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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 #d97apr28

"Environmental Change and Social Justice." (See PROF. PUBS./OF GEN. INTEREST, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Apr. 1997.)

Item #d97apr29

"Stormy Weather," T. Morton, D. Brown, Rolling Stone, pp. 62-70; 98-99, Mar. 20, 1997.

Examines the likelihood that recent extreme weather in the U.S. is related to global warming from greenhouse gases. Quoting from a number of scientists on both sides of the issue, covers in considerable detail these major themes: the IPCC assessment, weather versus climate, arguments against global warming, the recent unusual behavior of El Niño, lessons of the ozone layer, infectious diseases, and the recent interest of the insurance industry. Within 10 years, it is likely that scientists will have proved or disproved global-warming theory.

Item #d97apr30

Five articles in Environment Matters, Winter-Spring 1997. (Environ. Dept., The World Bank, 1818 H St. NW, Rm. S-5057, Washington DC 20433; WWW:

This issue assesses progress since the Rio Earth Summit as well as the unfinished agenda, emphasizing successes of the Bank's client countries. Includes these articles:

"Persuasion and Incentives: New Ways to Achieve a Cleaner World," pp. 6-9.

"Innovative Financial Instruments for Global Environmental Management," pp. 12-13.

"Getting the Public Involved: A Key to Environmental Solutions," pp. 14-18.

"Building Global Markets to Reduce Climate Change," p. 23.

"Reforming Subsidies: Now Is the Time to Act," pp. 24-25.

"Innovations in Environmental Policy: Progress Since Rio," p. 26.

Item #d97apr31

"Climate Panel Forecasts Way Ahead," E. Masood, Nature, p. 7, Jan. 2, 1997.

Comments on how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change appears set to become a model for other areas of risk-based policy making, an accomplishment partly due to its unique structure. Explains some of the inevitable tensions over interpretation and emphasis of IPCC documents that reflect the national interests of the contributors.

Item #d97apr32

"Climate Change and Storm Damage: The Insurance Costs Keep Rising," C. Flavin, World Watch, pp. 10-11, Jan-Feb. 1997. (Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036; tel: 202 452 1999; WWW:

The concern of the insurance industry continues to rise. At the July 1996 Conference of Parties to the Convention on Climate Change in Geneva, a large delegation of insurers participated for the first time. A number of companies have indicated that they now plan to monitor-and perhaps even lobby on-the issue. If so, they will provide a powerful counterweight to the oil and coal industries. (See next entry.)

Item #d97apr33

Comment and subsequent reply in Tomorrow magazine. (Hälsingegaten 9, SE-113 23 Stockholm, Sweden; tel: 46 8 33 5290; fax: 46 8 32 9333; e-mail:

"Climate Change Pits Industry Against Industry," C. Flavin, p. 54, Jan.-Feb. 1997. While the oil and coal industries are becoming increasingly obstructionist, other industry groups have begun to argue for stronger climate targets, and for market-oriented climate policies. The latter include insurers, and the U.S. and European Business Councils for Sustainable Development. The U.S. oil and coal industries are launching disinformation campaigns aimed at the general public using tactics similar to the tobacco lobby. Instead, they should disband the Global Climate Coalition.

"Climate Change Challenge," W. O'Keefe, p. 64, Mar.-Apr. 1997. The author, who chairs the Global Climate Coalition, argues that Flavin falsely alleges a campaign of disinformation by the oil and coal industries so he can better hide his own brand of disinformation about the Coalition. Instead of ad hominem attacks and extreme rhetoric, Flavin would better serve his constituency by understanding and facing up to the economic penalties, especially for developing countries, that would result from implementing schemes to address greenhouse gas emissions.

Item #d97apr34

"Voice of U.S. Science Struggles to Be Heard," C. Macilwain, Nature, pp. 10-11, Jan. 2, 1997.

The level of esteem in "expert" scientific advice has taken a downturn, as illustrated by the growing tendency to consider not what scientists say, but who they are, what they want, and who pays their salaries. The National Academy of Sciences has proposed a new approach to open further the environmental risk assessment process. Opening the already transparent processes of the U.S. will continue to give the American public better protection on a wide range of risks than have the people of Europe or Japan.

Item #d97apr35

"Research Priorities for the 21st Century," Environmental Science & Technology, pp. 20A-29A, Jan. 1997.

Presents excerpts from a National Research Council report resulting from an unprecedented "national forum" involving a broad cross section of society. (See Global Climate Change Digest REPORTS/GENERAL INTEREST, Oct.-Nov. 1996.) Global climate change was one of the topics selected as important, but already receiving considerable attention. Summarized here are six topics rated important but not receiving sufficient attention: economics and risk assessment; environmental monitoring and ecology; chemicals in the environment; the energy system; industrial ecology; and population. Results of an ES&T reader survey (p. 29A) will be published in a future issue using quotes from a number of scientists (on both sides of the issue), and forwarded to the Research Council's committee.

Item #d97apr36

"Can We Save Our Skins?" C. Gilfillan, Friends of the Earth, pp. 8-11; 14, July-Aug. 1996. (Friends of the Earth, The Global Bldg., 1025 Vermont Ave. NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20005; e-mail:

Recent news that atmospheric levels of CFCs and some other ozone depleting substances have declined for the first time since they have been measured have created a false understanding that ozone depletion is no longer a problem. But the story is not over and a successful ending depends on taking care of unfinished business: methyl bromide and halons, the black market in CFCs, and lagging compliance by some countries to the Montreal Protocol.

Item #d97apr37

"The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research," L.J. Farrow, Environment, pp. 4-5, Oct. 1996.

Describes this regional partnership that supports scientific research geared toward illuminating changes in the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, land surfaces, and biological populations, that have implications for sustainable economic growth and development.

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