Climate Accord sans the USA: The Role of Local Governments in Confronting the Effects of Climate Change and Increasing Resilience

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from a multinational climate agreement—commonly known as the Paris Climate Accord—created a tsunami of reactions worldwide. World leaders and business CEOs almost universally decried the decision. The United States’ absence from a leadership position in the fight against the threats and consequences of climate change is a negative development. The need for action is immediate and will need to include all levels of government and private-sector stakeholders. After the US president’s decision to rescind the previous administration’s commitment to the Paris Accord, US cities increased their efforts to address climate change threats. While it may be that these efforts are a result of altruistic desires of the mayors and other elected officials representing their constituents at a local level, cities and communities have a moral and ethical obligation to address concerns and prepare for climate-change-related impacts. This article examines the often-misunderstood nature of the unique relationship between cities, state governments, and the United States federal government. Moreover, the article provides a clear account of how these different entities interact independently and distinctly, facilitating the design of their own responses to climate change threats.

Can China’s Brain Drain to the United States be Reversed in the Trump Era?: Trends in the Movements of American-Trained Chinese STEM Talent and its Implications

The United States has long relied on the inflow of foreign human capital in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and China is a prime country of origin. But this established pattern of talent flow seems to be reversing itself, as Donald Trump has proposed to revamp the H-1B visa program to ensure tech companies hire American workers before importing foreigners. By contrast, China is exerting stronger pull with numerous incentives and programs encouraging its expatriates to launch technological and entrepreneurial endeavors back home. Can China’s brain drain to the United States be reversed in the Trump era? This article attempts to answer this question by examining the trends in the movements of Chinese STEM talents between China and the United States in recent decades and analyzing the contributing factors behind these trends. The study finds that in the exchange of technological human capital, China has been running a major deficit to the US and this pattern can hardly be reversed in the foreseeable future. Among the multiple factors of China’s persistent brain drain, cultural factors override everything in the stay-or-return decision of overseas Chinese scientists. Along with findings from the author’s interviews with a group of overseas Chinese scientists, reliable statistics on three cohorts of Chinese science and engineering (S&E) talent are exploited to support the examination and analysis.

Effective Management of White Pollution: Role of Attitude, Responsibility, and Integrity in Kolkata, India and Chittagong, Bangladesh

It is unanimously accepted concern that the convenience of indiscriminate use of plastic bags is now dominated by its inconvenience and finally affects our sustainable living. Widespread use of plastic bags in the unorganized retail sector is a growing concern today in Kolkata, India and Chittagong, Bangladesh. Unlike the organised retail outlets or supermarkets, many commodities like fruits, vegetables, grocery items in this market have no preliminary packaging. In addition, free of cost availability of plastic bags in the market along with its storage, and weight convenience have created practical advantages for both the customers and shopkeepers to use these bags in this market. However, such practices have an adverse environmental impact as well. Despite the ban on the production, distribution, and usage of plastic bags, violations of this regulation are most common in this market in both the cities. Both quality and quantity of the plastic bags used in this market are a big concern in respect of white pollution. Moreover, environmentally protected shopping bags appeared in the supermarkets are hard to be accepted in this market (Zhu 2011). So need-based cost effective alternatives based on users’ choice along with a ban can act as a win-win key to achieve the goal. Again the choice of alternatives may vary significantly across countries due to cultural variations. Therefore with the aim of effective management of white pollution in the unorganized / peddlers retail market; this study made a comparative analysis of the present scenario in light of attitude of the users (both shopkeepers and the customers) in two cities, Kolkata, India and Chittagong, Bangladesh. An attempt has been made to evaluate their sense of ethical responsibility and integrity in this respect to identify the cost-effective alternatives based on users’ acceptance. Primary data is being collected, and the exploratory factor analysis is being used to analyse attitude of both the groups separately in these two cities. This comparative study identifies that despite the knowledge about required action to reduce the problem of white pollution a clear inertia is observed in both the shopkeepers and customers in developing a habit to control the usage of Plastic bags in Kolkata. However, despite poor educational background users in Chittagong, Bangladesh have shown their positive attitude towards their responsibility to cut the intensity of plastic bag use. No such attitudinal gap is observed here in Chittagong, unlike Kolkata. Successful management of white pollution demands a policy of having long term stable behavioural effect among the users apart from cost effective alternatives. This paper also tried, based on this comparative analysis, to curve out city-specific policy for controlling widespread use of plastic bags in line with cost effectiveness and intrinsic motivation of the users.