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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d96jan1

"The 19th Century Discussion of Climate Variability and Climate Change: Analogies for the Present Debate?" N. Stehr (Dept. Sociol., Univ. Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2H4, Can.), H. von Storch, M. Flügel, World Resour. Rev., 7(4), 589-604, Dec. 1995.

About 100 years ago, geographers, meteorologists and climatologists were concerned with the notion of climate variability, and anthropogenic climate change due, for instance, to deforestation and reforestation. These discussions, which led to the formation of national governmental and parliamentary committees, are not merely of historic interest: they represent a significant social and intellectual analogy for the present situation. Past and now neglected arguments may prove important for methodological, theoretical, and practical reasons.

Item #d96jan2

"Serving Science and Society: Lessons from Large-Scale Atmospheric Science Programs," R.A. Pielke Jr. (ESIG, NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307), M.H. Glantz, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 76(12), 2445-2458, Dec. 1995.

Discusses the marketing of large-scale atmospheric science programs, within the scientific community as well as to the U.S. federal government, using as examples global change, weather modification, and mesoscale meteorology. Analyzes criteria for successful marketing and shows that global change has met the criteria better than the other two areas, leading to greater success in the political process. Concludes that marketing does make a difference, and it is an unavoidable process since scientists must compete for limited federal funds. But the successful selling of science projects brings the risk of overselling; policy makers often go along with this, preferring to avoid difficult decisions and placing the onus of problem solving on science. Scientists promoting programs that promise societal benefits need to consider how program research will result in such benefits, as an integral part of the program's research.

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