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 8, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1995
OF GENERAL INTEREST: GENERAL AND POLICY
"Keeping the Climate Treaty Relevant," D.G. Victor
(IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria), J.E. Salt, Nature, 373(6512),
280-282, Jan. 26, 1995.
Although conventional wisdom holds that the next step for an
effective climate treaty is the negotiation of binding targets
and timetables for greenhouse gases, there is little evidence
that further targets would do much to control emissions. More
attention should be given to assessing national emissions,
policies and plans. Avoiding targets at this stage could also
provide valuable time to consider other means of elaborating the
convention, such as joint implementation, and improvements to the
concept of global warming potential (comparability of controlling
various greenhouse gases). In addition, the author advocates
giving the process of gathering and reviewing information the
political space to operate, increasing the use of national
reports, support of the convention secretariat, and design of a
multilateral consultative process for dealing with questions
about implementation. This strategy can apply to other
international agreements such as those on biodiversity and
Scientific Agenda for Climate Policy?" S.A.
Boehmer-Christiansen (Sci. Policy Res., Univ. Sussex, Brighton
BN1 9RF, UK), Nature, 372(6502), 400-402, Dec. 1,
Examines how and why scientists created public concern about
climate change, why it rapidly seized the attention of
environmentalists and governments, and how scientists have
responded to the politicization of the issue. Global policy on
global warming is emerging from untidy political processes, not
through technocratic design. Under pressure, even scientists will
deliver what their paymasters prefer to hear. Policy-related
advisory networks need to become more sophisticated and less
self-serving, and policy makers need to develop broader
decision-making structures. If knowledge is funded by soft money
and created under conditions of dictated relevance, the degree of
trust on which wise policy must be based is unlikely to be
"Mitigation of Drought from Global Geological
Evidences," R.R. Paepe (Earth Technol. Inst., Free Univ.
Brussels, Pleinlaan 2 B-1050, Brussels, Belg.), E. Van Overloop, World
Resour. Rev., 6(4), 545-558, Dec. 1994.
Examines the role of geology and geologists in understanding
environmental impacts in general and greenhouse warming in
particular. Demonstrates the relevance of geological proxy data
in understanding the greenhouse effect; calls for caution in
making conclusions about anthropogenic enrichment of atmospheric
CO2; and emphasizes the need for multidisciplinary
Can Improve Energy Efficiency in the U.S.-Government or Market
Forces?" N. Dolsak (Sch. Publ. & Environ. Affairs,
Indiana Univ., Bloomington IN 47405), World Resour. Rev., 6(4),
585-596, Dec. 1994.
Analysis at the sectoral level shows that the U.S. energy
strategy relies on the market and its strengths to improve energy
efficiency, having recognized that the most important market
barriers are lack of information and lack of capital. However,
the market may not work efficiently because energy prices do not
reflect true costs of energy consumption.
"States' Roles in Reducing Global Warming: Achieving
International Goals," D.L. Feldman (Energy, Environ. &
Resour. Ctr., Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996), C.A. Wilt, World
Resour. Rev., 6(4), 570-584, Dec. 1994.
For some issues, states are better able than national
governments to develop innovative, flexible greenhouse gas
policies that are administratively feasible and acceptable to the
public. Changes in national policy are needed to optimize states'
abilities to contribute, including national cooperation with
states in energy planning, and improved coastal zone, water
resource, and drought and disaster management. Examples are drawn
from the U.S., but the ideas apply to other countries.
Science of Policymaking: Responding to ENSO," M. Golnaraghi
(Div. Appl. Sci., Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), R. Kaul, Environment, 37(1),
16-20, 38-44, Jan.-Feb. 1995.
The growing scientific understanding of the El Niño Southern
Oscillation made possible an important turning point reached
during the 1982-83 ENSO event, when countries began to use this
knowledge as a guide to policy planning. Effective policy making
in Peru and Brazil is described. However, other factors, such as
unsustainable use of natural resources and the globalization of
economies, also make societies more vulnerable to interannual
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