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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

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



Item #d92jun1

"A Mechanism to Reconcile Equity and Efficiency in Global Climate Protection: International Carbon Emission Offsets," J. Swisher (Dept. Civil Eng., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), G. Masters, Ambio, 21(2), 154-159, Apr. 1992.

Proposes a mechanism that would transfer resources from nations with unfulfilled responsibility for climate protection to those with unexploited opportunities for the same. Using the example of a large electric utility in the southeastern U.S., compares the marginal costs of reducing its CO2 emissions to the cost of supporting forestry projects in Central America, which would have added socioeconomic benefits at the local level.

Item #d92jun2

"Climate Change and the Planetary Trust," P.G. Brown (Sch. Public Affairs, Univ. Maryland, College Pk. MD 20742), Energy Policy, 20(3), 208-222, Mar. 1992.

Discusses three alternative models of responsibility for climate change: one is market-based and concerns maximizing the present discounted value of consumption; the second is based on the tragedy of the commons. But most promising is the fiduciary trust framework, based on the obligation to preserve the integrity of ecological systems. Discusses features of such a trust, and finds that the costs of implementation should be within reach.

Item #d92jun3

"Psychological Dimensions of Global Environmental Change," P.C. Stern (Nat. Res. Council, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418), Ann. Rev. Psychol., 43, 269-302, 1992.

Extensive review which discusses the place of psychology in global change research and identifies an interdisciplinary research agenda. Emphasizes research on environmental attitudes, the determinants of specific human activities such as energy conservation, and ways people may relate to change. Interdisciplinary research is essential.

Item #d92jun4

"Global Warming Debate in the USA: The Clash between Scientists on Policy Projections," W. Goldstein (Rockefeller Coll. Public Affairs, State Univ. New York, Albany NY 12222), V.A. Mohnen, Futures, 24(1), 37-53, Jan.-Feb. 1992.

Science policy has become highly controversial, and projections of global warming could divide the scientific community along political lines. The rigor of scientific inquiry must never be relaxed. If scientists exaggerate the certainty of projections, they will be accused of camouflaging uncertainty with misplaced arrogance (as many U.S. scientists have learned) and will lose popular appeal as well as political endorsement.

Item #d92jun5

Two items from Global Environ. Change, 1(5), Dec. 1991:

"International Reductions of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Equitable and Efficient Approach," B.D. Solomon (Off. Atmos. & Indoor Air Prog., ANR 445, U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460), D.R. Ahuja, 343-350.

Proposes two commercial energy protocols for consideration in climate treaty negotiations. One would link international trading in emission allowances for greenhouse gases to a country's historic per capita carbon emissions; the other would require inefficient countries to make steady improvements in energy efficiency or in the use of lower carbon fuels, as their economies develop.

"Managing the Indus River Basin in Light of Climate Change: Four Conceptual Approaches," J.L. Wescoat (Dept. Geog., Univ. Colorado, Boulder CO 80309), 381-395.

Reports on a multidisciplinary study of four distinct approaches: climate scenario assessment, the study of critical water management problems, historic antecedents and analogies, and Muslim political reconstruction. While the first is emphasized by current scientific research, the last three are more important for water managers. Discusses prospects for coordinating these approaches.

Item #d92jun6

"Global Change: Past, Present and Future," T.F. Malone (St. Joseph College, 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford CT 06117), Tellus, 43AB(4), 182-187, Aug.-Sep. 1991.

(One of several papers in an issue honoring Professor Bert Bolin; titles only were listed in GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST, Prof. Pubs./Tellus Special Issue, Apr. 1992). Social processes must be considered along with natural phenomena as a determining factor in global change. The 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development can encourage a dynamic and creative interaction among science, technology and society.

Item #d92jun7

Two items from J. Air Waste Mgmt. Assoc., 42(4), Apr. 1992:

"The Total Greenhouse Warming Potential of Technical Systems: Analysis for Decision Making," R.T. Ellington (Sci. & Public Policy, Univ. Oklahoma, Norman OK 73019), M. Meo, D.E. Baugh, 422-428.

Proposes three improvements for existing methods of comparing greenhouse impacts: (1) use a comprehensive systems perspective; (2) describe the entire system life cycle including aftereffects; and (3) use the Warming Forcing Factor and Index described here to relate greenhouse effects of individual emissions to useful output. Discusses application to a biomass-to-methanol vehicle fuel system.

"Reducing the Use of Ozone Depleting Chemicals: The Irvine, California, Ordinance," M.S. Brown (Environ. Affairs Off., City of Irvine, POB 19575, Irvine CA 92713), A. Hart, 429-432.

An ordinance passed by the city in 1989 emphasizes education and technical assistance over enforcement; a 36% reduction in emissions occurred the first year it took effect (1990). There is no evidence of adverse impacts on local businesses. It is possible for local governments to encourage greater reductions than would otherwise occur with national and international controls.

Item #d92jun8

Three items from a special section in Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 89(3), Feb. 1, 1992, containing papers from a May 1991 colloquium held at the Academy:

"Industrial Ecology: Concepts and Approaches," L.W. Jelinski (Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), T.E. Graedel et al., 793-797. Introduces other papers in the section on industrial ecology, a new approach to industrial design and manufacturing strategies which seeks to optimize the total materials cycle from virgin material to ultimate disposal of a product.

"Investigations of the Environmental Acceptability of Fluorocarbon Alternatives to Chlorofluorocarbons," M. McFarland (Dupont Co., Fluorochem., B-13230, Wilmington DE 19898), 807-811. Provides an overview of the challenges faced by industry, regulators and society in continuing to meet societal needs and consumer demands, while reducing risk to the environment without compromising consumer or worker safety.

"Approaches to Eliminating Chlorofluorocarbon Use in Manufacturing," W.S. Boyhan (Environ. Safety & Eng., AT&T Bell Labs., 131 Morristown Rd., Rm. B-2218, Basking Ridge NJ 07920), 812-814. Documents the steps AT&T has taken to reach its goal of 100% phase-out of CFCs by the end of 1994.

Item #d92jun9

Two-part article in Power Engineering by R. Perhac (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 10412, Palo Alto CA 94303), reviewing the history of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) and the lessons it holds for climate change policy and research. Reprints available as a report from EPRI (see Reports/Gen. Interest, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992).

"Making Credible Science Usable: Lessons from CAA, NAPAP," 38-40, Sep. 1991. Examines why NAPAP, which produced much very good science, did not have more influence on Clean Air Act legislation passed near the conclusion of NAPAP. Concludes that to have an impact on policy, research must be demonstrably credible as well as useful to decision makers.

"Usable Science: Lessons from Acid Rain Legislation, NAPAP," 26-29, Oct. 1991. Enumerates the mistakes made by the electric power industry in reacting to concern over acid rain. For the greenhouse gas issue, the industry should not underestimate the issue's importance and the public perception of it; it should arrive at a common policy position, and it should take positive action. The latter can include stabilization of CO2 output for at least the next decade.

Item #d92jun10

"Environmental Auditing for Global Effects," J. Cairns Jr. (Ctr. Environ. & Haz. Mater. Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Inst., Blacksburg VA 24061), Environ. Auditor, 2(4), 187-195, 1991.

Even though this is an era of unprecedented global change, information feedback loops explaining the nature of environmental changes have not been established. Proposes an overall strategy for auditing global change and provides illustrative attributes that might be used effectively at different levels of biological organization.

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