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 9, SEPTEMBER 1995
"Energy Needs in Developing Countries and Sustainability," J.
Goldemberg (Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil), Science, 269(5227),
1058-1059, Aug. 25, 1995.
The former environment minister of Brazil argues that energy conservation
and increased use of renewable sources will not alone solve the world's
sustainability and environmental problems; all sources of energy will be needed.
Environmentalists who call for moratoria on large hydroelectric projects fail to
realize that lack of electricity and fuels will deprive entire populations of
access to better living conditions, and lead to even more deforestation and land
"Industrialization, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection in
Asian Industrializing Countries: The Role of Technological Change," X. Chen
(Asian Inst. Technol., GPO Box 2754, Bangkok, 10501 Thailand), World Resour.
Rev., 7(2), 289-301, June 1995.
Developing countries can avoid the some of the problems of industrialization
encountered by developed countries through the use of input reduction or
substitution, process changes, recycling technology and cleaner consumer
products, in addition to traditional end-of-the-pipe cleaning technologies.
Tighter environmental regulations and strong financial incentives are also
needed to drive rapid technological change, because market forces alone are
"200 Years of Sustainability in Forestry: Lessons from History,"
K.F. Wiersum (Dept. Forestry, Wageningen Agric. Univ., POB 342, 6700 AH
Wageningen, Neth.), Environ. Mgmt., 19(3), 321-329, May-June
Past attempts to place a social value on sustainable forest management show
the need to recognize the different natures of ecological limits and social
dynamics; the role of dynamic social values with respect to forest resources;
and the significance of practical experience as a guide to decision making
within a specific context.
"Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection: A Perspective
on Current Trends and Future Options for Universities," J. Lemons (Dept.
Life Sci., Univ. New England, Biddeford ME 04005), ibid., 19(2),
157-165, Mar.-Apr. 1995.
Briefly discusses recent international recommendations to promote
sustainable development, and offers a perspective on the roles and prospects of
universities in promoting it.
"Sustainable Development Unsustainable," J. Maddox, Nature,
374)6520), 305, Mar. 23, 1995.
An editorial and review of Small is Stupid: Blowing the Whistle on the
Greens, a book by economist W. Beckerman (Duckworth, 1995) that reviews
false past predictions of catastrophe, and warns that the cost of acting too
soon is never calculated accurately. Beckerman is probably wrong in putting
global warming in the same category as other environmental excesses, but is
correct in concluding that the period of delayed action on climate change should
be used as a time of preparation for action.
"A Sustainable Future: Catastrophe or Cornucopia; Crusade or
Challenge?" J.S. Perry (Board Global Change, Natl. Acad. Sci., 2101
Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418), Clim. Change, 29(3),
259-263, Mar. 1995.
An editorial essay reviewing two books with different perspectives on
sustainability and the Earth Summit. The Earth Summit Agreements: A Guide
and Assessment by M. Grubb, M. Koch et al. (Earthscan, 1993) summarizes the
Summit's Agenda 21 as a reference book of ideas, principles and
approaches to sustainability. On the other hand, Compass and Gyroscope:
Integrating Science and Politcs for the Environment by K.N. Lee (Island
Press, 1993) states that the human community still does not know how to create a
sustainable way of living and that the Earth summit may be remembered as an
exercise in grandiose geopolitics.
"Transnational Transfer of Environmental Awareness: The Role of
Private Firms," B. Baumgartl (Mass. Inst. Technol., Rm. 3-408, Cambridge MA
02138), Environ. Impact Assess. Rev., 15(1), 3-9, Jan. 1995.
Argues that sustainable development depends on the cooperation of all
constituencies and an equilibrium among them. Analyzes the role of private
companies and emphasizes their potential positive impact on the environmental
"Sustainable Resource Use: The Search for Meaning," A.G. Heyes
(Dept. Econ., Birkbeck Coll., Univ. London, UK), C. Liston-Heyes, Energy
Policy, 23(1), 1-3, 1995.
Critiques four definitions of "sustainability" and finds them to
be either too vague, or too strong to be universally accepted. Suggests a
sensible middle ground.
"Sustainable Development Planning and Semi-Arid Regions," A.R.
Magalhaes, Global Environ. Change, 4(4), 275-279, Dec. 1974.
Discusses a methodology that integrates global environmental and climate
change issues into a comprehensive planning approach, designed to pursue a more
sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
Special issue: Natural Resour. Forum, 18(4),
251-262, Nov. 1994.
Contains six papers, introduced by Gro Harlem Brundtland. Topics include the
work done by the Second Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
(New York, May 1994) to implement Agenda 21, energy efficiency in
Eastern and Central Europe, the crisis in Asian forestry, freshwater and other
natural resources, and fisheries.
"Will We Be Able to Sustain Civilization?" A. Savory (Ctr.
Holistic Resour. Mgmt., 1007 Luna Cir. NW, Albuquerque NM 87102), Population
& Environ., 16(2), 139-147, Nov. 1994.
Although agriculture has made advanced civilization possible, neither "organic"
nor industrial agriculture can sustain it. Most scientists overlook the
destruction of grasslands as a major cause of the buildup of carbon in the
atmosphere. Desertification is proceeding at a faster rate than the felling of
forests, resulting in the release of carbon from once healthy grass roots and
soil organic matter, and destroying the ability of grasses to remove carbon from
"Reflections on Sustainability, Population Growth, and the
Environment," A.A. Bartlett (Dept. Phys., Univ. Colorado, Box 390, Boulder
CO 80309), ibid., 16(1), 5-35, Sep. 1994.
The definitions of "sustainable" and "sustainability"
are not very precise, especially when compromises are involved due to conflicts
between the needs of the environment and the needs of humans. Gives firm
definitions and translates these definitions into laws and hypotheses that will
clarify the implications of their use.
"A Perspective on Reducing Losses from Natural Hazards," G.F.
White (Natural Hazards Res. & Applic. Info. Ctr., Box 482, Univ. Colorado,
Boulder CO 80309), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 75(7), 1237-1240,
The first in a series of articles from the Symposium on the
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (Nashville, Jan. 1994).
The Decade should be pursuing truly sustainable development that achieves
productive resource use without impairing the quality of the environment for
future generations. The occupation of a hazardous area should be avoided if it
requires support in the forms of resource degradation, subsidies and public
assistance to remain viable. It is important to distinguish between identifying
hazard vulnerability and risk communication.
"Using Sustainable Development: The Business Case," S.E. Eden
(Dept. Geog., Univ. Bristol, Univ. Rd., Bristol BS8 1SS, UK), Global
Environ. Change, 4(2), 160-167, June 1994.
Analyzes the publications and activities of the International Chamber of
Commerce to show that a business definition of sustainable development may
exclude intergenerational, intragenerational and international equity, and
concentrate on market mechanisms and technological change. This type of
definition links sustainable development primarily to growth, and only
secondarily to environmental quality or social equality.
"Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity and the Environment," K.
Arrow (Dept. Econ., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), B. Bolin et al., Science,
268(5210), 520-521, Apr. 28, 1995.
A report of the Second Aksö Meeting (Aug. 1994), organized by
the Roy. Swed. Acad. Sci. et al. Discusses the relation between economic growth
and environmental quality, and the link between economic activity and the
carrying capacity and resilience of the environment. Concludes that economic
liberalization and other policies that promote gross national product growth are
not substitutes for environmental policy, and may need to be accompanied by
stricter policy reforms. Economic growth is
"Energy and Human Evolution," D. Price (254 Carpenter Hall,
Cornell Univ., Ithaca NY 14853), Population & Environ., 16(4),
301-319, Mar. 1995.
Proposes a radical new theory of human evolution that precludes sustainable
existence. Human beings have evolved to exploit the energy stored as fossil
fuels on Earth, just as any species flourishes under propitious conditions.
However, humans are depleting fossil energy reserves, and no other source is
abundant and cheap enough to replace them. The collapse of the human population
cannot be more than a few years away. When the history of life on Earth is seen
in perspective, the evolution of humans is merely a transient episode that acts
to redress the planet's energy balance.
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