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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 4, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1991
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
"How to Slow Global Warming," D.G. Victor (Dept. Political
Sci., MIT, Cambridge MA 02139), Nature, 349(6309), 451-456, Feb.
To structure an effective climate agreement that gains wide acceptance by
nations and is flexible enough to accommodate new scientific findings and
political interests, suggests an open-ended agreement modeled on the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A General Agreement on Climate Change (GACC)
would differ from the convention-protocol approach (the most popular structure
under consideration now) in that it would not specify the types of issue
linkages in its structure; it would begin modestly and evolve over time. Some
issues would remain from round to round, while others would appear or disappear
as necessary. This approach is in between the issue-by-issue structure of the
convention-protocol approach and the comprehensive structure of a Law of the
"Evidence from Balloon Measurements for Chemical Depletion of
Stratospheric Ozone in the Arctic Winter of 1989-90," D.J. Hoffmann (Dept.
Phys., Univ. Wyoming, Laramie WY 82071), T. Deshler, ibid., 349(6307),
300-305, Jan. 24, 1991.
Ozone minima repeatedly observed in the 22-km region were negatively
correlated with the time air parcels spent in regions cold enough for the
formation of polar stratospheric clouds. This fact and the presence of sunlight
on a portion of each air-parcel trajectory suggest these minima are related to
chemical ozone depletion. (A related comment by M. Chipperfield appears on pp.
279-280 of this issue.)
"Low-Cost Strategies for Coping with CO2 Emission Limits," R.H.
Williams (Ctr. Energy Environ. Stud., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08544), The
Energy J., 11(3), 35-59, 1990.
This critique of a paper by Manne and Richels (next entry) shows that the
options for reducing CO2 emissions through energy demand reduction and energy
supply shifts are much broader than those they considered. A much more
broadly-based energy R&D program is needed.
"CO2 Emission Limits: An Economic Cost Analysis for the USA,"
A. Manne (Elec. Power Res. Inst., POB 50490, Palo Alto CA 94303), R. Richels,
The Energy J., 11(2), 51-74, 1990.
Describes a modeling framework for evaluating the potential economic impacts
of alternative strategies for coping with greenhouse warming. Estimates that the
discounted present value of economic consumption losses arising from a 20%
reduction in CO2 emissions through the next century could be reduced from $3.6
trillion to $0.8 trillion by achieving high levels of energy efficiency
improvement beyond what the energy price mechanism alone would induce, and by
commercializing low-cost, low-CO2-emitting supply technologies. A vigorous R&D
program should be started before scientific uncertainties on global warming are
"Innovations in International Environmental Governance," P.H.
Sand (U.N. Econ. Comm. for Europe, Geneva, Switz.), Environment, 32(9),
17-20, 40-43, Nov. 1990.
Based on a study prepared for the World Resources Institute, this article
discusses recent successful international environmental agreements such as the
Montreal Protocol. One important characteristic is their fluid nature, which
allows quick response to growing scientific understanding.
"Report on Reports," J.K. Sebenius (Kennedy Sch. Govt., Harvard
Univ., 79 JFK St., Cambridge MA 02138), ibid., 25-30.
An extensive review and discussion of The Greenhouse Effect: Negotiating
Targets by M. Grubb (Reports/General and Policy, Global Climate Change
Digest, Mar. 1990), which advocates an international system of marketable
carbon-emission permits. Concludes that the paper is a fine piece of work which
considerably advances the debate over climate negotiations, and forms a solid
platform for further progress.
"Debt for Nature Swaps and the Need for Alternatives," A.
Patterson (Tufts Univ., Medford Mass.), ibid., 32(10), 5-13,
31-32, Dec. 1990.
Four types of restrictions limit the effectiveness of debt-for-nature swaps:
the kinds of players that can be involved, the types of projects funded, effects
on the economy, and sovereignty issues. Proposes three classes of alternatives:
those suitable for commercial debt, those applicable to bi- and multilateral
debt, and those concerning "Brady Plan" debt renegotiations.
"Debt-for-Nature Swaps: A New Strategy for Protecting Environmental
Interests in Developing Nations," T.B. Hamlin, Ecol. Law Quart.,
16, 1065-1088, 1989.
Analyzes four recent swaps negotiated by two U.S.-based environmental
organizations with the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and the
Philippines. Concludes that swaps are an appealing small-scale means for private
organizations to protect environmental interests abroad; their nominal impact on
the debt problem is not an indication of failure.
"Heat Pollution and Global Warming," G. Fischer (Dept. Chem.,
Australian Nat. Univ., Canberra 2601, Aust.), Environ. Conserv., 17(2),
117-122, Summer 1990.
An assessment of the major anthropogenic sources of heat pollution and the
ultimate heat generated. Heat pollution may be relatively more important than
greenhouse warming because it is a direct process producing heat at the surface
of the globe and not subject to moderating feedback mechanisms. Heat pollution
will increase any overall warming from increasing CO2 and add to the global
problems that may stem from it.
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