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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d91may90

A U.S. National Academy of Sciences report released in April 1991, Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming, recommends a moderate mix of policy responses as prudent insurance against the possible impacts of global warming, but does not advocate emission caps or energy taxes at this time. (See Reports, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--May 1991.) Requested by Congress in 1988, it is based on engineering and economic analyses by nearly 50 experts from government, universities, industry and public interest organizations. The panel concluded that most of its recommended responses would in the long run either cost little or produce net savings, contrary to Bush Administration concerns about the high cost of reducing CO2 emissions. But the panel also calls for research on two approaches opposed by many environmentalists: adaptation to warming, and "geoengineering" such as fertilizing ocean plankton. Panel member Jessica Mathews (World Resources Institute) wrote a dissent from one conclusion in the report, that the United States could adapt to greenhouse changes with no more difficulty than adapting to severe conditions in the past such as the Dust Bowl. See Nature, p. 449, Apr. 11, 1991; Science, pp. 204-205, Apr. 12.

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