Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

National Academies Press: A Feast for Policy Wonks

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on an incredibly wide array of policy questions. And you know what's extra cool? They make a lot of their reports free! You just have to register to be able to download PDFs. (You can also buy them in print if you want.)

To highlight some of their timely and important reports, the National Academies Press posted The NAP Guide to the 2014 State of the Union Address. It has the text of President Obama's speech last night with inserts pointing out NAS reports. Just about anything the President talked about has at least one report: obesity, firearm violence, climate change, sustainable energy sources, education, the Affordable Care Act, and more.

As a Washingtonian, my eye was caught by Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future (2012)

book cover: Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington
And since I've spent my career at the University of Washington, I was curious about Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation's Prosperity and Security (2012) 
Research Universities and the Future of America

And of course the National Academies have lots of reports on topics the President didn't address, too. You can browse categories—for example the Law and Justice subtopic under Behavioral and Social Sciences. They even list some titles that aren't yet available, like The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014). Are you interested in scientific evidence or forensics? I recommend Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (2012).

Gallagher Law Library has some National Academies books in paper if you don't want to bother downloading a PDF and reading on screen (sometimes a printed book is just what you want!). E.g.,

If you ever tire of reading policy analysis, you can pop over to Gifts and Apparel and pick up a T-shirt of the Einstein sculpture that's on the National Academies grounds in Washington, DC.

photo of National Academies T-shirt with Einstein sculpture, "Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Climate Change Report

The Congressional Research Service published a timely report in August 2013:

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

This 35-page report addresses:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • liability for harm caused by climate change
  • climate change-induced water shortages
  • sea level rise and extreme precipitation
  • other adaptation responses to climate change
  • responding to and rebuilding after natural disasters
  • immigration and refugee law
You can find out more about the Congressional Research Service and sources for its reports on the Gallagher guide, Congressional Research Service Reports. For other CRS reports on climate change and other environmental issues, visit the CRS Reports section of the National Council for Science and the Environment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Faculty Publication: Bill Rodgers on Climate Change

Professor Rodgers, the School of Law’s Stimson Bullitt Professor of Environmental Law, has recently published Climate Change: A Reader (William H. Rodgers Jr., Michael Robinson-Dorn, Jennifer K. Barcelos & Anna T. Moritz eds., Carolina Academic Press 2011).

The back cover provides a description:

Climate Change provides a comprehensive and unique introduction to the emerging issues of global climate change. It presents many of the foundational documents, background scientific explanations, and excerpts from the leading thinkers in the vast literature on global warming. It features original articles and essays from scholars in the fields of environmental science, and environmental, energy, international and human rights law. Designed for use in the burgeoning number of new courses in areas such as global warming, climate change and climate justice, this book is organized around the topics of science, justice, impacts, energy, the U.S. response, international law, state and local law, and innovative litigation. The Reader weaves together the important story of the global warming saga in a thorough and approachable manner.
The book is organized into the following chapters:
  • Setting the Scientific Stage
  • The Justice of Transformative Change and the Spread of Global Fever
  • The Health of the Planet: The Atmosphere, the Earth, the Sea, the Residents
  • Reconstructed Energy Futures
  • Framing the Climate Change Debate
  • United States’ Response to Climate Change
  • The International Law and Policy of Climate Change
  • Local, State, Regional, Tribal and Private Climate Change Initiatives
  • Legal Initiatives Designed to Turn the Tide on Climate Change (on CD-ROM)
Throughout the book are extensive references, figures, and tables. A detailed index is included.

Climate Change: A Reader is located in the Classified Stacks at KF3783 .C578 2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Communicating the Science of Climate Change

"Communicating the Science of Climate Change" is the topic of an upcoming seminar hosted by the Forum on Science Ethics and Policy. The seminar will be led by Michael McPhaden, affiliate professor in the UW School of Oceanography and president of the American Geophysical Union. He is also a senior scientist at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and a Fellow at the UW Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.

When: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 21, 2011
Where: Room A-114 Physics-Astronomy

The Forum on Science Ethics and Policy is a multidisciplinary organization of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. The forum's goal is to promote "dialogue among scholars, policy experts, and the public about the role of science in society." See the forum's site for more information.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Global Warming: Heat and Drought

The chief harm of global warming is often depicted as the melting of polar ice and rising sea levels, which will displace millions of people in island nations and coastal communities. But Jennifer Marlow and Jennifer Barcelos, co-directors of the Three Degrees Project, point out that there is another serious hazard—one that might have even greater effects on human health and well-being. Increasing temperatures will reduce food production in much of the world. And that becomes a security issue as people compete for limited resources.

See Jennifer Marlow & Jennifer Krencicki Barcelos, Global Warring and the Permanent Dry: How Heat Threatens Human Security in a Warmer World, 1 Seattle J. Envtl. L. 19 (2011), HTML, PDF.

map showing changes in agriculture capacity
(Fig. 2 from the article)

Marlow and Barcelos urge a new focus on "human security," rather than state-based "national security." Climate change is more than an environmental issue: it's a human rights issue.

(The green areas in the map above indicate that we in northern North America will probably see improved agricultural conditions because of higher temperatures. But the ups and downs of climate change don't strike an even balance. It might be a plus for Seattleites to be able to see tomatoes ripen, but that doesn't compensate for the minus of famine in South America, Africa, and South Asia, not to mention bush fires in Australia.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three New Gov't Reports on Climate Change

The National Research Council has issued three new publications on climate change:

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

The report calls for a national adaptation strategy to support and coordinate decentralized efforts. As part of this strategy, the federal government should provide technical and scientific resources that are currently lacking at the local or regional scale, incentives for local and state authorities to begin adaptation planning, guidance across jurisdictions, shared lessons learned, and support of scientific research to expand knowledge of impacts and adaptation.

Advancing the Science of Climate Change
The report recommends that a single federal entity or program be given the authority and resources to coordinate a national research effort integrated across many disciplines and aimed at improving both understanding and responses to climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, established in 1990, could fulfill this role, but it would need to form partnerships with action-oriented programs and address weaknesses in its current program. A comprehensive climate observing system, improved climate models and other analytical tools, investment in human capital, and better linkages between research and decision making are also essential to a complete understanding of climate change.

Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change
The report concludes that a carbon pricing system (either cap-and-trade, taxes, or a combination of the two) is the most important step for providing needed incentives to reduce emissions. There is also a need, however, for complementary policies aimed at ensuring rapid progress to: increase energy efficiency; accelerate the development of renewable energy sources; advance full-scale demonstration of nuclear power and carbon capture and storage systems; and retrofit or replace existing emissions-intensive energy infrastructure. Research and development of new technologies that could help reduce emissions further in the long term also should be strongly supported.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Report on Federal Climate Change Programs

The Congressional Budge Office recently released a 31-page report called Federal Climate Change Programs: Funding History and Policy Issues.

The study reviews regular appropriations and funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Funds were used for the electrical infrastructure, energy efficiency, research and development, tax preferences, and technology demonstration projects.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Art and Climate Change

The photos in the Galleria on the law school's first floor dramatically illustrate effects of climate change. The photos were originally mounted for the Three Degrees Conference last spring.

If you're out and about exploring Seattle, you might want to check out a new installation at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park: Sculpture park to host UW display on sea level and climate change, University Week, Oct. 8, 2009. Details here.

This work, mounted by SAM and the UW's College of the Environment and Program on Climate Change, illustrates the effects of a one-meter rise in sea level. It will be on view until Oct. 24, the International Day of Climate Action.

Photo: SAM Pocket Beach, from UW Program on Climate Change.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security

According to a 9/25/09 press release, the Central Intelligence Agency is launching a Center on Climate Change and National Security. “Its charter is not the science of climate change, but the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts, and heightened competition for natural resources. The Center will provide support to American policymakers as they negotiate, implement, and verify international agreements on environmental issues.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Global Climate Change Report

The first climate change report from the Obama Administration was released June 16th. Global Climate Change: Impacts in the United States is close to 200 pages, and

summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It is largely based on results of the U.S. Global Change Research Program USGCRP),a and integrates those results with related research from around the world. This report discusses climate-related impacts for various societal and environmental sectors and regions across the nation. It is an authoritative scientific report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.

The key findings are:

1. Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
2. Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.
3. Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.
4. Climate change will stress water resources.
5. Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.
6. Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.
7. Threats to human health will increase.
8. Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.
9. Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.10. Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.