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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 #d96feb36

"Cool Solutions for Global Warming," D.A. Lashof, Technology Review, pp. 62-64, Feb.-Mar. 1996.

Global warming has reemerged as a front-page issue. Although both the Electric Power Research Institute and the Rocky Mountain Institute agree that energy efficiency in the U.S. could be at least doubled, the incentives should be changed. Criticizes some current incentive or free-market programs and suggests improvements in areas including transportation, electricity generation and transmission, and alternative transport fuels such as ethanol from cellulose rather than corn.

Item #d96feb37

"He's Not Full of Hot Air," D. Glick, A. Rogers, Newsweek, pp. 25-29, Jan. 22, 1996.

The title refers to climate scientist James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute, who predicted the record high global average temperature of 1995. An increase in extreme events (hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, floods) were other possible signs of global warming reported in 1995. However, there is still no consensus on what will happen next. Presents other views such as those of the Global Climate Coalition, an industry-sponsored group which suggests that the world has 40 to 240 years to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.

Item #d96feb38

"The Heat Is On," R. Gelbspan, Harpers, pp. 33-37, Dec. 1995.

An essay discussing extreme climatic events, the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and varying views regarding global warming. Should a global warming crisis escalate, there will likely be increasing institutional and social denial, with more funds spent by industrial giants on creating information and controlling politicians. The oil and coal industries rely on skeptical experts who are adept at draining the issue of all sense of crisis, and who fuel a high-powered campaign of disinformation.

Suggests a way out that would create more dependence on renewable energy sources, but also preserve industry's viability. The world's energy companies could be put in charge of the transition to renewable energies and in return be assured of the same relative position in the world's economy they now enjoy. Corporations are not only obstacles along this road; they are also crucibles of technology and organizers of production. The industrialist is no less human than the poet.

Item #d96feb39

"Informing the Decision Process," J. Douglas, EPRI Journal, pp. 5-15, Nov.-Dec. 1995.

Discusses the global climate research program of the Electric Power Research Institute. This includes estimating the macroeconomic costs of compliance with emission reduction proposals, determining potential impacts of climate change, and developing integrated assessments to explore the advantages of policy alternatives.

Item #d96feb40

"Climate Models: How Reliable Are Their Predictions?" E. Barron, Consequences, pp. 16-27, Autumn 1995.

Present models are limited by the amount of detail they can handle and by what is known about how the climate system operates now and how inputs may change in the future. Their projections are cast in terms of a range of expected change that reflects the reliability of inputs and assumptions. Yet our best and only hope of anticipating future climate changes rests in large part on these models.

Item #d96feb41

"The Environment Since 1970," J.H. Ausubel, D.G. Victor, I.K. Wernick, ibid., pp. 1-15.

The world's population, one of the principal drivers of environmental stress, has increased by more than 50% since 1970. Wealthier nations still consume more than half the energy used, and the gap between rich and poor nations has widened. Other trends include increases in atmospheric CO2 and ozone depletion. Now international attention is focused as never before on global problems. What has been learned, good or bad, in developed nations can help guide the less developed ones.

Item #d96feb42

"Public Money and Human Purpose: The Future of Taxes," D.M. Roodman, World Watch, pp. 10-19, Sep.-Oct. 1995.

Looks at the economic histories of industrialized and developing countries. Taxes are one of the most powerful tools governments can use for guiding their economies. Proposes turning tax codes upside down so that environmentally destructive activities like pollution and resource depletion would be taxed rather than subsidized, and constructive activities like work and investment would be taxed less. Considers flat taxes to be a continuation of the status quo.

Item #d96feb43

"Cars, Congestion, CO2 and Choice," G. Michaelis, The OECD Observer, pp. 25-28, Aug.-Sep. 1995. Available through OECD Pubs., 2 rue A. Pascal, F75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.

While the transport sector can bring benefits in improved communication, greater mobility and lowered business costs, it has also resulted in consumption of a vast amount of urban and rural space, and in higher air pollution, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite expectations, there has been no sign of leveling off of transport activity in OECD countries, and the situation is rapidly worsening in southeast Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. To gain better control of the situation, consumer behavior must be better understood.

Item #d96feb44

"Voluntary Approaches for Energy Related CO2 Abatement," L. Solsbery, P. Wiederkehr, ibid., pp. 41-45, Oct.-Nov. 1995.

Command and control regulation is not the only option for governments to use in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary agreements between governments and the private sector are proving more and more popular. Gives examples from several countries involving four sectors: energy, industrial processes, residential-commercial-institutional, and transport.

Item #d96feb45

Special section. World Press Review, pp. 6-11, July 1995. Editorial office: Stanley Foundation Publications, 200 Madison Ave., New York NY 10016.

Contains these articles: "Feuding over Global Warming," The Economist (London); "The Calamitous Cost of a Hotter World—Insurers Lead a Chorus of Alarm," Der Spiegel (Hamburg); "Antarctic Meltdown," Independent on Sunday (London); and several shorter excerpts.

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