1.5.5 Social bookmarks

If you find you have a long unmanageable list of favourites/bookmarks you might like to try social bookmarks as an alternative.

Activity – what you need to know about social bookmarks

Read 7 things you should know about soci
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1.5.2 Ways of organising yourself

How do you organise yourself?

Activity

Make a note of how you organise your:

  • emails

  • internet bookmarks or favorites

  • computer files

  • your
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1.4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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4.2 Carbon reduction targets

Let's now look at carbon footprint reduction targets in a bit more detail.

The first international agreement to set carbon reduction targets was the 1997 United Nations Kyoto Protocol, which requires developed countries to reduce their human-generated greenhouse gas emissions by an average of just over 5% on 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012. By the time the treaty came into force in 2005, only the USA and Australia had refused to sign. (A new Australian government finally signe
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2.5 A ‘collective picture of a warming world’

The observed increase in GMST may be the key global indicator of greenhouse warming, but it is far from being the only tangible sign of climate change during the 20th century. This brings us back to the first bullet point at the beginning of Section 2.1. Here, we take a brief look at the growing body of evidence that many different climate variables, as well as physical and biological systems around the world, have been affected by recent climate warming. The examples collected in Box 9 will
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Introduction

Sweatshops and the exploitation of workers are often linked to the globalised production of ‘big brand’ labels. This unit examines how campaigners have successfully closed the distance between the brands and the sweatshops, while others argue that such production ‘kick starts’ economies into growth benefiting whole communities.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Author(s): The Open University

3.3 Nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is based on harnessing the very large quantities of energy that are released when the nuclei of certain atoms, notably uranium-235 and plutonium-239, are induced to split or ‘fission’. The complete fission of a kilogram of uranium-235 should produce, in principle, as much energy as the combustion of over 3000 tonnes of coal. In practice, the fission is incomplete and there are other losses, but nevertheless nuclear fuels are more highly concentrated sources of energy than f
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2.2.2 Environmental economics and green consumerism

In economic terms, green consumerism is typically expressed using measures based on the willingness to pay (WTP) principle. As mentioned above, this takes two main forms: eco-taxation, in which environmental costs are estimated and added to the price of commodities (e.g. vehicles with high carbon emissions); and eco-labelling, in which products are labelled with relevant environmental information, such as is now required by the food industry and governments in many industrialised count
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1.4 Caring for the consequences

The Light reading is an extract from the first part of a longer paper in which he goes on to argue for a more pragmatic approach from environmental ethicists to complement their important work on theorising over intrinsic value. Here you need register only the concern expressed by Light that ethicists should focus more on the immediate consequences of their endeavours in terms of being able to shape policy and action.

In thinking about such effects, Light might be regarded as following
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5.1 Food preservation and the development of refrigeration

Most societies have had traditional methods of preserving food: drying, baking, pickling, salting, smoking, the use of sugar, and in cold climates, freezing or chilling, with the use of ice houses in the summer. These techniques were usually carried out at a local level, which meant that most perishable food was consumed near to where it was produced, and any food processing was usually small-scale and localised. Cattle and livestock, for example, were moved ‘on the hoof’ from their pastu
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2.2 We are part of nature

Take a few minutes to look around at your surroundings before you read on. What do you see? Obviously this depends on where you are at the moment: at home, at work, or perhaps travelling in between, or maybe you have the misfortune to be laid up in hospital. Possibly like me you are at home. I am fortunate to have a study where I do much of my writing and you won't be surprised to hear that I'm looking at a computer screen at the moment. What else can I see? Books and bookshelves, furniture o
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6.4 International retributive justice

A further difference between communitarians and cosmopolitans arises over the question of retributive justice. Communitarians think that it is the responsibility of each state to uphold justice. Collectively, states can pursue international justice through the auspices of the UN, and are answerable to each other, to public opinion and to NGOs. However, there is no basis for claims to universal jurisdiction, and to deal with matters not found in specific states (such as piracy), or that cross
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5.5 Feminist critiques of international rights

The second source of criticisms that we would like to explore comes from feminist critiques. Some feminists argue that the universal notion of rights makes invisible the special problems faced by women as a group, and that, thereby, specific articles of the various human rights declarations and conventions reinforce traditional gender roles in the family and the workplace. This criticism comes in at least two forms.

The first is that rights for women (as for other disadvantaged groups)
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5.4 The influence of the Western perspective

With regard to the first set of problems – that the rights discourse is not universal but is deeply informed by a Western perspective – it is striking that many actors and commentators on the international stage now frame their arguments and assertions in terms of the language of rights and justice. Yet we need to ask to what extent this language of rights and justice really underpins shared understandings and values. There is a strong case for saying that if there are shared understandin
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5.3 Problems with international rights

The international human rights discourse claims that the value of its conception of rights lies in it being universal, empowering and human-centred. The idea of universality asserts the relevance of human rights to anyone, anywhere. Empowerment is the concept of human rights as a defence against inequality and the domination of the powerful over the weak. The human-centred feature of international rights seeks to provide a perspective on global questions, ‘putting the value of human dignity
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5.2 Human rights in the international arena

The UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserted that the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’. It further affirmed that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, that they were ‘essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations’, that these fundamental human rights include the equal rights between men
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3.1 Introduction

As this history might suggest, defining and conceptualising rights is not straightforward. This section aims to provide a working definition of ‘rights’ and introduce some important debates about rights. It aims to supply some conceptual tools to use when the discussion moves to the sphere of international politics.


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2.1.1 Where did the attempt to define notions of rights internationally come from?

To some extent, this ideology of rights was new because it was expressed at the international level with new vigour, with the horrors of the Second World War and the calculated extermination of Jews, gypsies and others in mind. The discourse of individual rights had a stronger impact on international politics than at any time previously, as did the notion of a right to national self-determination. Yet this new departure for international politics also built upon ideas about rights that had be
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2.1 Background to the idea of international rights

The UN Charter and the Declaration form part of a post-Second World War international settlement which established, on the one side, the formal legitimating ideology of the international system, national self-determination and sovereign equality and, on the other, the ideology of universal human rights. The appeal of this set of claims was the hope that different peoples could live together in peace and security. It was an attempt to accommodate difference (through the idea of national self-d
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References

Allen, J. (2006) ‘Claiming connections: a distant world of sweatshops?’ in Barnett, C., Robinson, J. and Rose, G. (eds) A Demanding World, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Barnes, D.K.A. (2002) ‘Invasions by marine life on plastic debris’, Nature, vol. 416, 25 April, pp. 808–9.
Barnett, C. (2006) ‘Reaching out: the demands of citizenship in a
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