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 6, NUMBER 11, NOVEMBER 1993
GENERAL INTEREST, POLICY AND LAW
"Climate Change: The
Effects of Personal Beliefs and Scientific Uncertainty," L.B. Lave (Grad.
Sch. Indus. Admin., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), H. Dowlatabadi,
Environ. Sci. Technol., 27(10), 1962-1972, Oct. 1993.
Analyzes policy options for reacting to climate change, taking into account
the considerable uncertainty surrounding three essential issues: the
relationship between emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change; the
resulting effects on humans and the environment; and the costs of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. Applies game theory to several scenarios reflecting a
range of outcomes in these issues. The analysis supports moderate abatement (the
current U.S. and European position), and there is some support for stringent
abatement (if the "precautionary principle" is used as a decision
criterion). The policy choice is affected more by the decision criterion used
than by scientific uncertainty or by the degree of optimism of the decision
Perspective on Air Pollution," D.R. Lee (Dept. Econ., Univ. Georgia), ibid.,
Makes a case for a market approach to pollution policy, based on economic
theory and other grounds. The U.S. EPA should use its scientific expertise to
establish broad standards, then allow individual polluters to satisfy those
standards any way they choose.
"The United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change: A Commentary," D. Bodansky (Sch.
Law, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195),
Yale J. Intl. Law, 18(2), 453-558, Summer 1993.
This critique, constituting the entire issue, begins with substantial
discussions of the scientific and policy background of the climate change
convention and its negotiation history. The article consists mostly of a
detailed critique of the convention itself, including objectives and principles,
commitments, institutions and mechanisms, and interim arrangements. Concludes
that the convention makes a definite, albeit tentative, start toward
establishing a dynamic international process.
"The 4P Approach to
Dealing with Scientific Uncertainty," R. Costanza (Ctr. Environ. &
Estuarine Studies, Univ. Maryland, Solomons MD 20688), L. Cornwell, Environment,
34(9), 12-20, 42, Nov. 1992.
Policymakers could deal with uncertainty through a "precautionary
polluter pays principle" (4P), which extends the polluter pays principle to
make the polluter pay for uncertainty as well. Proposes a bonding system for
global warming that would have economic efficiency advantages over a carbon tax.
"Report on Reports:
'Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming,' " W. Bach (Ctr. Appl. Clim.,
Univ. Munster, Munster, Ger.), ibid., 25-30.
An article-length review of the National Academy of Sciences study published
in several installments in 1991.
in a Warmer World," P. Williamson, H. Oeschger (Intl. Geosphere-Biosphere
Prog., PAGES Core Proj. Off., Bärenplatz 2, CH-3011 Bern, Switz.), Ambio,
22(6), 411, Sep. 1993.
A one-page, current synopsis of ice core evidence of rapid climatic
fluctuations during past warm periods, an unexpected finding which poses the
possibility that any future greenhouse warming could be abrupt rather than
New journal: Environmental
Values, A. Holland, Ed., quarterly from White Horse Press, 10 High St.,
Knapwell, Cambridge CB3 8NR, UK.
Concerned with the basis and justification of environmental policy;
interdisciplinary articles seek to clarify the relationship between practical
policy issues and fundamental underlying principles and assumptions. Reviewed by
A. Jordan in Nature, p. 587, Oct. 7, 1993.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations