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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 10, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1997
STATEMENTS AND SURVEYS
Since the beginning
of 1997 professionals in several disciplines have issued statements on climate change. We
summarize these below, along with the results of a survey of climate scientists.
References to further information in the Global Change Electronic Edition (GCEE)
Web site (http://www.globalchange.org/), which
also hosts this Digest, are given when appropriate.
Ecologists: A letter sent to President Clinton May 21 endorses the recent IPCC
assessment and calls for the U.S. to demonstrate leadership in forging an international
response to climate change. Signed by 21 prominent ecological scientists, the letter has
also been endorsed by at least 2,400 scientists in the same and other disciplines. The Ecologists'
Statement on the Consequences of Rapid Climatic Change was circulated for additional
signatures by Ozone Action, 1636 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20009 (tel: 202 265
6738; fax: 202 986 6041; WWW: http://www.ozone.org).
The text and related material are found in the GCEE June 1997 listings.
Economists: Over 300 Canadian economists endorsed a statement circulated by the David
Suzuki Foundation calling on the government to employ market-based mechanisms that could
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still provide economic benefits. In January 1997,
2,000 U.S. economists signed the same statement. (See Global Climate Change Digest,
News, Mar. 1997.) Contact the Foundation at 2211 West 4th Ave. #219, Vancouver BC V6K 4S2
(tel: 604 732 4228; fax: 604 732 0752).
A similar statement signed by 131 economists was released in Australia in June. Contact
the Australia Inst., POB 72, Lyneham, ACT 2602, Australia (tel: 61 6 249 6221; fax: 61 6
Physicians: A letter signed by over 350 members of Physicians for Social
Responsibility, sent to President Clinton in January 1997, called for prompt and effective
actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Administration responded positively, and
an international version was circulated for signatures and submitted to the heads of state
attending the Rio + 5 conference of the United Nations in June 1997. The letters
are found in the GCEE July 1997 listings, or contact Physicians for Social
Responsibility at 1101 14th St. NW, S. 700, Washington DC 20005 (tel: 202 898 0150; fax:
202 898 0172; WWW: http://www.psr.org).
Climate scientists: A survey circulated to 1,000 climate scientists in Canada, Germany
and the U.S. is summarized in the U.N.'s Climate Change Bulletin (2nd Quarter,
1997). The scientists were asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 7 their agreement with the
statement "We can say for certain that global warming is a process already
underway." The mean response was 3.3, which the pollsters (two climate scientists
from Germany) interpret to mean that the majority of respondents "tended to agree
that global warming is underway." However, the percentage who strongly agreed ranged
from 3% in the U.S., to 13% in Germany, and 23% in Canada.
There was stronger agreement (a mean of 5.6 out of 7) with the need for immediate
policy decisions, regardless of whether climate change is apparent.
For more information contact Dennis Bray, Meteorologishes Inst. der Univ., Bundesstr.
55, D-20146 Hamburg, Ger. (tel: 49 40 41173 228; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The survey summary
is available on the Climate Convention Secretariat's Web site (http://www.unfccc.de), in the GCEE August 1997
listings, or from the UNEP Info. Unit for Conventions, CP356, 1219 Châtelaine, Switz.
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