas del Tunari’s acquisition of the concession for the surrounding region exacerbated an already precarious situation for potable water services. Prior to the concession, “potable-water coverage was reported to be 57 percent and sewerage 48 percent” for the urban sector alone.33 The concession immediately triggered spikes in rates between 40 and 200 percent since Aguas del Tunari was guaranteed a minimum 15 percent return on their investment.34 In response to the spike in rates, various citizens from 30 Benjamin Kohl, Impasse in Bolivia, 88. 31 William Assies, “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba: Water Rights, Neoliberalism, and the Revival of Social Protest in Bolivia,” Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 30, No. 3 (2003): 17, Accessed December 5, 2011, doi.10.1177/0094582X03252286. 32 Rocío Bustamante, et al, “Women in the ‘Water War’ in the Cochabamba Valleys,” in Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, ed. Viviene Bennett et al. (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), 88. 33 William Assies, “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba,” 19. 34 Rocío Bustamante, et al, “Women in the ‘Water War’ in the Cochabamba Valleys,” 79. William Assies, “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba,” 23.
the lower, middle, rural, and urban classes gathered in a series of demonstrations between January and April 2000. A combination of factory workers and engineers formed the Coordinadora Departamental en Defensa del Agua y de la Vida (Coordinating Committee in Defense of Water and Life, hereinafter, Coordinadora) that connected the rural and urban communities, organized the movement, and engaged the Superintendency in negotiations to decrease water rates and return water services to the public sector. The Coordinadora also held a popular referendum at the end of March in which a preponderance of votes called for the annulment of the Aguas del Tunari contract and the modification of Water Law 2029.35 In spite of aggressive government repression, the Coordinadora orchestrated two major protests, one February 4 and another on April 5, 2000, among a wide range of peasant and working-class groups that sent Bolivia into chaos as violence spiked and two protesters were killed. On April 10, the Superintendency cancelled the contract with Aguas del Tunari and retransferred water services back to a public company, and this time with labor unions and NGO’s as members of its governing board. First of all, the conflict involving the protesting parties, the Superintendency, and Aguas del Tunari clearly embodied an encroachment on the human right to water under the framework of international law instruments laid out above. The privatization of water services produced three specific violations with regard to water (this analysis does not take into consideration human rights abuses carried out by the government in subduing the protests) as listed under the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights’ list of standards: violations of affordability, sufficient water, and the right to participate in the realization of the right to water. The situation prior to the privatization of water services could already be classified as a human rights violation under this framework as coverage of potable water services was below 60 percent. This number undoubtedly plummeted as rate increases prevented citizens from being able to pay for water services. Some rate increases were calculated at 180 percent,36 and it is ridiculous to think that even middle class families could sustain water coverage at prices like that for extended periods. These rate increases clearly exemplify a violation of the right to affordable water, as those who suffered the rate increases were primarily poor, rural communities, as well as low and medium wage urban workers. While there is no information on the exact quantities of water that Cochabambinos received during this time period, it is reasonable to assume that they were well below 50-100 liters per day, and in many 35 Rocío Bustamante, et al, “Women in the ‘Water War’ in the Cochabamba Valleys,” 80. 36 William Assies, “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba,” 22.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
instances, closer to zero liters—as stated above, the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights defined sufficient water consumption to be approximately 50-100 liters per day. Finally, the citizens of Cochabamba were completely excluded from participation in water resource management when the Superintendency granted the concession to Aguas del Tunari. Participation in the realization of the right to water entails participation in water management since various water users claim distinct uses of the resource. No such participation was present until the Coordinadora actively engaged the government through negotiations, but the Coordinadora was in no way a legitimate party to decision-making, and their success stemmed from their ability to organize large-scale social upheaval. Furthermore, it is possible to make a case for violations of the other three standards, nondiscrimination, accessibility, and allocation and availability. Overall, the concession to Aguas del Tunari widely limited access to water, and the costs were generally felt by the lower classes. The Cochabamba case also illustrates the unreliability of Bolivia’s water property rights. Indeed, multiple systems of property rights were present as the Bolivian government left water management to rural and working-class communities. Rural communities relied on cultural norms to govern the distribution of property and resources, and working class urban cooperatives determined their own means of allocating water and assigning tariffs. With little government interference, these practices became entrenched in both groups’ lifestyles and water rights became associated with land ownership and concepts of public trust. However, the concession of water services transferred property rights spontaneously, completely disrupting years of custom. While the Superintendency was legally capable of granting concessions to any entity with legal status, the new system of rights “clearly favored the formation of large enterprises that functioned according to market criteria.”37 In other words, Water Law 2029 was partial to MNC’s as they were most capable of supplying the capital to invest in infrastructure sufficient for provision of water services to areas of 10,000 or more inhabitants. Furthermore, the exclusivity and the duration of the rights favored investment for which lower and middle class groups had no use. Finally, the concessions were designed to generate profit, and this could only be done by giving the market priority. Indeed, in a situation where the water company “insisted on charging communities for water gathered from handmade rain-catchment systems,” wide spread social discontent was likely to result.38 Such a system of property rights is largely untenable. 37 William Assies, “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba,” 17. 38 Michael Goldman, Imperial Nature, (New Haven: Yale University, 2005), 262.
Tucumán, Argentina The water conflict that occurred in the small province of Tucumán followed a similar trajectory as in Bolivia. Neoliberal policies espoused by the federal government spawned the privatization of many publically-owned industries in municipalities, causing increased rates and generating the preconditions for social unrest. This conflict is set against a backdrop of political and economic factors that developed in the years leading up to the conflict. In 1976, General Antonio Bussi came to power as governor of the province of Tucumán during the military dictatorship. His administration remained in power through the return to democratic rule until 1999. In spite of many human rights violations carried out under his governorship, Bussi increased public employment, raised the standard of living, and promoted a nationalist discourse throughout Tucumán.39 These points are important in understanding the provincial government’s role in the conflict. At the federal level, President Carlos Menem (1989-1999), backed and pushed by the World Bank approved a new public administration reform law privatizing or liquidating all fully or partially owned state companies. Under this law—which allowed for the privatization of public services without prior public notification—the Tucumán provincial government transferred water and sewerage services to Agua del Aconquija, a subsidiary of a larger French MNC. It is important to note that Tucumán’s primary source of revenue came from its agro-industry, which was in a state of crisis during the time of the transfer of water services. This agro-industrial crisis produced severely worsened economic conditions for Tucumán’s lower classes. In terms of water management, residents of Tucumán’s various townships had participated in the financing and regulation of water infrastructure. This represented another point of opposition for the residents of Tucumán as they had invested in the preexisting water infrastructure over which Agua del Aconquija would later assume control. In 1995, Agua del Aconquija officially began operating water and sewerage services for the province of Tucumán. The first release of water rates indicated a 104 percent increase from what the provincial company had charged. In the coming months residents of different cities in Tucumán united to form ADEUCOT (La Asociación en Defensa de los Usuarios y Consumidores de Tucumán, Association for the Defense of Users and Consumers in Tucumán). ADEUCOT organized protests, initiated a movement to boycott water payments, and ultimately called upon the provincial government to rescind the contract. The 39 Norma Giarracca and Norma del Pozo, “To Make Waves: Water and Privatization in Tucumán, Argentina,” in Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, ed. Viviene Bennett et al. (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), 94-95. For the purposes of this section, I primarily used this article as a resource.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
government, however, remained neutral until January 1996 when dark water began to flow from faucets in San Miguel de Tucumán. This event instigated a swell in the “stop payment” campaign, and caused the provincial government to mention the possible annulment of the contract with Agua del Aconquija. At this point the situation transformed from a local conflict into an international controversy. Officials from Agua del Aconquija feared a unilateral cancellation of the contract and accordingly obtained a public statement from the French ambassador admonishing the Argentine state. Finally, the Argentine national government joined the verbal confrontations in support of Tucumán, although this did not have serious effect. In September 1996, the government of Tucumán unilaterally rescinded the contract with Aguas del Aconquija (however, it was not until a year later that operations were fully terminated due to contract stipulations). Much as in Bolivia, the effects of water privatization in Argentina constituted a human rights violation under UN international law instruments. The most salient evidence of this violation is the dramatic rise in water tariffs that had amounted to 104 percent more than the cost of public water services. While the “stop payment” campaign symbolized an act of social defiance, it is highly unlikely that many low and middle class families could have afforded to pay for water services given the poor economic conditions afflicting Tucumán at the time. Also similar to the Bolivian case is the lack of participation that the public had in realizing its right to water. In fact the federal law approved by Carlos Menem stipulated that “public services could be privatized without any public consultation.”40 This law precluded the citizens of Tucumán from partaking in decision-making processes of water management. The Argentine case also exhibited one other factor in designating a human rights violation: poor water quality. While water services were under Agua del Aconquija’s control, dark water flowed from Argentine faucets for a month. The private company claimed that an increase in manganese had occurred near the water’s source, yet did little to neither ameliorate services nor decrease the rates. It was at this point that the provincial government sided with ADEUCOT. On the whole, privatization of water services severely impeded citizens’ right to water, as rates were exorbitant, residents were excluded from water management decisionmaking, and the quality of water diminished. With regard to issues of private property rights, the extent to which clear property rights existed in the first place is questionable. What is certain is that like the Bolivian case, the system of property rights in Argentina was unpredictable in relation to the citizenry. The fact that the national legislature could enact a law authorizing the transfer of all public ser40 Giarracca and del Pozo, “To Make Waves: Water and Privatization in Tucumán, Argentina,” 96.
vices to private corporations independent of public consultation poses serious questions about institutions and the democratic process in Argentina. Under the tenets of a representative democracy, lawmakers are expected to legislate according to the constituents that elected them, not to MNC’s and international organizations that exert influence on different sectors of government. This means incorporating the citizenry into the decision-making process and precludes actions taken without public consultation. That the U.S. government, the World Bank, and the IMF encourage such behavior on the part of MNC’s and governments of Southern nations raises further questions about their commitment to the democratic process. Regardless, an institution such as property rights must be predictable and trustworthy to the effect that laws cannot upend the system overnight. Relying on years of practice, the residents of Tucumán had largely considered water to be a public good and created their own system of water management through local cooperatives. Furthermore, many of the local residents financed the water projects by themselves. This was vastly controversial as the concession to Agua del Aconquija signified that the corporation would accrue revenue from the investments of Tucumán’s residents. This caused a massive uproar amongst the residents of some towns. In the case of one town, the municipality urged the provincial government to request financial compensation for the residents’ initial investments. These facts combine to suggest that water management and subsequent rights were traditionally a matter of municipal concern. Just like in Bolivia, the privatization of water services in Argentina was destined to create massive social tension. Chile The water conflict I examine in Chile is an outlier compared to the Bolivian and Argentine cases. Because of this contrast it provides useful insight into differing systems of water rights. The Chilean case is different for two main reasons. First, Chile comprises a well established and strictly-adhered to system of water property rights, which is rooted in its political history. Second, the main sources of conflict stem from disputes over these property rights as opposed to fundamental access to water. Thus, the conflict that I examine in this section is actually two legal battles concerning rights to a water source instead of a major social movement, as seen in the previous sections. To do this, I will begin with a brief explanation of Chile’s political history and how that gave rise to Chile’s revolutionary Water Code of 1981. The history of Chile’s Water Code begins in 1973 when General Augusto Pinochet instituted a military government that would rule Chile for nearly twenty years. This government utilized civilian advisors and political allies from the conservative right to restructure the political and social environment,
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
while harshly repressing opposition through “murder, ‘disappearance,’ detention, or exile.”41 One of the major tenets of the military government was the emphasis on market freedom and neoliberalism, as seen by a group of advisors who obtained their graduate degrees in economics from the University of Chicago.42 These two groups collaborated to create the conditions for deregulated markets of private goods through a well-organized system of property rights. In 1981, water was formally added to the property rights framework with the establishment of the Water Code. The 1981 Water Code was a clear response to the 1967 Water Code and Agrarian Reform Law, which made water public property subject to government administration. Under the new code, water technically remained public property, however, the right to water was legally guaranteed as private property. The new code separated water rights from landownership and authorized the General Water Directorate (Dirección General de Aguas, DGA) to “grant all requests for new water rights, free of charge, whenever the water [was] physically and legally available,” without explanations of the water’s use.43 Once granted, those rights could be bought, sold, transferred, rented, or inherited at the owner’s discretion. This relocated any disputes regarding water to the realm of civil law rather than administrative law. Prior to the 1981 Water Code, the DGA was authorized to settle disputes over water rights in place of the courts. The relocation of disputes to civil law epitomized the neoliberal tenet of minimal government involvement in two ways. First, it absolved the DGA of its regulating and adjudicative powers. Second, it incentivized disputants to engage in private-bargaining as to avoid the costs of litigation before the civil courts. This further removed property rights from public control. Another feature of the water code was that it defined a new type of property rights, called nonconsumptive rights. Nonconsumptive rights differed from consumptive rights (all other rights) in that it allowed “its owner to divert water from a stream and use it, as long as the water is then returned unaltered to its original channel, for use by others downstream.”44 The creation of this right was meant to promote the hydroelectric industry in the mountainous regions of Chile, while also protecting the rights of irrigators and farmers downstream who 41 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song: Chilean Water Law as a Model for International Reform (Washington D.C.: RFF Press, 2004) 36-37. Brian Lovemann, “Military Dictatorship and Political Opposition in Chile, 1973-1986,” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Miami: Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami, 1986), 6, accessed December 9, 2011, http://www.jstor.org/ pss/165745. 42 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 42. 43 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 32. 44 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 34.
possessed consumptive rights. However, the Water Code of 1981 was ambiguous in defining the relationship between consumptive and nonconsumptive rights (the text, provided in a footnote below, seems to imply that consumptive rights are primary), which is the root of the legal battles.45 The complexity of the legal conflicts in Chile was further aggravated by the inherent neoliberal aspects of the Water Code itself. Since the rights were considered private property, disputes were supposed to be settled through private bargaining or the courts, even though judges were largely unfamiliar with water issues, as witnessed in the conflicts below. The series of legal battles that developed in Chile centered around two dams used for hydroelectric production built along the Maule and Bío Bío Rivers, respectively. The rivers had two conflicting users: the rivers’ vigilance committees and the hydroelectric companies. The vigilance committees were comprised of local farmers and irrigators who managed the distribution of water to the rivers’ various canals. It is important to note that, both sides of the disputes had opposing demand for water in that “power companies [wanted] to store water during the summer to meet high national electricity demand in winter, while farmers [wanted] to store water during the rainy winter for use in the summer growing season.”46 The first conflict began in 1990 when Pehuenche, a subsidiary of the former national electric company, ENDESA, constructed a reservoir upstream from the Colbún Dam, which was the first dam built along the Maule River and was consequently built by ENDESA. The government privatized ENDESA between Colbún and Pehuenche’s construction, however the government maintained control over Colbún in order to create competition for Pehuenche. In November, Pehuenche closed the dam’s gates in order to fill the reservoir, which consequently discontinued the flow of water to the farmers and irrigators downstream. The vigilance committee asked Pehuenche to open the gates and renew the flow of water, but Pehuenche declined and the vigilance committee sued. The vigilance committee, backed by the DGA, asserted that in filling the dam, Pehuenche violated the farmers’ and irrigators’ rights because the Water Code granted priority to consumptive rights. Colbún later joined the dispute on the vigilance committee’s side, claiming that they were still fulfilling their obligations to the irrigators’, and in doing so were losing money because they were releasing water without receiving 45 Article 14 of the Water Code, which defines nonconsumptive rights, states that “the extraction or restitution of waters shall not damage the rights of third parties to the same waters, in terms of their quantity, quality, substance, opportunity of use, and other details” (translation). The original text can be found at http://www.leychile.cl/ Navegar?idNorma=5605. 46 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 106.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
any from upstream. Pehuenche and ENDESA interpreted the Water Code to not prioritize the different types of rights, and argued that nonconsumptive rights “implicitly included the right to fill reservoirs and temporarily regulate river flows.”47 The appellate court in the city of Talca ruled in favor of the DGA and the vigilance committee; however ENDESA and Pehuenche appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court initially remanded the case to the DGA in spite of the fact that the DGA had no legal authority to make a judgment. Then after hearing the case again, the Court refused to rule on the issue and persuaded both parties to settle the matter through private arbitration. This phase lasted for years with the only issue being whether Pehuenche owed the irrigators compensation; the vigilance committee withdrew from the arbitration before an agreement could be reached. Thus, the first case resulted in a victory for ENDESA and its subsidiary, while leaving the legal issue of consumptive versus nonconsumptive rights unresolved. The Pangue Dam case brought finality to the issue. ENDESA began construction of the Pangue Dam in 1993, but a coalition of “environmental and indigenous organizations and downstream irrigators and canal associations” sued to preclude the dam’s completion.48 The coalition sued on the exact same grounds as the vigilance committee of the Maule River—the environmental and indigenous organizations joined because they feared that the dam’s completion would have negative impacts on the environment and the indigenous communities. Again, the Santiago appellate court ruled in favor of the coalition who had asserted the primacy of consumptive rights, and ordered that ENDESA cease construction until it reached an appropriate agreement with the downstream users. ENDESA unsurprisingly appealed the decision and this time the Supreme Court ruled on the substantive issue. Relying on a report filed by the DGA, which had changed sides, the Supreme Court held that the effects of the dam on the downstream users would be questionable and ruled in favor of the nonconsumptive rights. Finally, it held that users who felt that their rights had been violated after the dam’s completion could bring a later claim. In sum, the Supreme Court’s decision appeared to be partial to larger companies and the neoliberal inclinations of the current military government. Article 14’s text seems to imply that consumptive rights are primary to nonconsumptive rights through its reference to “opportunity of use.” This phrase is crucial as it suggests that the opportunity to use the water—not just the quantity, quality, or the substance—cannot be hindered by a third party’s usage. The building of the dam would have affected downstream users’ consumption of the water, and this implies that the consumptive rights should be given priority in situations 47 48
Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 108. Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 110.
of doubt. Notwithstanding that the Supreme Court’s ruling was perhaps unconvincing on a legal level, it is not surprising that it ruled in favor of the larger companies given the government’s ideology. The Chilean judicial system took shape under an extremely conservative military executive and largely came to embody those conservative traits. Thus, it is probable that the DGA’s report to the Supreme Court was reflective of political pressure from the executive.49 Under such pressure the court was more likely to rule in favor of the party whose use would have greater effects on the nation—that is, the electricity demands of the nation would be preferred over the economic demands of certain farmers and irrigators. A ruling in favor of nonconsumptive rights was advantageous to a burgeoning industry that was capable of generating profitable dividends. As Carl Bauer remarks, the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of nonconsumptive rights exhibited “a major transfer of wealth from irrigators to electric companies, and a significant redefinition of property rights, on the basis of legal reasoning of dubious quality.”50 Indeed, it was the members of lower and middle class groups that came out on the losing side of these battles. Overall, the Chilean cases raise questions about the alleged independency of courts from politics since the Supreme Court appeared to be largely influenced by outside actors. It is important to note that full privatization of water services did not occur in 2001 and that the 1981 Water Code largely dealt with the rights of irrigators, farmers, and companies.51 The majority of research with regards to Chilean water management focuses on the characteristics of the 1981 Water Code, while little is dedicated to aspects of social equity and the distribution of drinking water. This could be due to a few reasons. First, the Chilean system of water rights is completely distinct from other countries because it is one of the most sharply defined systems in the world, despite the continuing tension between consumptive and nonconsumptive rights. Second, the Chilean system epitomizes neoliberal ideology and has since become the poster child of Washington Consensus prescriptions in World Bank reports. Third, the lack of research could arise from the fact the military dictatorship would have repressed research that demonstrated anything but favorable analysis of the system. If the government was willing to engage in “murder, ‘disappearance,’ detention, or exile” to silence opponents as noted above, then it is logical that the government would also have censored research that yielded data contradicting the regime’s policies. Moreover, the rampant repression has probably manufactured a culture of political apathy and fear for ci49 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 110. 50 Carl J. Bauer, Siren Song, 111. 51 María de la luz Domper, “Chile: A Dynamic Water Market,” Libertad y Desarrollo (2009), 4, accessed December 13, 2011, http://www.policynetwork.net/sites/default/ files/Chile_March09.pdf.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
vilians unconnected to the government. Finally, Chile is one of the more affluent nations in Latin America, and any social unrest that could have occurred after the transition to democracy might have been mitigated by better economic conditions. Differing views on the privatization of water exist as some reports highlight the increased coverage of water services and the institution of subsidies to alleviate price increases, while still others claim sharp rises in rates.52 Regardless, the lack of a major social conflict in light of the aforementioned uncertainties renders the success or failure of water privatization in Chile a mystery.
On the one hand, in looking at the above conflicts it is clear that law and society can never be completely separated from each other. Law is the mechanism by which governments legitimately uphold the principles and ideals that comprise a society. Any system of rights depends on legal institutions to ensure and enforce them. Thus, social discord has legal implications since it arises as a reaction to perceived transgression, which systems of rights seek to prohibit or remedy. Both the Bolivian and Argentine conflicts gave rise to civil disputes in the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Following the annulment of Agua del Tunari’s contract, the Bechtel Corporation filed a $25-million lawsuit in the ICSID claiming that the termination of the contract would result in the loss of future profits.53 Veolia Environment (previously Vivendi) the major shareholder of Agua del Aconquija filed a similar lawsuit in the ICSID against the Argentine government. Because social conflicts can have unforeseen legal implications, it is necessary to rupture the dichotomy between social and legal analysis of major conflicts. On the other hand, the above conflicts have also demonstrated that national systems of rights with relation to water usage and ownership are by no means adequate. If anything, the above conflicts have shown that current examples of water management necessitate a reworking of the international discourse on water rights, and this is mainly due to MNC’s and neoliberal policies. When the ICSID decided that Argentina owed Veolia Environment compensation on the grounds that “the disputed amount (8—10 per cent of monthly bills) between the counterparties is ‘a relatively small sum for the average customer’ but for [Agua del Aconquija] it was considered to be a substantial amount relative to its projected return,” it became evident that things are awry.54 The ICSID 52 María de la luz Domper, “Chile: A Dynamic Water Market,” 5-6. Maude Barlow, Blue Covenant, 109. 53 Michael Goldman, Imperial Nature, 261. 54 Hugh Dagdeviren, “Political Economy of Contractual Disputes in Private water and Sanitation: Lessons from Argentina,” Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics Volume 82, Issue 1 (2011), 36, accessed December 9, 2011, doi/10.1111/j.1467-8292.2010.00428.x.
failed to consider that the average customer was often a member of the lower or middle class for whom a rise in eight to ten percent is a substantial amount. While I have only looked at three cases, they reveal a need to seriously consider access to water as a human right. The legal framework to realize this need is already present in a variety of UN international law instruments; however, obstacles remain. The first is obtaining worldwide recognition and acceptance of the right. This may only be possible through a convention explicitly claiming water to be a fundamental human right along, equal with rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Second, if such a right exists, how does the global community enforce that right? This might be possible through international tribunals or the establishment of an international water court, however either option requires careful planning. The fact that the ICSID ruled in favor of Veolia Environment when it was the citizens of Tucumán who suffered the injustice of decreased access to safe water raises questions about the priorities of international organizations (and their corresponding arbitration boards) as well as the reach and untouchable nature of MNC’s. It is necessary to understand that states are not the only perpetrators of human rights violations, and in the case of water, those guilty of violations are the MNC’s. However, how could a court determine a sanction for an MNC? Could it revoke an MNC’s corporate charter? The aforementioned cases illustrate that it may be time to modify the legal identity and characteristics of MNC’s in response to these considerations. Third, systems of property rights pose obstacles for the establishment of a universal human right to water access. This issue is primarily philosophical in that systems of private property rights are rooted in ideological stances that markets function best with minimal government involvement. Proponents of these stances hold that the allocation of resources is most efficient under conditions of minimal government involvement and clearly defined private property rights.55 Therefore, it is impossible that such a right could exist under the Chilean system of property rights or any other similar system. This is because such a system transforms water into a commodity with corresponding property rights, whose fundamental purpose is to make an asset private and excludable. For access to water to be a human right, excludability, through price or any other mechanism, cannot exist. Thus, the creation of a human right to water would simultaneously require institutional modifications in many countries. Government regulation would be absolutely necessary to ensure equitable and equal allocation of water resources, which directly conflicts with the neoliberal preferences of the world’s leading actors. 55 Carl J. Bauer, “Bringing Water Markets Down to Earth,” 4.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Finally, the establishment of a universal right to water challenges current notions of law and its corresponding attributes. Modern conceptions of law and rights narrowly perceive rights to be applicable to individuals and not to collective entities. Such conceptions stem from liberal, Rawlsian-based views that individuals are inherently valuable and deserving of respect.56 While this liberal philosophy of rights is important in protecting individuals from the masses, it ignores the possibility of infringement on groups of individuals. As mentioned above, human rights violations involve communities and peoples, and a narrow idea of rights applying only to individuals would be incompatible with the administration of an international system of human rights to water. On a similar note, conceptions that law is independent of political influence must be changed. The Chilean cases demonstrated that the Supreme Court could be manipulated into formulating a decision that defied legal reasoning. While in theory a judge’s obligation should be to the law, this is not always the case and is becoming more prevalent in constitutional law conflicts around the world. A universal system of water rights would necessitate that legal scholars stray away from traditional conceptions of the law and acknowledge other possibilities. In short, establishing a universal right to water presents many questions. The answers to these questions are beyond the scope of this paper, yet are worth examining in future research. Regardless, it is necessary for the global community to discuss and consider the creation of water as a universally recognized human right. In doing so, countries would have to come together to rework the multifarious conceptions regarding international organizations, MNC’s, and the scope of international and domestic law. The lines between different systems of law that govern jurisdictions are becoming more blurred, and it may be necessary to acknowledge the existence of legally pluralistic environments in the future. Legal pluralism might be the best method of solving disputes over water and ensuring equal and equitable access. However, it is most important that people and nations recognize that problems of water allocation do exist and must be resolved. Only then can the global community work to fix them. 56 John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1971), 585.
1. Anderson, Terry Lee, and Laura E. Huggins Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity. San Francisco, Hoover: 2003. 2. Assies, William. “David versus Goliath in Cochabamba: Water Rights, Neoliberalism, and the Revival of Social Protest in Bolivia.” Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 30, No. 3 (2003): 14-36, Accessed December 5, 2011. doi.10.1177/0094582X03252286. 3. Bauer, Carl J. “Bringing Water Markets Down to Earth: The Political Economy of Water Rights in Chile, 1976-95.” World Development, Vol. 25, No. 5 (1997): 639-656. Accessed November 16, 2011. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/ pii/S0305750X96001283. 4. Bauer, Carl J. Siren Song: Chilean Water Law as a Model for International Reform. Washington D.C.: RFF Press, 2004. 5. BCN Ley Chile. “Fija Texto del Código de Aguas.” Accessed December 12, 2011. http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=5605. 6. Bustamante, Rocío et al. “Women in the ‘Water War’ in the Cochabamba Valleys.” In Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, edited by Viviene Bennett, Sonia DávilaPoblete, and María Nieves Rico, 72-90. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. 7. Calaguas, Belinda U. “The Right to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and the Human Rights-Based approach to development.” Water Aid (1999). Accessed November 22, 2011. //www.righttowater. info/wp-content/uploads/humanrights.pdf. 8. Colander, David. Economics 8th Edition. McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.: 2009. 9. Cullet, Philippe. “Water Law in a Globalised World: the Need for a New Conceptual Framework.” Journal of Environmental Law (2011): 233254. Accessed December 9, 2011. ielrc.org/content/a1102.pdf. 10. Dagdeviren, Hugh. “Political Economy of Contractual Disputes in Private water and Sanitation: Lessons from Argentina.” Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics Volume 82, Issue 1 (2011): 25-44. Accessed December 9, 2011. doi/10.1111/ j.1467-8292.2010.00428.x. 11. de la luz Domper, María. “Chile: A Dynamic Water Market.” Libertad y Desarrollo. March 2009. Accessed December 13, 2011. http://www. policynetwork.net/sites/default/files/Chile_ March09.pdf. 12. Dobkins, Betty. The Spanish Element in Texas Water Law. Austin: William Byrd Press Inc., 1959. 13. Giarracca, Norma and Norma del Pozo. “To Make Waves: Water and Privatization in Tucumán, Argentina.” In Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, edited by Viviene Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and María Nieves Rico, 91-106. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
14. Goldman, Michael. Imperial Nature. New Haven: Yale University, 2005. 15. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/ docid/3ae6b36d2.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 16. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135, available at: http://www. unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b36c8.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 17. Kiefer, Thorsten, et al. Legal Resources for the Right to Water and Sanitation -International and National Standards 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Primavera, 2008. Accessed December 4, 2011, http://www. worldwatercouncil.org/fileadmin/wwc/Programs/Right_to_Water/Pdf_doct/RWP-Legal_ Res_1st_Draft_web.pdf. 18. Kohl, Benjamin and Linda Farthing. Impasse in Bolivia. New York: Zed Books Ltd., 2006. 19. Lovemann, Brian. “Military Dictatorship and Political Opposition in Chile, 1973-1986.” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 28, No. 4 (1986): 1-38. Accessed December 9, 2011. http:// www.jstor.org/pss/165745. 20. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth S. and Rajendra Pradhan. “Legal Pluralism and Dynamic Property Rights.” International Food Policy Research Institute (2002). Accessed December 5, 2011. http://www. capri.cgiar.org/pdf/CAPRIWP22.pdf 21. Narasimhan, T.N. “Water, law, Science.” Journal of Hydrology, Volume 349, Issue 1-2 (2007): 125-138. Accessed November 19, 2011. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.10.030. 22. Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1971. 23. The Right to Water and Sanitation. “General Comments No 15.” Accessed November 22, 2011. http://www.righttowater.info/progress-so-far/ general-comments-2/. 24. UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), General Comment No. 15: The Right to Water (Arts. 11 and 12 of the Covenant), 20 January 2003, E/C.12/2002/11, available at: http:// www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4538838d11. html, accessed December 5, 2011. 25. UN General Assembly, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 18 December 1979, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, p. 13, available at: http://www.unhcr. org/refworld/docid/3ae6b3970.html, accessed December 5, 2011.
26. UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3, available at: http:// www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b38f0. html, accessed December 5, 2011. 27. UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993, p. 3, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/ docid/3ae6b36c0.html, accessed December 5, 2011. 28. UN General Assembly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948, 217 A (III), available at http://www.un.org/en/documents/ udhr/, accessed December 5, 2011. 29. World Health Organization. “The Right to Water.” WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data. Geneva: 2003. Accessed November 22, 2011. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/ en/righttowater.pdf.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
The Forum of the Dispossessed:
An Interpretation of Ambiguity in Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums Ioana Dumitriu In 2009, the year that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Europe, Herta Müller, a relatively unknown author of Romanian-German descent, received the Nobel Prize for Literature for her work, which “with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.” Despite the appreciation the literary world shows for Müller’s work, existing critical writings focus on the political background of the author and only few explore the unique literary language of her novels. In this paper, I examine how the heightened awareness of language in Müller’s The Land of Green Plums reflects the linguistic reality in an oppressive society. Employing Bakhtin’s concept of voicing, I claim that an understanding of ambiguity provides an understanding of the organization and the world of the novel. Furthermore, I show that the problems of expression are conveyed to the reader through the direct experience of ambiguity. This paper is significant in that it draws on both literary studies and linguistics to explore the fundamental issues related to addressivity and readership in the work of one of the most important contemporary German authors.
n 2009, Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, introduced the Nobel Prize laureate, Herta Müller, as a writer “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”1 Her novel The Land of Green Plums is considered one of her best works and is also recommended as the novel with which readers should start if they are not familiar with her body of work. The language of the novel, which is exemplary of “the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose” described by Englund, is highly metaphoric and makes frequent use of surreal imagery. Müller is especially adept at alienating the reader, at leaving him with a sense of confusion and insecurity caused by dark and violent imagery, which serves as a portrayal of the consequences of living in fear under an oppressive regime. It is difficult to trace a linear narrative strand in The Land of Green Plums, the novel being composed of episodes, fragments, and memories, which occur in an associative pattern, based on previously mentioned detail. If one were to trace a narrative line, it would present the story of a group of four friends and their experiences in a communist regime before they emigrate to Germany. But The Land of Green Plums goes much deeper than the story of four friends. Throughout the novel, and especially in episodes that are not part of the narrative line of the friends’ experiences, the anonymous voices of the “dispossessed” come through. In fact, The Land of Green Plums depicts not 1 “The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009 - Press Release.” Nobelprize.org. 12 Nov 2011 http://www.nobelprize. org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2009/press. html
Ioana Dumitriu is a fourth year majoring in German Language and Literature and Linguistics. She wrote this thesis as part of the Distinguished Major Program in the German Department under the supervision of Professor Janet Hudson and Professor Frank Bechter. The paper combines her academic interests by making use of both linguistic and literary methods of analysis. Influenced by her interest in language and experience at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, upon graduation she will pursue a graduate degree in Public Policy focusing on language and social policy.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
only “the landscape of the dispossessed,” but also the forum of the dispossessed, where their voices have a chance for expression, but are, nevertheless, subdued by censorship and fear of a totalitarian regime. Ambiguity is characteristic of The Land of Green Plums. Employing Bakhtin’s concept of “voicing,” I claim that the voices of the dispossessed are situated in ambiguity. An understanding of ambiguity, therefore, provides an understanding of the organization and of the overall world of the novel. Furthermore, I will show that the problems of expression are conveyed to the reader through the direct experience of ambiguities. These ambiguities suggest that the world of the novel is presented through a code that reflects the linguistic reality in an oppressive society. Müller’s texts were relatively unknown to critics in North America before she received her Nobel Prize; critical writings on her work are scarce in Germany, as well.2 Secondary literature focuses on Müller’s historical background and her status as an outsider both in Romania and in Germany. In Der Fremde Blick, Paola Bozzi considers the role of gender in forming an image of identity, culture, and language in the perception of minority status in Müller’s works, especially in Reisende auf einem Bein (Traveling on One Leg), which is the only book Müller wrote about her experience in Germany. Iulia- Karin Patrut also writes about the role of gender and ethnicity in her book Schwarze Schwester-Teufelsjunge, in which she analyzes the omnipresence of violence in The Land of Green Plums. An overview of Romanian-German authors, including Herta Müller’s political situation, is presented in An der Grenzen des Nichts, dieser Sprache…, by René Kegelmann and in The German Legacy in East Central Europe, by Valentina Glajar. An important critical publication is Die erfundene Wahrnehmung: Annäherung an Herta Müller by Norbert Otto Eke, which suggests that Müller’s style exhibits an “invented perception.” This influential analysis is employed as a foundational principle by almost all of the authors mentioned above. Not much attention has been given to The Land of Green Plums and the few analyses of the novel that exist focus on themes of violence and oppression, such as The Cruel Sons Of Cain: Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums by Sascha Talmor and Testimony and Trauma in Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums, by Beverley Driver Eddy. No critical writing exists which focuses on the language of The Land of Green Plums and none approaches readership from the Bakhtinian concept of voicing. The ambiguity of Müller’s work fundamentally includes the problems of readership. In literature and especially in linguistics, the addressee is considered important in the understanding and the overall influence of a work. Jakobson defines the linguistic form from the perspective of communicative function, in which “the addresser sends a message to the 2 Bauer 259.
addressee.”3 According to Bahktin, the speaker and the listener jointly create the meaning of the word. In regards to the readership of a novel, his dialogic model “represents readers as shaping the utterance as it is being made […] in contrast to reader reception theory, which is usually concerned with how readers interpret texts after they are made.”4 Thus the readers of The Land of Green Plums shape the meaning of every utterance in the novel. But what happens when they encounter an ambiguity? In this paper I claim that the organization of the novel is revealed by Bakhtin’s notion of voicing. The narrative line is split into two narrative voices, from a first person and third person perspective. I will focus on the third person narrative voice and how voicing and doublevoicing are achieved through the use of specific pronouns and indirect discourse. These means lead the reader to experience the problems of expression directly, rather than through a representation, thus revealing a “forum of the dispossessed.” Additionally, these problems point to the fact that Müller’s ambiguities in The Land of Green Plums are part of a code. This code invokes the consequences of oppression on language, which are also experienced directly by the reader through the reading experience.
Overview of the Narrative
Few characters are named in the novel. Among them are the three friends of the first person narrator, Edgar, Kurt and Georg, who are all part of a German minority in Romania. Lola is the first person narrator’s roommate in a room of six girls at university. She is from a poor, rural region of the country and hopes to improve her life by studying Russian. She writes her thoughts in a notebook, which reflects the experiences of peasants as they migrated into cities and encountered institutionalized communism. The notebook is quoted throughout the novel and Lola places it in the first person narrator’s possession before she commits suicide because she does not want to bring a child into a world in which it would have to live a life similar to hers. Lola’s death is of monumental importance in the development of the first person narrator as a critic of the communist regime. It is after this event, that the first person narrator observes and experiences the consequences of not complying with the rules of the Party. As punishment for her suicide, Lola is ex-matriculated and dismissed from the Party posthumously. Edgar, Kurt and Georg, who are suspicious of the circumstances of Lola’s death, want to find someone who lived with Lola; thus, they befriend the first person narrator. Because their friendship is seen as problematic by the authorities, their rooms are periodically searched, until Lola’s notebook disappears. The three men take the first person narrator to a summerhouse, where they keep books and newspapers smuggled from 3 Jaworski 54. 4 Morson 129.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
abroad, which they can read only because they know German. This experience introduces the first person narrator to a world that foils the communist country. Their friendship intensifies, as their harassment escalates to interrogations and death threats. After they finish their studies, the four friends are assigned to work in different factories and schools, where they witness how peasants employed in factories make products resembling sheep and melons, instead of the products they ought to make and how neighbors and family members spy and denounce each other out of fear. The friends escape this oppression either through death or by leaving the country. The events surrounding Lola’s death mark a definite change in narrative style. Whereas the scenes before Lola’s death are highly disjointed, non-linear, and take place in different settings, the narrative following her death is chronological. Non-linear scenes still punctuate the narrative; however their presence is not as strong as in the beginning of the novel. Often, the presence of episodes, which are incongruous with the narrative line, predicts certain themes such as Lola’s writings or family and childhood scenes. These episodes are from a third person perspective, while the linear narrative line is from the first person perspective. Despite this change, the reader finds out that this is, in fact, the first person narrator’s family. However, their presentation continues as part of the third person narrative line, as though no relation with the first person narrator had been established.
Historical-Political Setting and Müller’s Novelistic Language
Although biographical details and how they influence the content in The Land of Green Plums are not the focus of this paper, it is useful here to provide a historical setting. The novel’s scenes and imagery are presented in an unmediated way that does not provide historical or political context for the reader, and yet this is necessary for understanding the analysis I pursue here. Müller was part of the Banat Swabian German minority in the South-West of Romania. Born in 1953, she grew up speaking the Banat Swabian dialect, but received her education in standard German and later in Romanian. As often happens under totalitarian regimes, writing in the context of Communist control was marked by fear of censorship, imprisonment or even death. In addition to the general regulation of language, the linguistic pressure suffered by Müller and other German speakers was two-fold. Müller´s dialect of German was threatened by the standard German of the officials in her village and by the dominating Romanian language. In describing this situation, René Kegelman states that, “Out of the evil of censure, arose a more precise awareness of language, every word had to be thought through with consideration to possible edits. The consequence of literature, of every single word, was undoubtedly larger in Romania than in the West,
on the grounds of the danger associated with it.”5 These circumstances create a heightened awareness of language. Every word is constantly subject to a process of self-censorship and self-correction, in order to avoid official censorship, but also in order to protect the author from possible political danger. The effect of this is that the choice and meaning of every word becomes a fine-tuned product of both the fear and the literary intention of the author. Müller’s language was not only influenced by pressures from outside dominating powers, but also by political oppression that manipulates, abuses, and corrupts everyday language. The consequences of this environment, where self-expression is loaded with fear and one never knows whom to trust, are reflected in Müller’s novelistic language. A passage from the first page, a scene with the first person narrator and Edgar, exemplifies this kind of language: With words in the mouth we trample as much as we do with feet on the grass. But also with our silence.6 The content of the passage refers to the language’s inability to express the feelings of the four friends and also to its power to cause physical harm. However, the reader does not know at this point that “grass” refers to grass in cemeteries, also alluding to the possible deadly consequences of language. The same dangers are associated with silence, showing that all aspects of language, including silence, belonged to those who had the power to threaten and inflict harm. The imagery and double-meaning illustrate the “precision”7 that has been praised in Müller’s work, her heightened awareness of language which indeed represents a similar awareness in her characters. Words are compared with feet that trample grass, a recognizable image which transfers its vividness to the image of the words. The meaning of the construction, however, is ambiguous. Initially the reader interprets the construction metaphorically: the “words in the mouth”8 achieve force and roughness, similarly to trampling. But once the comparison with “feet on the grass” is made, a parallelism develops wherein the first expression can be interpreted as 5 Aus dem Übel der Zensur erwuchs aber auch ein geschärfter Sprachsinn, musste doch jedes Wort sorgfältig in Hinblick auf mögliche Streichungen durchgedacht […] werden. Die Konsequenz von Literatur, jedes einzelnen Wortes war in Rumänien aufgrund der damit verbundenen Gefahren unzweifelhaft größer als im Westen” Kegelman 119. 6 “Mit den Wörtern im Mund zertreten wir so viel wie mit den Füßen im Gras. Aber auch mit dem Schweigen” (the translation is my own) Müller 7. 7 “Video Player.” Nobelprize.org. 17 Nov 2011 http:// www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1176 8 Or “words in our mouth”, in German body parts are usually used with definite articles, not possessive articles, making the English translation problematic.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
“words trampling in the mouth.” The action of the words is not interpreted as metaphorical anymore. The words destructively turn against the environment from which they originated. Read this way, the passage reflects the social change that occurs when civilians in a communist regime are recruited by the secret police to spy and report on the people close to them. In this case the heightened awareness of language creates an ambiguity that allows parallelism in syntactic structure to reflect social reality. This is not the only ambiguity presented in this passage. The novel opens with a statement from Edgar, one of the friends, and is presented as reported speech by a first person narrator. The next two passages, including the one mentioned above, are not attributed to anyone, but the use of the first person plural pronoun in “we trample” indicates that they belong to either Edgar or the narrator. However, is this enough information for the reader? Is the interpretation of the scene not different if Edgar, in his monologue, also speaks for the narrator or if they are having a conversation? There is also the possibility that “we” includes more than Edgar and the narrator. There could be more people present, or the “we” could refer to a social group or to a whole nation. It would be naïve to assume that the reader should not be preoccupied with these questions, not only because good writers are intentional with every word, but also because considering the context and Müller’s attention to language, a loaded word such as “we” cannot be accidental and cannot go unnoticed. Who is “we” then and what is at stake for the different interpretations of “we”?
Ambiguity as Voicing
Mikhail Bakhtin describes the novel as “orchestrat[ing] all its themes, the totality of the world of objects and ideas depicted and expressed in it, by means of the social diversity of speech types and by the differing individual voices that flourish under such conditions.”9 This definition implies that the different interpretations of “we,” insofar as they are salient to the reader, are part of the realization of voicing in Müller’s novel. Voicing in Bakhtin’s work refers to the formal means by which the author positions herself and the reader with respect to a passage, or with respect to events being described.10 9 Bakhtin 263. 10 In The Voices of Don Gabriel, Jane Hill provides an example of voicing in which the different authorial positions of the storyteller, Don Gabriel, reflect distinct socio-politically locatable positions in the world. “These represent the fundamentally opposed ideological positions of peasant communitarianism and the economics of reciprocity in the Mexicano-speaking community on the one hand, and the pursuit of individual profit in the Spanish-speaking world of the marketplace on the other” (116). Moreover, there are associations between these positions and the use of Mexicano versus the use of Spanish.
The statement’s implication about words and feet on grass is the same for every interpretation of “we,” namely that language can be dangerous, when it does not belong to the members of a specific group. The consequences of “we” referring to two people are different if it refers to a whole nation living in fear. The ambiguity encompasses both the pair of friends and the whole nation and allows for both to voice their anxiety. The interpretation of “we” as referring to a whole nation,underlines the importance of the ambiguity. It is here where the nation receives a voice; if the entire nation fears the use of language it has no means to express this fear. In terms of the Bakhtinian concept of voicing, the ambiguity of “we” also creates a vagueness regarding the position of the reader and the author with respect to the passage. However, insofar as we are contemplating the different possible referents for “we,” we are, in this act, trying to grasp the scope of Müller’s narrative world. This ambiguity is present throughout The Land of Green Plums, admitting the possibility of different and multiple specific alignments on the reader’spart. The concept of voicing (insofar as it fundamentally includes the author and reader in its definition) invites an understanding and appreciation of Müller’s work. This is accomplished by providing the means to shape the anonymous voices of the dispossessed (of which the nation is one) into distinct positions in the world. The understanding of the presence and positioning of the author is thus fundamental in understanding the novel, generally and specifically. The meaning of an utterance is actively created by a dialogue between the author and the reader. Even if we do not know the author of a work, or we know that it was created by a collective, “we endow it with a ‘voice’, imagine someone possessing [that] experience […], speaking out to us out of its wisdom.”11 The Land of Green Plums has a known author, Herta Müller. However, not only is her positioning in certain passages sometimes unclear, but it seems that, in general, there are two distinct positions that she regularly maintains. These positions are outlined through two narrative lines, from the first person and the third person perspectives. It is not the case that the positions are from different perspectives, but rather that the reader can regularly recognize certain positions in each perspective. For example, the first person narrative perspective regularly positions herself as a critic of the communist regime, while the third person narrative perspective takes a distant and alienating position regarding familial relations. However, The Land of Green Plums does not have two narrators. The two narrative lines not only intersect, but at points collapse into the same perspective. The difference between the perspectives and positioning of the author requires readers to “endow” each narrative perspective with a different voice and to posit a different “author” for each of thes voices. 11 Morson 133.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Therefore, it is more accurate to say that the two points of view are conveyed through different voices. The motivation for positing two voices is partly stylistic and partly based on the events and actions they present. There are clear differences between the aesthetics of the two narrative voices, the first person perspective is presented chronologically and through longer sentences, the third person perspective is presented in episodes with shortand disjointed, ambiguous sentences that exemplify the “subjectivity”12 of Müller’s style. There are also clear differences between the events the two perspectives present. The narrative voice with the first person point of view point-of-view can be attributed to a consistent narrator, one who goes to university with Lola; who is friends with Edgar, Kurt and Georg; and who leaves for Germany. The narrative voice with the third person point-of-view is the voice of memories and events from the past. This is only true in the sense that the events logically precede the events of the first person narrative voice. The present tense is used more often in these episodes of third person narrative than in the events of the first person narrative line, which uses past tense almost exclusively. These distinct episodes are not part of a chronological continuum. Indeed, events from this perspective usually do not relate to each other and often repeat information as if it were presented for the first time. For this reason, the third person narrative does not seem to have a sense of time. My focus will be on these narrative scenes, because it seems that this is where Bakhtinian voicing enables the forum of the dispossessed to emerge most clearly.
Narrative Voices and their Realization
As is common with a third person point-of-view, the narration at first seems reported (i.e. the readers have the sensation that they are observing the scene, rather than being involved or knowing anything more than what is presented to them). As the scene progresses, however, the reader posits a speaker to the voice and becomes familiar with the setting, characters, and their actions. This familiarity is possible due to the posited voice itself, which holds the deictic center of the narrative constant. Other textual forms such as letters, journal entries, songs or folktales, have their own deictic center and are recognized by the reader as “inserts” in the main narrative line. The constancy of the deictic center allows the reader to familiarize with the setting and characters because it portrays everything from one angle. In narratives that follow a traditional composition, the reader is warned whenever the angle of the narrative changes. In the third person narrative voice of The Land of Green Plums, the deictic center is not constant. The reader must essentially posit a new speaker whenever the deictic center changes. These new speakers represent different voices, which pluralize the third person narrative voice. The voices are not ubiquitously recognizable as belonging to common opinion, authoritarian judgments or a specific character. This, however, is not an argument against multiple voices; each voice is distinguished by “specific points of view on the world, forms for conceptualizing the world in words, specific worldviews, each characterized by its own objects, meanings and values.”14 They are the anonymous voices of the dispossessed, silenced in the oppressive regime, and now have a chance to express themselves.
Pronouns as Signals for Deictic Centers
The third person narrative voice interrupts the first person narrative voice based on associations and it is often ambiguous and enigmatic. It has a stronger presence in the first part of the novel before Lola’s death. The realization of Bakhtin’s concept of “embodiment,” or positing an author with a certain voice, becomes problematic when analyzing the third person narrative voice. It is not because there seems to be a lack of embodiment in the third person narration,13 rather, the problem is that the reader does not know to whom should he posit as the author or speaker of the voice. The term “author” is not appropriate here, because it may cause confusion. Thus, I will refer to the originator of a voice as a “speaker.” The problem arises not only out of the ambiguity that is created when an utterance is not attributed to a character, but also out of the impression that the speaker posited by the reader is not constant.
Müller uses various devices to signal changes in the deictic center of the narrative. A device that characterizes the third person narrative voice is the repeated use of indefinite articles and pronouns, where their definite counterparts are expected, and similarly, the use of definite articles where possessives are expected. An example of the use of indefinite articles occurs when Müller introduces Lola in her dorm room with her roommates. The room is described first with its “one window, six girls, six beds, under each one a suitcase.”15 The narrative then moves from using indefinite articles to definite articles and possessive pronouns, which is a common way in both speech and narrative, of referencing an object that has already been introduced: “[d]ie Kleider der sechs Mädchen hingen dicht gedrängt im Schrank.”16 Later:
12 Bauer 210. 13 Like Banfield suggests in her definition of “objective narration” (Pit 100). Bakhtin would not accept the premise that there is a type of narration in which nobody speaks, especially since his dialogism starts at the level of the word.
14 Bakhtin 291-92. 15 “ein Fenster, sechs Mädchen, sechs Betten, unter jedem ein Koffer” (the translation is my own). Müller 11. 16 “[t]he dresses of the six girls hung tightly pressed together in the closet” (the translation is my own). Müller 11.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Somebody sang: If ever I marry, so Mama says this gift she’ll give me on my wedding day: twenty big pillows all stuffed with biting gnats, twenty small pillows, all stuffed with stinging ants, twenty soft pillows all stuffed with rotten leaves and Lola sat on the floor beside her bed and opened her suitcase. She rummaged through her stockings and held up a tangle of legs and toes and heels in front of her face. She let the stockings drop to the floor. Her hands were shaking, and she had more eyes than the two in her face. Her hands were empty, and she had more hands than the two in the air. There were almost as many hands in the air as there were stockings on the floor. So many eyes, hands, and stockings couldn’t possibly fit inside one song, sung across two narrow beds. Sung while standing, by a little head that swayed, with a furrow in its brow. A song, from which the furrow immediately disappeared.17 The main narrative line is interrupted by the song of the undefined girl, but soon we are sharply brought back into it by the conjunction “and.” Thus, the main narrative line is continued asserting its priority over the song The song seems to be a parenthetical comment in the sentence “somebody sang ( ) and Lola sat on the floor …”18 The main narrative line continues with definite articles and possessive pronouns, even though possessive pronouns are not normally used in the German language. Rather, German uses the definite article to refer to body parts and clothing in 17 “Jemand sang:/ Meine Mutter sagt/ sie gibt mir/ wenn ich einmal heirate/ zwanzig große Kissen/ alle voll mit Stechmücken/ zwanzig kleine Kissen/ alle voll mit Ameisen/ zwanzig weiche Kissen/ alle voll mit faulen Blättern und Lola saß auf dem Fußboden neben dem Bett und öffnete ihren Koffer. Sie wühlte in den Strümpfen und hob einen Klumpen aus verworrenen Beinen und Zehen und Fersen vor ihr Gesicht. Lolas Hände zitterten, und ihre Augen waren mehr als zwei im Gesicht. Ihre Hände waren leer und mehr als zwei in der Luft. Fast so viele Hände standen in der Luft, wie auf dem Boden Strümpfe lagen. Augen, Hände und Strümpfe ertrugen sich nicht in einem Lied, das gesungen wurde, über zwei Betten hinweg. Gesungen im Stehen von einem kleinen Kopf, der sich wiegte mit einer Kummerfalte auf der Stirn. Ein Lied, aus dem die Falte gleich wieder verschwunden war” Müller 11-12. Hoffmann 5-6. 18 “jemand sang ( ) und Lola saß auf dem Boden”
situations in which English uses the possessive.19 The appearance of the possessive in “heels in front of her face,” for example, is marked and underlines the importance of the object, thus creating a specificity that familiarizes the reader with the character. A surrealistic image of Lola’s body parts in motion engages the reader by forcing him to create a mental image of Lola and interpret the significance of this image. Moreover, Lola’s eyes and hands are introduced by possessive pronouns, once again drawing special attention to the character, especially in contrast to the “somebody” who sings the song. In the next paragraph, however the deictic center changes. Not only are the eyes, hands, and stockings not possessed and indefinite, but the topic of the sentence is the song, as evidenced by the relative clause following the song’s second mention. Although the song was presented in full in the previous paragraph, asserting itself in a context that tried to swallow it, it is now referenced with an indefinite pronoun as if it were being introduced for the first time. This change indicates a different deictic center and as a result, the reader has to posit a new speaker to this voice which tries to retell the story from a different point-of-view. This time the story is told with the song as the referent. Echoes from the previous voice persist, however, so the eyes, hands and stockings are mentioned first. This voice is distant, unlike the first one, which through the use of definite pronouns and possessives familiarizes the reader with Lola. The use of the verb “sich ertragen” is interesting, since “ertragen” (to bear, endure, tolerate) is not reflexive and should not appear with the reflexive pronoun “sich.” Nevertheless it does, which alludes to the verb “sich vertragen” (to get along well, to harmonize with something or someone). This hybrid form contradicts itself, indicating that Lola’s eyes, hands, and stockings harmonize with and simultaneously cannot bear the song. This means nothing if the reader does not know that the song is a well-known folksong about a poor mother’s dowry for her daughter. Instead of filling the pillows with down, the mother can provide only pests. The song alludes to the poor, rural region from where Lola came and where giving a dowry was still a custom. Lola’s eyes, hands and stockings harmonize with the song insofar it points to her home, to the place where she belongs. They cannot endure the song, because Lola is trying to escape that poverty by studying in the city.20 This voice portrays the social reality of the large migrations to cities that were 19 Durrell 70. 20 Michael Hoffmann, who translated Herztier in English, translated “Augen, Hände und Strümpfe ertrugen sich nicht in einem Lied” (5) as “ so many eyes, hands and stocking couldn’t possibly fit inside one song.” This translation captures well the disharmony among the body parts and stockings, and the song. However, it does not point to the unusual use of the verb with the reflexive pronoun.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
encouraged by the communist regime. The effects on language were such that the notion of belonging could only be expressed through a contradiction. The ambiguity in this passage manifests itself again through change in the deictic center. This change is signaled with the repetition of indefinite pronouns referring to the song sung by ‘somebody.” The first voice, which also contains the song, portrays Lola in a surreal scene, in which the focus is on her hand, eyes and the clothing that she is pulling out of a suitcase. The descriptions of her body parts contain possessive pronouns and along with the attention the surreal imagery demands, they engross the reader in the scene. The change to a distant, alienating tone can be understood as a change in the deictic center and, thus, in voice, as well. The second voice’s topic is the song, which reveals the contradiction in the notion of belonging for those who migrated to the city. Here, the ambiguity of who is speaking reveals the inability of language to express this notion, without unusual constructions, and draws attention to the displaced. In The Land of Green Plums, the third person narrative voice is the predominant voice in memories and especially in ones about the family of the first person narrator. The reader does not have conclusive evidence that it is her family until around page forty, after Lola’s death, when the first person narrative mentions the father with a possessive pronoun. Until that point and often afterwards indefinite pronouns and a marked lack of possession make every memory seem as though it is unrelated to the rest of the memories and to the narrative line of the first person narrator. Moreover, the deictic center changes often in these childhood memories, indicating that Müller uses the multiple voicing in the third person narrative voice. The first of these memories starts with “A grandfather says: My pruning shears. I’m getting older and shorter and thinner with every passing day. But my nails are growing faster and thicker. He uses the pruning shears to cut his nails.”21 The grandfather is described with an indefinite article, which introduces him as a new character in the novel. However, the reference “a grandfather,” places the character in a kinship system. This makes the disassociation from other characters, who are part of his family, impossible, even though this marks use of the indefinite article as an attempt to show distance and alienation from family members. The next characters are introduced in a similar way: “A child refuses to let her nails be cut. That hurts, says the child. The mother ties the child to a chair with the belts from her dresses.”22 Like the grandfather, the child is introduced with an indefi21 “[e]in Großvater sagt: Meine Rebenschere […] meine Nägel wachsen schneller und dicker. Er schnitt seine Nägel mit der Rebenschere.” Müller 14. Hoffmann 7. 22 “Ein Kind läßt sich die Nägel nicht schneiden. Das tut weh, sagt das Kind. Die Mutter bindet das Kind mit den Gürteln ihrer Kleider an den Stuhl.” Müller 14. Hoffmann 7.
nite article. The indefinite article signals a change in voice and deictic center, which reinforces the feeling of alienation, while the narrative line continues uninterrupted. Since the word “child” does not belong strictly to a kinship system, it does not evoke the same feeling of alienation, but the indefinite article in an uninterrupted narrative line denotes unfamiliarity and distance. The word “mother” is also problematic. The reference with the definite article is not unusual in German, but it usually occurs after a kinship relation has been established. It is not difficult to assume that the characters in this passage are related; however, the lack of overt linguistic evidence shows Müller’s intention to portray them as disconnected from each other, except in the activity of cutting nails.
Müller not only uses articles and pronouns to create ambiguity, she also manipulates the syntactic rules of indirect speech to blur the lines between where voices and characters’ speech begins or ends. Indirect speech in English requires a formal tense change from direct to indirect speech in the statement reported. In the example “John says to Mary: you are intelligent” the tense of John’s speech changes from present in direct speech to past in indirect speech: “John said to Mary that she was intelligent.”23 German does not require a tense change, but rather a mood change. The tense of the original sentence is maintained in the indirect construction, which uses Konjunktiv I (a form of the subjunctive mainly used to indicate indirect speech). Except for the verb “to be,” however most verbs have forms that are identical to the indicative in all persons except for the third person singular. In order to avoid ambiguity a different form of the subjunctive, Konjunktiv II, which can occur in simple and compound forms, is used. While Konjunktiv I is still used in formal writing, it “is rarely used in indirect speech in colloquial German, as it sounds stilted and affected in informal registers.”24 Alternatives to the Konjunktiv I include the compound form of Konjunktiv II and the indicative. In writing, the indicative is regularly used in indirect speech with the conjunction “that.” In the absence of the conjunction, a form of the subjunctive is usually required. However, in spoken colloquial German the indicative is preferred, regardless of whether “that” is present or not. The consequence of the lack of formal marking of indirect speech is that ambiguity can arise in informal contexts. The Land of Green Plums is written in a simple, informal style, which contains few complex sentences and subordinate clauses, especially in the first pages. Since no distinct forms of Konjunktiv I or Konjunktiv II occur and German prefers an unambiguous form of the subjunctive to mark indirect speech, it is safe to assume that Müller uses only the indica23 Comrie 108. 24 Durrell 324.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
tive in indirect speech. Müller exploits this aspect of German grammar to blur boundaries between direct and indirect speech, making reported speech seem more direct. This is also an example of what Bakhtin calls “double-voicing”, where the narrator can seem to begin to inhabit the character’s speech or thoughts25. The consequences of this are that the reader does not know to whom to attribute a statement; also he does not know whether the statement belongs to a character or whether it is another character’s evaluation. Valentin Voloshinov, whose insights on indirect speech were “a major contribution”26 to Bakhtin’s theory of the novel, states that “when we use indirect discourse, we do not just apply a grammatical rule, we must necessarily analyze and respond to the reported utterance and show our dialogic relationship to it.”27 Without a clear separation of direct and indirect speech, the reader cannot distinguish whether a particular statement is through the voice of another. Müller does not use quotation marks; rather she uses a colon to signal direct speech. The colon introduces and presents a statement, but it does not mark where a statement ends. In some cases, context and change in perspective from a character to a narrator, for example, mark the end of direct speech. Müller often uses colons to show the speech of the friends of the 1st person narrator. Prior to the following passage, the four friends are trying to find a warm place to talk, away from the wintery weather. The bodega they occasionally go is too loud, so they find a movie theater: […] We sat down in the back row. Kurt said: We can talk here. The factory on the screen was dark, we couldn’t see each other. Edgar laughed and said: We all know what we look like in the light. Georg said: Some don’t know that. He took his toothbrush out of his coat pocket and stuck it in his mouth […] we looked at each other’s faces and laughed. Kurt said: Take the toothbrush out of your mouth. Georg put it in his pocket. You Swabian fartfiddle, he said.28 25 Bakhtin 324. 26 Morson 161. 27 Morson 167. 28 “[…]Wir setzten uns in die letzte Reihe. Kurt sagte: Hier kann man reden Die Fabrik auf der Leinwand war dunkel, wir sahen uns nicht. Edgar lachte und sagte: Wir wissen ja, wie wir im Hellen aussehen. Georg sagte: Manche wissen das nicht. Er nahm seine Zahnbürste aus der Rocktasche und steckte sie in den Mund […] Wir sahen einander ins Gesicht und lachten. Kurt sagte: Nimm die Zahnbürste aus dem Mund. Georg steckte sie in die Tasche. Du schwäbische Arschgeige, sagte er.” (the translation is my own) Müller 78.
Each character’s speech seems to be clearly marked in this passage. After Edgar’s statement, the reader does not assume that he also says “Georg said.” Not only is this a classic narrative device to assign a statement to a specific character, but the context raises the expectation of a conversation. Kurt says that they can talk in the movie theater, so the reader can assume that what follows is indeed a conversation. The colons clearly mark direct speech and although there is no marked end to the statement, the reader can fairly accurately assume where it ends. The last sentence of the passage becomes slightly problematic. It is not clearly marked as direct speech and the narrator’s addition “he said” appears at the end of the main statement. Through the duration of the statement the reader does not know for sure to whom the statement belongs. The pronoun “he” could refer to any of the three male friends. It is also not clear for whom the insult is intended. If Kurt is addressing it to Georg he is criticizing him for displaying that he carries his toothbrush with him in case he is suddenly arrested, which could raise suspicions among the other theater goers. However, if Georg is addressing the insult to Kurt, it is a response to Kurt’s admonition to be cautious in showing the others “how they look in the light.” The constant fear of raising suspicion and the need to not show that they oppose the communist regime are states to which the friends cannot refer directly. By manipulating indirect speech and its contrast with clearly marked direct speech, Müller creates an ambiguous context that avoids specifying a speaker and thus conveys both of these points that must remain unspoken. Lola’s notebook, which the first person narrator finds in Lola’s suitcase after her death, also contains ambiguities associated with the uses of direct and indirect speech. Lola’s notebook is quoted throughout, but its presence is especially felt in the first pages of the novel. Similar to representations of speech in other passages, Lola’s writing appears preceded by a colon, indicating direct speech, and without a colon, indicating unmarked indirect speech. However, since Lola’s writing is quoted it is already subject to an interpretation by the first person narrator. In a discussion about leaf lice this becomes clear:29 Lola said, fleas even on the bark of trees. Someone said, those aren‘t fleas, they‘re lice, leaf-lice. Lola writes in her notebook: Leaf29 “Lola sagte, Flöhe sogar auf den Rinden der Bäume. Jemand sagte, es sind keine Flöhe, Läuse sind das, Blattläuse. Lola schreibt in ihr Heft: Blattflöhe sind noch schlimmer. Jemand sagte, die gehen nicht an Menschen, weil Menschen keine Blätter haben. Lola schreibt, die gehen an alles, wenn die Sonne brennt, sogar an den Wind. Und Blätter haben wir alle. Blätter fallen ab, wenn man nicht mehr wächst, weil die Kindheit vorbei ist. Und Blätter kommen wieder, wenn man schrumpelt, weil die Liebe vorbei ist.” (the translation is my own) Müller 13.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
fleas are even worse. Someone said, they don‘t bite people, because people don‘t have leaves. Lola writes, when the sun is beating down, they bite everything, even the wind. And we all have leaves. Leaves fall off when you stop growing, because childhood is all gone. And leaves grow back when you shrivel up, because love is all gone. The first sentence is introduced with “Lola said.” However, because it does not have a colon it is not clearly marked as direct speech. There is no verb in the phrase that represents Lola’s speech, but one would likely categorize it as indirect speech since Müller does not mark indirect speech. The ambiguity between speech forms here draws attention to the voice of another, who reports what Lola said. But who quotes Lola? And what is the function of the quotation in relation to Lola’s writing? This narrative unit30 is told in the third person. However, as described above, the first person narrator is reading the journal. At this early point in the novel, the two narrative voices have not yet intersected and the reader does not know that the first person narrator and Lola are roommates.31 The same ambiguity is present in the next sentence where “someone” responds to Lola. In comparison to the dialogue between the friends in the movie theater the statements in this exchange do not start with capitalized words, further supporting the theory that a colon indicates direct speech and that statements not introduced by colons are not direct speech. The next statement is introduced by “Lola writes in her notebook,” followed by a direct quotation from Lola’s notebook. This direct statement interrupts the sequence of indirect statements and raises the question of the temporal and physical continuity of the scene. The reader has already established that the third person narrative voice is reporting the exchange between the girls in the room. Presenting Lola’s writing as direct quotation when the reader does not yet know that Lola gives her notebook to the first person narrator, raises the question whether the reader should interpret the passage as double-voiced (with one voice reporting speech and the other quoting speech directly) or whether this is a property of the third person voice, thus giving it the appearance of being omniscient. It is possible that Lola and the girls are having a conversation and that Lola is writing parts of the conversation in her notebook. In this case, the omniscient 30 The beginning of each narrative unit is indicated by the first letter of the first word being bolded. A narrative unit can range from being a paragraph to several pages in length. 31 The first instance when the first person narrator describes herself as living in the same room with Lola is on page 19: “Maybe I was called somebody in the first three years in this square. Because then everyone except Lola could have been called somebody” (translation my own; the square refers to the dorm room).
narrator is able to show the reader the conversation, as well as Lola’s writings which the other characters may not know. This omniscience, however, does not seem to guarantee that the indirect statements and the direct quotation are temporally congruous, or viseversa. The phrases that represent character speech are all in present tense. This creates a contrast with the rest of the narrative unit which describes the scene and the girls with verbs in the past tense, for example “[u]nter jedem Bett stand ein Koffer”32 (under each bed lay a suitcase), “[s]echs Mädchen spuckten”33 (six girls spat) and “[d]ie Mädchen wollten”34 (the girls wanted). While this contrast gives texture to the narrative unit, it is in itself not an unusual occurrence, since indirect speech in German does not require a tense modification. What is interesting about this passage is the tense of the tags which introduce the statements of the characters and that can be directly attributed to the reporter of character speech. The first two tags, introducing indirect statements, are in the past tense conforming to the use of tense in the rest of the section. However, quoting Lola directly is introduced by “writes”, in the present tense. The change in tense by the third person narrative voice is unusual and challenges the idea that this voice is omniscient. If we consider the voice omniscient, then the statements with tags in the present tense are part of a current state of events, while statements with tags in the past tense are relegated to past events. This makes the narrative voice omniscient about the past; however, there is no indication that Lola is not aware of what the narrative voice describes, especially since she is part of the verbal exchange. There is also no indication that the narrative voice knows something about the current state of affairs in addition to what other characters know. Since the possibility of having a third person omniscient narrative voice is not supported, the narrative voice could simply be framing the statements in present tense with the statements in past tense to create context for Lola’s writings, much like a memory or a flashback caused by something in the present. There is also the possibility that the ambiguity, caused by the different types of speech, reveals that there are two voices with deictic centers in the past and in the present, indicated by the tense of the verb. After a direct quote from Lola’s notebook, a statement from “someone” follows. This is introduced by a past tense verb and without a colon, so the reader can assume that it is indirect speech. Assigning a reporter is problematic though, because it is not clear whether the quotation of Lola ends with the first statement or continues with the next statement. It is possible that Lola recorded the conversation in her notebook and that what follows is a transcription of the exchange. However, Lola’s statements are again 32 Müller 12. 33 Müller 12. 34 Müller 13.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
introduced with the present tense, rather than with the past tense like the statements of the undefined girls in the room, and this creates an incongruity that does not support the idea that the following statements are transcriptions of a conversation. It is also possible that the third person narrative voice continues to frame the statements in present tense with a context in past tense, but that connects the past and present in a way that is uncharacteristic of the third person narrative voice. I have mentioned already that the first person narrative voice is chronological in its development and often refers to and interacts with the past. This voice uses mostly the past tense, clearly situating the narrative in the past. The third person narrative voice frequently uses the present tense and does not refer to or interact with the past, but rather repeats the information as if it were being presented for the first time.35 The repetition of the same words and phrases, of course, points to their previous occurrences in the novel. Bakhtin states that in forming a meaning, an utterance not only responds to the listener, but also to past representations of the topic, to a world that is already “articulated, disputed, elucidated and evaluated in various ways. Every time we speak, we respond to something spoken before and we take a stand in relation to earlier utterances about the topic.”36 In this sense a reference to the past is accomplished, but it is not on the level of character awareness or presented as part of the composition of the novel, but rather on the level of narrative voice. Framing the statements in the present tense with statements in the past tense in the passage above brings past and present too close for the third person narrative voice. This kind of framing implies a temporal relation to the past in a way similar to how it takes place in the first person narrative voice, in that it posits a clear delineation between past and present events, while the events alternate. This requires interaction between the past and the present, in order for the voice to justify the presence of both tenses in the same section. The third person narrative voice does not support this kind of interaction, mostly because it does not have a sense of time and does not frame events and actions in terms of time. The episodes presented by the third person narrative voice are self-contained and autonomous, in that they do not depend on previous information to present the scene. The interjections and interruptions of the third person narrative voice are not part of a chronological continuum, and of course, the episodes are not part of the chronology of the first person narrative voice. None of the possibilities thus far considered for interpreting the passage provide adequate means of understanding it unambiguously. How then should 35 Examples of this are the mentions of the grandfather’s chess pieces and the history behind them, which occur on pages 16-17 and 50 in the German edition. 36 Morson 137.
the reader approach the passage? This passage is best understood if the reader considers Lola’s writing as presented by one voice and the rest of the information in the past tense by a different voice. This interpretation resolves the incongruity of the representation of past and present in the third person narrative voice, because the past and the present do not interact in this same voice. The voices do interact and respond to each other, having a dialogue. This becomes evident when the reader posits different “speakers” to Lola’s writing and to the statements in past tense. The difference in the tense of the tag points to different deictic centers, which supports the hypothesis of two different voices. What is interesting about this is that the voices can communicate across time, which of course implies some sort of temporal interaction. It does not, however, necessarily imply temporal awareness on the part of the voices. The interpretation of the two narrative voices, in order to highlight and analyze the ambiguity caused by the discrepancy in the style of different events, is important in understanding organization and temporality in the novel. Once memories and flashbacks are attributed to the third person narrative voice and the chronological parts from a first person point of view to the first person narrative voice, it becomes clear that the organization of the novel is based on these voices. Moreover, because the narrative line follows an associative structure, the interruptions and interjections of the third person narrative voice that punctuate the first person narrative voice resemble memories that appear in an associative stream of thought.
As we have seen, the role of voicing in The Land of Green Plums is twofold. Not only do voices embody the diversity in the world of the novel, but this concept also helps to analyze the ambiguities in The Land of Green Plums, revealing that Müller created a forum for the dispossessed in the oppressive communist regime. The episodes of the third person narrative are interwoven among the chronological events of the first person narrative voice. Through the possibilities created by ambiguity, this voice provides a forum for the anonymous voices of the dispossessed – of the fearful nation, of the displaced peasants, and of the people for whom free use of language poses danger. These voices point to an overall picture of the world of The Land of Green Plums: a world dominated by fear. This picture, however, is not readily available to the reader; rather he has to discover and understand the voices that compose the picture. Bakhtin’s work on prosaics helps to reveal these voices, and therefore the novel, in such a way that readers simultaneously understand what “happens” and what “makes” a novel. Because ambiguity, and not direct reference, is used as means of expression, the forum wherein the different voices of The Land of Green Plums achieve this expression is also limiting. Therefore, the problems of
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
expression are conveyed to the reader not solely by representation, but rather by direct experience of ambiguities. The need to elucidate ambiguities to fully understand The Land of Green Plums suggests that the world of the novel is presented through a code. Müller’s artistry lies in creating a reading experience that reflects the linguistic reality in an oppressive society, with which the reader has to actively engage in to fully understand the novel.
18. Patrut, Iulia-Karin. Schwarze Schwester, Teufelsjunge: Ethnizität Und Geschlecht Bei Paul Celan Und Herta Müller. Köln: Böhlau, 2006. Print. 19. Pit, Mirna. How to Express Yourself with a Causal Connective: Subjectivity and Causal Connectives in Dutch, German and French. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003. Print. 20. Talmor, Sascha. “The Cruel Sons Of Cain: Herta Müller’s The Land Of Green Plums.” European Legacy 4.5 (1999): 88. Humanities International Complete. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
1. “Herta Müller Takes Nobel Prize for Literature.” The Guardian. 8 Oct. 2009. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. 2. Bakhtin, M. M., and Michael Holquist. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: University of Texas, 1981. Print. 3. Bauer, Karin. „Tabus der Wahrnehmung: Reflexion und Geschichte in Herta Mullers Prosa, “ German Studies Review v. XIX, no. 2 (1996): 260. 4. Bozzi, Paola. Der Fremde Blick: zum Werk Herta Müllers. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2005. Print. 5. Comrie, Bernard. Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. Print. 6. Durrell, Martin, and Alfred Edward Hammer. Hammer›s German Grammar and Usage. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publ. Group, 1997. Print. 7. Eddy, B. D. “Testimony and Trauma in Herta Müller’s The Land of Green Plums.” German Life and Letters, 53: 56–72. 2000 8. Eke, Norbert Otto. Die Erfundene Wahrnehmung: Annäherung an Herta Müller. Igel: Paderborn, 1991. Print. 9. Glajar, Valentina. The German Legacy in East Central Europe as Recorded in Recent German-language Literature. New York: Camden House, 2004. Print. 10. Hill, Jane. “The Voices of Don Gabriel.“ The Dialogic Emergence of Culture. By Dennis Tedlock. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1995. Print. 11. Jaworski, Adam, and Nikolas Coupland. “Jakobson, Roman Linguistics and Poetics.” The Discourse Reader. London: Routledge, 1999. Print. 12. Kegelman, René „An der Grenze der Nichts, dieser Sprache..“ Zur Situation Rumäniendeutscher Literatur der Achtziger Jahre in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 1995. Print. 13. Morson, Gary Saul, and Caryl Emerson. Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ., 1990. Print. 14. Müller, Herta. Atemschaukel: Roman. München: Hanser, 2009. Print. 15. Müller, Herta. Der König Verneigt sich und Tötet. München: C. Hanser, 2003. Print. 16. Müller, Herta. Herztier. Frankfurt Am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch Verl., 2007. Print. 17. Müller, Herta. The Land of Green Plums: a Novel. Trans. Michael Hofmann. New York: Metropolitan, 1996. Print.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
The Identity of Theseus: Ship and Man
Jonathan Weinstein The Identity of Theseus: Ship and Man investigates the metaphysics of identity, both of persons and of objects. The identity of persons is an ancient philosophical debate, engaged by thinkers from Aristotle to Locke to modern giants such as Kripke and Lewis. Questions of personal identity include: in virtue of what do I persist over time? What makes me the same person that I was yesterday? What properties of myself do I need to have tomorrow for that individual to still be me? How much change can I undergo while still maintaining my identity? At what seemingly arbitrary point do I draw the cutoff line for persistence of identity through change over time? The solution I attempt to argue is that change does indeed result in a new inanimate object or animate individual. That is, Jonathan yesterday is not identical with Jonathan today. The two are not the same person; do not share the same identity. Yet, I still survive. The fundamental philosophical machinery I employ is the distinction between survival and identity. I conclude that what I need to appropriately anticipate my future events is not what I need for my identity to persist. I may thus surrender my identity over time while still making sense of my motivations and memories (which seem linked to preservation of identity) through a sense of survival. The paper begins with a consideration of the Ship of Theseus paradox, illustrating the unappealing solutions available to the layman. Several metaphysics are introduced to solve the paradox. Yet, in addressing the identity of objects and espousing a relevant metaphysic, one must also consider what philosophical repercussions such a move will have for the identity and persistence of individuals over time. Thus, I attempt to simultaneously provide resolution to classic paradoxes involving the animate and inanimate, reaching a solution relevant to identity over time in general.
dentity over time is important to both metaphysicians and the layman, and is thus particularly worthy of our attention. Here, I use the resolution of several well-known paradoxes to elucidate confused forms of identity claims. I propose that beings may not enjoy, in a strict philosophical sense, identity over time, yet may still be said to persist and survive. Consider the famed Ship of Theseus, displayed in Athens for many centuries. Over time, weathering degrades the wooden planks composing the ship, which are removed as necessary, and replaced with fresh, steel analogs. Eventually, all the planks have been removed to produce a ship exactly alike with our original Ship of Theseus, except none of the original parts remain. Is the new ship the same as the Ship of Theseus first worthy of the Atheniansâ€™ admiration? An instinctive response would seem to be most certainly not. Yet, adopting this view precipitates strange consequences. For example, the outermost layer of human skin, the epidermis, contains many loosely JonathanÂ WeinsteinÂ is a second year in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in biology and planning to begin the Philosophy Honors Program in fall 2012. He hopes to work at a Chinese pharmaceutical or biotech venture-capitalism firm, combining backgrounds in biology and philosophy. He would like to thank Professor Trenton Merricks for his guidance through this research process.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
adhered skin cells. Simply brushing against other objects causes some to fall off – let us say at least one, though this is certainly an underestimation. Imagine that upon returning to the fledgling Athens after conquering insurmountable, demonic foes, Theseus greets his avid welcoming party with the firm handshake of a founder-hero. Suppose that the first to receive Theseus is Plutarch. In the exchange, a cell of Theseus is brushed off by friction and falls to the sandy beach below. In its place now lies a single epidermal cell previously adhered to Plutarch. Does this cell replacement constitute a new overall being? Can the replacement of a single cell cause the overall individual to lose his or her identity? Surely not. It would be absurd to propose that by means of a handshake and in virtue of a single cell replacement, the identity of human persons cannot persist. A violin may have a single string restrung, yet our intuition begs us to label it the very same violin it was before the replacement. So it seems sanctioned by common-sense ontology that if we replace just one plank from the hundreds upon hundreds that compose the Ship of Theseus, we may still identify the resulting object as the Ship of Theseus. Call the original Ship of Theseus T0, and call the object with one replaced plank T1. Replace another plank and call this resulting object T2. Does the object T1 survive the replacement of a single plank to be the same object as T2? Based on our principle that the removal of one tiny part from very large whole does not cause the whole to lose its identity, we should agree that T1 = T2. Moreover, since T0 = T1, we have a very basic case of the transitivity of identity, whereby we may conclude: T0 = T1 = T2 Now, we may continue to remove individual planks, designating the object resulting from each subsequent removal by Tn, where n indicates the nth planked removed. Suppose there to be five thousands planks in the Ship of Theseus. Then, T0 = T1 = T2 = …. = T5000 Unless we reject the fundamentally intuitive claim that objects survive the replacement of constituent parts, it seems the final ship composed of scintillating new steel is indeed the Ship of Theseus originally composed of wood and charted around the world in an epic monster-slaying quest. But there’s a catch. A devoted admirer of Theseus has been storing the original planks as they are removed. A firm believer that only the original planks may actually constitute the Ship of Theseus, he waits for all planks to come into his possession. These planks are then used to reassemble the “original”, though significantly dilapidated, Ship of Theseus. Call this object B.
Now, does it seem reasonable that T0 = B? In general, can an object survive disassembly followed by reassembly? When I was little, toy Legos were the greatest invention in the world (it may be case that I still believe that). My maniacal brother would frequently smash my Lego constructions. Not to worry, though – I would rebuild my creations exactly piecefor-piece. Naturally, we would say that the original Lego construction, if dismantled, could be reassembled to form the exact same construction. Intuitively, we think that objects can survive this kind of process. On these grounds, we conclude T0 = B. Concurrently, we have: T0 = T5000. By transitivity of identity, T5000 = B; and this is patently false, for it is a claim of numerical identity between two spatially distinct objects with clearly distinct properties. If we gave the paradox no further metaphysical analysis, we would be forced to accept from the following list of unappealing solutions either 1. the embracement of contradictions or 2. the rejection of the transitivity of identity or 3. the rejection of the claim that objects can survive disassembly and exact reassembly or 4. the rejection of the claim that the identify of objects can survive the loss of even one small part; that is, denying that objects may undergo change over time. A more satisfying way to resolve the paradox is by appealing to perdurantism, the theory that treats 3-dimensional objects as temporal parts of an overall 4-dimensional object. In other words, 3-dimensional objects form a broader entity qualified not simply by the Cartesian system, but also time. Under this interpretation, object T0 actually represents the exact overlap of two distinct 4-dimensional objects. That is, two 4D objects sharing a common temporal part at the same time. Namely, these two objects are 1) the summation of temporal parts that compose the series T0 ….T5000 and 2) the summation of temporal parts T0 and B. Since time is an element of a temporal part, no two temporal parts from different times may be identical, and so the perdurantist escapes contradiction by rejecting T0 = T5000 and T0 = B. Roderick Chisholm develops a view which, although differing significantly from the ontology above, helps in elucidating the paradox. In distinguishing the ways in which our language uses identity, Chisholm delineates a loose, popular identity and a strict, philosophical identity: From the fact that any such physical thing may be said to exist at a certain place P at a certain time t and also at a certain place Q at a certain other time t’, we may not infer that what exists at P at t is identical to what exists at Q at t’.1 (277)
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Chisholm believes two objects, a and b, cannot be identical unless they have all the same parts in common (excluding persons). Chisholm’s solution to the paradox works by the machinery of 3-dimensionalism and mereological nihilism. Given that Chisholm characterizes ordinary objects such as tables and chairs as “logical fictions,” placing his ontology in the camp of mereological nihilism seems reasonable. Chisholm fundamentally denies that there is such a thing as The Ship of Theseus insofar as it pertains to our traditional notion of an object over time. Since the parts of the ship are constantly changing, even at the most microscopic level, new objects are constantly replacing old objects, and there is no persistence of a single ship over time. Our perception of a ship is what Chisholm terms entia successiva, whereby a continuous succession of changing objects gives the false impression of a single object’s persistence through time. Chisholm explains, …such things as the Ship of Theseus and indeed most familiar physical things are really ‘fictions’, or as we would say today, ‘logical constructions’. They are logical constructions upon things which cannot survive the loss of their parts.1 (277) Only through loose and popular claims of identity may we say the dining room chair on Monday is the same as the dining room chair on Tuesday. Here, loose and popular identity functions via similarity in properties. In other words, the loose and popular sense of identity, the “is” of predication, is what allows us to say ship T0 “is” ship T5000. Here, “is” predicates particular properties, essential properties, which lead our language to deceptively equate one object with another. Strictly and philosophically speaking, however, T0 cannot be equated with T5000 when using the “is” of identity, since the two objects represent objects with different parts. How does the perdurantist respond to Chisholm? The perdurantist would certainly deny the strict and philosophical identity claim between two different temporal parts. But moreover, the perdurantist would also deny a loose identity claim on the basis that two temporal parts are as distinct as a hand and a foot. I do not think this constitutes major clash between Chisholm and the perdurantist. On Chisholm’s account, two temporal parts may be said to be loosely identical if there is sufficient similarity in their parts. This merely accounts for our everyday perception and ontological inferences. The perdurantist may still reject this – though I think this leaves him in a weaker position as he is left to devise a new linguistic mechanism to account for our everyday derivation of identity and commonsense notions of existence.
It is important, however, to note what is required to make the philosophical leap from Chisholm’s metaphysic to perdurantism. As noted, the key difference between the ontology of Chisholm and the perdurantist is that Chisholm believes that the Ship of Theseus is mere fiction, an abstraction of thought and language, whereas the 4-dimensionalist believes the Ship persists in virtue of its extension across time via temporal parts. Eternalism – the view that the past and future are as equally real as the present – and unrestricted composition – which holds that any instance in which parts come together a whole is formed – may bring us from Chisholm’s theory to perdurantism. In this way, the perdurantist would consider the 4D object made of T0 and T5000 and all its other temporal parts – call that 4D object T* (and let the 4D object made of T0 and B and all its other temporal parts be called B*). T* is literally and strictly self-identical, exists at different times, and so strictly and philosophically persists over time, enjoys identity over time. The way T* achieves this is by having some temporal part, Tn, that exists wholly and entirely at any one given time. Have we thus arrived at an answer to the Ship of Theseus paradox? The perdurantist and Chisholm would deny the strict, philosophical equating of T0 and T5000, and T0 and B, though for very different reasons. This allows us, without contradiction, to maintain the transitivity of identity. Espousing perdurantism over Chisholm’s ontology also allows us to respect the intuitive idea that objects survive replacement of parts through a series of temporal parts. But suppose Theseus returns and demands his ship; which is he to be given? Perdurantism and Chisholm both reduce this question to a matter of semantics. To determine the answer, we must invoke societal conventions, legality, etc. Perhaps the law states that whichever ship functions best, or contains the majority percentage of original material, is the Ship of Theseus. Yet this is not a matter of metaphysics. Note that this is not to say a result of perdurantism is that which ship is the Ship of Theseus is a matter of semantics. Since both T* and B* shared the same temporal parts of the original Ship before any planks were removed, both T* and B* lay equal claim to its title. The identity over time of an object is an objective fact, though some questions presuppose identity in such a way that they must accordingly be answered on the basis of non-metaphysical principles. And of course, given Chisholm’s ontology this is clearly a semantic question, as Theseus is demanding a ship that Chisholm does not believe metaphysically exists at all. Though perdurantism may ameliorate our qualms insofar as the identity of inanimate objects persists through time, I think the identity of persons is forced into an unsavory position. Let us imagine sometime in the future you undergo a cerebral hemi-
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
spherectomy, and that the two halves of your cerebrum are transplanted into brainless bodies. By miracles of science we have not yet developed, surgeons attach each hemisphere to a brainstem and the two patients regain consciousness. Split-brain cases show that both hemispheres are capable of independent operation and have separate streams of consciousness. It follows that both patients have full memories of and believe they are indeed the individual, you, who originally had a complete cerebrum. One of the patients (A) will be abducted and tortured to death a year later while hiking in the jungles of Brazil. The other (B) will go on to be a Nobel Laureate in 3 different disciplines before dying of natural causes at the age of 90. Under the perdurantist ontology, there are two 4D objects which share common pre-operation temporal parts. Thus, prior to the operation, “you” do not know which individual you are, and we are faced with a ‘too-many-thinkers problem.’ Both 4D objects, A and B, think the exact same thing and there is no way to distinguish between them. How are you to anticipate the events following the operation? Moreover, suppose one patient will be selected for illegal medical experimentation, and another will be given $1 million to live a happy life and act as a control. Suppose after the operation, the practitioner seeks to give the original individual the one million dollars. But perdurantism leaves us with no metaphysical guideline to determine the proper course of action, since both post-operation people lay equal claim to the originally shared temporal parts. Which individual the money is to be given to, then, will be a matter of semantics. Is this really a satisfying answer, when both products of the operation will think, remember, and feel just like you? This objection to 4-dimensionalism can be made stronger by a case of personal fission. Perdurantism holds that pre-fission ‘you’ actually represents the conjunction of two distinct 4-dimensional objects, this being revealed upon branching. But pre-fission, how are you to anticipate the lives of your progeny? Immediately following fission, one of the progeny (A) feels and remembers, desires and acts just like you. Progeny A looks at progeny B…but B has precisely the same psychological characteristics as A. Should A and B be concerned for their mutual welfare? Should A choose to select $1 million at the expense of B being tortured? Doesn’t that seem like torturing yourself? Wouldn’t you be begging yourself not to fall for monetary vices? How strange to think of post-fission you as one individual over the other! Pre-fission we face the too-many-thinkers problem, yet we also face tremendous difficulty in anticipating a post-fission reality. Perdurantism holds it to be false that one 4D person will become two 4D people (since in that case there would have simply been two 4D people all along), yet the feeling that pre-fission you will have two lives is, I think, inescapable.
The 4-dimensionalist could respond that, in fact, this makes perfect sense. It is as if monozygotic, or identical, twins have from the time of birth been attached to a virtual reality machine which feeds sensory input, allowing them to lead illusory lives. They learn the same things, experience the same events, meet the same people, and form the same desires. Upon the age of, say, 18, the plug is pulled and the two individuals awaken and meet. How is each to make sense of the other? Their perceptions of each other would be directly analogous, according to the perdurantist, to the products of a fission case. Two distinct individuals were unaware they lived identical lives until some event which revealed reality. Nonetheless, a good metaphysic should contain as little controversial assumptions as possible while appealing to natural intuition. Neither the notions of collocation nor multiple thinkers resonate with natural intuition, and I think that is fatal. In light of these absurd consequences and better alternatives to be presented, I ultimately reject the perdurantist account of personal identity. The issue of personal identity through time can be further elucidated and compared to the Ship of Theseus paradox by considering the classic teletransportation case. In the future, humans have colonized Mars and constructed facilities suitable for habitation. On Earth, our friend Theseus steps into a device that records his precise atomic structure. This information is sent at the speed of light to Mars. There, a complementary machine uses the atomic blueprints to create an atom-for-atom replica of Theseus, alive and with all his memories. Back on Earth, Theseus is obliterated. Has he survived teletransportation? That is, is the late Earth-Theseus identical with the nascent Mars-Theseus? Suppose that one time Theseus travels to Mars in the same way we have described, except the machine back on Earth malfunctions and fails to destroy his Earth analog. In the first scenario, we may be inclined to say that Earth-Theseus is identical to MarsTheseus in virtue of psychological continuity. In the second scenario, two individuals are psychologically continuous with the original Theseus. Theseus cannot have died since we agreed that if Earth-Theseus was destroyed, Theseus would have survived. And it seems strange to peg his survival as contingent upon the destruction of another, external atom-for-atom, replica. But yet, in the second scenario, it cannot be the case that both duplicates are Theseus, for one is on Mars and one is on Earth, and the singular Theseus cannot both be on Mars and on Earth, for that would be a contradiction. Poor Theseus has lost not only the identity of his ship, but also the identity of his self. There are many attempted solutions to regain Theseus his identity. John Locke’s memory criterion may be adapted to the principle of psychological continuity – yet cases of fission vitiate the principle
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
as an effective solution. If we adopted the multipleoccupancy view, that a person really consists of two individual people by virtue of the two cerebral hemispheres, then we would simply face the absurd conclusions of multiple-thinkers and collocation – conclusions the natural intuitions of most people are probably not ready to accept. So perdurantism cannot be the answer to the identity of persons through time, despite its relative efficacy with inanimate objects. The somatic approach claims identity persists through bodily continuity. A key issue here is that were your cerebrum to be transplanted, the individual receiving the cerebrum would not be you – and this goes against our intuition. Moreover, the body remaining behind and wholly lacking a cerebrum would be you. To say that lifeless Theseus with a hollowed out cranium is identical with pre-operation Theseus, but that the individual who thinks, talks, acts, desires, and remembers just like Theseus is not Theseus is a strange claim indeed. Thus, a more satisfying way to resolve the teletransportation paradox may be by appreciating the distinction between identity and survival. Derek Parfit espouses this method in “Personal Identity” as, The alternative, for which I shall argue, is to give up the language of identity. We can suggest that I survive as two different people without implying that I am these people.1 (367) In the case of the brain transplant, your intuitive reaction is to care, and care strongly, about the future of patients A and B. The interests of the “pre-operative-you” seem intimately tied to their fates. Nonetheless, in a strict and philosophical sense you cannot be identical with both of them (without making costly philosophical moves). To be identical to one of the patients seems completely arbitrary, yet you are reluctant to admit being identical with none of them. This is due to a sense of survival. Through psychological continuity, we feel we survive in the ordinary sense of the word. We retain the ability to remember past experiences, execute desires, and sense the world and how it interacts with us. In this way our interests survive. We are concerned with the various relations we have to the products of the transplant operation, not whether we are identical to these nascent beings. In this way, what matters for survival is not what matters for identity through time. This is intuitively motivated by the fact that when we care about our future, it is not because psychological continuity is unbranching. Personal identity over time is simply psychological continuity that does not branch, so psychological continuity must be what matters for survival. In the classic case of fission, the progenitor survives as both progeny without conserving
personal identity. In the same way, by using the malfunctioning teletransporter, Theseus surrenders the persistence of his identity through time; nonetheless, he survives through psychological continuity, by appropriately anticipating the life of a future individual(s). Returning to the ideas of Chisholm, he maintains that a metaphysic of persons must respect “preanalytic data.” That is, it must respect our traditional notions of the self and its persistence. Chisholm explains that, In saying we have a ‘right to believe’ these propositions, I mean that, whether or not they are true, they are all such that they should be regarded as innocent, epistemically, until we have positive reason for thinking them guilty….I will set forth… certain things that I am justified in believing about myself.2 (15-16) Within this criterion for personal identity we include the following such notions: that humans are more than logical constructs, that they have higher mental functions manifested in complex psychological experiences, that they have free will, and that they have reason to care about their future. On this basis Chisholm rejects many mainstream accounts of identity, as they clearly conflict with preanalytic data. But I think in making the distinction between identity and survival, we can deny identity without defiling elements of preanalytic data. We need not invoke identity through time to accommodate Chisholm’s criterion. By not appealing to identity, we afford ourselves an advantage by avoiding issues discussed above. Yet in appealing to survival, we conserve Chisholm’s claim that our account of persons must be consistent with initial, intuitive ideas. Chisholm’s ontology leaves him unable to appeal to the above solution. As a dualist, he believes that identity consists in persisting, partless, immaterial souls. However, this view faces difficulties analogous to those confronted by the somatic account of the nature of persons (ignoring other glaring dualist worries such as how the soul, which harbors mental functions, could possibly be impacted in clarity of thought by bodily damage – such as the consumption of alcohol). For example, consider once more the teletransportation paradox. Assuming the machine functions normally, Theseus is replicated exactly on Mars. We intuitively feel that Theseus has survived insofar as we would choose teletransportation to Mars over, say, cremation – which is clear and undeniable total annihilation. Yet there is no reason to believe Theseus’ soul would follow him from Earth to Mars. If there is reason to believe that, it presupposes some sort of religious doctrine or outlandish science; neither makes for the most universally appealing account of personal identity.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
In contrast, the teletransportation paradox is easily accounted for given our notion that what matters in survival is not personal identity, but exactly just survival. Thus, Chisholm is left unable to appeal to our solution, while his primary contingency regarding a tenable account of personal identity is respected. Here lies a key focus of this paper: what ontology must Parfit, and we, espouse to make sense of his account of personal identity? Let us assume that Parfit operates under the pretext of perdurantism throughout his discussion. In the brain-transplant case there are two 4D individuals under consideration. The two are collocated before the operation and share temporal parts during those stages. But, each 4D being persists through time and is strictly and philosophically self-identical since it persists through and changes over time via temporal parts. Is there room for Parfit’s disambiguation? I do not think so. If the question is before the operation, which individual do “you” survive as, then this is a misleading question. There is an objective fact to the matter as to which thinker you are, which 4D being your temporal parts sum to. During collocation stages this cannot be discerned, but “you” are just one 4D object which, through temporal parts, enjoys identity through time. It seems there is no room for survival without identity. The same is true of fission. Rather than surviving as both individuals, your identity is conserved through whichever 4D object you really are. The discernibility of this reality during collocation is independent of the objective fact of the matter. Again, there are no varying degrees of survival, and no survival detached from identity. The teletransportation paradox, then? Perdurantism would claim again that two 4D objects are under consideration, each with a separate identity persisting through time in virtue of temporal parts. It therefore seems necessary that Parfit must not presuppose perdurantism. His disambiguation is far more plausible under the tenets of three-dimensionalism. For example, in the case of fission we initially faced paradoxes due to loss of identity, yet we felt our interests intimately tied to future individuals. Now, given the distinction between identity and survival, this should not be problematic. Although we lose identity, we survive in every other meaningful way, here as more than one person. Not only does the 3-D ontology avoid the absurd consequences of perdurantism, but it also respects the critical condition formulated by Chisholm. To come full circle, we can apply this account of identity over time to inanimate objects as well. Objects can enjoy degrees of survival without identity over time. So we escape the Ship of Theseus Paradox by denying the strict identity of T0 = T5000 and T0 = B. A duplication of the Ship would cause the loss of the Ship’s identity, and it would simply persist as two distinct objects. Of course, it is more difficult to
define what constitutes degrees of survival of an inanimate object over time. This would require specific analysis of essential and non-essential characteristics of various objects, just in the same way we analyzed potentially essential characteristics of persons (psychology, body, soul, etc.). However, there are some residual agitations. For example, where do we draw the line between survival and death? Parfit indicates that psychological continuity is necessary for survival independent of identity, and that there can be degrees of continuity (e.g., no memory but all personality traits). But what if after a strange case of fission, A retained my full psychology while B retained only my odd penchant for peanut butter and cantaloupe? Should B really count as someone I can appropriately anticipate the events of? It seems arbitrary where we draw the cutoff line for survival. Perhaps the answer to this question is subjective insofar as people have unique standards for what they need to appropriately anticipate the life of a future individual – for some this may be memory, others not. Some may need conservation of desires, others not. So this question may reduce not to a metaphysical answer but a semantic, subjective determination. Another vexation can be illustrated as follows: suppose in the case of the teletransportation paradox the question is asked which individual is to be given $1 million? On a metaphysical level, both Earth- and Mars-Theseus lay equal claim to the title of the progenitor via psychological continuity. So the question is still reduced to a matter of semantics and left to convention to decide. We have gained no pragmatic benefit. At least, though, Theseus may safely believe he will survive another day to sail his Ship.
5. Kim, Jaegwon. Metaphysics. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 1999. 6. Chisholm, Roderick. Person and Object: A Metaphysical Study. Illinois: Open Court, 1976.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
A Model of the Economic, Environmental, Health, and Social Factors Affecting Electric Vehicle Use Julia King, Steve Norum, and Vladislav Sviderskiy* As the pace of industrialization and technological advancement accelerates, harmful pollution increases, leading to harmful effects on the world in the forms of environmental damage and health problems. We modeled how these effects could be minimized through the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in place of current internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), and through the use of alternative energy sources to provide electricity for these vehicles. We created three models: one to predict the consumer-side economic cost of adopting EVs, one to model the feasibility of expanding electricity production capabilities to meet the new needs caused by EVs, and one to model the social, environmental, and health impacts associated with adopting EVs as a primary method of transportation. Our consumer-side economic model incorporates current technological data on the costs associated with EVs, as well as consumer preferences about automobile capabilities. This model determined that initial costs of an EV are greater, but over time it becomes more economically prudent. Our model of electricity production capacity expansion accounts for 18 variables relating to lifetime costs of power plant and electric grid construction. After producing models for various power sources and combinations thereof, we determined that for developed nations, the most efficient way to minimize the environmental cost of energy production is to build additional nuclear power plants, and over time shift to an electric grid primarily powered by nuclear energy. In our last section, we discuss the health, environmental and social considerations of EVs that should be taken into account in addition to the economic costs and benefits. We considered how reducing pollution by switching to EVs and alternative energies can reduce harmful effects, from decreasing the cost of illness to increasing agricultural production. Julia King (top) is a fourth year student majoring in Neuroscience and Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry. While she has worked in various chemistry and neuroscience laboratories, this publication was a culmination of efforts directed for an international mathematical competition. She hopes to continue pursuing her research and mathematical interests by doing collaborative math modeling and neuroscience work while attending the MD/PhD program at Columbia University starting this summer. She would like to thank her collaborators Vlad Sviderskiy and Steve Norum for working on this project and making it an enjoyable, rewarding experience. Steve Norum (unpictured) is a software developer at Amazon.com, a co-founder of tBatR.tk, and a 2011 graduate of the College, majoring in math and computer science. In his free time, he studies computer security, mobile application development, home brewing, and other things completely unrelated to math modeling and green technologies. Vlad Sviderskiy (bottom) is a fourth year student from Richmond, VA, majoring in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry. His passion has been developing mathematical models for real-life situations, and this project of modeling factors affecting electric vehicle use was especially of interest to him because it ties into his research for Professor Gunnoe and Professor Harman in the Chemistry department. Although he enjoys mathematics and modeling, he hope to obtain an MD/PhD in the future. *All authors contributed equally
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Two of the largest environmental issues facing the world today are chemical pollution and anthropogenic climate change resulting from emissions in the process of energy production. One of the largest uses of this energy is transportation. A leading proposal on how to minimize the environmental costs of transportation is through the use of electric vehicles (EVs) to replace the internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) currently in use. EVs have been around since the beginning of the twentieth century and yet they have not effectively permeated the transport sector in any modern society. Most of the world uses ICEVs to burn petroleum distillates for transportation and coal, and natural gas for non-transportation-sector energy. In developed, technological countries waste and pollution due to increasing energy usage present serious threats to the well-being of not only the country and its citizens, but also to the rest of the world. With the explosive growth of technology in the past decades, these problems have only grown worse, and have pushed their way to the forefront of public policy and individuals’ personal considerations. ICEVs are better advertised, more profitable, and as the world becomes progressively more motorized even the fall in emissions per vehicle mile does not compensate for the increase in distance driven. Just looking at some raw numbers is rather humbling. For example, in 2003 the global average consumption of petrol and diesel was 283 liters per person per year, ranging dramatically by region from 12 liters in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia to a shocking 2,135 liters in the United States. Considering only direct emissions from passenger vehicles, the emissions in the United Kingdom rose from 59 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 1990 to 63 million tons in 2002; even worse, passenger vehicle emissions in the United States increased from 641 million tons in 1990 to 655 million tons in 2003. Transport emissions are rising faster in low-income and middle-income countries, where advanced fuelefficient technology is not yet widely available. It is also important to note that tail-pipe emissions are not the only vehicle-associated emissions that contribute to climate change – the extraction of raw materials, movement, manufacturing and disposal add an estimated 18 to 43% on top of fuel-related emissions over a vehicle’s lifecycle. These are further compounded by the energy usage required for the construction and maintenance of the necessary infrastructure, as well as land use changes (for example, deforestation) that reduce CO2 absorption.1 In order to determine the optimal way to halt this environmental damage, we will investigate the feasibility of EVs through the use of three models. The first will determine the consumer-side economic cost of EVs, so we can find out if people will be willing to purchase them for financial reasons alone. Next, we will study the economic and environmental costs of
the electric grid infrastructure necessary to support this increased demand for electricity. Finally, we will look at the health, environmental, and social effects of EVs, to determine if it is indeed wise to encourage their use from a moral societal standpoint. Finally, we will combine the results of these three models and reach a final conclusion about the feasibility and advisability of the adoption of EVs in various countries.
2. Economic Factors Affecting EV Adoption
The economic cost of an EV (CEV) breaks down into three main stages: construction (CEV construction), use (CEV use), and decommissioning (CEVD). These costs, when totaled, give the complete cost of the vehicle: CEV = CEV construction + CEV use + CEVD
The cost of construction consists of the cost of the vehicle body, the cost of the batteries powering the vehicle, and the cost of the drivetrain converting the electricity stored in the batteries into mechanical energy. The cost of use consists of the cost of maintenance and the cost of the energy necessary to charge the batteries. The cost of decommissioning consists of the cost of safely recycling all component parts. We’ll look at each of these stages individually. 2.1. Cost of Construction of EVs As stated previously, the construction cost is the combined cost of producing the body (Cbody), the batteries (Cbatteries), and the drivetrain (Cd) of the vehicle: CEV construction = Cbody + Cbatteries + Cd The cost of the body depends on the origin of the vehicle. Many current EVs began as ICEVs that were converted by their owners or by companies to operate with an all-electric drivetrain. In this case, the body already exists. The only new components to be manufactured are the batteries and the drivetrain. Most future EVs, on the other hand, will be constructed from the beginning to run on electricity, and as such do not have pre-existing bodies. When modeling the cost of introducing EVs to a region, we can more accurately predict the Cbody by factoring in the proportion of vehicles that are conversions from ICEVs (Pc) with the cost of a new car body (Cnb): Cbody = (1 - Pc) * Cnb When constructing a new car, the average cost of the body is approximately 75% of the construction cost,2 and subsequently 38% of the total cost, of a new ICE vehicle, or about $10,8003. Although EV bodies are generally lighter than ICEV bodies, and as such use fewer resources, they require more advanced construction techniques, and have an overall similar cost.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
The cost of the batteries for a vehicle depends on a number of factors. First, the type of battery to be used must be decided. This determines the initial production cost (Cbp/kg), the recycling cost (Cbr/kg), the lifetime (Tb), and how efficiently the battery stores energy (SWh/kg) and power. Second, the size of the battery (Mbatteries installed) must be determined. Larger batteries give EVs greater range, but carry with them a corresponding increase in cost. Third, the lifetime of the battery must be found. If the lifetime of the battery is significantly shorter than the lifetime of the car (Tc), it makes more sense to replace the battery than to recycle the entire vehicle, and as such multiple batteries will need to be purchased for the life of a single car. Combining these factors, we get: Cbattery = (Cbp/kg + Cbr/kg) * Mbatteries installed * (Tc / Tb) The primary five types of batteries in use today are lead-acid batteries, nickel metal hydride batteries, sodium batteries, zinc-air batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.4 Lead acid batteries have been widely used due to their abundance, especially when purchased secondhand as partly-depleted car batteries, but are far from ideal for use in electric vehicles. They have a very low specific energy5 (25-35 Wh/kg), resulting in them generally making up a significant portion of the weight of the vehicle. Nickel metal hydride batteries have a slightly higher specific energy (50-80 Wh/kg), but still add a substantial amount of weight to a vehicle when used in quantities large enough to provide sufficient energy. Sodium batteries have a slightly higher specific energy (90 Wh/kg), but in addition to requiring a molten sodium electrolyte that must be maintained at a temperature of around 270 degrees Celsius, their specific power is relatively low (100 W/ kg). Zinc-air batteries have a high enough specific energy (110-200 Wh/kg) to be used as a primary energy source for vehicles without excessive weight gain, but their specific is also very low (100 W/kg). Because of these factors, the batteries that will power the majority of EVs in the near future are lithium-ion-based batteries, including both traditional lithium-ion batteries and newly-developed lithium-ion polymer batteries. These batteries have high enough specific energies6 (>200 Wh/kg) and specific powers (>300 W/kg), and as such can provide enough energy and power for an EV to prove acceptable to consumers without making the vehicle dangerously heavy. The production cost of lithium-ion batteries varies by type, but a reasonable figure is $250/kWh7, or $50/kg. There have also been concerns about the environmental impact of the batteries in EVs. Although some types of batteries can harm the environment when not recycled, lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries have few harmful chemicals, and the environmental impact is negligible next to other standard car components when recycled8. This recycling costs $1,000-$2,000 per ton of lithium-ion batteries.9
In order to know the mass of batteries necessary in a vehicle, we need to know the desired range (Rd). The peak annual distance driven by the average American driver was slightly above 10,000 miles,10 which works out to an average of 28 miles per day. This driving isn’t completely flatly distributed across every day, so to get a more realistic estimate we can multiply this value by 7 to get the average miles driven per week, 196, and model based on a vehicle easily capable of this range on a single charge. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 55% of driving in the US is “city” driving and 45% is “highway” driving,11 and uses average speeds of 20 mph and 48 mph, respectively, to model vehicle performance in these two areas.12 From this we get an average vehicle speed of 32.6 mph. For an EV, this corresponds to a well-to-wheel energy cost (EWh/mile) of approximately 150 Wh/mile.13 Given the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, we end up with a mass of .5-.75 kg of batteries for each mile of range desired. This produces a battery mass of 100-150 kg, from the following equation: Mbatteries installed = Rd * (EWh/mile / SWh/kg) The lifespan of a battery varies greatly depending on type, but lithium-ion batteries in EVs have been found to be able to last at least 180,000 miles without significant loss of performance.14 Given that the average ICEV lasts only 128,500 miles,15 we can treat the lifespans of the batteries and the remainder of the car to be roughly equal. This leaves just the cost of the drivetrain. Although the drivetrain varies widely from vehicle to vehicle, this difference in cost is proportional to the changes in cost of other vehicle components, as well. As such we will use an average cost of $4,000 to obtain a value that scales in line with the rest of the cost.16 2.2. Cost of Use of EVs The cost of use for an EV (or, for that matter, an ICEV) breaks down into two parts, cost of maintenance (Cmaintenance) and cost of fuel (Cfuel): CEV use = Cmaintenance + Cfuel The cost of maintenance for an EV can be estimated through comparison with an ICEV. For an ICEV, the primary costs of maintenance are oil and lubrication, tires (Ct), and engine/transmission maintenance (Ce), and each is traditionally given in cost per mile. To determine the overall cost, we must multiply these factors by the distance driven (Nmiles). However, EVs do not usually have oil and lubrication costs. By placing electric motors directly connected to each wheel, the mechanical interconnections that necessitate the oil don’t exist. So, we use the following equation: Cmaintenance = (Ct + Ce) * Nmiles
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Tire maintenance costs are independent of whether a vehicle is an EV or an ICEV, and work out to about 1.5¢/mile. Engine/transmission maintenance is also significantly lower for an EV. EVs don’t need transmissions, due to the direct motor-wheel linkage, and electric motors are extremely reliable. Thus, the cost of EV engine maintenance is estimated to be roughly 0.5¢/mile. Fuel cost is dependent on the price of energy coming from the grid. Currently this is around 10¢/ kWh in the United States,17 but off-peak (late night) electricity is less expensive in areas where installed meters are advanced enough to take this into effect, usually 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of peak-time (morning and evening) electricity.18 By charging cars overnight, electricity costs, and the inconvenience to the driver of having to wait for a recharge, can be minimized. Costs associated with generating electricity are discussed further in the following sections of this report. Having a large number of electric vehicles will increase off-peak demand, but compared with other sources of energy (lights, electronics, heating/air conditioning, etc.) the nighttime will still likely be the cheapest time to obtain electricity from the grid. Speed of charging is also an important factor, but it is currently, and is projected to remain, slow enough to prevent the feasibility of gas station-style fill-ups and fast enough that any reasonably-sized EV can be charged overnight at home with no problem. How much electricity ends up being used is a function of how far the vehicle is driven, and how much this costs depends on the cost of the electricity (C¢/kWh) used: Cfuel = EWh/mile * Nmiles * C¢/kWh 2.3. Cost of Decommissioning of EVs The cost of decommissioning includes the costs of disposing or recycling all parts of the EV. For purposes of comparison with an ICEV, we will break the cost down into two components, the cost that’s the same regardless of whether it’s an EV or an ICEV, and the cost of handling the EV-only parts. In calculating the cost of decommissioning, we must determine which parts are shared, and which are EV-only. The overall car body is largely independent of whether the vehicle is an EV or an ICEV. In addition, the motors and electronic control system of an EV is very similar to the start and electronic system of an ICEV, and so we will treat these parts as shared. This leaves the battery. However, due to the importance of recycling the battery, we have already included this cost in the operational cost of the battery, which was included in the calculation of the initial cost of the vehicle. Thus, the cost of decommissioning the vehicle can be treated to be the same for an EV as it is for an ICEV. This net cost is around $500 for highly efficient recycling (when more than 90% of the vehicle mass is recovered).19
2.4. Total Combining all of our sub-models together, we can obtain an estimate of the cost of an EV based on fifteen factors. Nine of these factors are roughly based on technological limits and as such aren’t subject to consumer demand variations. Five are based on consumer choice. One (cost of electricity) is based on many factors (this is discussed in another section of this report). Pc: The proportion of EVs that are converted from ICEVs (consumer choice) Cnb: The cost of a body for a new EV (consumer choice, median around $10,800) Cbp/kg: The cost of producing 1 kilogram of lithium-ion batteries ($50/kg) Cbr/kg: The cost of recycling 1 kilogram of lithium-ion batteries ($2/kg) Tc: The lifespan of an average car (128,500 miles) Tb: The lifespan of an average battery (treated to also be 128,500 miles) Rd: The desired range of the EV (consumer choice) EWh/mile: The watt-hours needed for an EV to travel 1 mile (150 Wh/mile) SWh/kg: How many watt-hours the battery can hold per kilogram (200 Wh/kg) Cd: The cost of the EV’s drivetrain (consumer choice, median around $4,000) Ct: The maintenance cost of the tires, per mile (1.5¢/mile) Ce: The maintenance cost of the drivetrain, per mile (0.5¢/mile) Nmiles: The distance the vehicle travels (consumer choice) C¢/kWh: The cost of electricity (depends on many factors, currently 5¢/kWh) CEVD: The cost of recycling the vehicle body and drivetrain ($500) Overall, the equation is: CEV = (1 - Pc) * Cnb + (Cbp/kg + Cbr/kg) * Rd * (EWh/mile / SWh/kg) * (Tc / Tb) + Cd + Nmiles * (Ct + Ce + EWh/mile * C¢/kWh) + CEVD This gives us the raw cost of construction, use, and decommissioning of an electric vehicle. This makes up the majority of the cost, but a large part of the cost of any vehicle is in manufacturer profit, transportation, advertisement, and other various overheads. For current cars, this averages $14,000. We can look at various different scenarios to assess the consumer-side economic feasibility of switching over to EVs. We first need to establish values for ICEVs, in order to make comparison possible. The average current ICEV costs the consumer $28,400, and has fuel and maintenance costs of 15¢/
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
mile. After 100,000 miles, the total amount spent will be $43,400, and after 200,000 miles, the total cost will be $58,400. A non-converted EV of comparable size and style, with a range per charge of 200 miles, will cost approximately $37,100 to purchase initially. However, each 100,000 miles will only cost an additional $2,750. This will result in a total of $39,850 after the first 100,000 miles, and $42,600 after the first 200,000. An increase in price of electricity only affects this slightly. If we assume charging at a rate of 10¢/kWh, the cost per 100,000 miles is still only $3,500. Either one of these electricity costs results in an ICEV costing significantly less initially, an EV costing marginally less after 100,000 miles, and an EV costing significantly less after 200,000 miles. If the consumer is okay with a vehicle that only has a range of 100 miles (enough for almost all driving done in the US and Europe), then the initial cost of an EV drops to $33,200, resulting in a break-even distance of just 17,300 miles, or roughly a year and a half of normal driving. This makes it clear that from an economic standpoint, the widespread use of EVs in the US, Europe, and other industrialized nations is highly economically feasible, and in the long-term even preferable to the use of ICEVs. Other areas that have different driving habits and existing infrastructures will have different costs associated with EV use. If there isn’t a reliable electric grid in place, charging vehicles will be very difficult. The construction of a distribution system for gasoline and other fossil fuels is significantly easier than the construction of an electricity distribution system, because hydrocarbons are a significantly denser source of energy than current electric batteries (one kilogram of gasoline can propel an ICEV approximately 11 miles, whereas one kilogram of batteries can propel an EV only 2 miles). For these reasons, ICEVs will remain more feasible than EVs as a near-future method of transportation for developing regions. Once a reliable electric grid is in place though, EVs become the economically preferable form of transportation. If a change in consumer habits can be effected, even more economical alternatives can be used. All of the cost benefits of EVs apply equally to buses. Buses would suffer from the limited range per charge, but cities with fleets of buses would find it more feasible to use a battery-swap system due to the large number of identical vehicles. Likewise, if trains took the place of cars for medium-range travel (that which exceeds the range of a single car’s charge but is shorter than that for which air travel is used), the effect of limited charges could be minimized, and the environmental impact of what were once ICEV trips could also be minimized. In addition, public transportation produces lower costs than the use of personal vehicles for trips of this range of distances.
The largest sector of the transportation industry that wouldn’t directly benefit from EVs would be airline travel. Airplanes are much more dependent on the high specific energy of hydrocarbon fuels. However, it is possible to convert CO2 back into a combustible hydrocarbon.20 This is more expensive than traditional fossil fuels, but it allows air travel to continue relatively unaffected, without causing pollution. The carbon emissions from the fuel can be continually converted back into a usable form, and because the fuel produced is a pure hydrocarbon and has no nitrogen, sulfur, or heavy metal impurities, once the carbon is reused there are no remaining pollutants. This approach to making air travel more environmentally sustainable is less economical than our model for ground transportation, and costs significantly more than it does currently, but as technology advances, resulting in more efficient fuel-manufacturing processes and cheaper electricity, the cost would come to be comparable to current fuel prices. In the meantime, the world would still be faced with significantly decreased emissions due to cars being cleaner. Although airplanes would take longer to become environmentally neutral, they would still have a significantly better impact than keeping the current fossil fuel based system intact.
3. Costs of Sustainably Increasing Electric Grid Production Capacity
3.1. Introduction If a switch to EVs were to occur, the current system for electricity production would not be able to support the additional electricity that would be required. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the total electricity production for 2010 was 4,148 billion kWh.21 To support EVs in the United States, an additional 285 billion kWh would be needed (see Appendix). Currently, the majority of electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. In fact, using the EIA numbers, it can be calculated that 70.3% of total electricity production comes from coal, petroleum, and natural gases. Hence, the production of electricity would still rely heavily on fossil fuels. However, overall usage of fossil fuels would be expected to decrease because electrical cars are more efficient than gasoline cars. This would allow a smaller quantity of fossil fuels to meet all motor vehicle energy needs. In addition, the extra electricity could be created via an alternative energy source. Some options include solar energy, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, wind energy, and biomass. We explore the possibility of implementing these options as alternatives to fossil fuels or in combination with fossil fuels from an economical and environmental standpoint in two models. Additionally, we offer advice on which electricity sources would be most practical in various geographic and economical regions.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Figure 1. Model 1: Optimal Source Model
Figure 2. Model 2: Combined Source Model
3.2.1. Model 1: Optimal Source Model This model (Figure 1) includes the total cost of implementing and then using an electricity source, the cost for a given year, the total electricity production, and the yearly electricity production. These are then used to calculate cost efficiency. The total cost per year factors in the initial cost to build a capital unit, the number of capital units, how long each unit lasts, the maximum output of the unit, the cost to produce the fuel, the waste produced from the fuel, the environmental externalities for the source, the maintenance cost, the number of employees needed to maintain function, if there is an electrical grid, whether the technology to implement the electricity source has
been developed, if the base electricity sources would need be uprooted, and the effect on trade that the new alternative source would have. Total electricity production factors in the maximum output of a capital unit multiplied by the number of units. A capital unit is defined as one machine or location that allows for the conversion of a raw material to the finished product, which in this case is electricity. For example, for nuclear energy a capital unit is a nuclear plant, and for wind energy, a capital unit would be defined as a turbine. In the case of this model, cost efficiency is used to compare different sources. A lower cost efficiency implies a better electrical source.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Assumptions for Model 1: 1. Electricity supplied >> Electricity demanded 2. If the geographic location does not have the proper technology to implement the system, then the technology will be bought. 3. If the geographic location does not have an electrical grid, then an electrical grid will be created. 4. There can be only one source of electricity. 5. If a raw material is not attainable, then C=∞, T= ∞. 6. If a byproduct of the infrastructure is illegal, then the cost of it equals ∞. 7. T1 << F, (if T1 > F, then the source will not be implemented). 8. Length of time to implement the system is negligible. 9. Energy can be extracted at all times. 10. The maximum electricity output (P) does not change during the lifetime of a capital unit. For this model, the above ten assumptions have been applied. We employ the first assumption because for the use of electrical cars to be feasible there has to be an adequate supply of electricity. In addition, a geographic location will need to have the technology and the equipment necessary to build the infrastructure as well as an electric grid into which the electricity can be fed. The fifth and sixth assumptions have been included to indicate that if any necessary part of the system cannot be obtained or is unlawful, then assumption number seven would not hold, meaning that the infrastructure to implement the source of electricity should not be pursued. Advantages & Disadvantages of Model 1 This model is well suited for geographic locations that do not currently have an electricity production infrastructure intact. It provides information to determine which option should be pursued if only one electricity source can be chosen. Assumption seven makes it impossible to choose an option that is not affordable, while assumptions five and six make it impossible to choose an option if a resource is not available or a byproduct of the conversion process to electricity is illegal. For example, if a geographic location does not have any running water, then the hydroelectric option would not be feasible, or if production of a harmful waste product is greater than is lawful, then the option is not feasible as well. Additionally, assumption two and three affect the technology (Y) factor and the electric grid (G) factor. These two assumptions make it very costly to initiate the implementation of an electricity producing source if the technology is not present and/or the electric grid does not exist. By doing this, it forces F, the maxi-
mum cost that can be accommodated to realize the system, to be high. The implication of having a high F is that for assumption seven to hold, the country or geographic area that wants to apply the new electricity source must be willing to pay a high premium initially to implement the system. If an older system exists and needs to be removed, then there will be an additional cost. We include this cost through the variable (O). O would be a onetime, sunk cost in this case. The model also takes environmental factors into consideration (Ec). Each of the sources will have different environmental effects (i.e., gas emissions); hence, literature monetary values can be used to estimate these effects and then can be included in the model. For different locations these estimates will vary depending on the geographic location’s health concerns. Some sources will also produce waste that will accumulate and then be disposed, which will cost additional money. We have included this in our total cost equation through the variables β and W. A major disadvantage of this model is that it does not incorporate more than one electrical source. Additionally, it assumes that the capital unit runs at maximum production potential at all times, which is not the case. For example, in the case of wind energy, the wind velocity cannot be consistently high enough allow constant conversion to electricity. 3.2.2. Model 2. Combined Electrical Source Model This model (Figure 2) includes the total cost of implementing and then using a combination of electricity sources, the cost for a given year, the total electricity production, and the yearly electricity production for the combined source system. These values are then used to calculate cost efficiency. The total cost per year factors in all the variables of Model 1 and then adds the variable ρ and the term j. The ρ in the equation is the reliability factor, which takes into account the fact that some sources cannot be used to produce electricity at all times. An example of this would be solar energy since the sun is not always available (i.e., at night or during cloudy weather). The term j denotes the energy sources. By using j, the sum of the total cost and total electricity production of different energy sources can be obtained. In this model, a lower cost efficiency indicates a better combination of electricity producing sources. Assumptions for Model 2: 1. Electricity supplied >> Electricity demanded 2. If the geographic location does not have the proper technology to implement the system, then the technology will be bought. 3. If the geographic location does not have an electrical grid, then an electrical grid will be created. 4. If a raw material is not attainable, then C=∞, T= ∞.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
If a byproduct of the infrastructure is illegal, then the cost of it equals ∞. 6. T1 << F, if T1 > F, then the Model will not be built. 7. The maximum electricity output (P) does not change during the lifetime of a capital unit. All of the assumptions present in Model 2 are mentioned in the assumptions for model 1 for the same reasons. However, three of the assumptions have been removed. Firstly, Model 2 no longer assumes that only one source of electricity can be used. In this model, the only time one source would be used is if the source can meet the electricity demand independently and is the most cost efficient option. Also, the time it takes to develop the new electricity source infrastructure is no longer negligible. The cost of running the old infrastructure, if applicable, would be included. Assuming that the old infrastructure is more costly, the shorter the time to implement the new system, the less the total cost would be. By removing the assumption that energy can be extracted at all times, sources from which electricity cannot be extracted at all times would now have a lower production, leading to a higher cost efficiency. Advantages & Disadvantages af Model 2 The advantages discussed in the assumptions section are that more than one source can now be used and that more accurate estimations of cost and total electricity production can be found through the addition of the reliability factor (ρ) and the elimination of the assumption that the duration of time to make the use of the new electricity source feasible is negligible. In addition, Model 2 is advantageous because it can meet the electricity demand using a combination of the cheapest options. In Model 1, if the electricity source could not meet the demand, it was deemed not feasible. Now if the source decreases cost efficiency, its use is considered a better option. The model also has the same advantages as those discussed in Model 1. A major disadvantage of this model is that it does not take into account the land area that a source would occupy. Additionally, many of the variables in the equation are hard to estimate, and data is not readily available to do so. Application of Model 1 and Model 2 For these models, we are looking at the costs associated with a system capable of producing one gigawatt of power at peak capacity. Power per unit varies from source to source, from roughly one megawatt per turbine for a wind farm to one gigawatt or more per reactor core for a nuclear reactor, so we are scaling the number of units produced to keep a constant power output. All of the variables that could not be estimated were considered negligible in these calcu-
lations. Table 1 includes the values used for the variable inputs as well as the total cost and cost efficiency output for all the sources. 3.3. Alternative Energy Sources 3.3.1. Wind Energy: An advantage of wind energy is the low start up cost. Wind turbines are generally less expensive than capital units of other alternative energy sources. It is a renewable resource; hence, the production cost (C) of electricity would be expected to be low. Additionally, wind energy does not emit any harmful gases or produce any waste, making β=0 and Ec=0. Disadvantages of wind energy are that it is unreliable. For wind to be converted to electricity, the wind must travel at 5 m/s measured at a height of 10 m.22 There is no guarantee that wind velocity will be constantly at these levels, making wind energy unpredictable. Model 1 Results: In most cases, wind energy does not fulfill assumption one of Model 1 because it does not have the capacity to provide the needed energy to make the use of electric cars feasible. Therefore, under this model, we do not recommend using wind energy as a sole electricity production source. Model 2 Results: The cost efficiency of wind energy came out to be 2.9¢/kWh. This is approximately the cost efficiency of electricity generated from coal, but without the negative environmental impacts. Therefore, we recommend the use of wind energy to be used in combination with other sources of electricity. The fact that wind energy cannot provide a constant supply of electricity and its capacity cannot meet the demand for electricity makes its use as a sole source of electricity impossible. 3.3.2. Photovoltaic Solar Energy An advantage of photovoltaic solar energy is that the sun can provide an abundance of energy. In addition, solar energy is a renewable resource. However, the capture of this energy is still very inefficient and is not expected to improve in the near future. Although air pollution is reduced with solar panel usage, the process to make the photovoltaic cells can have harmful effects on the environment23. Model 1 Results: In the current state, the maximum capacity of solar-derived electricity is too low to meet the electrical demand. Thus, the model fails to uphold assumption one and cannot be used as a sole source of electricity. Model 2 Results: Using model 2, the cost efficiency of solar energy is 11.45¢/kWh. The total electricity production per year is low and would require a lot of land. Therefore, we do not recommend the use of solar energy as a source of electricity for electrical cars unless air pollutant emissions must decrease. 3.3.3. Hydroelectric Energy Hydroelectric energy is cheap and is a renewable resource that does not produce any adverse effects
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Table 1. Costs associated with various energy sources, as predicted by our model
on the environment. Due to the geographic requirements of hydroelectric generating plants, specifically the existence of a consistently strong-flowing river in an area with the available space for a massive storage reservoir, the amount of energy that can be generated is limited. In addition, due to the technological simplicity and low cost of hydroelectric power generation compared with the other primary alternative baseline provider of nuclear power, many available hydroelectric resources are already in use. Model 1: In the current state, the maximum capacity of hydroelectricity is too low to meet the electrical demand. Thus, the model fails to uphold assumption one and cannot be used as a sole source of electricity. Model 2: The cost efficiency for hydroelectricity is 0.326¢/kWh. The low cost efficiency of hydroelectricity makes it a prime candidate as an electricity source in the combined model. However, as stated before, many hydroelectric resources are already in use. Unless new locations to implement hydroelectricity can be found, assumption four of Model 2 is void, making it not feasible to increase the use of hydroelectricity. 3.3.4. Biomass Energy Biomass is essentially a renewable resource that is cost effective. The quantity of biomass that can be used for electricity generation includes the supply that does not go towards the residential and industrial sector. Increasing the supply would take a lot of land; therefore, this option is limited by land availability. Also, biomass still gives off greenhouse gases (GHG). In general the current supply would not be able to meet the increased electricity demands of implementing electrical cars.
Model 1 Results: Like wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy, biomass fails to uphold assumption one of Model 1, meaning it cannot be used as a sole source of electricity. Model 2 Results: The cost efficiency of biomass was calculated to be 1.2¢/kWh, which is lower than the cost efficiency of fossil fuels. Therefore, if there is an excess of biomass supply, electricity should be created via this method in a combination model since biomass alone cannot meet electricity demands. If an adequate supply of biomass is not available, assumption four in Model 2 is not upheld, making the use of biomass in the combined model not possible. 3.3.5. Nuclear Energy Nuclear energy is a very cost effective model that would be able to meet electricity demand for approximately seven million years.24 Problems that arise from the use of nuclear energy, however, are that nuclear energy produces waste (W) that needs to be removed. There are also health concerns that are present with the use of nuclear energy. Additionally, the start up cost is high for nuclear plants. Model 1 Results: Electricity demand can be met solely by the use of nuclear energy. The cost efficiency for nuclear energy was calculated to be 0.81¢/kWh. However, this does not take into account the cost of fuel disposal, as without a disposal plan in place, costs are difficult to estimate. Waste production concerns will vary in different geographic locations. For locations that have low health concerns, this model suggests the use of nuclear energy as a sole electricity source since it is more cost efficient than fossil fuels. In addition, air pollutant emissions would decrease through the use of nuclear energy when compared to air pollutant emissions of fossil fuels.25
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Model 2 Results: The same general results from Model 1 apply to Model 2. However, we would recommend the use of hydroelectricity or wind-derived electricity in combination with nuclear energy to lower the environmental externalities produced from nuclear energy.
4. Social, Environmental, and Health Impacts of EV Adoption
4.1. Pollution and Emissions 4.1.1. Types of Pollution In general, the following discussion on pollution is a result of the burning of petroleum and coal, the most common forms of energy production for transportation and the electric grid, respectively. The following is what widespread implementation of electric vehicles and alternative energy sources should and would be trying to combat. The United States Environmental Protection Agency designates six elements as criteria pollutants, namely: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), ozone (O3), and lead (Pb).30 Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas formed mainly due to incomplete fuel burning. Nitrous oxides, including nitrous and nitric acids, are highly reactive gases, although the oxide of primary concern is NO2 since it is an indicator of levels of other oxides as well as a reactant in processes forming other dangerous airborne pollutants. Similar to NOx are highly reactive sulfur oxides, which are primarily monitored using SO2 levels. Emissions of SO2 are principally released by industrial processes, which are heavily linked with vehicle production. Particulate matter is classified by its size in microns. Particles 10 microns or less are of especial concern since these can pass through the lungs. PM is a mixture of solid and liquid droplets in the atmosphere comprised of numerous components such as metals, soil, dust, organic chemicals, and acids like nitrates and sulfates. Although ozone is not directly emitted, it is created by NOx reacting with volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight and forms a major component of smog. However, the effects of NOxs vary with weather and altitude and, furthermore, the effects are conflicting since they destroy ambient methane but produce ozone. Thus the overall levels of both change over time. Ozone is actually protective in the high atmosphere, where it acts as a shield against dangerous radiation from the sun; however, ground-level ozone results in many sorts of environmental and health complications. Lead is a highly toxic metal used in motor vehicles, smelters, and batter plants. Although the US has removed lead from its gasoline, many other parts of the world still use leaded gas and additionally have other less-regulated lead sources. Although it is not specified in the EPAâ€™s six regulated emissions, the element mercury is another important toxic metal
pollutant that has dramatically increased in the atmosphere with the rise of industry and manufacturing.31 There are also other forms of pollution, including noise and radiation, which are immediately relevant to a comprehensive discussion of transport pollution. Noise pollution is defined as any disrupting or unwanted noise that impinges on normal activities like sleep and conversation, leading to a decrease in overall quality of life.32 Radiation pollution is also pervasive, emitted from numerous sources such as coal-powered plants and nuclear plants. 4.1.2. Environment Many environmental problems stem from pollution and emissions from various economic sectors, including transport. The most well known is anthropogenic global warming (AGW), climate change resulting from increased GHGs and stress on natural systems including, but not limited to, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and stratospheric ozone depletion. Emissions and pollution associated with the transport sector, including both ICEV fuel and the energy necessary to manufacture the vehicles, contribute greatly to these problems. According to the EPA, ground-level ozone damages vegetation and ecosystems by interfering with the reproduction of sensitive plants, damaging leaves, and reducing forest growth and crop yields. An estimated $500 million reduction in crop production each year in the US can be attributed to ozone damage. Fine particles, specifically PM2.5Â, cause haze and reduced visibility, affecting drivers and the environment. Lead is even worse in that it accumulates and persists in the environment, compounding the effects of ozone and other pollutants. This results in staggering losses in biodiversity, decreased growth and reproduction of plants and animals, and changing community compositions. Furthermore, lead is toxic to animals and can lead to neurological complications in vertebrates, including humans. Although mercuryâ€™s total impact on wildlife has not yet been quantified, it may lead to population declines in fish, birds and mammals. Animals are also significantly affected by noise pollution, which can disrupt everything from communication to mating and preying, especially for those species with more sensitive ears adapted for quiet areas. Although some species have been able to adapt to increased noise, many have not, putting them at higher risk for extinction and contributing to large-scale downward trends in biodiversity.33 Having established that the present system of energy production and transport is unequivocally detrimental to the environment, it is fair to ask how the alternatives compare. All of the following generate essentially none of the emissions just described. Recently growing in popularity has been the option of nuclear power. Primary concerns with the increase of nuclear power plants are radiation and nuclear di-
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
sasters. Nuclear energy is very well understood and there are tight and effective safety measures that accompany its usage. Nuclear meltdowns are extremely unlikely, especially with stringent controls; Chernobyl is the exceedingly rare exception, not the commonality.34 Furthermore, nuclear energy puts out 100 times less radiation than a coal plant producing an equivalent amount of energy. This is because the burning of coal removes light elements such as nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur, but leaves heavy, radioactive elements such as thorium and uranium in the particulate matter. Their concentrations in this pollution are ten times what they were in the original coal. The estimated radiation dose of living near a coal plant is higher than that of living near a nuclear one, though both are still minimal and amount to less than having a yearly X-ray.35 Hydropower is another alternative that is clean, renewable, and cheap. Currently, its biggest drawbacks are its environmental effects: damming rivers may disrupt or destroy ecosystems and wildlife by changing land usage and animal migration patterns, as well as lowering dissolved oxygen levels in the water. However, new technology, such as using fish ladders to help salmons migrate over dams, may be able to sidestep these issues, and hydropower may be able to provide a larger portion of cheap energy,36 even if we have already established that it is unable to provide the entire supply due to its limited availability. Wind farms are also an option for generating clean, renewable energy. Issues with sound and aesthetics have been and will continue to be dealt with through the use of better technology and appropriate site selection. The main concern here is the death of birds and bats. Conflicting opinions and data cloud this area, but the consensus appears to be that if the sites are chosen well and other measures, such as slowing turbines at night, are implemented, such deaths can be minimized.37 Furthermore, it is arguable that emissions affect the health of these animals more and so wind turbines are less detrimental to the total avian and bat populations. Overall, it is clear that there are strong, viable alternatives to coal for producing energy. Given a “clean” source of electric energy, one must also consider what EVs will run on – fuel or batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are currently being pushed as the best option due to their high energy density and non-toxicity. They do not use harmful acids or metals but, instead, use copper, cobalt, iron, and nickel – all considered safe for landfills by the EPA.38 Alternately, derivation of hydrogen as a fuel source has potential, but only if it uses non-coalbased electricity; otherwise, its production actually raises GHG emission to levels higher than those released using standard diesel. Biofuels, an occasionally discussed alternative to fossil fuels, are not as eco-friendly as the above alternatives. Production of soy and palm oil has increased GHGs as a result
of deforestation, and the fact cannot be avoided that such fuels are still being burned and as a result are producing CO2 and CO, even if in smaller quantities than by fossil fuels. 4.1.3. Public Health By the 2006 WHO guidelines, 750,000 deaths a year are attributable to urban air pollution, the significant majority of which occur in China, home to sixteen of the world’s twenty most polluted cities. The two largest sources of air pollution in China are coal-powered electric plants and petroleum fueled cars.39 At present, over 650,000 people die prematurely due to air pollution every year in China, while many more become ill enough to be put out of work or hospitalized. Even in the WHO European region, tens of thousands of deaths annually are linked to air pollution. The connection between air pollution and declining health has been well established. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, lead exposure, mainly from transportation emissions, is responsible for about 12.9 million disability-adjusted life years in 2002. Airborne emissions like CO2, NOx, O3, PMs, and hydrocarbons have been shown to affect mortality rates, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular diseases, effects that will only be exacerbated by rising temperatures attributable to AGW. Inhaling any of the emissions resulting from transportation and associated industries is detrimental to one’s health. For example, CO reduces the blood’s oxygen-carrying abilities by binding to the hemoglobin more strongly than oxygen, resulting in a reduced work capacity and potential for stress, angina, and myocardial ischemia. At higher levels, CO can also cause visual impairment and death.40 Nitrogen oxides react with various compounds, including ammonia and water, to form small particles capable of entering the lung’s alveolar sacs, aggravating pulmonary diseases like bronchitis and emphysema, and worsening pre-existing heart disease. NOxs also aid in the formation of ozone, which increases susceptibility to and exacerbates lung diseases, especially in children and the elderly. Repeated exposure to such irritants increases hospital admissions, raises the risk of permanent lung damage, and may result in premature deaths. Particulate matter, particularly those smaller than 10 microns in diameter, can also access deep lung tissue and even the blood stream, leading to similar problems. Additionally, although lead has largely been eliminated from easily accessible exposure in the US, it remains of great concern in many other countries still heavily reliant on older transportation and leaded gasoline. Lead can lead to neurological and cardiovascular problems, as well as decreased kidney, immune, and reproductive function; children are especially sensitive to lead, as they are still developing neurologically.41 Similarly, mercury can also have toxic effects in humans, particularly on the developing fetus. Finally, noise pollution
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
can have serious effects of the health of a population. Noise Induced Hearing Loss is the most common and straightforward effect, but noise pollution also leads to stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss and related distraction and poor productivity, in addition to speech problems.42 Overall, noise pollution is associated with a generally lower quality of life. Eliminating these pollutants would greatly reduce the risk of disease and provide at least some symptomatic relief to those who are already afflicted. “Clean” electric vehicles can help to accomplish this, provided that their production, maintenance and disposal are similarly “eco-friendly.” Most alternative energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric do not have any major health risks associated with them; what most concerns the public, however, is the prospect of radiation exposure due to nuclear power and weak low frequency electromagnetic fields (WLFEMFs) associated with electric vehicles. The issue of radiation from energy production by nuclear power plants has been addressed in the previous section. The worry of how WLF-EMFs may affect the human body remains to be better described, but by all validated measures appears to be overhyped and of negligible impact. The explosion of modern technology and electrification has lead to the ubiquitous presence of WLF-EMFs originating from man-made sources. The energy of an EM wave is directly proportional to its frequency (E = λf) and thus extremely low frequency waves, such as those ascribed to electric vehicles, have extremely low energy, leading to reduced ability to affect cells. Specifically, waves with frequencies below 3,000 Hz cannot cause heating or ionizing radiation. Ambient magnetic field exposure has been recorded in numerous epidemiological studies and range from hundredths of a milliGauss (mG) to 10mG; as a comparison, the strength of a typical MRI magnet is around10,000,000 mG. Initial reports connecting WLF-EMFs to childhood cancer were later debunked by more comprehensive studies funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Environmental Health, among others. Many of the early reports, namely those which started the hype about WLF-EMFs, had some serious methodological problems like selection bias and no or poor measurement data for EMFs.43 Besides epidemiological data providing no clear association of WLF-EMFs with disease, physicists such as Robert Adair and William Bennett at Yale University provided further reasoning that WLFEMFs did not pose any significant risk to humans. Due to the low energies of WLF-EMFs, they cannot break DNA bonds and cause mutations associated with cancer. Additionally, due to the resistivity of tissues and cell membranes, any WLF-EMFs that actually penetrate the body are far weaker than the normal thermal noise present in the body by many orders of magnitude; as such, they cannot be expected to exert
any significant biological effect. Even if one were to stand barefoot on the wet tracks of an electric railroad, says Dr. Bennett, the external EMF would be 12,000 V/m and the internal EMF would be only 80 microV/m, many orders of magnitude smaller than EMFs normally present within the body. Thus, the minimal levels of WLF-EMFs resulting from electric vehicles and related transportation pose no significant health risks. 4.2. Social Issues 4.2.1. Pedestrian Hazard At low speeds, EVs produce significantly less roadway noise compared to ICEVs. This may pose a problem for blind pedestrians who rely on noise as an aid for crossing the street. Even pedestrians who are not visually impaired may be at an increased risk. Tests have proven the concern a valid one, as vehicles running below 20mph may be hard to hear for anyone. This problem drops off with speed, as tire friction and air displacement make more noise. New developments are already under way to address this problem, so it should not pose any risk in future generations of EVs44. 4.2.2. Reliability Anxiety To improve range and endurance, many EVs have small and light bodies; however, this is at the cost of safety protection afforded to occupants of a heavier vehicle who will, on average, suffer fewer and less severe injuries than passengers in a lighter vehicle. Additionally, some EVs are denser and heavier than comparable ICEVs due to the large battery, resulting in less interior space and longer braking distances. This combination of potential safety issues, which will hopefully be resolved in the near future by better technology, tail on to pre-existing anxieties associated with charging batteries and the maximum range achievable on one battery. Excluding long-haul trips where range may be of issue, psychological anxiety still permeates the minds of drivers who fear that due to traffic or other unforeseen circumstances, their vehicle may or may not have the battery power to get them to their destinations, similar to running on a low tank of gas. This can be combated, once again, with new and improving technology, but it is worth considering due to the lack of a clear solution at this point. 4.2.3. Opportunity As the world becomes progressively more motorized, not only will the introduction of cleaner transportation and energy be a paramount goal, but issues of urbanization and sprawl will also become more important. Increased access to vehicles can improve quality of life by connecting people and spreading healthcare and education. However, there is a danger that this could lead to overall decreased accessibility because of increased roadway congestion, re-
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
sulting in community severance. This is particularly detrimental to the elderly, caregivers, and children, leading to worse overall population health. Furthermore, opportunity costs should also be considered: lower income groups spend a higher percentage of their income on transportation compared to higher income groups, decreasing the pool of funds they can then use on healthcare, food, and education, once again leading to decreased overall population health. Systemic analyses of these issues have not been conducted, but the problems may still be important and should be factored into considerations for the future. 4.2.4. Short and Long Term Considerations In the short term, the introduction of a large fleet of EVs would simply transfer emissions to large power plants, most of which burn coal. This could also burden the current grid, which may or may not be able to keep up with booming growth. However, this may still prove to be a (temporarily) favorable option, as it is easier to control pollutant outputs and implement environmentally friendly technologies if emissions sources are relatively few – consider the number of power plants compared to the numerous vehicles producing tail-pipe emissions. The ultimate environmental and health benefits, then, would depend on the improvements in the energy sector implementing non-polluting alternative energy sources. The rate of transportation increase varies from country to country, and for particularly fast-growing places like China and India, the potential benefits associated with reducing pollution depend heavily on how soon the changes are implemented. Significant barriers to the wide-scale introduction of EVs are a combination of short and long-term issues, including high prices, the cost and energy associated with building the needed infrastructure – from new factories to grid capacity – and increasingly improved technology performance.45 4.3. Modeling Health and Environmental Aspects of EVs and Alternative Energy The introduction of EVs and alternative energy sources can be thought of as a minimization of economic burden resulting from disease and mortality due to pollution, as well as from loss of biodiversity and associated climate change. 4.3.1. Definitions: DALY = disability-adjusted life year = YL + YD YL = years of life lost due to premature death YD = years of life lived with disability CI = yearly cost of illness EL = yearly lost economic productivity 4.3.2. Health Model Health-related economic burden = DALY(CI + EL)
Assumptions and Limitations DALY assumes that the years lost, both YL and YD, would have been healthy; however, this is probably not the case, to varying degrees, due to aging and also other factors present in most developing nations. CI encompasses medical and other costs related to illness and disability, which are for the most part quantifiable. This does not place value on the emotional burdens associated with disease and reduced quality of life. EL assumes that the lost years, both YL and YD, would have been spent being an active, productive member of society; however, this leaves out normal fluctuations in productivity, job status, and “retirement,” where applicable. Furthermore, if someone else with the same skills that would have otherwise been unemployed replaces the worker, there is no lost productivity. Overall, this is a difficult characteristic to quantify. 4.3.3. Environmental Model Definitions KB = known benefits associated with biodiversity and preserved biomes, both directly and indirectly monetary; ex: medicines, fisheries (direct) and forests, reefs (indirect – preventative of disaster and/or providing jobs) A = agricultural revenue unavailable/destroyed due to climate change, ex: acid rain, erosion, ozone, etc E = value of ecosystems that absorb waste and emissions, including forests and oceans, ex: costs associated with reduction in waste management, indirect reduction of agricultural damage and health costs Environmental economic burden = A – KB – E Assumptions and Limitations The main limitations here are a result of the simplifications of vastly complex systems into a handful of variables. Entire reports could be written (and have been, to be sure – such as by the World Bank) about the costs of even basic pollution on ecosystems. Our model is only meant to give a rough estimate. 4.3.4. Overall Model Total economic burden = health burden + environmental burden = DALY(CI + EL) + A – KB – E The factors considered here are grossly simplified and a more accurate model would be able to break down the individual components of the health and environmental sectors. Even so, placing a numerical value on many of these components is difficult and highly subjective or even speculative. Furthermore, there are factors that have not been included that are even more speculative, if not downright impossible to quantify, but that nonetheless bear clear weight on economic productivity and the resulting burdens due to pollution. An example would be how much the climate will be able to recover if we were to reverse all pollution instantaneously – factors like vegetal re-
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
growth would obviously be important, but lost species and biodiversity are not recoverable but may or may not be compensated for in other ways. To put all this into perspective, in 2002 the WHO estimated that in some countries, air pollution accounts for 0.6 to 1.4 percent of the total DALYs and that urban PM alone causes as much as 5% of world lung cancer, 2% of cardiovascular and respiratory deaths, and 1% of respiratory infection, totaling 7.9 million DALYs. Lead exposure alone causes 12.9 million DALYs.46 The burden of disease is significantly heavier in developing nations. For example, in China the health costs of pollution account for a whopping 4.3% of GDP47. Environmentally speaking, huge sectors of the economy are either directly or indirectly dependent on the environment. A large percentage of drugs are inspired by natural compounds, including many anti-cancer drugs; trade in medicinal plants is worth about US $60 billion per year, not to mention the billions of dollars pharmaceutical companies and products are worth. The global forestry industry, fisheries, tourism, and many other sectors of economies worldwide are heavily dependent on the environment. The current loss of land-based ecosystems is estimated at 68 billion dollars a year, or equivalently 7% of GDP by 2050. This is unevenly distributed across the globe: from minimal amounts in the Middle East to 17% in Africa; 24% in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Russia; and 40% in Australia and New Zealand. Seen in absolute losses, estimated for the year 2050, North America would lose about 4.6 trillion dollars48. There are various models accounting for different aspects of economic burden imposed by pollution, but all of them reach the same conclusion: it is incredibly expensive and dangerous for everyoneâ€™s future, from all standpoints.
5. Testing and Improvements
Our models are all based on data acquired from a wide range of sources, and as such the reliability of some numbers may come into question. In order to increase the likelihood of our model being accurate, we must develop methods to test it. Due to the difference in our three primary models, each should be tested separately. Our economic model is a prediction of the market cost of entry- and mid-level consumer EVs. As such, we can compare our predicted costs to those of the few EVs currently available. The closest current vehicle in production is the Nissan Leaf, an EV with a range of 73 miles and a cost to purchase of $32,780. Our model predicts a vehicle cost of $32,147 for a small to mid-size car with a single-charge range of 73 miles, and as such is only off by approximately 2%. Our model of the cost of energy infrastructure expansion is difficult to compare to existing figures, but in principle a similar strategy could be used to determine its validity. If we could obtain cost information regarding the construction of past large-scale
alternative energy facilities, we could see how closely this matches our model for the future. However, we were unable to locate such enough such data to have sources both for designing our model and testing it against different projects. We were only able to locate enough data for solar power, and for this limited case our model works well, predicting a base production cost of 2.9Â˘/kWh while the actual cost is in the range 2.5-4Â˘/kWh. Our model of the non-economic costs of EVs is, as already stated, very rough. It is extremely difficult to quantify many of the costs associated with pollution and social factors, and so our model serves more to discuss what factors play a role than to say what exact values should be assigned to each of those factors. Overall, our models seem to be relatively accurate. There were some areas that we were unable to model, though, primarily due to time considerations. Further research into green air travel should be done, as well as the feasibility of using EVs for heavy freight transport.
After analyzing our three models, it becomes clear that switching to EVs and clean energy sources provide definite benefits. Our model of EV economic cost shows us that EVs are, in the long term, cheaper than ICEVs, and for developed nations are immediately practical. Developing nations would still see economic benefits with continuing to use ICEVs until stable electric grids are in place. There are also factors that would dissuade the consumer from choosing EVs, primarily the issue of range and quick refueling, but an electric public-transit system to cover medium- and long-distance trips would largely mitigate this barrier. Our model of the cost of expanding electricity production while increasing the proportion of our power coming from environmentally friendly sources shows that properly-chosen clean energy sources are significantly cleaner and no more expensive (in some cases, cheaper) than current coal power, in addition to providing energy for longer into the future. Our model of the non-economic costs of EV expansion shows us that there are many health and environmental benefits to the use of electric vehicles. The same range issues discussed in our economic analysis were found, but social habits change with time, and with a proper mass-transit system in place, the limited range of EVs becomes less of an issue. The goal of switching to a primarily electric transportation system is feasible from a technological and economic standpoint. It would have significant health benefits for humans and for the world as a whole. It would require drivers to make small sacrifices of convenience, but given the economic benefits of using EVs, it is likely that consumers will soon be more than willing to sacrifice private vehicle range for economic savings and improved health.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Description of Variables And Equations For Section 3 Model 1 Total Cost: Total Cost per year:
Total Electricity: Total Electricity Produced per year: Cost Efficiency per Year: Total Cost Efficiency: I= Capital Investment Cost per Unit N= Number of Capital Units L= Lifetime of Capital Unit (years) P= Maximum Electricity Output for a Capital Unit P < Limiting Raw Material Assumption: P does not decrease or increase during a capital units lifetime ρ= reliability factor ρ=1 if output is always constant ρ < 1 if output varies C= Cost to Produce 1kW of Electricity ($/kW): Ci = A + αBi ε= Abundance Factor ε= 1 if Raw Material is Renewable ε > 1 if Raw Material is Exhaustible ε will be expected to increase as material is exhausted A= Cost to Convert Raw Material to Electricity B= Cost of the Raw Material α=Multiplication Factor for Importing the Raw Material α=1 if Raw Material Can be Harvested α>1 if Raw Material Must be Imported Wq, Wc: Wq=Quantity of Waste Produced per Capital Unit; Wc=Cost to Remove Waste per Capital Unit β= 0 or 1 0 = No Waste Produced 1= Waste Produced Ec=Cost of Environmental Externalities per Capital Unit:
M= Average Maintenance Cost per Capital Unit J= Total Number of Employees Needed to Run the System S= Average Salary of the Employees G= Electricity Grid Development Costs G=0 if an electrical grid already exists, and there is no need for electrical grid expansion Y= Technology Costs: Y = U + X U= Cost to Obtain Technology to Implement Capital Unit U= 0 if no new technology is needed X= Cost of Technological Advancement X= 0 if no technological advancement R= Trade Change R= + if using the new infrastructure causes relevant Δ Exports < Δ Imports R= - if using the new infrastructure causes relevant Δ Imports > Δ Exports F= Maximum Cost that a Geographic Region can Pay Model 2 Total Cost: Total Cost per year:
Total Electricity: Total Electricity Produced per year:
Cost Efficiency per Year: Total Cost Efficiency: i denotes the year j denotes the electricity source
(CO2), (NOx), (SOx): Quantity of the Respective Gas Produced H= Quantity of Other Harmful Environmental Factors α, β, γ, δ= Estimated Monetary Value for Emissions of the Respective Environmental Factor ($/1tonne)
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
1. Energy and Transport; Woodcock J et al; Lancet, 2007, 370: 1078-88. 2. Cuenca, R. M., L. L. Gaines, and A. D. Vyas. “Evaluation of Electric Vehicle Production and Operating Costs.” Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory (1999). Print. 3. “Buying A New Car.” Federal Trade Commission. Apr. 2006. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www. ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/autos/aut11. shtm>. 4. Harrop, Peter, and Raghu Das. “Car Traction Batteries - the New Gold Rush 2010-2020: IDTechEx.” Printed Electronics, RFID & Energy Harvesting Research. Fall 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.<http://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/car_traction_batteries_the_new_gold_ rush_2010_2020_000232.asp>. 5. “HEV Vehicle Battery Types.” ThermoAnalytics. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.thermoanalytics.com/support/publications/batterytypesdoc. html>. 6. “Rechargeable Lithium Ion OEM Batteries.” Panasonic Electronics. 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.panasonic.com/industrial/batteries-oem/oem/lithium-ion.aspx>. 7. Gaines, Linda, and Roy Cuenca. “Costs of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Vehicles.” Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory (1999). Print. 8. Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) (2010, August 30). Batteries for battery powered cars are more environmentally friendly than expected. ScienceDaily. Retrieved Feb. 12, 2011, from www.sciencedaily. com¬ /releases/2010/08/100830120945.htm 9. “Recycling Batteries.” Battery Information from Battery University. 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/recycling_batteries>. 10. Fairfield, Hannah. “Driving Shifts Into Reverse.” The New York Times. 02 May 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2010/05/02/business/02metrics.html>. 11. “Fuel Economy Guide.” U.S. Department of Energy, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009). Print. 12. “Dynamometer Driver’s Aid.” US Environmental Protection Agency. 16 June 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.<www.epa.gov/nvfel/testing/dynamometer.htm>. 13. “Energy Efficiency of Tesla Electric Vehicles.” Tesla Motors. 14 Jan. 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <www.teslamotors.com/goelectric/efficiency>. 14. Blain, Loz. “EV Batteries Demonstrate 180,000plus Mile Lifespan.” Gizmag. 2 Dec. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.gizmag.com/electriccar-batteries-demonstrate-180000-plus-milelifespan/10491/>.
15. “Buying or Selling a Car.” Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/usedcar. html>. 16. Eaves, Stephen, and James Eaves. “A Cost Comparison of Fuel-cell and Battery Electric Vehicles.” Journal of Power Sources 130.1-2 (2004): 208-12. Print. 17. “Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.eia.doe.gov/ cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_b.html>. 18. “Maine Electricity Restructuring.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. Sept. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/restructuring/maine.html>. 19. Dantec, Delphine. “Analysis of the Cost of Recycling Compliance for the Automobile Industry.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology Master’s Thesis (2005). Print. 20. Evans, Jon. “Sun-powered Device Converts CO2 into Fuel.” New Scientist. 18 Feb. 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16621-sunpowered-device-converts-cosub2sub-into-fuel.html>. 21. “Electricity Supply, Disposition, Prices, and Emissions.” eia Independent Statistics & Analysis. eia, 2011. Web. 14 Feb 2011. <www.eia.doe. gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser/#release=AEO201 1&subject=0-AEO2011&table=8AEO2011®ion=0-0&cases=ref2011-d120810c>. 22. Sesto, Ezio, and Claudio Casale. “Exploitation of wind as an energy source.” Journal of Wind Engineering. 74 (1998): 375-387. Print. 23. De Decker, Kris. “The ugly side of solar panels.” Low-tech Magazine 03 Mar. 2008. Web. 14 Feb 2011. <http://www.lowtechmagazine. com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html>. 24. McCarthy, John. “How long will nuclear energy last?.” Stanford University, 12 Feb. 1996. Web. 14 Feb 2011. <http://www-formal.stanford.edu/ jmc/progress/cohen.html>. 25. Santisirisomboon, Jerasorn, Bundit Limmeechokchai, and Suparchart Chungpaibulpatana. “Least cost electricity generation options based on.” Environmental Science & Policy. 6. (2003): 533-541. 26. “How much do wind turbines cost?.” Windustry. Web. 14 Feb 2011. <http://www.windustry.org/ how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost>. 27. Bloch, Michael. “How wind turbines work.” Green Living Tips. 07 Feb. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.<http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/65/1/How-wind-turbines-work.html>. 28. Harder, Elizabeth, and Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson. “The costs and benefits of large-scale solar photovoltaic power production in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Renewable Energy. 36.2 (2011): 789-796. Print.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
29. Sims, Geoffrey. “Hydroelectric energy.” Energy Policy. 19.8 (1991): 776-786. Print. 30. Six Common Air Pollutants. United States Environmental Protection Agency. [Online] http:// www.epa.gov/oaqps001/urbanair/ 31. Mercury pollution threatens health worldwide, scientists say. Science Daily. 11 Aug. 2006. [Online] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060811191845.htm 32. Noise Pollution. United States Environmental Protection Agency. [Online] http://www.epa. gov/air/noise.html 33. Walker, Matt. Noise pollution threatens animals. BBC. 14 Oct. 2009. [Online] http://news.bbc.co.uk/ earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8305000/8305320. stm 34. What’s the story? Nuclear energy and health. American Council on Science and Health. [Online]www.acsh.org/docLib/20080826_nuclearenergy_health.pdf 35. Hvistendahl, Mara. Coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waster. Scientific American. 12 Dec. 2007 [Online] http://www.scientificamerican. com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste 36. Kevin, Holden Platt. National Georgaphic. July 2007: “Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says.” [Online.] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070709-china-pollution.html 37. Wind energy development environmental concerns. Wind Energy EIS. [Online] http://windeis. anl.gov/guide/concern/index.cfm 38. Birth of industry to recycle lithium auto batteries. 28 Aug. 2009. [Online] http://www.hybridcars.com/environment/birth-industry-recyclelithium-auto-batteries-26047.html 39. Gurjar, Nagpure, and Singh. The Encyclopedia of Earth. Feb. 2008: “Air Quality in Megacities.”[Online] http://www.eoearth.org/ article/Air_quality_in_megacities#Sources_ and_Health_Impacts 40. Kutz, Myer. Environmentally conscious transportation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, NJ; 2008. 41. Passell, Peter. Lead-based battery used in electric car may pose hazards. The New York Times. 9 May 1995. [Online] http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/09/science/lead-basedbattery-used-in-electric-car-may-pose-hazards. html?pagewanted=print&src=pm 42. About noise, noise pollution, and the clearinghouse. Noise Pollution Clearinghouse. [Online] http://www.nonoise.org/aboutno.htm 43. Kabat, Geoffrey C. Hyping health risks: environmental hazards in daily life and the science of epidemiology. Columbia University Press: New York, NY; 2008.
44. The sound of silence: Sound generators will make electric and hybrid cars safer. The Economist. 7 May 2009. [Online] http://www.economist.com/ node/13606446 45. Marsters, Peter. A China environmental health research brief – Electric cars: the drive for a sustainable solution in China. Aug. 2009. [Online] http://www.wilsoncenter.org/topics/docs/electric_potential.pdf 46. Kjellstrom, T et al. Air and water pollution: burden and strategies for control. National Institutes of Health. Disease control priorities in developing countries. 2nd edition. World Bank: Washington, DC; 2006. 47. Cost of pollution in China: economic estimates of physical damages. World Bank. [Online] http:// go.worldbank.org/FFCJVBTP40 48. The economic value of biodiversity. Convention on Biological Diversity. [Online] http:// docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:vQ09Z iHPro4J:www.cbd.int/incentives/doc/biodiveconomic-value-en.pdf+economic+burden+of+ biodiversity+loss&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid =ADGEESgeulRE8kEfdx6b2oM091p61Onx4f850 g4eD5BFqc3da1mcPQnv0MjrzLDftM1SvPc352d Rg_DVJ1vU0gt6-KlMhc2Wg8d5Moy41t5TO1gnT 8TD3DiHq9DDyMiRndP_5KYGF6o1&sig=AHIE tbReA1sqPrO3mm1Q9S3OLVpSAyCM3w
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
The Experiences and Legacies of the United States Colored Troops Diana Dean The United States Colored Troops of the Civil War era are often regarded by historians in terms of their similarity in experience. As an oppressed subgroup of the Union Army, it might seem reasonable at first to trust assertions such as those of historian Dudley Taylor Cornish, who claims that black participation in the Union Army was part of a “prodigious revolution” on the part of all African-Americans who enlisted to help counter the terrible effects of slavery and racism so deeply rooted in United States culture. Other authors seek to reduce the U.S.C.T. experience to their motives for enlisting, with Joseph Glaathar asserting that blacks desired to enlist in the Army to again further their strides for equality. This research paper provides evidence showing that the Civil War experience of the U.S.C.T. was highly varied, depending on location, time of enlistment, specific regiment, among many other factors; it was hardly the result of any organized attempt to prove their equality in the eyes of the white man.
n March 7, 1864, The New York Times published the following in an editorial: “There has been no more striking manifestation of the marvelous times that are upon us than the streets at the departure of the first of our colored regiments. Had any man predicted it last year he would have been thought a fool, even by the wisest and most discerning. History abounds with strange contrasts.”1 It continues to argue, “It is only by such occasions that we can all realize the prodigious revolution which the public mind everywhere is experiencing. Such developments are infallible tokens of a new epoch.”2 Indeed, the very idea that colored soldiers would actually fight in the Civil War alongside their white peers was radically new, even for those in the Union, and proved to be controversial even after the war was won. As is often the case when studying historical events long after they transpire, the experiences of those involved in events of the past often seem easy to simplify and label; this is especially the case for the United States Colored Troops who fought during the Civil War. Dudley Taylor Cornish calls the arming of blacks a “prodigious revolution,” and claims that this revolution defines the experiences and legacy of the Negro troops. Cornish argues that “had he not fought his way into the Union Army, had he remained passive observer instead of active participant, the history of the American people in general and of the American Negro in particular must have been far different from what it has been.”3 Similarly, Joseph Glaathar’s analysis of black soldiers and white officers suggests that the experiences of the Negro soldier can all be reduced to their motives 1 New York Times, March 7, 1864. 2 Ibid 3 Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865 (New York: Longman’s Arm, 1956), 3.
for enlisting, which he demonstrates as a motivation on the part of African-Americans to prove that the black race was not inferior to the white race, and thus worthy of freedom.4 African-American manhood, he argues, was a major motivation for U.S. Colored Troops to fight for the Union, and they should 4 Joseph T. Glatthar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and WhiteOfficers (New York: The Free Press, 1990).
Diana Dean is a fourth year student from Portland, Oregon, double-majoring in history and foreign affairs, with a focus on American history and foreign relations. She was recently accepted into Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, and hopes to one day teach history and social sciences at the secondary level. Diana completed this project during the Fall Semester of 2011 for her HIUS 4501 seminar course, and would like to thank the course instructor William Kurtz for all his guidance.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
therefore be remembered for their valiant motivations and successful outcome in fighting the war and completing their objectives5. But to what extent are these generalizations representative of the experiences of the U.S. Colored Troops? Can historians form the U.S.C.T. experience into some kind of energized prerogative of proving freedom and manhood, which they fought for and ultimately won? While many historians have accepted this idea of a “prodigious revolution,” evidence to be presented in this paper suggests that the experience of the African-American soldier in the Civil War is much more varied and complicated. Of course certain fundamental similarities do exist in the U.S.C.T. experience. As Matthew Gallman points out, all of the black troops shared “the common bond that came from shared discrimination and justice.”6 The black troops also shared the idea that they were “symbols” within the Union Army, “collectively changing the military terrain and recasting the nation’s racial landscape.”7 Is it possible to accurately generalize the experiences of the U.S.C.T.? This paper will explore this question by looking at a compilation of primary sources highlighting their experiences, and will analyze similarities and differences in the U.S.C.T. experience while looking through several key lenses not before acknowledged in most historical writings about the U.S.C.T.
The U.S. Colored Troops: A Brief History
Before analyzing the experiences of the Colored Troops, we must briefly examine the history of how the United States Colored Troops came to be established. While the Civil War began in 1860, blacks were not officially allowed to fight in the Union Army until 1862, as Union Army numbers decreased due to the war’s drastic death toll. Before any of the federal legislation allowing blacks to serve in the Union army, freed slaves served in small capacities in several white regiments, laying the groundwork for future roles and services in exclusively black regiments. Major General Benjamin Butler was the first Union commander to proclaim the freedom of confiscated slaves during a campaign at Fort Monroe in Virginia, furthermore utilizing these slaves for various duties within his regiment. A “prominent politician of the extreme wing of the Democracy,” General Butler had previously worked as a Massachusetts politician before joining the Union Army and rising in the ranks.8 General Butler contended that slave property be considered just as other properties seized from Confederate lands, and therefore should be used on the grounds 5 Ibid. 6 Waugh, (Gallman Essay In Your Hands That Musket Means Liberty. Wars within a War p. 91. 7 Ibid 8 Harpers Weekly, June 1, 1861.
of military necessity.9 General Butler asked rhetorically, “shall the rebels be allowed use of this property against the United States, and we not be allowed in its use in aid of the United States?”10 Reception to General Butler’s use of slaves in the Union Army was generally positive for those in the Union. Harper’s Weekly includes a front-page article of General Butler on its June 1, 1861 edition, which emphatically reads: “The President, the Secretary of War, General Scott, all appreciate the man, and acknowledge the services which he and the officers and men under him have rendered.”11 The Independent newspaper also commended General Butler as the war drew to a close in 1864, proclaiming that in his arming of the slaves, General Butler was “performing grand work in the elevation of the colored race.”12 Southerners and Butler’s fellow Democratic Party, however, were less than thrilled with General Butler’s actions regarding the slaves. The Richmond Whig posted an article on General Butler admitting him to be a “dashing, gallant and enterprising commander,” yet lambasting him for leading a campaign against his fellow southern Democrats.13 Despite disparities in public opinion on General Butler, his role is significant in the development of the United States Colored Troops. In being the first to confiscate and arm slaves, General Butler established a widely accepted rationale for the confiscation of slaves and enlisting them for their military use to further the Union advantage, and he laid the groundwork for many of the experiences of ex-slaves and freed Northern blacks in Union regiments during the earlier years of the war. The Second Confiscation and Militia Act of July 17, 1862 was the first piece of federal legislation officially allowing for black military service in the Union Army. While this act empowered President Lincoln to assign African-Americans to specific areas in the Army for any purpose “he may judge best for the public welfare,” and allowed for the mobilization of black troops “in any military or naval service for which they may be found competent,”14 Lincoln did not actually authorize the use of African-American troops in the Army until the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.15 The impacts of the Second Confiscation Act for African-American participation in the Civil War were far-reaching, even though it did not immediately lead 9 Berlin, Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, 3. 10 Official Records Ser 2, Vol 1, pp. 752, 754-55 in Berlin, 3. 11 Harpers Weekly, June 1 1861. 12 The Independent. Jan 14, 1864 Accessed from American Periodicals Online through the University of Virginia Library. 13 “General Butler,” Richmond Whig in The Liberator, Jun 7, 1861, Accessed from American Periodicals Online through the University of Virginia Library. 14 Statutes at Large, vol. 12 pp. 589-92, 597-600. 15 Ira Berlin and Barbara Fields, Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Series 2 Vol 2 (New York: The New Press, 1992), 5.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
to wide-scale enlistment of black troops. The following section was perhaps one of the most contentious sections within the Act, in proclaiming that the North could take possession of slaves, who would subsequently be freed of servitude forever and even used for Army service: That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them and coming under the control of the government of the United States; and all slaves of such person found on [or] being within any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.16 This act was therefore a huge expansion of power on the part of the federal government to take the property of Southern rebels. In a further section, this act proclaims that President Lincoln had the power to allow rebels’ property (including these newly freed slaves) to be used in any capacity for the Union Army. The fact that they might be able to participate in military service was in almost direct conflict with the Second Militia Act of 1792, federal legislation that allowed only for “free able-bodied white male citizen[s]” to join the national army.17 With the establishment of the Bureau of Colored Troops in May of 1863, President Lincoln signaled his administration’s full commitment to black enlistment in the army.18 The purpose of the Bureau was “to supervise recruitment and to administer the organization of newly enlisted black soldiers.”19 Formal and more frequent recruitment of blacks into Colored Troop regiments within the Union Army thus began, as general sentiments in the North turned towards further distinguishing the Union from the Confederacy in a moral sense, and as the basic need for more troops increased due to high troop casualties. Most newspapers and public opinion outlets suggest that the enlistment of free blacks and former slaves was increasingly welcomed by the general public, though 16 Second Confiscation Act, July 1862, http://www.history. umd.edu/Freedmen/conact2.htm, From the Freedmen & Southern Society Project, University of Maryland. Accessed 10/14/11. 17 The Second Militia Act of 1792, http://www.constitution. org/mil/mil_act_1792.htm. From the Constitution Society’s Constitution Project Online. Accessed 10/14/11. 18 Berlin, Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, 113. 19 Ibid
the issue was still highly contentious and disputed. I further examine public opinion and Northern sentiments on the troops in following sections, which explore the various experiences of U.S.C.T troops and regiments.
Similarities and Differences in the U.S.C.T. Experience
In order to evaluate the experience of the United States Colored Troops, similarities and differences in their experiences will be presented. First, the methods and times of enlistment deserve careful consideration. As previously stated, much of the existing scholarly writings about the United States Colored Troops suggest that the black experience in the Civil War hinged on their motivations for enlistment. They highlight the sources and evidence showing that blacks were largely eager to enlist in the army. In the words of Dudley Taylor Cornish, Negro troops were engaging in a “prodigious revolution” in which they vigorously fought for entrance into the Union Army.20 In reality however, it seems that huge disparities exist in the method of entry into the Army as well as motivations to join. The most obvious disparities in enlistment methods are those between Northern free blacks and newly freed Southern slaves. Northern blacks were often fed lofty rhetoric by Northern white recruiters as well as by fellow African-American counterparts, especially in the initial year right after the Emancipation Proclamation, and some of their experiences are in line with what most historians tend to believe. A recruitment poster, published on the streets of Connecticut and Rhode Island in the winter of 1863, illustrates a typical recruitment poster found in most Northern public spaces, and demonstrates the fervor and enthusiasm often portrayed to Northern black recruits (Figure 1). The following quotes from the poster are to be noted: “Equal State Rights! And Monthly Pay with White Men!!” “Protection Of Colored Troops!”21 Another also touts the Emancipation Proclamation signed earlier in the same year, proudly proclaiming the newly granted freedom to over “Three Millions of Slaves” by President Lincoln and highlighting quotes from Lincoln and several other prominent politicians, notably Charles Sumner (Figure 1). Also interesting to note is how the poster advocates retaliation: “And retaliation will be our practice now--man for man--to the bitter end.” It seems that recruiters for the North were playing to the theme of equality of blacks to their white counterparts, as well as the protection of black troops who wanted to serve. This indicates that perhaps a barrier for some blacks to enlisting was the fact that black 20 Dudley Taylor Cornish, The Sable Arm, Foreword. 21 Recruitment Broadsides for Connecticut and Rhode Island Black Regiments, December 1863, in Berlin, Free at Last, Vol 2 page 103.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Figure 1. Typical recruitment posters.23, 24
troops were not treated as equals to whites, and were potentially in more danger on the battlefield. Also, the fact that recruiters were appealing to the idea of freeing millions of slaves suggests that there was definitely motivation in Northern black recruits to free their fellow race from the grips of the Confederacy. Another poster plays to a theme suggested by Glaathar; the idea that black troops wanted to prove their bravery and manhood in the eyes of whites. The poster title reads “Bravery of Colored Troops,” and proceeds with several paragraphs convincing Northern blacks that fighting in the Union Army would serve their interests and advance their standing in society.22 22 Recruitment Broadsides for Connecticut and Island Black Regiments, December 1863, in Berlin, Last, Vol 2 page 104. 23 Recruitment Broadsides for Connecticut and Island Black Regiments, December 1863, in Berlin, Last, Vol 2 page 103. 24 Ibid, page 104.
Rhode Free at Rhode Free at
Furthermore, state governors and recruitment committees wrote many letters to the Secretary of War requesting authorization to initiate black regiments within their state, demonstrating a substantial amount of support of Colored Troops from major entities and public arenas in the North. In a letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, New York chairman of Army Recruitment Edward Gilbert presents his case for wanting black regiments, saying that New York black recruits would fight for the Union using the “rapid recruitment of [southern] negroes as a powerful stimulus.”25 Another letter from a wealthy Union club known as the New York Union League Members tells of the large sums of donations that were procured in order to begin regiments in that state in 186326. Overall, many Northern black recruits had a 25 Letter from Chairman of a New York Recruitment Committee to the Secretary of War, Oct 1863, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I page 107. 26 New York Union League Members to the Secretary of War, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I page 107.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
positive recruitment and enlistment experience in the initial excitement after the Emancipation Proclamation. However, not all recruitment and enlistment was the same for Northern blacks, especially in the latter years of the war, and not all black recruits felt the same motivations to join the Army as many historians suggest. Some evidence points to a strong anti-negro sentiment in the North, which deterred some blacks from joining. Mob violence increased as competition between white and black laborers increased with the war’s progression, leading to violence and murders of many blacks in the North.27 In some cases, army recruiters were no exception when it came to participating in violence against blacks. A letter to President Lincoln written from a black Ohio soldier by the name of William Joseph Nelson in 1865 portrays an experience in complete contrast to some of the earlier recruits. He mentions that he married a widow with eight children, and that in order to support them, he accepted recruitment into the Union Army, as he was offered $200 for one year of service in a colored regiment. He recounts his recruitment: A man came to my residence in mercer County ohio and told me that he had authority to get up volunteers and that he was paying $200 dollars for one year and I thought that I would go for one year so I went with him and then he made me drunk and sold me to another man for a substitute and he did not give me any money at all.28 The rest of the letter is essentially a plea to President Lincoln that he be paid for his service in the Army. His letter demonstrates an experience that was common in the later years of the war as efforts to increase troop levels ramped up. Many Northern blacks became targets of white Union commanders, who had a dependence on black troops as laborers completing various integral tasks in their regiments to increase efficiency.29 Another experience of William Henry Johnson, a black soldier in the 8th Connecticut regiment, shows that not all Northern recruitment was for the same motivation, nor even voluntary. In his recount of his enlistment experience, Johnson says, “We were driven like so many sheep into Washington, disgraced and humiliated.”30 Regarding the arming of black soldiers, Johnson believed, “Shall we do it? Not until our rights as men are acknowledged by the gov27 James M. McPherson, The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union (New York: Pantheon Books, 1965), 72. 28 Ohio Black Soldier to the President, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, page 112-113. 29 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 114-115. 30 Pine and Palm, 8/3/1861 from Trudeau, Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865, 11.
ernment in good faith.”31 Johnson’s experience, like William Joseph Nelson’s, highlights the fact that a shared motivation for joining the army can hardly be generalized. While Northern recruitment and enlistment did entail at least a few of the themes suggested by Glaathar and Cornish such as a desire to prove bravery and black manhood as well as the desire for freedom, evidence from experiences of some men who enlisted, especially in the later years of the war, suggest that many were simply looking for pay and a way to improve their lives; a self-improvement motive as opposed to one on a larger scale of raising the standing of the African-American race. And there was also a substantial number of troops who would have rather not joined, but were forced into doing so. The recruitment of Southern freed slaves into the Union Army was indeed unique from the process in the North. In contrast, Southern freed slaves did not experience the same “wholesale” recruitment process that advocated their equal rights in the Army, and were not surrounded by large public entities in favor of their recruitment, as was the case in most large cities in the North. In many cases, Southern slaves were actually forced into the Union uniform, or even defected to the Confederate Army, serving to defend their plantations and towns. As James McPherson argues, “The choice between remaining in slavery and escaping to freedom was not an easy one for some Negroes.”32 The story that follows was told by an ex-slave who lived on a plantation in Arkansas, and demonstrates that while the Emancipation Proclamation did attract large numbers of slaves to the Union lines, there were still some Southern ex-slaves who were reluctant to join. Them folks [Yankee soldiers] stood round there all day. Killed hogs and cooked them. Killed cows and cooked them. Took all kinds of sugar and preserves and things like that. Tore all the feathers out of the mattress looking for money. Then they put Old Miss and her daughter in the kitchen to cooking.33 This negative experience, evidenced by his balking at the actions of the soldiers on his plantation, is further evident in the latter parts of his letter as he recounts how the Union soldiers threatened death to the slaves and their masters. He recalls how he would hide in the bushes to avoid being seen by soldiers as they marched through the plantation. Thus, his experience supports the idea that there existed a segment of the slave population that did not want to enlist, and even feared the presence of Union troops. Not all slaves were excited to see the Union Army arrive at their doorstep, especially when the soldiers would sometimes pillage the only place they called home. 31 32 33
Ibid McPherson, 65. McPherson, 65-66.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Stories of U.S.C.T. enlistees being manipulated and maltreated are another common theme in primary source material on the Colored Troops. General Butler, while touted for his role in introducing blacks into the Union Army, developed a dependence on black military laborers that served advantageous to his regiments, and at the same time detrimental to some former slaves and their families.34 Butler eventually issued new regulations for recruiting black soldiers and taking possession of contraband, which in turn led to an increased vigor on the part of recruiters to sign black soldiers.35 As a result, reports of maltreatment of U.S.C.T. soldiers became so common that some departments of soldiers in various states began to request that all enlistment of slaves be performed at specific official locations to prevent maltreatment and deliberate misguidance of the newly freed slaves. A broadside posted in Plymouth, North Carolina depicts an order made by the Union Commander of that region, which orders all recruiting agents to perform all inductions and swearing-ins of new U.S.C.T. soldiers at the Provost Office. It also reads, “It must be remembered that, upon arrival within the lines of occupation of U.S. Troops, Negro Refugees become FREE MEN, and any misrepresentation of their situation made them with a view to their enlistment as soldiers will be summarily punished.”36 The fact that the commander had to issue such a public and explicit order to recruiters in his command demonstrates the terribly misguided experiences that many black soldiers encountered in their enlistments. Not every soldier was mistreated during this process, but certainly a segment of U.S.C.T. enlistees experienced this kind of abuse by zealous Union commanders. With the evidence suggesting that enlistment experiences varied to a great degree depending on location and time among other factors, it seems that Glaathar’s assertions about the experience of black troops during the war is not able to capture a generalized experience for black soldiers. Glaathar argued that the experiences of black soldiers boiled down to their motives for enlisting, motives based on proving racial equality. Motivations varied, and so did each soldier’s experiences in his enlistment. In further analyzing Dudley Taylor Cornish’s assessment of the role blacks played within the war as well as the meaning of their legacy, the intra-regimental experiences between U.S.C.T. regiments must also be carefully examined for their similarities and differences. This will also help us to understand their legacy and also might further suggest how to best characterize the experience of black soldiers in the Union army. One key difference in the black experience during the Civil War was the difference in relationship between white commanders and their black troops. 34 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 115. 35 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 115. 36 Order by the Commander at Plymouth, North Carolina, 3/9/1865, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 142.
Commanders assigned to lead U.S.C.T. regiments were typically placed in these positions voluntarily, as some believed it to be showing of their courage and bravery to lead a regiment of black troops during such a highly contentious period of debate over arming blacks in the Civil War. However, there were some who were placed in these positions reluctantly and with much hesitation. The following letter displays the negative feelings many white commanders had about arming black soldiers. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, the Commander of the Department of the Gulf, writes to Brigadier General L. Thomas and advocates for replacing the soldiers of his black regiment with white soldiers: The three regiments first named have ten companies each, their field and Staff Officers are white men, but they have negro company Officers, whom I am replacing, as vacancies occur by white ones, being entirely satisfied that the appointment of colored officers is detrimental to the service.37 That a major Union commanding general expressed such unpleasant sentiments towards the admission of black officers says a lot about what the experiences of the men under these generals must have been like, as they likely faced much criticism, racism, and maltreatment by their superiors. General Banks’ dissatisfaction regarding the black troops is also reflected in the letters of black officers to their commanding leaders, as they beg to be treated with at least the same respect as their white counterparts. In the following letter, written by black officers in the 3rd Louisiana Native Guard Infantry, the soldiers present their letters of resignation from the Infantry, citing the following grievances as their reasoning: At the time we entered the army it was the expectation of ourselves, and men, that we would be treated as soldiers. We did not expect or demand to be put on a perfect equality in a social point of view, with the whites, but we did most certainly expect the privileges and respect due to a soldier who had offered his services and his life to his government, ever ready and willing to share the common dangers of the battlefield. This we have not received, on the contrary, we have met with scorn and contempt from both military and civilians…Even our own regimental commander has abused us under the cover of his authority.38 37 Maj Gen N.P. Banks to Brig Gen L. Thomas, 12 Feb 1863, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 316. 38 Capt. J.A. Gla et al. to Maj Gen N.P. Banks, 19 Feb 1863, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 316.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
It is also important to note that these men were not the lowest ranking enlisted soldiers in their regiment; these were ranking officers who felt that their unfair treatment merited their resignation from their posts. The signatures on the letter include seven captains, three first lieutenants, and six second lieutenants. Another source, also from a man of the same 3rd Louisiana Native Guards Regiment, wrote a letter to the Secretary of War asking why black commanders could not be placed at the helm of their regiment, arguing that there were few opportunities for advancement under white commanders.39 Despite the negative experience, a plethora of sources also exists that do suggest that the commander-soldier relationship could be a positive one, similar to a ‘father-son’ relationship. In the Record of the Seventh Regiment U.S.C.T., a record commissioned by Colonel Shaw, the white commander of the regiment, writer Joseph Califf tells how Colonel Shaw felt about arming the black troops: The experiment of arming the blacks, so far as I have made it, has been a complete and even marvelous success. They are sober, docile, attentive and enthusiastic; displaying great natural capacities for acquiring the duties of the soldier.40 Many white commanders in the field were also highly pleased with the work of the soldiers within their regiments and generally had good things to say. Colonel Shaw even believed his regiment to be superior to many white regiments.41 The following primary source also shows the gratitude many black soldiers had for their commanders. Susie King Taylor was a nurse and former slave who served with the 33rd Regiment U.S.C.T. for three years, eventually publishing an account of her time serving with the soldiers. Taylor speaks fondly of Colonel Trowbridge in her account, saying how some of the men did not want to leave him after their time of service was up. Susie also generally speaks well of the Yankee soldiers during the war, acclaiming their calls for freedom and agreeing fully with their mission to destroy the Southern army for the Northern cause.42 Putting the difference in experiences with white officers and black soldiers aside, one similarity rings true in nearly all of the evidence on the black military experience, and that is the lack of opportunities for advancement and leadership within the 39 2nd Lieut. Joseph G. Parker to E.M. Stanton, 30 May 1863, Letters Received, ser. 360, Colored Troops Division, in Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 319. 40 Joseph M. Califf, Record of the Services of the Seventh Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, from September, 1863, to November, 1866 (Providence: E.L. Freeman & Co., 1878), 2. 41 Ibid, 57. 42 Susie King Taylor, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers. (Boston: Published by the author, 1902).
Union Army. Referring back to the letter of Joseph G. Parker to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, Parker felt that there were few opportunities for black officers to lead their own regiment or be appointed to leadership positions, and he tells Stanton that serving under colored officers would allow them to fulfill their duties in the most honorable way: “…there are men of color capable of leading them. They are naturally ambitious and of course would like a show for promotion. With white officers we have not that chance.”43 This trend manifests itself in many other correspondences of black officers, including one from former black officer Robert H. Isabelle, who fought for the right of other blacks to be considered for officer positions on their merits as well as the color of their skin. Isabelle writes to white commander Brigadier General Ullman, saying that “This is all they ask, is the privilege of selecting their own lines officers or for you to select from our own race such persons as you might find qualified.”44 While some white Union leaders promoted black soldiers to leadership positions, such as Governor of Massachusetts John Andrew,45 the cries for recognition and consideration for commanding positions within the Union Army continued. Many black soldiers wrote continuous letters to Secretary of War Stanton asking for consideration of black officers for commanding positions in the Union Army, but these letters were continually ignored by Stanton, and the dismissals of black candidates for commanding positions within black regiments were systemically ignored by the Union. Even by the tail end of the war, petitions for black promotion to Secretary Stanton were common, including one letter from Northern petitioners (including white citizens) which pleads for “the greatest stimulus to the strict performance of a soldier’s duty – the hope of promotion,”46 which they claim has been denied to the black soldiers. The evidence presented above demonstrates the clear ignorance on the part of the Union to acknowledge leadership by blacks of their own regiments, and it remains a constant theme within primary source materials on the matter. Additional disparities across the U.S.C.T. soldier experience were the rate and speed of compensation for black soldiers. In the initial years of the war, black troops were eligible for ten dollars per month in pay with three dollars of that taken out to pay for uniforms and supplies. This was in contrast to the pay of white soldiers, who received thirteen dollars per month with no deductions to compensate for supplies. Although recruiters and many of their advertising campaigns sold black enlistment through the use of “equal pay” claims and other statements 43 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 319. 44 R.H. Isabelle to Brig Gen Ullman, 12 June 1863, in Berlin, p. 330. 45 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 336. 46 Ibid, p. 340.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
promising adequate and timely compensation for their services, many blacks did not receive payment on schedule, and some not at all. General Hunter, a Union commander of a black regiment, “not only offered the Negro the American uniform and the protection of the Union flag, but each soldier was to have the pay and rations of a United States soldier, and his wife and children were to be free.”47 Despite these common claims, some black troops had to wait over a year to get even their first installment of payments, which often left their families poor and destitute while the men were off serving in the war. In Susie King Taylor’s account of her time spent with the 33rd Colored Regiment, she writes the following regarding pay for the men of the 33rd: The first colored troops did not receive any pay for eighteen months, and the men had to depend wholly on what they received from the commissary, established by General Saxton. A great many of these men had large families, and as they had no money to give them, their wives were obliged to support themselves and children by washing for the officers of the gunboats and the soldiers, and making cakes and pies which they sold to the boys in camp. Finally, in 1863, the government decided to give them half pay, but the men would not accept this. They wanted “full pay” or nothing. They preferred rather to give their services to the state, which they did until 1864, when the government granted them full pay, with all the back pay due.48
However, unequal pay for blacks was still a large national problem. In a letter home to his family, a soldier in the 54th Colored Regiment, largely recognized as one of the most brave and successful black regiments during the Civil War, asks, Why are we not worth as much as white soldiers? We do the same work they do, and do what they cannot. We fight as well as they do. Have they forgotten James Island? Just let them think of the charge at Fort Wagner, where the colored soldiers were cruelly murdered by the notorious rebels. Why is it that they do not want to give us our pay when they have already witnessed our deeds of courage and bravery?50
The delayed pay by nearly a year and a half for these men is one of the more severe cases of delayed compensation for black troops. The regiment, full of Northern free blacks, was denied compensation for a large portion of the war years in which blacks were allowed to fight. Susie’s account is similar to the aforementioned experience of William Joseph Nelson, the black enlistee who did not receive his promised pay after being recruited. The issue of compensation for the colored troops was also more or less an issue depending on the nature of the commanding officer of each regiment, as some would fight harder than others for their men to receive pay from the federal government. Such was the case with Colonel Shaw’s Seventh Regiment, as Robert Califf recalled in his account how the entire regiment received pay relatively quickly following their initial enlistments; most men received the full amount promised in January of 1864, just two months after enlisting.49
This sentiment was fairly widespread among the soldiers, though it would have obviously made a huge difference as to whether or not the soldiers were former slaves or Northern blacks. Those who came from poorer conditions beforehand or who were not yet exposed to the heavy rhetoric of equality that most Northerners were exposed to likely would not have thought much to complain to their white commanders over their salary. The most prominent contestations of unequal pay for black soldiers occurred in the year 1864, just before Congress authorized equal pay as well as back payments for all black soldiers. One of these includes the case of Private Sylvester Ray, who was nearly sent to trial because he refused to accept pay inferior to that of white soldiers. Fellow soldier Lieutenant Edwin Hughes of the 2nd Colored Cavalry wrote that Ray stated, “None of us will ever sign again for seven dollars a month.”51 After the outpouring of support for equal pay of black soldiers, Congress took action in granting equal pay rights to all black soldiers as well as granting retroactive back pay for all the months worked with a statute passed on June 15th, 1864.52 While it was a long time coming, the statute marked a huge advancement, and one of the final official legal hurdles, for blacks to obtain equal pay in the Union Army. The differences in the USCT experience also extend to the in-battle duties of the various regiments. As Gary Gallagher points out, the responsibilities and duties for each of the USCT regiments varied between two main duties: “fighting” regiments and “garrison” regiments.53 Some troops were assigned exhausting yet menial tasks such as digging trenches or cleaning armaments, while some were infantry regiments directly tasked with fighting against the rebels on the front lines. Again, the issue of arm-
47 George W. Williams, A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 (New York: Herper & Brothers, 1888), 95. 48 Taylor, Susie King. pp. 15-16. 49 Califf, 46.
50 Berlin, Free at Last, Series II Book I, 193. 51 Ibid, 194. 52 U.S. Statutes at Large, XIII, 129-31. 53 Gary W. Gallagher, The Union War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011).
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Figure 2. “Dark Artillery; or, How to Make the Contrabands Useful.”59
ing the blacks was a contentious one debated hotly among the public opinion circuits during the years of the war, and thus most certainly there were many regiments assigned more supporting roles to their white counterparts. Some of the black regiments that were indeed tasked with arms and direct fighting duties include the 1st North Carolina, the 54th Massachusetts, and the 8th USCT, all regiments that bore arms in 1864 and fought in major battles such as the Battle of Olustee in Florida, becoming largely successful and well-known. The 54th Massachusetts was especially famed for its bravery in this battle and was a celebrated unit among the Union soldiers. As Matthew Gallman argues, “Thirteen months after President Lincoln issued the revolutionary Emancipation Proclamation, the 1st NC, 8th USCT, and 54th Massachusetts represented a revolution on the battlefield: a significant presence of armed black men.”54 The men were also crucial to the Union advantage, helping to swell troop numbers and enlistment at a time of dire need for troops during the war.55 Additional examples of USCT troops that saw significant fighting roles are the several regiments in the state of North Carolina under the command of General Wild. The 1st North Carolina Colored Volunteers received sturdy and lengthy training from their superiors before being called in for battle in South Carolina and then Florida. The 1st North Carolina also fought in the Battle of Olustee, the renowned battle that made the 54th Massachusetts Regiment so admired for its bravery. While the battle was not a Union win, the bravery of the 1st NCCV as well as the 54th Massachusetts was noticed by many, including Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a former commander of the 33rd USCT, who heard from various other officers that “the 54th Mass. and the 1st N.C. really saved the affair fr[om] being far worse than it was, by making a charge & driving back the 54 J. Matthew Gallman, In Your Hands That Musket Means Liberty in Joan Waugh & Gary Gallagher eds., Wars Within a War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 90. 55 Ibid, 91.
enemy for a time under cover of which our troops retreated.”56 Thus, the 54th Massachusetts and the 1st NCCV performed well and were properly equipped and trained by their superiors, an example of a more direct role in the war as opposed to supporting construction jobs. However, many troops were either poorly trained for battle or were forced into garrison duties where they were not responsible for combat operations, but rather more exhausting and menial tasks. Commander Higginson noted of the 8th USCT that they were “entirely raw, [and] did not stand well” in the battle of Olustee.57 Various media representations of the troops also highlight the menial duties some of the black troops were responsible for, including Harper’s Weekly terming one regiment the ‘transportation brigade of the Bummer’s Corps,’ and also noting that in the public forum, these men “caused much amusement” among spectators.58 In another famously degrading representation, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper published an artist’s rendition titled “Dark Artillery; or, How to Make the Contrabands Useful”(Figure 2).59 The representation depicts black regiments in menial, degrading, and almost animal-like roles, clearly contrasted against their white superiors who appear to be operating the machinery and appear more intelligent. Representations of black soldiers in this way were common in many other newspapers as well and further demonstrate (though in exaggerated form) the real-life roles many African-American troops had during their time of service in the Union Army.
56 Richard M. Reid, Freedom for themselves: North Carolina’s Black soldiers in the Civil War era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2008), 85. 57 Ibid, p. 85. 58 Gary W. Gallagher, The Union War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), 19. 59 Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, October 26, 1861.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
As the evidence shows, the experiences of the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War were markedly different depending on many factors, including location, time of enlistment into the army, and individual regiment commanders. As this paper presented, the enlistment methods and motivations varied for the U.S.C.T. recruits, and the experience of the black troops can hardly be reduced to motives for enlisting, as Glaathar and Cornish suggest. While the creation of black regiments in the Union Army and the arming of black troops were indeed revolutionary, not all of the troops shared the same motivations and desires. As analyses of actual experiences within regiments suggest, the experiences between regiments varied as well based on the personality of the commander, where they were assigned, from where the men originated, and so on. But with these different experiences, there were some striking similarities, including the lack of opportunity for advancement, the discrepancies and inequalities in pay, and the unequal treatment and racism black troops experienced within their regiments and in the public arena. With these similarities, a potentially valid counterargument would hold that the U.S.C.T. experience should therefore be considered a common one. All U.S.C.T. troops endured some form of racism and unequal treatment, so their memory should encompass these commonalities as the totality of their experience. But the reality is that with such a striking array of differences, one cannot simply reduce the experience of these historical figures to their commonalities. Retelling history and analyzing its complexities involve including all of these complexities into the summary of their experiences and into the characterization of their lives. Trying to reduce historical facts into common denominators leads to inaccuracies, inconsistencies and misleading suggestions about an experience that was so complex on its own. So, their legacy and history, as Gallman suggests, should be one of a sense of sacrifice for country, one of shared hardships and common bonds formed neither by the proclaimed “prodigious” enlistment motivations nor by any glorious successes nor failures on the battlefield. But the U.S.C.T. legacy should also embody the multitude of differences each soldier faced. For years, American history has struggled to put individuality and variation of experience into the characterizations of African-American participation in major events. It was not until the Civil Rights movements that African-American figures became prominently named and distinguished: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks. While the Civil War has long transpired, it is important to take another look at such an important group and to appreciate the diversity of each soldier’s experience based on many factors that have not yet made it to the forefront of historical analysis. The United States Colored Troops were an interesting entity for the Union and
for America as a nation, and they served as a kind of test for claims to freedom and equality for all men. The evidence above suggests more of a contradictory, varied experience for the U.S.C.T., and yet at the same time a unifying, trying test for the Union to make good on its own claims against the South, indeed a more multifaceted role than any prior analyses suggest on these unique players in American history.
Newspapers 1. The Crisis (Columbus, OH) 2. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper 3. Hartford Daily Courant (Hartford, CT) 4. The Liberator (Boston, MA) 5. The New York Times (New York, NY) 6. The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) 7. Trenton State Gazette (Trenton, NJ) Primary Sources 1. Berlin, Ira and Barbara Fields, eds. Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, 3 vols. New York: The New Press, 1992. 2. Califf, Joseph M. Record of the Services of the Seventh Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, from September, 1863, to November, 1866. Providence: E.L. Freeman & Co., 1878. 3. Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers. Boston: Published by the author, 1902. 4. Villard, Oswald Garrison. “The Negro in the Regular Army,” published 1903, accessed from the UVa Library Online Text Collection. xtf.lib.virginia.edu/xtf/view?docId=modern_english/ uvaGenText/tei/VilNegr.xml Secondary Sources 1. Cornish, Dudley Taylor. The Sable Arm: Negro Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865. New York: Longman’s Arm, 1956. Reprint, New York: W.W. Norton, 1965. 2. Gallagher, Gary W. The Union War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011. 3. Glatthaar, Joseph T. Forged in Battle: The Civil War OffiAlliance of Black Soldiers and White cers. New York: The Free Press, 1990. 4. McPherson, James M. The Negro›s Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965. 5. Reid, Richard M. Freedom for themselves: North Carolina’s Black soldiers in the Civil War era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2008. 6. Trudeau, Noah Andre. Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1998. 7. Williams, George W. A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. New York: Herper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1888.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
A Roar for Peace Churchill’s United Europe Walker McKusick The European Union’s official website recognizes eight founding fathers, seven of which were statesmen of the Inner Six countries. One, though, remained outside of the first supranational group. Winston S. Churchill is the eighth, the sentimental voice of the “United States of Europe.” He first used this phrase at the University of Zurich in 1946; ensuing developments such as the Marshall and Schuman Plans both cite Churchill as a direct influence. A second Prime Minstership from 1951-1955 yielded no further British involvement in the European community. What, then, was Churchill’s attitude towards and relationship with the United Europe movement? Through his speeches, writings, Prime Minister and Cabinet papers I seek to establish that while an inspirational continentalist, Churchill was never willing to sacrifice British national identity for the institutions proposed from 1948-1955. Britain has yet to adopt the Euro and, just recently, has refused to sign on to new budgeting controls in the E.U. Churchill’s relationship with and understanding of the continent is an influential and important example of persistent British attitudes towards European integration.
n May 20, 1953, the wizened lion lumbered into the Parliamentary ring he had graced a hundred times before. For half a century, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill’s words had thundered across the backbench and held firm on the front. This day, however, was not his most eloquent. During question time on the topic of the European Defense Community, a multi-national European army of sorts, Churchill was asked: Was he aware that the French have a very strong feeling that he himself has badly let them down, because he made a great many promises before he became Prime Minster about the co-operation which we would have with the European Army, all of which he has broken? Churchill avoided the question, accusing the inquisitor of “self-advertisement.” But it continued.
Walker McKusick is a third year student from Charlottesville, Virginia, majoring in History and Economics. He wrote this paper for Professor William Hitchcock’s seminar, Churchill’s Century, in the Fall 2011. Since then, he has developed it with the help of Doug and Sally McKusick, his parents, and Jim Ambuske, a Ph.D. candidate in History at U.Va. Pursuant his studies, he will be in London and Oxford this summer researching the development of judicial review in the U.K. thanks to a Harrison Undergraduate Research Award. Outside of the classroom, he is the Chair of the University Guide Service and a member of his fraternity, Sigma Chi. After college, he hopes to teach or continue legal research before heading to law school.
Does the Prime Minister remember…when he made his great speech about a European Army? Does he think the spirit and text of that speech is consistent with the policy being followed by him as Prime Minister? Churchill scoffed dismissively, “…the right hon. Gentleman’s supplementary question gave him the opportunity of indulging in the art of tu quoque.” The old lion could certainly hear; he simply refused to roar.1 Winston S. Churchill has long been hailed the rhetorical forefather of the United Europe movement, particularly for his speeches from 1946 to 1948. Indeed, on the European Union’s website today, 1
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Churchill is listed as one of eight Founding Fathers.2 Yet as the questioning in Parliament revealed, he was criticized for resistance to the same movement during his second Prime Ministership from 1951 to 1955. What, then, were Winston Churchill’s attitudes toward and relationship with the United Europe? At Zurich in 1946, Churchill had a broad sentimental concept of Europe that would unite for peace. Developments such as the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) between 1948 and 1950 forced Churchill to consider and clearly define Britain’s role in the union. He considered sacrifices of power but at no time, especially during the twilight of the British Empire, would he accept sacrifices of national identity. By the time Winston returned to the head of the government in 1951, his position was entrenched: Britain may be in Europe, but not of it. He continued to support the cause, but he could not see Britain joining any of the supranational organizations that were proposed. This is why he never caved on the European Defence Community (EDC), regardless of its promise both for Franco-German and Russo-Western security. Many saw the second Prime Ministership as a missed opportunity to fulfill the “United States of Europe” preached at Zurich, but this is due to misconceived notions of Churchill’s vision. Although he did not accept the supranational institutions proposed, he also did not reject semi-federal union categorically. Scholars such as John Young, in “Churchill’s ‘No’ to Europe,” tend to construct Winston Churchill’s rejection of European unity too broadly, emphasizing the result more and the decision less.3 He makes it plain in his speeches that he is willing to sacrifice degrees of sovereignty. This model of Churchill also focuses too intently on the institutions of the movement, and does not give Churchill’s sentimental Europe its due place. While the OEEC was a necessary form of unity in order to receive American aid, the ECSC and EDC were ultimately rejected in order to maintain national identity. Prime Minister and Cabinet papers make the difficulty, rather than uncompromising denial, of these decisions apparent. Churchill had hoped to influence a sentimental, consultative unity, but instead the movement became federal, something he as a Briton could not accept. Winston Churchill’s rhetoric is a lion’s roar. His was the resolute voice that came over the radio to inspire Britons in the midst of the bleak Second World War. That is a message that better conforms to broad rhetoric than “in-but-not-of Europe.” Still, those words did preempt the birth of a federal Europe, spe2 “The History of the European Union,” EUROPA—Official EU Website, 1 December 2011 3 Young, John W. “Churchill’s ‘No’ to Europe: The ‘Rejection’ of European Union by Churchill’s Post-War Government, 1951-1952.” The Historical Journal Vol. 28, No. 4, (Cambridge University Press, 1985) 923-937.
cifically in the Marshall and Schuman Plans. While Churchill did not intend these federal institutions per se, the sentiment of self-identified Europe was exactly his purpose. As PM, he stood firm to his own concept of Britain in Europe based on British self-identity, rejecting the Pleven Plan. Winston Churchill’s roar for peace helped to inspire a movement towards European unity based on a sentimental and self-identified Europeanism. The first mention of European unity by Winston Churchill was in the aptly named article “The United States of Europe,” from the February 15, 1930, edition of The Saturday Evening Post. He was one of the few British supporters of the Briand Memorandum, a proposal by the French Prime Minister of the same name for a European Union. Churchill wrote: How mighty Europe is, but for its divisions! ...The mass of Europe, once united, once federalized or partly federalized, once continentally self-conscious… would constitute an organism beyond compare…We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented and European commonalty. 4 The idea of a unified Europe was an old one. Napoleon tried to create it by force. Giuseppe Mazzini believed in unification beyond his home in Italy. How, then, did Churchill conceptualize Europe? It is necessary to pause what will be a linear progression momentarily in order to distinguish Britain and Europe. A 1947 speech at a United Europe meeting in Royal Albert Hall illustrated the complex construction of Europe. Churchill challenged his fellow Britons, “are we Europeans to become incapable…to be a burden and a danger to the rest of the world?” Note that the “we” referred to “we Europeans,” not “we Britons,” and that “we” is repeated six times in the short speech. He continued: “If the people of Europe resolve to come together…they still have it in their power to sweep away the horrors and miseries which surround them.” Now it is not “we” but “they” the Europeans. In ten seconds time, Winston Churchill put Britain on the continent of Europe and then, with less than a turn of a phrase, taken her off. The man may be a wizard with words, but surely not of geographic rearrangement. How did “we” become “they?”5 Winston, like all British schoolboys, learned about that continent across the water, part of a close common Christian heritage. Churchill called it a “conti4 Churchill, Winston S. Winston S. Churchill, vol. V, ed. Martin Gilbert. (London: Heinneman, 1976) 200. 5 Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: Sinews of Peace. (Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1950) 70; Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: Europe Unite. (Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1950) 67, 283.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
nent of superior climates” where “dwell the parent breeds of western and modern civilization…descending from the ancient Roman Empire, of Christendom, of the Renaissance, of the French Revolution.” 6 Europe was the land of western history, custom, and tradition dating further in the past than even Britain’s history. It is important for Churchill and other Britons to claim part of that heritage—Christian and Classical—to establish their historical legitimacy. Thus, Britain is part of that rich heritage that makes up the harmonious Concert of Europe. Still, a great Channel made the two legally, culturally, and politically distant. Churchill’s diction, regardless of sentiment, distinguished the two. “We” can refer to Britons as Europeans, in Western sentimentality, but becomes “they” to distance England’s mountains green from the currently corrupted continent. They need fixing, we do not. Churchill’s construct is a Britain in, but not of, Europe founded on sovereign British identity. This is especially important in the mid-twentieth century; in 1947, Britain ceded India, the jewel of the empire. The sun had begun to set on the British Empire, as it never had before, and Britons like Churchill had to cling to those parts of their identity that still existed. The American view tended to create a monolithic Europe that fully included Britain, a fact that would pain Churchill during his second Prime Ministership. In the 1930 Saturday Evening Post article, Churchill not only supported European unity, he also defined his stance as a Briton to the American audience: We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. 7 As early as 1930, Churchill’s broad and sentimental aims for Britain’s place in Europe were defined, emblematic of the British relationship with the continent. She would offer leadership, but not necessarily participation. But, given the complexities of that paradigm, even the master wordsmith could not craft his words to make policy as clear as sentiment to onlookers in both the United States and Europe. To return to 1930, the soil was fertile for the roots of European union for two reasons: the experience of unparalleled death and destruction and the formation of the League of Nations. Although a war hero by his own pen and others’, Churchill’s aversion to war must be understood as absolute. Having been through a war where the large part of a generation (his generation) had died 6 Churchill. Sinews of Peace. 143. 7 Churchill, Winston S. Winston S. Churchill, vol. V, ed. Martin Gilbert. (London: Heinneman, 1976) 200.
or still walked the streets maimed and injured was enough to dull war’s shine. Thirty-five million people died in the First World War. That is not a war of glorious conquest; it is one of horrific loss. Written in 1930, My Early Life, his first autobiography, provided Churchill’s strongest personal statement against war. War, which used to be cruel and magnificent, has now become cruel and squalid. In fact it has been completely spoilt. It is all the fault of Democracy and Science… To Hell with it! Hence the League of Nations.8 The League of Nations, then, was the theoretical response to the problem of war. In the Covenant of the League, the preamble’s first obligation was not to go to war. It was out of war that the first experiment in international governance came. Not for economic or cultural interest, but to ensure peace. In the House of Commons, from the backbench, Churchill was adamant in the 1930s that “re-creating the Concert of Europe through the League of Nations” would ensure “the peace of the world.” 9 His description of European unity was important: the Concert of Europe was the old balance of power prior to World War I, primarily including Germany, Russia, France, and Britain, where national units were preserved but peace maintained. This construct, backwards-looking to nations as the units of unity, is rooted in Churchill’s fondness for the British identity of the Victorian era. In the midst of appeasement in 1934, Churchill asked his countrymen on national radio broadcast, “Is it prudent…to turn our backs upon Europe and ignore whatever may happen there?” Churchill’s animosity towards appeasement stemmed from the fact that he was concerned not only for British peace, but for peace in all of Europe. The responsibility for peace crosses national border since war itself is exterior to and inflected on all nations. When asked, then, about Britain’s duty, he insisted, “we are prepared to carry out our league obligations even to the point of war.” The ironic twist of anti-appeasement was that it had to support war in order to prevent war. Such is Churchill’s dedication to international peace, and such is his vision during the 1930s of Britain’s role towards that peace. His article in the Saturday Evening Post was soon over-shadowed by a union different than what Churchill had in mind: a Customs Union between Austria and Germany. Before Europe caught fire once again, Winston saw the smoke and called for closer European unity to calm the blaze.10 The Second World War saw Europe unified in a sinister sense, by the Third Reich under fascism, necessitating another devastating war. Churchill also witnessed a grand alliance of nations under 8 Churchill, Winston S. My Early Life. (New York: Touchstone, 1996) 64. 9 Churchill, vol.V, 493. 10 Churchill, vol. V, 552; 566-567; 663
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
the Supreme Allied Command defeat those powers. That salvaged continent was scarred, however, and seemed right back where it was in 1916. Churchill entered his second political wilderness with the same dedication to European unity that can be seen in his first. In comments on the first volume of his war memoirs, Churchill explained that the Second World War was in part due to “the lack of a world instrument of government for the prevention of war.” The specter of war still loomed over the continent; it was a “grinding and gnawing peace,” so Churchill moved to do what the League of Nations failed to. From the lessons of history, Churchill drew his conclusion that Pan-European unity was essential.11
“Great Speech:” Father of United Europe
Fulton, Missouri, March 1946. Churchill made his “Iron Curtain” speech to the graduates of Westminster College, a speech that became hailed as a prophecy of the Cold War. There is, however, another title for that speech: “The Sinews of Peace.” While certainly a somber statement of East-West relations (which was only further cause for a strong Western Europe), Churchill proposed a solution. An oft-overlooked passage highlights this theme: The safety of the world, ladies and gentlemen, requires a unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. It is from the quarrels of the strong parent races in Europe that the world wars we have witnessed, or which occurred in former times, have sprung. Twice the United States has had to send several millions of its young men across the Atlantic to fight the wars…Surely we should work with conscious purpose for a grand pacification of Europe.12 European unity, in this context, boiled down Franco-German reconciliation, and the ingredient that must not be left out was Germany. The Concert of Europe, although not exactly as it was before 1914, was the mold for Churchill’s Europe. In the House of Commons in June, he declared, “Let Germany live.”13 The “Iron Curtain” places United Europe in the West and presumes a divide with the East, which would draw Churchill criticism.14 Away from the podium, Churchill wrote that he hoped to be the Briton involved in the movement, which he thought “might become very big indeed, and a potent factor for world peace.” 15 Despite personal or international 11 Churchill, Winston S., Never Despair vol. VIII, ed. Martin Gilbert. (London: Heinneman, 1976) 358-361. 12 Churchill, Sinews of Peace, 81. 13 Churchill, Never Despair, 242. 14 Churchill, Never Despair, 266. The Times says that Churchill presupposition is the “peril of his argument.” 15 Churchill, Never Despair, 243.
ambitions, his lasting thought is of peace. But it is not Parliament or Britons that must be persuaded to magnanimity; it is the French. Three months after Fulton, Churchill asked the people of Metz, France, “What will be the fate of Europe…Shall we re-establish again the glory?” United Europe, then, is not the establishment of something new; it is the re-establishment of how things were. Winston is looking over his shoulder to the unity among nations in the Victorian era, “broader and better days,” but sees a new body necessary. “Without the aid of a united Europe the great new world organization [the United Nations] may easily be rent asunder or evaporate in futility because of explosions which originate in Europe.” Just look what happened to the League of Nations. France must be united with Europe, and the only way she can do that is through reconciliation with Germany. Churchill holds up two wars as precedent, both starting in a Europe that lacked a formal union of nations.16 At Zurich University on September 16, again to 1946 graduates, the academic youth, Churchill claimed: I will now say something that will astonish you. The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany. Churchill recognized the difficulty of what he was asking for. Undaunted, he asked France to seize “moral leadership” of Europe, what he later would characterize as “France taking Germany by the hand.” Only if the old powers worked in tandem could Europe be restored. It was a “noble continent,” but had become a “vast quivering mass of tormented, hungry, care-worn and bewildered human beings,” worried for “some new peril.” Three days earlier, Churchill had asked his hosts in Geneva, “How can you prevent war?”17 War ruined Europe; it may again. But, in Zurich as at Fulton, Churchill looks to solutions. 18 What followed was perhaps Churchill’s most lasting and powerful sentiment for Europe, the inspirational words that remain on the EU’s website: Yet all the while there is a remedy which… would as if by a miracle transform the whole scene…It is to re-create the European Family…We must build a kind of United States of Europe. This was one of those moments where Churchill’s words exceeded their meaning. By “United States” he does not mean a federal system like the United States of America. He established in 1930 that would 16 Churchill, Sinews of Peace, 143 17 Churchill, Never Despair, 264. 18 Churchill in Never Despair, 266 and 285; Churchill in Sinews of Peace, 165-166.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
be impossible. “The first step” was instead, “to form a Council of Europe,” of a non-federal nature. “United States” was a rhetorical flair that was inappropriate and misleading given British relations with continental Europe. This was especially harmful to American perceptions of Europe; even though President Truman expressed interest in Churchill’s design, it was a misunderstood sympathy that would plague Churchill in 1948 and during his second stint as PM.19 “The United States of Europe” is a phrase still used today to glorify a federated Europe, an intention that the man who uttered it never had.20 The consequences of the Zurich speech, both intended and unintended, should not be underestimated; it was not merely seized on by modern EU propagandists. Its effects were particularly apparent in France. One of the most active French federalist movements for Europe, La Fédération, revered Churchill’s speech in a 1947 article. Another piece went so far as to say that the speech at Zurich “launched the idea of European union.” Léon Blum, another French federalist, called him “the great champion of a United States of Europe” who advocated “both political and economic unity.” 21 The respect that Churchill had gained from his war leadership lent credence to the crusade for Europe and gave what was then a fringe movement a great deal of legitimacy. Indeed, “Churchill’s weighty words were thought of by many as mere sound and fury” but the fact that Winston Churchill spoke them made people listen. Reviewing the speech, The Times declared, “there is little to suggest…unity” and thought unity of “economics rather than politics” prudent; but the Council of Europe would appear before any economic body and in just three years’ time.22 Although beyond Churchill’s reach, the Marshall, Schuman, and Pleven plans certainly heard his voice from Zurich. Zurich marked the moment that Winston Churchill assumed leadership in the United Europe movement, which prompted him to focus his statements. In but four months, October 1946 to January 1947, he formulated a personal Statement of Aims, published “A United Europe. One Way to Stop a New War,” formed the United Europe Committee, and drafted their Statement of Policy (with the help of his son-in-law). These three clarifying declarations share three primary components: 1. 2.
European union is a step towards the “final elimination of war.” Unity will not come at the cost of the “traditions and identity” of member states.
19 Sand, G.W., ed., Defending the West: The TrumanChurchill Correspondence, 1945-1960. (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004) 65. 20 Churchill in Sinews of Peace, 163-164. 21 Documents on the History of Euorpean Integration, vol. III, ed. Lipgens, Watler and Wilfried Loth. (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988) 42, 46, 86-87, 018. 22 Churchill, Never Despair, 266.
The United States of Europe does not seek to oppose any other power, namely the United States and the Soviet Union. 23
Peace and national identity, the first and second points, were the primary components of Churchill’s Europe. Peace was the goal and identity the form. The solution to the League of Nations’ failure was not federal, where nations gave up their own identity, but a more localized body that could express a common European identity, which Churchill emphasized in his earlier speeches. The third point was primarily a response to criticisms of the Western construct of the United Europe and his presupposition of semi-permanent East-West division. In a letter, he clarified, “I am not attracted to a Western bloc as a final solution. The ideal should be EUROPE.”24 The capitalization was his own. Churchill hoped that one day Eastern Europe would join, but for the time being the Iron Curtain was down, and the West should focus internally. After having made the rounds in Europe, Churchill began to focus on the European movement in England. The speeches he gave at home had a more pronounced separation between Britain and the rest of the continent. The United Europe Committee led to the United Europe Movement, which formally gathered at Albert Hall on 14 May 1947. Churchill started by saying, “we have first and foremost in our hearts our own British Commonwealth.” The Commonwealth was an international union that additionally complicated relations with Europe. Still, “as good Europeans,” the Movement wished “to see the noble Continent of Europe rise.” This dichotomous self-identification, both Briton and European, was disadvantageous to Winston’s rhetorical reliance when it came to policy. But to Churchill, that was a moot point, as he “cannot think…a United Europe as we Conservatives conceive it can be the slightest injury to our British Empire and Commonwealth.” Churchill’s Europe, non-federal, would be one in which Britain can fully participate and lead. Whose Europe, then, would be injurious to Britain?25 In moving from the podium to the committee room, Churchill faced friction from both within and beyond Britain. His words fueled federalist movements on the continent whose policies he disagreed with. He brought the issue to bear in Britain, too, but the Labour government was exclusively in favor of a socialist Europe. In Parliament, Churchill was interrupted by objections that his United Europe Committee did not include members of a socialist persuasion. The blame here was twofold: while Churchill warned that making a “Socialist Europe” was on the same level, politically and morally, as a “Communist 23 Churchill, Never Despair 279-282 and 290-291; Documents, 669. 24 Churchill, Never Despair, 279. 25 Churchill, Europe Unite, 55; Documents, 676 and 718.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Europe,” the Labour leadership deterred its membership from joining Churchill’s Committee. Churchill was frustrated that his European ideal, which he thought might be “above party,” had become prey to partisan politics. Not only did the Labour Party reject his proposition, they crafted their own rival view. None could simply ignore the broad European statements at Zurich; its wide frame, however, allowed a variety of visions to be painted, some at odds with Churchill’s.26 Plans began to formulate for a conference to be called at The Hague in the spring of 1948. The Congress of Europe attracted over 700 delegates from across the continent, with Winston Churchill as President. Concern rose that the body might be seen as too “Churchillian,” which was realized when British Labour discouraged its members from attending.27 But there was no better choice than Winston. The Congress convened on 7 May, and Churchill gave the opening remarks:
As to the vital specifics, Churchill insisted that in order to achieve the goals that had been discussed, like mutual economic benefit as discussed by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman who stood next to Churchill when he gave his speech at Metz, there must first be “political unity.” This, he told the Congress, was his primary goal: “We must here and now resolve that in one form or another a European Assembly.” On the issue of federalism and sovereignty, Churchill admitted that this “involves some sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty.” But since his vision was mostly oriented towards a peaceful Europe and not necessarily towards economic benefits, such a sacrifice could be regarded “as the gradual assumption by all the nations concerned of that larger sovereignty.” That larger concern, shared by nations, was war that would affect all.28 At The Hague, Churchill revels that, “the United States has espoused the Marshall Plan. Sixteen European States are now associated for economic purposes.” Only three weeks earlier, the Marshall Plan had gone into effect through the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). Britain, along with 17 other nations, made up this group that administered American aid to the rav-
aged continent. Although the body filled little more than an administrative role, its formation characterized American views and pursuits at the time: that Britain was a part, in and of, Europe.29 General George C. Marshall served as U.S. Army Chief of Staff during the Second World War. Churchill had called him the “organizer of victory,” and Marshall returned the favor. General Marshall claimed it was the Zurich speech that led to his belief that Europe, financed by the United States, could run its own economic recovery, inspiring the Plan itself. The influence of Zurich was paramount in the construction of modern European union. 30 Britain, like the rest of Europe, desperately needed American aid, which politically necessitated acquiescence to a degree of European economic integration. Winston Churchill revered the OEEC at The Hague; he thanked President Truman, “from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing to save the world from Famine and War;” he thanked the American people, too, “for all you have done and are doing.” It was a double-edged sword, though; it was evidence for European unity, but it ran contrary to the primarily political union that Churchill wanted. The precedent of the OEEC, which Churchill did not fully grasp in 1948, would also mount increasing pressure on Britain to integrate more fully with continental Europe.31 The Council of Europe, the type of assembly Churchill had envisioned, was founded on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London. Its congruence with Churchill’s form came mainly in its non-existent executive power. Churchill recognized the concern, “that a purely deliberative Assembly without executive power would develop into an irresponsible talking-shop. But,” he said, “that is not true. The Assembly will perform an essential task and one which cannot be performed by Governments; the task of creating a European public opinion and a sense of solidarity among the peoples of Europe.” A sentimental United Europe of the people, not a federal collection of governments. Identity is central to nationhood and tradition, two things Churchill would not give up as a Briton.32 The first session of the Council was held in August and, like the Congress before it, Churchill spoke at the opening session. He pointed to the empty seats, calling for the countries of Eastern Europe to one day take their rightful place. He fiercely questioned why the West Germans were not invited, and subsequently insisted that a strong Germany should be encouraged for the benefit of all Europe. Most importantly, he sought to reinforce the consultative nature of the body:
26 Churchill, Europe Unite, 197-198. 27 Churchill, Never Despair, 406. 28 Churchill, Europe Unite, 267-273; Churchill, Never Despair, 406-408; Congress of Europe at The Hague, May 1948. (Germany: Council of Europe Publishing, 1999). 40
29 Churchill, Europe Unite, 268. 30 Churchill, Never Despair, 337; New York Times 13 June 1947 31 Churchill, Never Despair, 337, 351 and 463. 32 Churchill, Europe Unite, 406.
Since I spoke on this subject at Zurich in 1946…events have carried our affairs beyond our expectations. The cause was obviously either vital or merely academic. If it was academic, it would wither by the wayside; but if it was the vital need of Europe… then the spark would start a fire…
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
We do not possess executive power, and at this stage in our development we could not possibly claim it...It is not for us to make decisions which would require executive authority…We must not attempt on our present electoral basis to change the powers which belong to the duly constituted national parliaments. Churchill was placed in a unique position to influence the course of European integration by his speech at Zurich. He sought a non-federal body, like the Council, that would allow Britain to lead but not participate in a binding way. But he assured, “I am not myself committed to a federal or any other particular solution at this stage.” These last three words mark an important tenet of Churchill’s attitude towards Europe. Where he did have a vision, he did not have a will to impose. Where Churchill sought to clarify his goals, he never tarnished his reputation as a founding father of European union by working against the course that the movement took. He may have retreated to his complicated position as a Briton, but he remained a European at least in sentiment. Whether this happened by accident or design is irrelevant; Churchill’s open stance as a European, not a Briton, was what allowed him to remain an integral part of the united Europe movement. At Strasbourg, Winston hoped that by emphasizing the non-executive role of the Council of Europe he would direct it away from that route, but the movement would soon evolve from its rhetorical beginnings.33 At the signing of the Treaty of London, French Prime Minister Robert Schuman did not merely stand next to Churchill as he had at Metz, but instead he gave the main address. He declared: Today, we cast the foundations of a spiritual and political cooperation, from which the European spirit will be born, the founding principle of a vast and enduring supranational union.34 The “supranational” definition was Schuman’s, and at the very least implied powers beyond those of independent nation states. This definition was incompatible with the British and Churchillian in-butnot-of approach. Schuman became Foreign Minister later that year; in November, he told the French Parliament, “Without Britain there can be no Europe,” in response to the Labour government’s stance that Britain could not enter into an economic system that the Commonwealth was excluded from. In essence, it called for greater commitment from the island nation and for it to alter its relationship with the continent. 35 33 Churchill, In the Balance, 79-83; Churchill, Never Despair, 483-484. 34 Documents, 11. 35 Churchill, Never Despair, 496.
Churchill felt it could be both ways. What Schuman said and that Labour held as truth was indeed true; “Britain cannot be thought of as a single State in isolation. She is the founder and centre of a world-wide Empire and Commonwealth.” He had previously established that Britain’s historic commitments to Commonwealth came first. “But our friends on the continent need have no misgivings. Britain is an integral part of Europe.” Moreover, the discussion at Strasbourg had been to allow states to include their territories if such an economic system and the nature of that system had not been finalized. Churchill believed that Britain could be party to and the leader of the Schuman Plan’s arrangement. This would prove that Churchill lacked foresight of the federal future of Europe, as enunciated by the Schuman Declaration.36 The Declaration was the realization of supranationality, the forebear of the modern European Union. May 9th, the day it was read by Schuman to the French Parliament, is celebrated as Europe Day. The Declaration first rejected the idea that Europe could be made “all at once” or without “de facto solidarity.” A merely consultative assembly was not enough. The first step, then, was economic coordination. It proposed pooling French and German coal and steel resources under a binding High Authority, with an open invitation to other European countries. Whereas the French had been so worried about a resurgent Germany, this plan would make Franco-German war “materially impossible,” for the pre-existing Churchillian end for European unity with a new means: federalized resource pooling. Where Churchill vocalized the lasting sentiment of union, Schuman provided the enduring form.37 The Schuman Declaration of 1950 led to talks in Paris geared towards realizing this new, bold vision of United Europe. Churchill’s United Europe Movement published a statement welcoming the initiative, and a letter in The Times called the Declaration “as momentous as General Marshall’s offer.” 38 Churchill urged the Government to work alongside the other European nations involved, but to no avail. Labour refused to send a delegation and the resulting Treaty of Paris was signed by the Inner Six: Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, West Germany, and Italy. But not Britain. The 1951 Treaty not only created the European Steel and Coal Community described by Schuman but was complimented by the European Declaration, a commitment to other ideas of supranationality. The consultative Treaty of London had given way to the Treaty of Paris. United Europe would be, in form, a federal Europe. The movement had surpassed Winston Churchill’s structure, but not his sentiment, by 1951. It was convenient timing: the Treaty of Paris was signed in April, and Churchill became Prime Min36 37 38
Churchill, Europe Unite, 152 Documents, 741. Documents, 742.
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
ister for the second time in October. Still, in letters, he lamented the way the Schuman Plan was handled by Labour: I believe that if a British representative had been there we might very likely have secured further modifications which would have made it possible for Britain to join, either on the same footing as the others or as some kind of associate member. From the Continental standpoint the Schuman Plan is greatly weakened by the absence of Britain…39 Labour’s inaction was a failure of leadership in Churchill’s mind. He felt thwarted by their policy; they did not support the European Assembly in 1948 either. When they refused to send a delegation to Paris in 1950, he lambasted the Government in Parliament: they were “no friend to the process of the unification of Western Europe.” Maybe the Paris delegation would have created a supranational system regardless. “But why not be there?” he asked. However, he maintained his support for the Schuman Plan, despite his disagreement, when it became apparent that Europeans on the continent were in favor. It will never be known how the events would have gone if Churchill had risen to his second Prime Ministership two or three years earlier, but he was at least convinced that there could have been fashioned a non-federal Europe given British leadership.40 To conclude that ranting speech to the House of Commons in 1950 on the Schuman Plan, Churchill made a statement that called into question his own concept of United Europe: The Conservative and Liberal Parties say, without hesitation, that we are prepared to consider and, if convinced, to accept the abrogation of national sovereignty, provided that we are satisfied with the conditions and safeguards. Would this not have been, at least in part, a federal union of the sort that Churchill said, in the exact same speech, that he could not see Britain a part of? What, then, were these “conditions and safeguards?” Consider Churchill’s European sentiment: it was towards a people united in common, Western heritage, a heritage that deserved to be expressed. The exact constitution of that expression was less important than the identity it solidified. Consider also his nationalist sentiment for his beloved Britain; that identity was far greater. In the same speech, Churchill rejected the language of “supranationality” and “sovereignty” as academic. It is better to understand his concerns in terms of identity, the word he used in 39 40
Churchill, Never Despair, 622. Churchill, In the Balance, 287-303
his 1947 Statement of Aims. A policy that may give up some British power would have been acceptable, but one that sacrificed her identity to the whole was not. Churchill used the example of World War II: the Allies put their armies under one command, but “no one would ever have suggested that General Eisenhower would have had the power to say what units of the British Army should be suppressed or disbanded.” Within the Supreme Allied Command, the identity of those British units was preserved. Economic unity would have been acceptable to Churchill had “ownership remained unaffected,” but the Schuman Plan allowed, during war or peace, for a European body to tell certain industries to cease production. The plan was unacceptable as it turned out because it eliminated the British identity of their coal industry, not categorically as a supranational body.41 In one of his final speeches before he assumed the Prime Ministership, Winston Churchill took the stage at London’s Mansion House, on 23 July 1951. He admitted, “We in this country could not accept the supranational federal institutions envisaged originally in the Schuman Plan.” Still, it was “regret[able] that the British Government did not accept the invitation to take part in talks.” Europe had drastically changed between when he took the stage at Zurich and his second stint on Downing Street. Still, since that time, Churchill had carried the banner of Europe. When organizing backbench unity in the latter months of 1950, he was sure to specify one party principle: “The right road. United Europe.”42 At Mansion House, his commitment was strong—“Our Empire and Commonwealth [will] play their full part—and leading part—in building the temple of peace”—but United Europe was no longer the merely the sentimental and consultative means he once envisioned could preserve a perpetual peace.43 While Franco-German peace was one of the great concerns vocalized in the Fulton speech, there was also the fear of the Soviet Union and the East. Churchill was criticized as a warmonger in setting up this divide, but his fears were realized on 25 June 1950 when North Korean forces crossed into South Korea. In August at the Council of Europe, Churchill spoke in approval of United Nations action. But he also claimed there must be made “a real defensive front in Europe.” In order to do so, he called for “the immediate creation of a European Army,” and resolution was subsequently passed in favor. 44 Necessary to this army would be a Western German contribution. This would have the dual affect of defending the West from the East and, as Churchill wrote to President Truman, it would be “the fruition of what I have labored for ever since my speech at Zurich four years ago…the end to the quarrel between France and 41 42 43 44
Churchill, In the Balance, 302. Churchill, Never Despair, 529. Churchill, In the Balance, 99-100. Churchill, In the Balance, 347-352.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Germany.”45 This was not the economic federalism of the Schuman plan, but collective security through unity on the continent. Defense and unity for peace. This was an idea that Winston would develop as PM, one with problems but more convenient connotations than economic supranationalization that were comfortably reminiscent of the Allied experience in World War Two. The status of Winston Churchill’s attitude towards European unity going into the Prime Ministership in 1951 was twofold. Firstly, he recognized that the rising federal, specifically economic, nature of United Europe was not compatible with British ideology, as he had always made clear. His purely consultative and sentimental Europe had been rejected for a more federal union. Secondly, the warming of the Cold War in Korea increased tension in Europe and created a new purpose for European unity: collective external security.
“A Great Many Promises:” The Second Prime Ministership
Held just 18 months after the 1950 general election, the vote of 1951 was just as tight. Early polls showed Labour ahead, but when they closed Winston Churchill found himself once again in Buckingham Palace receiving the invitation to form a government. PM Churchill’s views on the United Europe were consistent with those before, the pronounced difference being that the role of Prime Minister heightened his obligations as a Briton and lessened those as a European. His resistant attitude towards American pressure for integration, demonstrated by the Marshall Plan, and economic pooling, like the Schuman Plan, were firmly entrenched in his established views. These views were emphasized by the choices his government made. The European Army, however, was still developing. The old Franco-Prussian rivalries were no longer the dominant concern. Instead, the Russian menace became the catalyst for debate on the European Defence Community (EDC); French-German rivalry was but an impediment to external security. Still, his commitment to a federally independent Britain would oppose the Pleven Plan as stubbornly as the Schuman and Marshall Plans. On 25 November 1951, a month after taking office, Churchill sent a note to his Minister of Defence explaining his position on European union, especially in light of security issues. 1. 2. 3. 4. 45
Britain must be “associated” with Europe, as Germany could overwhelm France. Britain should never be in a federal Europe. The “American mind” complicated this. Western Europe could only be defended by, in part, a strong Germany. “National spirit,” or national identity, must be maintained in the European Army.
Churchill, Never Despair, 542.
5. 6. 7.
The French seemed to want not to defend but be defended. The Schuman Plan was only successful in so far as it rendered peace. Britain’s obligations were first to the Commonwealths, then the English-speaking world, and finally United Europe.46
This is a crucial document to understanding Churchill’s position coming into office. United Europe as it stood is not some superior good, particularly the ECSC. Two other obligations trump it. In the European Defence Community Churchill saw security, peace, and maintenance of United Europe. The pivotal characteristic of this note was the divide between France and Germany that it highlighted. The German army had a capacity far beyond that of France, necessary to Western defense but worrisome to the French. This difficulty would prove to be the demise of the EDC. In November, Prime Minister Churchill’s new cabinet discussed how to address the European Steel and Coal Community as drafted by the Inner Six. The conclusion was twofold: it was unclear as to which governments would actually ratify the Treaty and that “the Schuman Plan was viewed with suspicion by workers in…this country.” Therefore, “the Government should make it clear to public opinion…that they had no intention of surrendering to any European authority the control of the coal and steel industries.” There would be no abrogation of sovereignty or identity in this case.47 The appetite for economic unity ran high on a starving continent. In the spring of 1952, the Council of Europe called for a conference of European and British Commonwealth countries to discuss closer economic ties. The cabinet “fully agreed” on “discouraging” this idea. Churchill waffled: he would “certainly deprecate…economic association between Europe and the sterling Commonwealth,” but he did not want to discourage Commonwealth interest in the Council he had helped create because it was such a “valuable factor in preserving world peace.” Regardless of the economic implications, the Prime Minister was concerned that resisting any degree of European unity could hinder the greater aims. In the end, the Commonwealth Secretary carried the day with the conclusive point that the special position of Britain would put undue pressure on the Commonwealth to participate. Churchill could no longer give lip service to the Schuman plan; as British Prime Minister, he had to make choices that damaged the European movement.48 Pressure for economic integration came from across the Channel and the Atlantic. The PM met with W. Averell Harriman, administrator of the Marshall 46 47 48
PREM 11/373. CAB 128/23. CAB 128/25
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Plan, to discuss the economic situation that Britain and Europe faced. Harriman wanted more control by supranational bodies over resources, like coal, and he insisted upon more systems like OEEC. Britain was asking for a loan of 900 million dollars; Churchill was playing poker with a hand like a foot. The constant creation of new organizations tired Churchill, but he and the rest of Europe were dependent on American aid. The evaluation of Churchill in the American media was nothing less than harsh; his Prime Minister papers revealed, “very few commentators show any understanding for the basic reasons for the British stand towards European unity, and most assume that Britain is a part of Europe.” Churchill’s tabs on the American media also show his concern for further aid and how his actions would impact that possibility. The Marshall Plan, partly inspired by Churchill, helped to create this impression through the OEEC, which caused difficulties for the new Prime Minister.49 The newest plan, one that Churchill had not considered before 1950, was the Pleven Plan. René Pleven served as French Prime Minister from 19501951 and proposed the plan in reaction to the war in Korea. It called for a European Army, inspired by Churchill’s resolution at Strasbourg, as part of a European Defence Community (EDC), a supranational body aimed at the “complete fusion of the human and material elements which make it up under a single European political and military authority,” that authority being a Minister of Defence. 50 Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery characterized the plan to Churchill’s cabinet: the French want “a single force under single direction” that would sacrifice “national character and spirit.” Both he and Churchill staunchly opposed this aim. A few weeks later, General Eisenhower earned Winston’s thanks, for he “had always been in complete agreement about the proper place of the United Kingdom with the European Army.” The Americans, Montgomery, and Churchill were all on the same page. Still, Winston did not want to do as Labour had done before. The Government released a statement: the British “favoured the creation of a European Defence Community, though they could not join it” and wanted to “associate themselves with it as closely as possible.” Churchill believed the statement alone would negate any criticism of his Government; in an early draft of the statement, he scribbled a messy “No” next to a proposed assurance of troops. He wanted to demonstrate that British commitments were triune yet hierarchical: first to the Empire and Commonwealth, then to the English-speaking world (especially America), and, lastly, to United Europe.51 49 PREM 11/373. 50 H.G.L. “The European Defence Community.” The World Today Vol. 8, No. 6 (Jun., 1952). (Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1952) 236-248. 51 Churchill, Never Despair, 669; PREM 11/373.
West Germany and four others of The Six generally supported the proposal; all except France. The French had three main concerns. First, their distrust and loathing for Germany was most fervently directed at any degree of German military strength. After all, the Wehrmacht had twice marched into France. Second, French nationalists were concerned, like Britain, for their sovereignty. Nothing would be more invasive of national prerogative than restricted control of one’s own self-defense. Third and finally, they wanted a greater show of support by the British. While their ministers danced around this final point, the French felt full British involvement was necessary in order to balance the resurgence of the German army. These same ministers who signed the EDC Treaty wanted the plan to work—after all, it was Pleven who proposed the plan—but struggled in the National Assembly to gain the public support necessary to ratify the community. By mid-1952, debate on the EDC had stalled for two years and it was not gaining momentum. Then, General de Gaulle, always resistant to what he saw as Churchill’s manipulation of Europe, gave a speech that shifted some responsibility from France to Britain.52 He voiced nationalist disdain for the EDC, incensed the French army could be taken away from defending France while the British could remain aloof. Plus, it would inspire a resurgent Germany whose military capacity would outpace the French. Prime Minister Churchill was presented with the opportunity to encourage British involvement in the EDC and to create the European Army; it was what he had envisioned at Strasbourg and it would accomplish what he described at Zurich: unity between the two great powers in a resolved, harmonious Concert of Europe. But Britain came first.53 In America, the media voiced concern: “Mr. Churchill is evidently no more ready than his predecessors to compromise on these matters.” Even Montgomery, staunch British nationalist, wrote to Churchill that he had changed his mind, since “the French Parliament will ratify the Treaty only on the proviso that the British come in.” He continued, “I can see no justification why the British should not come in. They can make any reservations they like,” such as mandating that the Chief of Staff for the army be a British officer. While formally relinquishing sovereignty, they would gain power in Europe by joining the EDC. Montgomery’s stance on the EDC completely flipped when faced with the reality that the French would block it. Winston Churchill would not reach the same conclusion, the one that Americans, French, Germans, and some Britons all wanted him to reach.54 52 Churchill, Never Despair, 289. de Gaulle liked the sentiment of Zurich, but not being placed beneath Britain. 53 PREM 11/373; Hitchcock, William I., Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954. (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1998) 169-202. 54 PREM 11/373.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
Churchill’s United Europe was a sentimental union, the coming together of different peoples as Europeans, but joining as nations. The thing he feared most about the EDC was the “sacrifice of nationality.” Churchill understood that any international body would require sacrifices of sovereignty, as he claimed in 1950. Under the EDC, he saw British troops “pinned down in European formations” even during times of peace. 55 Like the example he offered of an omnipotent General Eisenhower, this design was unacceptable to Churchill. In 1953, he declared in Parliament, “We are not members of the European Defence Community, nor do we intend to be merged in a Federal European system…we are with them but not of them.” In-but-not-of remained the deciding formula between British identity and European union. There may have been the potential to seize power for Britain in the new European schema, but Churchill would not do so at the expense of a shred of identity. Winston goes on, “we have placed our troops in Europe under the command of General Ridgeway, the NATO Commander-in-chief,” who could only maneuver British divisions during times of war. This signaled the growing commitment to English-speaking ties at the expense of European ties in pursuit of security and peace. Debate would continue on the EDC for another year, but it would ultimately be silenced on 30 August 1954 by vote in the French National Assembly.56 That speech to the House of Commons occurred on 11 May 1953, nine days before question time when Winston Churchill was grilled for his apparent lack of support for Europe. The Houston Chronicle summed up what frustrated many Americans and Europeans: Churchill long has favoured European Union. Yet now that some chance exists for the creation of an integrated European force he will have none of it...57 Churchill’s soaring rhetoric, ideal during the dark days of war, created inaccurate expectations during a complicated peace. What those irritated with Churchill misunderstood is the nature of his United Europe. It is not one concerned with committees and authorities, but focused on promoting the identity of the European people. It is by that sentiment that war may be avoided. Winston Churchill’s attitude toward and relationship with Europe is a useful tool in understanding general British attitudes towards the European Union. Take the perpetual rejection of the euro. Even those Britons most in favor of integration draw the line at certain point that tends to focus on identity. Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party led the charge for integration with Europe in the 1990s, 55 56 57
PREM 11/373. Churchill in Never Despair, 682. PREM 11/373.
including the enactment of the European Convention of Human Rights in UK law. Then, after the tragedy of September 11th, the same party struggled to make anti-terrorism legislation compatible and declared that the courts should not enforce those human rights. The Government also sided with the United States and not Europe during the Iraq invasion of 2007, demonstrating those special “Englishspeaking” bonds Winston held dear. Churchill’s own Conservatives have long resisted European integration. As PM Margaret Thatcher put it in the 1980s, “To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the center of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve…Working more closely together does not require power to be centralized in Brussels or decisions to be taken by an appointed bureaucracy.” Most recently, the rejection of closer budget controls throughout the EU by Conservative PM David Cameron demonstrates a similar fear of identity. In the same way that the ECSC would have made Britain’s industry European, budget controls would eliminate the decisions that make the budget British. In-but-not-of remains the model for British integration.58 Churchill’s rhetoric, particularly that of Zurich, may have unintentionally inspired federal plans by Marshall, Schuman, and Pleven, but that is Winston Churchill’s legacy: inspiring a common European identity. It is not the rejection of the form of European union presented him, as scholars like Young have dwelt on. As a Briton, he disfavored the federal plans proposed in the period of 1948-1950, which distanced him from the movement during his time as Prime Minister; however, he never ceased to support the continent’s own designs. If inaction be praiseworthy, Winston Churchill’s commitment to self-identity, both British and European, is unwavering in the pursuit of a pacified Europe.
Primary Sources 1. United Kingdom Government Documents: PREM (Prime Minister’s Office), CAB (Cabinet Office) 2. Churchill, Winston S. My Early Life. New York: Touchstone, 1996. Print. 3. Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: The Sinews of Peace. Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1948. Print. 4. Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: Europe Unite. Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1950. Print. 5. Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: In the Balance. Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1952. Print. 58 Perisic, Bojana. “Britain and Europe: a History of Difficult Relations”, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. (Berlin)
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
6. Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: Stemming the Tide. Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1954. Print. 7. Churchill, Winston S. Post War Speeches: The Unwritten Alliance. Bristol, Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd., 1961. Print. 8. Churchill, Winston S. Winston S. Churchill, vol. V, ed. Martin Gilbert. London: Heinneman, 1976. 9. Churchill, Winston S. Winston S. Churchill, vol. VIII: “Never Despair,” ed. Martin Gilbert. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988. Print. 10. Council of Europe. Congress of Europe at The Hague, May 1948. Germany: Council of Europe Publishing, 1999. Print. 11. Council of Europe. European Yearbook. The Hague: The Council of Europe Publishing, 1955. Print. 12. H.G.L. “The European Defence Community.” The World Today Vol. 8, No. 6 (Jun., 1952). Pp. 236248. Royal Institute of International Affairs. 1952. Print. 13. Lipgens, Watler and Wilfried Loth, eds. Documents on the History of Euorpean Integration, vol. III. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988. Print. 14. Sand, G.W., ed., Defending the West: The TrumanChurchill Correspondence, 1945-1960. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004. Print. Secondary Sources 1. Hitchcock, William. Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944-1954. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1998. Print. 2. Leaming, Barbara. Churchill Defiant: Fighting on: 1945-1955. United States: Harper Collins Publishers, 2010. Print. 3. Perisic, Bojana. “Britain and Europe: a History of Difficult Relations”, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. (Berlin, March 2010). 4. Young, John W. “Churchill’s ‘No’ to Europe: The ‘Rejection’ of European Union by Churchill’s Post-War Government, 1951-1952.” The Historical Journal Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 1985). Pp 923-937. Cambridge University Press. 1985. 5. “The History of the European Union,” EUROPA— Official EU Website, 1 December 2011, <http:// europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/1945-1959/index_en.htm>.
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
A No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Involved in Research Find your Passion
What boggles your mind and stimulates you to question and explore? What could you spend hours pondering and prodding the complexities of? Finding out what you are passionate about and what area of research you would enjoy pursuing is the first step to a successful research experience. Here are some tips on how to find your true calling: • • •
Attend Poster Sessions and Conferences: This is a great way to sample a diverse set of research projects being conducted in your potential field of interest. Plus, you will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with researchers and discuss common areas of interest to further explore. Attend Department Seminars: Most departments organize periodic seminars or a lecture series, open to all students, where you can hear and learn more about the research that faculty and graduate students are currently pursuing. Communicate your Interests to Professors: Did you find a certain lecture particularly interesting? Go ask your professor more about the topic and share your enthusiasm with him/her. Professors will often be able to guide you to the right people who can help further develop your passion and provide research opportunities in that area. Network and Inquire: Whether it is faculty advisors, fellow student researchers, graduate students, or members of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, do not be afraid to seek out answers to your questions and get advice from those with experience.
Choose an Advisor
With so many scholars to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to sift through them all and find the ones of greatest interest to you. While this is a necessary task for finding the right fit, here are some things to remember during this stage: • •
Visit the Department Homepage: Every department website has a link to faculty research, where you can find brief summaries of the current research and questions being asked. Email Faculty Members of Interest: Make a list of at least 3 professors you would be interested in working with and send them an email introducing yourself and requesting to setup a time to meet with them in person. Often, professors are very busy and may not respond to your email, but don’t let that deter you. Be polite and persistent, follow up on your emails, and even try calling the professor or showing up at his/her office. Additionally, remember that you need not have prior research experience in order to get involved – everyone starts somewhere. Shadow Researchers: If possible, shadow another student researcher. Ask to watch experiments in progress (if applicable) and attend group meetings so that you can get a better feel for the research environment. For those in the sciences, shadowing in a lab may be anywhere from a few hours to multiple lab visits, depending on your level of interest. Not all experiences of this nature are equally rewarding, so sample a few labs until you find what works.
Do your Homework
Now it’s time to meet with the faculty advisor and perhaps even begin discussing a potential project. How do you prepare for this meeting? Here are some tips that are sure to help: • • •
Read the Professor’s Published Papers: Reading through at least a few of the professor’s recent publications will help familiarize you with some of the technical vocabulary and concepts you may hear about during the meeting. Prepare Questions: Having a set of questions in mind will help keep the conversation running smoothly. You may inquire about the nature of equipment to be used, prior knowledge and skills needed, recommended courses, flexibility in work hours, or expected time commitment. Aim High: Express your eagerness to learn. Inquire about your exact role and level of involvement. Could you get co-authorship on a publication resulting from your contribution? Either way, Professors will be delighted by your motivations and professionalism. Lastly, it is never too late to get involved in undergraduate research, but the rewards are often larger for those who begin early!
Spring 2012: Volume 11, Issue 1
Submission Guidelines for The Oculus Eligibility
The Oculus publishes exceptional research papers from all disciplines including, but not limited to, the humanities, sciences, and engineering fields. Papers are eligible for submission if the research was conducted and written while the author was enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. Alumni may submit work within one year of graduation.
Submissions must be in English, typed, double-spaced, titled, have page numbers, and include an abstract of 300 words or less. All identifying information (name, class, professor) should be removed from the document prior to submission. Papers commonly range between 7 and 30 pages double-spaced; there is no required length, however, we request authors to abridge an especially lengthy paper. The Oculus is committed to upholding the UVa honor code and expects all submissions to cite sources when appropriate. Contributors are asked to use citation standards common to their field.
Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should read “(your name) Oculus Submission.” In the text of the e-mail please provide: Your name, year, and major Paper title and, if applicable, class written for When and where research was conducted Name of faculty advisor(s) and coauthor(s) (if applicable) In such cases, coauthor(s) and/or faculty advisor(s) must send a statement of publication consent to email@example.com Name the attached paper file “(Paper title).doc”. All supporting media (images, charts, tables, figures) must be supplied in either .png or .tif file format. Name files “(Paper title)1.png,” “(Paper title)2.tif,” etc., in the order in which they appear in the paper. Multiple paper submissions are accepted, although only one submission per author can be published in each issue.
Copyright and Double Publication
The Oculus does not accept previously published papers. The selected contributors, however, retain all copyright to their work and thus may submit their paper elsewhere after being published in The Oculus.
For submissions that include images or other media from external sources, it is the author’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions.
The editorial board evaluates the novelty, quality, and significance of submitted research papers. The paper must contain original research and make a reasonable contribution to the body of scholarly work in the field. Additionally, the paper must be written in a lucid, professional style and is expected to be accessible for all university educated students, whether or not they are familiar with the paper’s field. The Oculus is typically open for submissions during the first three weeks of each semester. Submissions are then read anonymously and discussed by multiple editors over the course of eight to ten weeks. Authors are notified via e-mail around ten weeks after submission. Please see our website for more details at http://www.uvaurn.com
The Oculus: The Virginia Journal of Undergraduate Research
The Center for Undergraduate Excellence The Center for Undergraduate Excellence advises students regarding undergraduate research opportunities and national scholarships and fellowships. Students are encouraged to visit the Center throughout their undergraduate careers. For more information about the Center, please visit its website at www.virginia.edu/cue or its office at 305 Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library.
The Undergraduate Research Network The Undergraduate Research Network (URN) was formed in 2001 to foster an undergraduate research community at the University of Virginia. URN encourages students to initiate research projects and also offers guidance and mentorship to those interested in research. To achieve this goal, URN presents information about current research opportunities and publicizes funding availabilities and research-related events. Each semester, URN puts on a series of workshops on topics ranging from finding funding for research to giving an effective research presentation, as well as an undergraduate research symposium where students who have completed significant research projects can present their findings. If you are interested in learning more about URN or becoming a part of the organization, please visit www.virginia. edu/cue/urn. The Oculus is online! Visit http://www.virginia.edu/cue/urn/oculus.html to read the online version of the journal and learn more about The Oculus.
The Oculus Volume 11, Issue 1
Published on May 9, 2012