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 10, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1997
OF GENERAL INTEREST
State of the World 1997, L.R. Brown, C. Flavin et al., 229 pp.,
Jan. 1997, $13.95/Can.$17.99 (Norton for Worldwatch).
Because this 14th edition in the series coincides with these important
milestones the fifth anniversary of the Earth Summit and the tenth
anniversary of the Montreal Protocol progress in addressing global
environmental problems is reviewed. Although some gains have been made in
planning for sustainability, the planet's broad trends of environmental and
resource degradation persist. For example, the grainland base is contracting and
climate change threatens to disrupt the ecological foundations of the global
economy. Singles out eight nations (dubbed the E8) that most shape the global
environment and have the fate of the Earth in their hands: China, India, the
U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Japan and Germany. They could become an
important catalytic force on environmental questions and play a major role in
bridging North-South differences.
The Montreal Protocol is hailed as the most successful effort to date to
deal effectively with a global environmental problem. Its success stems in part
from a precedent-setting effort to forge scientific consensus, and the
diplomatic response to scientific information, despite considerable uncertainty.
Global Environmental Outlook 1, prepared for the U.N.
Environ. Prog., Jan. 1997 (UNEP).
Despite work to counter ecological degradation, the Earth's environment has
worsened over the last decade; progress toward sustainability is slow, and a
sense of urgency is lacking. The unsustainability of the global energy sector is
one of the emerging trends cited. Among four areas for immediate international
action are drastic changes in current patterns of energy use, and global
distribution and application of environmentally sound technologies. (See Intl.
Environ. Rptr., p. 11, Jan. 8, 1997.)
How Global is Global and How Warm is Warming, 20 pp., 1996, $5
A brief report that introduces the problem of global warming and climate
change, highlights the issues and challenges involved, and presents the
projections of rising temperatures and effective responses from the
Environmental Science Under Siege: A Report to the Democratic Caucus
of the Committee on Science, Oct. 1996. Released by Rep. George Brown (D-CA)
of the House of Representatives' Committee on Science. Available from the
Committee's Minority Office (tel: 202 225 6375. The full text is also on the
Internet: http://www.house.gov/ science_democrats/welcome.htm.
A detailed rebuttal of many of the arguments of skeptics regarding climate
change and ozone depletion that reviews, almost line-by-line, the testimony
given at hearings held in 1995. The report also provides a more general overview
of Republican claims that many environmental regulations were not based on sound
science. (See Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 1-3, Nov. 8, 1996.)
U.S. Interests Supported, but Oversight Needed to Help Ensure
Improved Performance (GAO/NSIAD-96-212), 93 pp., Sep. 1996, no charge (GAO).
The recent, rapid increase in private investment in developing countries has
raised questions about whether the World Bank works to enhance or inhibit this
trend. Weaknesses in project effectiveness have raised questions about the
Bank's ability to spur economic development. And the Bank has had difficulty
demonstrating the impact of reforms intended to improve its effectiveness. This
report examines whether continued participation in the Bank is in the U.S.
Science & Engineering Indicators 1996, 1996 (GAO).
A broad compendium of statistics on science funding, education and public
attitudes, produced under guidance of the National Science Board and the
National Science Foundation. The survey of over 2,000 Americans shows that
citizens continue to agree that the benefits of scientific research outweigh any
harmful results. Regarding global warming, one of every nine people surveyed
could offer an explanation of it. While 23% could explain how CFCs contribute to
ozone depletion, only 14% could say where in the atmosphere that occurs, and 63%
did not understand why ozone depletion might be a health risk. (See Eos,
p. 339, Aug. 27, 1996.)
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Index of Abbreviations