Global Environmental Change: Interactions of Science, Policy, and Politics in the United States

Global Environmental Change: Interactions of Science, Policy, and Politics in the United States

Global Environmental Change: Interactions of Science, Policy, and Politics in the United States

Global Environmental Change: Interactions of Science, Policy, and Politics in the United States

Synopsis

This study examines how threats to the environment--the facts and probable impacts of global environment change--deserve local, national, and international attention.

Excerpt

Who needs to know about global environmental change? Almost everyone from research scientists to political leaders--and those who elect them. To make informed judgments on these matters requires an understanding of how science and public policy are linked in their continuing dance on the uncertain floor of national politics. Global Environmental Change is intended to help to follow the dance. It is addressed to students and practicing scientists and engineers, to government leaders and to staff of congressional committees, government agencies, and nongovernment organizations, to managers of business and industry whose professional capabilities can be enhanced by an understanding of global change, and to members of the general public who want to extend the horizons of their understanding of this challenging field.

Global Environmental Change describes the scientific facts of global change with attention to historical perspective, and it carefully discusses uncertainties. It reviews some of the implications of global change for public policy and describes the chief features of the policy landscape-- the academic, government, and nongovernment institutions that influence environmental policy. The focus is on the need for stronger sciencepolicy interactions; in the final chapter specific steps to achieve that goal are outlined.

The emergence of global environmental issues at the policy level has been closely coupled to scientific understanding and to growing capabilities for observation and monitoring. In this respect, environmental issues differ from policy issues--for example, issues relating to taxes, energy . . .

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