Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy

Policy journal focusing on energy, environment, economic development, and science and technology.

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 3, Fall

Biotechnology's Greatest Challenge
Can the great potentials of biotechnology ensure food security and economic development in the developing world? The human race recently passed two milestones that captured brief international press coverage. Late in 1999, the world's population...
Dialogue
Shermanizing Electricity The United States has been a leader in showing other nations the way to a free marketplace. Since the late 1970s, we have truly undergone a revolution in our attitudes toward markets, and beyond a doubt, today there is less...
Elevating the Amazonian Landscape
In eastern Bolivia, human artifacts include a diverse flora, suggesting that human occupation in the past actually enhanced the landscape of today. The conservation literature, for the most part, indicts a single of Amazonian species for the current...
Environmental Quagmire
Environmental justice raises legitimate concerns, but these need to be rooted in solid ground. Our environment poses a myriad of threats--some natural, some of human origin. Of those having human origins, some are intentional and some are the unintentional...
Genetic Diversity Blueprint
Conservancy advocates are bringing some domestic farmyard animals back from the brink of extinction. Disregard for the environment was an alarming feature of the 20th century. The catalogue of incidents of soil erosion, degradation of the atmosphere,...
Into Thin Air
More than 99 percent of all species that have ever existed are extinct. So does it really matter if another one is added to the list? Extinction has conferred an almost legendary status on a number of species of organisms, especially certain species...
Making Sense of Environmental Justice
Environmental justice advocates face cantankerous legal questions as they come to grips with transportation issues. Environmental justice has become a major issue for planners, funding agencies, and local communities involved with transportation...
Mean Streets
Transportation equity improves social justice, economic vitality, and environmental quality. Martin Luther King Jr. recognized that urban transit systems in most American cities are a genuine civil rights issue. [1] Today, close to half a century...
Pest Control, Rumor Control
Scientists need to be more media savvy if they are to communicate clearly to the public the real meaning of their research. Certain crop plants such as corn, soybeans, and cotton have been engineered to produce a number of desirable traits, including...
Sensational News
Scientists serious about reaching the public should bypass the media. A growing number of important policy debates--such as those about access to medical care, global climate change, genetic engineering, or Internet commerce--hinge on scientific...
Separate and Unequal
In 1955, a Montgomery bus driver asked a black seamstress to give up her seat to a white man. Thanks to Rosa Parks' refusal to subject herself to one more act of racial humiliation, such blatant discrimination no longer exists in America. Subtler discrimination...
Sound Science or Ideology?
In disputes over genetically modified crops, the demand for "sound science" pre-empts debate on uncertainties about potential harm. The controversy over genetically modified organisms in Europe and the United States reveals fundamental differences...
The Age of Inequity
Just over 100 years ago, the United States Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, upheld segregated seating on railway cars and established the separate-but-equal doctrine that would continue to divide the nation for the next half century. From today's...
The Butterfly Effect
When monarch butterflies in a Cornell laboratory died after eating toxic pollen from genetically modified corn, the reverberations were felt around the world. Soon, protestors dressed as butterflies raised the monarch to icon status in the United States....
There Goes the Neighborhood
Urban sprawl must be added to the long list of human impacts that threaten a massive modern extinction. Population growth, wasteful patterns of consumption, and diminishing natural resources are rapidly pushing many species to the brink of extinction....
The Routes of American Apartheid
America transportation policies, at least in the figurative sense, still relegate people of color to the back of the bus. For more than a century, people of color have struggled to end transportation discrimination in the form of unequal treatment...
Third Rock
In 2003, NASA plans to launch not one, but two more Mars Rovers to search for evidence of surface water, and a hint of past life, amid the geological rubble of the fourth rock from the sun. Meanwhile, back on Earth, researchers armed with nets and...
Unintended Consequences
New data reveal the Endangered Species Act has created economic incentives for preemptive habitat destruction. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was a watershed in federal policy on wildlife conservation. Prior to the act, the Secretary of Interior...
Unsafe at Any Seed?
Claims that genetically altered foods are better for farmers, consumers, and the environment should be taken with a grain of salt. It may be that no major technology in history has be en introduced as rapidly--and some would say as recklessly--as...
Vanishing Act
New figures on the escalating rate of extinction are spurring international efforts to document and save remaining plant species. David Brackett, chair of the International Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission, insists that, "If you...
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