February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 10, OCTOBER 1992
GENERAL INTEREST, POLICY, COMMENTARY
Two items from Environment, 34(7), Sep. 1992:
"Dealing with Pollution," R.N. Stavins (Kennedy Sch. Govt.,
Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), B.W. Whitehead, 6-11, 29-41. Market-based
regulations focus on controlling a region's overall pollution rather than
individual polluters, resulting in lower overall costs compared to the
conventional "command and control" approach. Discusses the use of
pollution charges to reduce CO2 emissions, and motor vehicle efficiency.
"Report on Reports: Global Environmental Change: Understanding the
Human Dimensions," reviewed by S. Rayner (Battelle, Pacific Northwest
Labs., 901 D St. SW, Washington, DC 20024), 25-28. Several features of the
recent U.S. National Research Council report prevent it from being a
state-of-the-art account of knowledge relevant to basic research on the topic.
Instead of the recommended university-run national centers of research,
collaboration between universities and existing national laboratories could
accomplish the same goals at lower cost. (A rebuttal of this review by O.R.
Young and P.C. Stern and a reply by Rayner appear on pp. 2-3.)
"The Climate Change Convention: An Assessment," M. Grubb (Royal
Inst. Intl. Affairs, 10 St. James's Sq., London SW1 4LE, UK), Intl. Environ.
Rptr., 540-543, Aug. 12, 1992.
Analyzes in detail the wording, goals and potential of the convention signed
by over 150 nations in Rio. Concludes that it establishes a regime of
considerable potential force, given time, and if sufficient international
consensus develops to use it as such.
"To Market, To Market," J.I. Lieberman (U.S. Senator for State
of Connecticut; Senate Environ. & Public Works Committee), Issues Sci.
Technol., 8(4), 25-29, Summer 1992.
Explains why making CO2 emissions a marketable commodity is a more effective
way to reduce them than regulations or carbon taxes. The author describes the
CO2 Offset Policy Efficiency Act he has cosponsored in the U.S. Senate.
"Improving the Efficiency of Policies to Reduce CO2 Emissions,"
J.D. Scheraga (U.S. EPA, 401 M St. SW, Rm. 3220-Mall, Washington DC 20460), N.A.
Leary, Energy Policy, 20(5), 394-404, May 1992.
Examines issues related to implementing energy taxes and integrating various
policy tools, and places the analysis in a broad context that focuses on all
greenhouse gases, not just CO2. Emphasizes the importance of considering
practical implementation concerns when identifying climate change policies. A
piecemeal approach is likely to be inefficient and needlessly costly.
"Methane Reductions: Implications for Global Warming and Atmospheric
Chemical Change," A.M. Thompson (NASA-Goddard, Greenbelt MD 20771), K.B.
Hogan, J.S. Hoffman, Atmos. Environ., 26A(14), 2665-2668, Oct.
Atmospheric methane concentrations have more than doubled over the last two
centuries. This increase may contribute to global warming, enhance tropospheric
ozone formation, suppress the OH radical, and affect stratospheric ozone.
Calculations show that stabilization of methane could reduce projected
temperature increases and possibly mitigate tropospheric ozone increases due to
rising methane levels.
"Ecological Engineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come," A.A.
Berryman (Dept. Entomol., Washington State Univ., Pullman WA 99164), M.A.
Valenti et al., Trends Ecol. Evolution, 7(8), 268-270, Aug.
Global warming and other environmental problems have brought us to a
crossroads, where those who patiently await the reactions of global Gaia are
pitted against biotechnologists, who would design and build new ecosystems.
Ecological engineering offers some promise of solutions, if it can integrate the
practical sides of ecosystem, landscape, community and population ecology with
relevant concepts from the engineering sciences.
"The GCM Credibility Gap," S.J. Ghan (Battelle Pacific Northwest
Lab., Richland WA 99352), Clim. Change, 21(4), 345-346, Aug.
1992. Examines the factors responsible for the large discrepancies between
global warming predictions from different global climate models, but is
optimistic that the differences can be reconciled to permit better climate
"EC Ozone Cap," A. McCulloch, Chem. in Britain, pp.
709-710, Aug. 1992. Comments on an earlier article concerning the ozone
depletion potentials of HCFCs.
Comment on a previous review of books concerning the dialogue between
scientific and economic disciplines, M. Grubb, Nature, 358(6386),
448, Aug. 6, 1992.
"Dealing with Climate Change," Issues Sci. Technol., pp.
14, 16, 17-18, Spring 1992. Correspondence from several authors on a previous
article by Rubin et al. on the inadequacies of the U.S. global climate research
"A Pilot Environmental Index for the UK in the 1980s," C. Hope
(Judge Inst. Mgmt. Studies, Univ. Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1RX, UK), J. Parker,
S. Peake, Energy Policy, 20(4), 335-343, Apr. 1992.
Evaluates an index constructed from nine topics ranging from local to
global, particularly its sensitivity to different types of public opinion polls
(which are used to assign relative weights to the various concerns).
Implications for policy making are discussed.
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Index of Abbreviations