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Global Climate Change Digest

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



Item #d93feb93

Findings and Policy Implications From the Urban CO2 Reduction Project, R. Torrie, 19 pp., Jan. 1993. Available (no charge) from Intl. Council for Local Environ. Initiatives (ICLEI) World Secretariat, City Hall, E. Tower, 8th Fl., Toronto ON M5H 2N2, Can. (tel: 416-392-1462; fax: 416-392-1478).

Gives results of a two-year cooperative study among 14 cities for Western Europe, the Middle East and North America. A major finding shows why North American cities use so much more energy than their European counterparts. Differences in population density lead to greater per capita transportation energy use in the former, and extensive use of combined heat and power (cogeneration) and district heating systems in the latter. Long-term reductions in CO2 emissions will only be possible if there is a much greater role for local governments in CO2 reduction strategies.

Item #d93feb94

Preliminary Guidelines Assessing Impacts of Climate Change, T.R. Carter, M.L. Parry et al. for Working Group II of the Intergovt. Panel on Clim. Change (IPCC), 28 pp., 1992. Available (no charge) from Environ. Change Unit, 1a Mansfield Rd., Oxford OX1 3TB, UK; or Ctr. Global Environ. Res., Nat. Inst. Environ. Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan.

The first IPCC impacts assessment indicated the difficulty of comparing climate impacts in different regions and economic sectors derived from assessments using different methods. This report, the product of an international expert group established by Working Group II of the IPCC to develop guidelines for assessments, is considered preliminary and subject to further development. It does not prescribe a single method, but provides an analytical outline consisting of seven steps with a range of methods identified at every step. Guidance is also offered on the organization of research and communication of results to policy makers and the public.

Item #d93feb95

Available from Ctr. Sci. & Intl. Affairs (CSIA), Harvard Univ., 79 JFK St., Cambridge MA 02138 (617-495-1351):

Strategies of Research Policy Advocacy: Anthropogenic Climatic Change Research, 1957-1974 (CSIA Disc. Paper 92-08), D. Hart, 60 pp., Sep. 1992. Analyzes three major strategies by which entrepreneurial members of the scientific establishment drew upon the public and private interests of political actors who could support them, to benefit their research. One strategy was adopting the rhetoric of the environmental movement. Concludes that none of them were very successful, and that more deliberate political strategizing may be more plausible and useful.

International Comparisons of Environmental Hazards: Development and Evaluation of a Method for Linking Environmental Data with the Strategic Debate Management Priorities for Risk Management (CSIA Disc. Paper 92-09), V. Norberg-Bohm, W.C. Clark et al., 40 pp., Oct. 1992. Describes and evaluates a method for comparing environmental hazards within and between countries, intended for the development of environmental programs that require international coordination. Although the core of the method is a common set of indicators that can be used to characterize any environmental problem, the central role of values in such analyses is recognized. For instance, the approach can illuminate the implications that emphasize present as opposed to future impacts, or health as opposed to ecosystem effects. Discusses applications to India, Kenya, the Netherlands and the U.S.

The Triad as Policymakers (CSIA Disc. Paper 92-11), R. Vernon, 35 pp., Dec. 1992. Explores, for the U.S., the European Community and Japan, the connection between their future roles in international environmental negotiations and their respective national histories, values and institutions. Although these factors explain much of the behavior of these countries on environmental issues, grass root responses appear to play a larger role in this area of policy compared to others.

Item #d93feb96

Report of the Committee on Funding Priorities for Climate Research and Responses, C. Perkins, S. Leatherman et al., 40 pp., Jan. 1993. Available (no charge) from Climate Inst., 324 Fourth St. NW, Washington DC 20002 (202-547-0104).

Recommends climate research and response strategies to the Clinton Administration and the 103rd Congress, based largely on the findings of expert task forces established to examine three areas: (1) atmospheric science and climate impacts research; (2) energy research and development programs; (3) coastal and flood protection and insurance programs, storm detection and tracking, and emergency preparedness and response. The cost of the proposed initiatives would be outweighed by recommended savings such as reforms in the federal flood insurance program and reduction of federal subsidies for unsustainable resource use.

Item #d93feb97

Pathways of Understanding: The Interactions of Humanity and Global Environmental Change, 56 pp., 1992. Available from Consortium for Intl. Earth Sci. Info. Network (CIESIN), 2250 Pierce Rd., Univ. Ctr. MI 48710 (517-791-7371).

CIESIN is funded by NASA "to help bring the benefits of Earth monitoring policy makers and applied users world-wide," and to serve as a distributed data center. Aimed at a wide audience, from the general public to scientists involved in global change research, the core of this document is the "Social Process Diagram" created by the Human Interactions Working Group at the 1991 Aspen Global Change Institute, and described here as a fundamental contribution to human dimensions research. The diagram, for instance, could help policy makers determine whether a particular course of study or other recommendation from researchers reflects an understanding of related issues. The diagram is applied to three cases: sea level rise, population migration, and the effects of a fossil fuel tax.

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