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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 #d93nov1

"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 maker.

Item #d93nov2

"An Economist's Perspective on Air Pollution," D.R. Lee (Dept. Econ., Univ. Georgia), ibid., 1980-1982.

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.

Item #d93nov3

"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.

Item #d93nov4

"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.

Item #d93nov5

"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.

Item #d93nov6

"Climate Instability 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 gradual.

Item #d93nov7

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.

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