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GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY
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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1992

REPORTS...
GENERAL INTEREST AND POLICY


Item #d92jun85

Joint Climate Project to Address Decision Makers' Uncertainties--Report of Findings, Science & Policy Assoc., 180 pp., May 1992, no charge. Request copies (No. TR-100772) from EPRI Distrib. Ctr., POB 23205, Pleasant Hill CA 94523 (510-934-4212).

(See News Notes, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992.) Documents a federal-private sector effort sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute and several government agencies. In the first phase, dozens of U.S. government and private sector officials were queried through interviews and workshops to develop a consensus set of broad, policy-relevant questions for researchers to address. In the second phase, experts in climate-related disciplines met to discuss: (1) the research necessary to answer the questions; (2) expectations for providing better information over the next two, five, ten years and beyond; and (3) needs and opportunities for improving dialogue between decision makers and researchers. Major findings follow:

More frequent and effective two-way communication is urgently needed between decision makers and researchers. Researchers need to communicate to policy makers interim information and iterative assessments while developing long-term answers, being explicit about inherent uncertainties but not compromising scientific objectivity.

Some key questions can be addressed within a few years, based on available scientific information. More information is needed on the regional impacts of climate change from the economic, social and ecological sciences. Information on climate change impacts and response strategies has the greatest potential for assisting decision makers, yet these fields are the least researched.

While researchers need to provide a broad array of information to address the complex decisions on climate change, decision makers need to recognize the long time scales involved in the research, and the importance of continuity of funding and program goals. The objective (as opposed to publicly perceived) risks of climate change must be weighed against the risks of other economic, social and environmental issues.

Included are charts of specific potential research results for understanding climate change, its impacts and possible policy responses, over three time frames: one or two years, five years, and ten years.


Item #d92jun86

U.S. Views on Global Climate Change, 10 pp., May 1992, no charge. OES, EGC, Rm. 4329, U.S. Dept. State, Washington DC 20520.

(See News Notes, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992.) In view of the uncertainties regarding climate change, the U.S. prefers a flexible, "bottom-up" (nonregulatory) approach using actions to mitigate or adapt to possible warming that are also justified for other reasons. Estimates individual reductions in greenhouse emissions resulting from current federal programs, particularly those aimed at energy use. Overall, they represent a 7-11% reduction in net projected emissions for the year 2000. Also discusses international technology cooperation and the international negotiations.


Item #d92jun87

The following two reports are available (no charge) from George C. Marshall Inst., 1730 M St. NW, S. 502, Washington DC 20036 (202-296-9655).

Global Warming Update--Recent Scientific Findings, 32 pp., Apr. 1992. (See News, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992.) Using results of very recently published research and other information, a panel of scientists associated with the Marshall Institute argues that, contrary to the IPCC findings, there is no strong case for predictions of serious greenhouse warming. A five-year delay in launching expensive policies will make the world warmer by at most one tenth of a degree, but we may understand the problem much better by then. Topics include reasons for the poor quality of greenhouse forecasts, recent findings on the influence of the sun on global temperature over the last 100 years, and new results on global sea level.

Global Warming: What Does the Science Tell Us? 72 pp., 1990. Explains the technical issues in the debate in language readily understandable to the nonspecialist, including uncertainties in climate modeling related to clouds and ocean circulation, and the search for a greenhouse signal in existing climate records. Offers a projection of 21st-century warming based on the response to known increases in greenhouse gas emissions over the past 100 years.


Item #d92jun88

The Greenhouse Debate Continued: An Analysis and Critique of the IPCC Climate Assessment, S.F. Singer, Ed., 100 pp., May 1992, $25 (Exec. Summ. $5). Sci. & Environ. Policy Project, 2101 Wilson Blvd., S. 1003, Arlington VA 22201 (703-527-0130).

(See News, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992.) A panel of 12 climate scientists from six countries reviewed the 1990 scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and its 1992 update (GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST, Reports/General Interest, May 1992). The panel concluded that the major assertions of the summary to the 1990 assessment, regarding evidence for greenhouse warming over the last 100 years and expected warming in the future, are not supported by either document. Major new findings that cast further doubt on the 1990 conclusions have not been adequately treated in the 1992 update. Recent surveys conducted by this organization and others show that a majority of active climate specialists are skeptical about the importance and urgency of the greenhouse problem. Includes a detailed analysis of individual statements in the two documents.


Item #d92jun89

The Acid Rain Experience: Lessons for the Future, R. Perhac, 8 pp., Feb. 1992. Single copies free to not-for-profit, governmental and educational organizations. Contact Elec. Power Res. Inst. (510-934-4212).

Reprint of a two-part article in Power Engineering with implications for climate change research and policy (see Prof. Pubs./Gen. Interest, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--June 1992).


Item #d92jun90

The Greening of America's Taxes: Pollution Charges and Environmental Protection (Policy Rep. No. 13), R.N. Stavins, B.W. Whitehead, 35 pp., Feb. 1992. Progressive Policy Inst., 316 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, S. 555, Washington DC 20003 (202-547-0001).

The Progressive Policy Institute is a project of the Democratic Leadership Council that develops alternatives to the conventional left-right debate. This paper argues that the challenge for environmentalists in the 1990s is to promote greater reliance on market-based policies, which rely on the day-to-day self-interest of individuals and firms rather than on centralized rulemaking. Carbon charges to reduce greenhouse emissions and gasoline taxes for greater fuel efficiency are two specific topics.


Item #d92jun91

Jobs-at-Risk: Short-Term and Transitional Employment Impacts of Global Climate Policy Options, W.A. Steger, F.H. Rueter, May 1992. For 7-page exec. summary contact Peter Soh, CONSAD Res. Corp. (202-828-8889).

Results of recent studies on the possible impacts of carbon taxes on the U.S. economy were reviewed and synthesized. Concludes that 600,000 or more American workers will lose their jobs by the year 2000 as a result of the adoption of a carbon tax or similar climate change policies. States most heavily affected would be Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois; the most affected industries include mining and primary metals, chemicals and allied products, oil and gas.

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