January 15, 2003, Patrick Williams, National Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund, "The IMP Structural Adjustment Program and Environmental Degradation in Guyana: An Examination of the Forestry and Mining Sectors." This presentation intends to examine some of the major environmental impacts of SAP on Guyana by focusing particularly on the forestry and mining sectors. The paper will be divided into four main sections. It will commence with a brief introduction on the economic situation in Guyana, mainly to put into context the SAP and its elements as they are discussed in relation to the mining and forestry sectors. The second section will look at the major environmental issues that appear to emanate from the implementation of the SAP while the third section will examine the various responses to the issues highlighted. The paper will then conclude with some observations and possible suggestions to confront the environmental situation.
January 22, 2003, George Loewenstein, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-SDS "(Mis)prediciting Adaptation to Adverse Outcomes." Many studies have found that non-patients asked to predict the quality of life associated with chronic medical conditions provide lower ratings than patients provide of their own quality of life. I will present results from a series of studies designed to understand the cause of this discrepancy.
January 31, 2003, Gary Yohe, Prof. of Economics, Wesleyan University, and Camille Parmesan, Asst. Prof, Integrative Biology, University, of Texas-Austin, "A Globally Coherent Fingerprint of Climate Change Impacts Across Natural Systems." Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or meters per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial 'sign-switching' responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates 'very high confidence' (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.
February 5, 2003, Nick Shorr,
Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC, "Older High School Students and
Anthropogenic Environmental. Degradation: Preliminary Findings and Policy
Implications." Semi-structured interviews with 44 HS juniors
and seniors in the greater Pittsburgh area focused on a sequence of three
questions: What things that people are doing to nature most bother/worry
you? What are the most important causes for these environmental concerns?
What are the most effective ways to seriously reduce/improve them? I frame
this policy-relevant summary of our findings within three contexts: why
civic understanding of environmental issues remains critical to the substantive
mitigation of anthropogenic environmental degradation; why the relation
between knowledge and efficacy are central to that understanding; and
why older HS students are a particularly important population with whom
to explore these relations and understandings.
February 12, 2003, Minh Ha-Duong, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC "Bounding Analysis Applied to Lung Cancer Risk." For cancers with more than one risk factor, the sum of estimated numbers of cancers attributed to the individual factors may exceed the total number of cases observed. In this study we bound the fraction of lung cancer occurrences not attributed to specific well-studied causes, in order to keep estimates of the less well delimited risks consistent with those of known risks. Available data and expert judgment are used to attribute portions of the observed lung cancer incidence to known causes such as smoking, residential radon and asbestos exposure, to describe the uncertainty surrounding these estimates, and quantify the interaction between pollutants. An upper bound on the residual risk is inferred using a coherence constraint on the total number of deaths and the principle of maximum unspecificity, a concept from the field of imprecise probabilities.
February 19, 2003, Asmerom Gilau, PhD. Candidate, Asmerom will talk about his home, Eritrean experience -opportunities and challenges, in environmental policy, awareness, management and impact assessment, energy, and climate change -particularly limitations faced in climate scenarios Global Circulation Models in constructing climate scenarios etc and ask how those that failed could have been performed for best results. All interested can access the first national communications of Eritrea from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, http://unfccc.int/text/resource/docs/natc/erinc1.pdf.
February 26, 2003, David Keith, EPP/HDGC Faculty "Does Use of Large-Scale Wind Power Change the Climate?"
March 7, 2003, Prof. Ian Sue
Wing, CAS Geography, Boston University "Induced Technical
Change and the Cost of Climate Policy." This paper investigates
the potential for a carbon tax to induce R&D, and for the consequent
induced technical change (ITC) to lower the macroeconomic cost of abating
carbon emissions. ITC is modeled within a general equilibrium simulation
of the U.S. economy by the effects of emissions restrictions on the level
and composition of aggregate R&D, the accumulation of the stock of
knowledge, and the industry-level reallocation and substitution of intangible
services derived therefrom. Contrary to other authors, I find that ITC's
impact is large, positive and dominated by the latter "substitution
effect", which mitigates most of the deadweight loss of the tax.
March 19, 2003, Prof. Ed Rubin, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-Center for Energy and Environmental "Carbon Sequestration and Hydrogen Economy."
March 26, 2003, Professors Carlo Jaeger and Richard Klein, Social Systems Department, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research "Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Europe."
April 2, 2003, Conrad Steenkamp, Post-Doc Researcher, Carnegie-Mellon, EPP-HDGC "A Short History of the Great Limpopo and an Outline of the Trans-boundary Protected Areas (TBPA) Research Initiative: Key Issues in Park Development." This presentation will detail and explain the Trans-frontier Protected Areas Research Initiative launched by the Center and the SAVANA-network in southern Africa, the research partnership between social and physical scientists, the research objectives and the specific research projects being launched. The objective of the presentation will be to look for synergies between the Initiative and other CMU research activities.
April 7, 2003, J. Jason West,
PhD, AAAS Environmental Fellow, Environmental Protection Agency, will
give a talk "Studies in Air Pollutant and Greenhouse Gas Control
in Mexico City." Air pollution in Mexico City is an important
problem overlapping with other environment and development goals, where
scientific knowledge is uncertain. Non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions
are commonly underestimated and this underestimate is important for modeling
ozone sensitivity. Ratios of total NMHC/NOX and CO/NOX in morning measurements
are found to be greater than these ratios in the official emissions inventory,
by factors of two to three. When applying the CIT three-dimensional photochemical
airshed model to the IMADA measurement campaign of March 1997, the model
significantly underestimates measurements of both total NMHCs and of CO
when using the official emissions. A best fit to the measurements is found
when increasing CO emissions by a factor of two and NMHC emissions by
a factor of three. Using these corrections, the model produces good estimates
of ozone and of NOX, with average normalized biases over six days of 3%
and 32% respectively. Although confidence in the appropriate correction
is low, the agreement of two independent methods increases our confidence.
Modeled ozone peaks that occur early in the day are found to be sensitive
to changes in NMHC emissions, while later peaks are NOX-sensitive.
April 9, 2003, Hadi Dowlatabadi, CRC Professor, University of British Columbia and Carnegie-Mellon, Adjunct Faculty, will give a presentation entitled "Towards An Adaptive Regulatory Framework." When facing new non-marginal regulations policy makers are ignorant of appropriate goals and industry about how best to respond. This leads to debates using poor models and inappropriate evidence, procedural delays, poor target setting and ideologically chosen instruments. We can do better.
April 16, 2003, Francisco Veloso, Visiting Assistant Professor "Brazilian Software: Alternative Pates To Build A World-Class Industry." The Brazilian software industry has been experiencing double-digit growth rates throughout the past decade. In 2001, the Brazilian software market was the world's 7th larger, comparable in size to the Indian or the Chinese. Despite the important growth pattern and relevance for the Brazilian economy, the software industry has mostly focused on the domestic market. This is a very different situation from what is currently being discussed as the success cases in the context of developing and industrializing countries, the so-called three I's. India, Ireland and Israel, which have been establishing their international reputation based on exports. This paper looks at how the Brazilian software industry is trying to build its capabilities based on the domestic market. First, it explores how the strong reliance on the local market has stifled the development of the industry in a number of dimensions and distorted its perception of the international market on what concerns the capabilities of the local industry. Then, it discusses how, in some areas, Brazilian software firms have been able to use the local market as a lever to develop capabilities that position them among world leaders. A roader objective is to help understand how countries aiming to use the software industry to leverage economic growth may look at the appeal and the perils of looking internally vs. externally as the appropriate driver for the development of the industry.
April 22, 2003, Prof. Robert Thornton, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Witswatersrand "Traditional Healers, Bio-medical Practice and Sexuality: Prospects and Barriers to Co-operation." This presentation will review, The Project: Traditional healers and medical doctors' responses to HIV/AIDS and potential for co-operation.
April 23, 2003, Prof. Robert Thornton, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Witswatersrand "Environment and Land in Bushbuckridge, South Africa." This talk will focus on a new book entitled 'Human Rights and the Environment: Conflicts and Norms in the Globalizing World', edited by Lyuba Zarsky, Earthscan Publications, 2002 (www.earthscan.co.uk), specifically Chapter 10, entitled "Environment and Land in Bushbuckridge, South Africa", pp. 219-240. The presentation will explain the Bushbuckridge environment and potentials for conflict and the politics of land claims and the environment.
April 25, 2003, Stuart Marks, Independent Scholar and Consultant "Community-based Wildlife Management in Southern Africa." Two locally constructed narratives from Zambia describe the actors and activities centered around two wildlife events. These stories- of a poached elephant and of a legally sanctioned harvest of hippos- suggest some of the local social/political and technical contingencies inherent in CBWM. The local details of these processes are rarely visible to outsiders, yet they are significant crafting CBWM initiatives to local circumstances. The paper advocates the necessity for examining many of the assumptions and universalistic claims for CBWM together with the need to understand social differences, diverse institutions, and environmental processes.
April 30, 2003, Minh Ha Duong,
EPP, Visiting Research Fellow "Possible Global Warming Futures,
An Imprecise Probability Approach." This presentation
first discusses precaution when one does not have probabilities, and information
is instead represented by a set of probabilities. This allows to exhibit
a risk-neutral rational precautionary decision-making criteria, and to
present possibility distributions, a notion introduced in Economics by
Shackle in 1954.
May 1, 2003, Prof. Rattan Lal, Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, School of Natural Resources, Ohio State University "Assessing the Societal Value of Soil Carbon Sequestration." The increase in atmospheric concentration of CO2 from 288 ppm in 1750 to 367 ppm in 2000 is attributed to two anthropogenic activities. Fossil fuel combustion has contributed about 270 + 30 Pg (Pg = petagram = 1 billion ton) and land use about 136 + 55 Pg since 1850. Of the emissions from land use change, 78 + 12 Pg is from soil carbon pool. Most agricultural soils have lost between 30 and 60% of their original pool of organic carbon, amounting to 30 to 40 Mg C/ha by plowing, low input agriculture etc. The magnitude of soil C loss is exacerbated by soil degradation caused by erosion, salinization, compaction etc. Some of the depleted C can be sequestered through restoration of degraded soils, and adoption of recommended management practices are rates ranging from 50 to 1000 kg C/ha/y. The potential of soil C sequestration in all soils of the U.S. is about 330 Tg (Tg = teragram = million ton) per year. However, soil C sequestration requires nutrients (N, P, S etc.) and other carbon-based input. Carbon is only one of several building blocks of humus. For example, conversion of 10,000 kg of carbon from crop residues into humus requires about 830 kg of N, 200 kg of P and 143 kg of S. In corollary, shifting cultivators who do not use fertilizers and other off-farm input mine soil nutrients (N, P, K, S) and in the process emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. There are also hidden costs of fertilizers (0.86 kg C/kg of N) and pesticides (4 to 5 kg C/kg of pesticides). In addition to improving crop yields on site, soil C sequestration decreases soil erosion, sedimentation, and risks of water pollution. Thus, any societal value of soil C for trading purposes must take all these factors into consideration.May 7, 2003, Keith Florig, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC "Terrorism by Post - Alternative Risk Management Frameworks." Following the October 2001 anthrax mailings, the U.S. Postal Service was deluged with hundreds of suggestions for managing the risk posed by malicious use of the mail. To date, the USPS has adopted a number of new technologies and procedures to reduce terrorism risks, most of which have significant direct and indirect costs. This presentation will review the measures that USPS has taken so far and will address the question of how decisions to protect mail ought to be made. Various ways to frame this question will be examined, including perspectives of the USPS, security interests (e.g., Dept..of Homeland Security), and the public.
May 22, 2003, Peter Rogers, Lecturer, Environmental Studies, Bates College "Political Ecology and Methodology for Protected Areas Research in Eastern and Southern Africa" This talk provides a snapshot of a research project's methodology while it is still in the process of being created and refined. The talk examines the theoretical concerns of the project, political ecology and governmentality, and argues for the real world importance of the topics of wildlife conservation and protected area management in sub-Saharan Africa. It provides the project's governmentality-influence research questions which focus on the "how" of resource use and management. The comparative case study methodology of the project is explained, and the Serengeti-Mara area of Eastern Africa and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park of Southern Africa are briefly described. These two cases are conceptualized as protected area complexes composed of both direct and indirect elements/units of observation. Operationalization of the project's research questions and theoretical issues is one of the most important items explored in this paper. The role of databases and computer-assisted qualitative analysis is next considered. The paper concludes by discussing debates of the theoretical position in the contemporary political ecology literature and arguing for a recognition of the key role of ecological factors in political ecology.
September 3, 2003, Benoit Morel, Senior Lecturer, CMU/EPP "How option theory can be used for technological risk management and decision under high uncertainty."
September 10, 2003, Geroge Loewenstein, Professor, CMU/SDS and Daylian Cain, PhD Student, GSIA."The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest" Conflicts of interest can lead experts to give biased and corrupt advice. Although disclosure has been proposed as a potential solution to this, we show that disclosure can have perverse effects, and might even increase bias. Disclosure may increase bias because it leads advisors to feel morally licensed and strategically encouraged to exaggerate their advice even further from the truth. Proper use of the disclosure depends on understanding how that which is disclosed, as well as the disclosure itself, might bias advice. Because people lack this understanding, disclosure can fail to solve the problems created by conflicts of interest, and in fact may even make matters worse.
September 17, 2003 - SPYROS
PANDIS, PROF, CMU - CHEME/EPP "Atmospheric Particulate Matter:
From the Source to the Receptor"
September 24, 2003 - RAHUL
TONGIA, SYSTEM SCIENTIST, ISRI "Information Technology and
October 1, 2003
- DAVID HUGHES, ASST PROF, RUTGERS - HUMAN ECOLO/SOC SCIENCES "When
Tourists Cross Boundaries and Peasants Dont: Scale-Making and Exclusion
in the Great Limpopo"
15, 2003 - NICK SHORR, POST-DOC FELLOW, EPP:HDGC
October 22, 2003
- LESTER LAVE, CMU Professor, Harry B. and James H. Higgins Professor
of Economics and Finance Professor, GSIA/EPP
"Should the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
Standards Be Raised?"
October 29, 2003
- DR. DAVID GROSSMAN, ECOLOGIST/CONSULTANT, DAVID GROSSMAN & ASSOCIATES
November 5, 2003
- PETER ADAMS, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, CMU:ECE
November 12, 2003
- FRANCISCO VELOSO, VISITING PROFESSOR, CMU:EPP
November 19, 2003
- MICHAEL GRUBB, IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON
December 3, 2003
- W. NEIL ADGER, TYNDALL CENTRE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY
OF EAST ANGLIA, NORWICH, UK
December 5, 2003 - FELIX DAYO, PhD, TRIPLE-E-SYSTEMS, LAGOS, NIGERIA AND MAX HENRION, PhD, LUMINA DECISION SYSTEMS, LOS GATOS, CA "Integrated Assessment of Global Change in West Africa: Towards a model of climate, water, and agriculture." West Africa includes some of the poorest countries on Earth, with the least resources to respond effectively to climate change. Declining rainfall in recent decades, along with desertification, are already major challenges to agriculture which is mainly rain-fed. Several options, however, could help conserve water and improve agricultural yields, offering major benefits whatever future climate changes may bring. These options include expanded drip irrigation and adoption of a variety of farming methods to improve soil fertility and food production without major reliance on industrial fertilizers. Consequent increases in soil organic carbon in arable lands could increase soil fertility while simultaneously sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Felix Dayo and Max Henrion, both EPP PhDs, will report on the first phase integrated assessment model in Analytica, designed to explore and quantify these issues and their interrelationships. This work is the initial result of the Workshop on the Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of Global Change on Agricultural Productivity and Water Availability in West Africa, held at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Nigeria on 7-10th October 2003, organized by Felix Dayo with support from the Carnegie Mellon Center for the Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change. The working group includes scientists and government representatives in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
December 10, 2003 - RICHARD H. MOSS PhD., DIRECTOR, CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE PROGRAM OFFICE "Making Climate Science Relevant to Decisionmaking" Précis: By many estimates, the US Governments investment in climate change science is on the order of $3-4 Billion annually. Given the size of the investment and the importance of the issue, it is vital that the scientific information that is produced be useful to practical decisionmaking on a wide range of issues. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program coordinates and integrates research conducted or sponsored by 13 agencies/departments of the Federal government. A major thrust of the program is providing decision support resources to support public debate, to evaluate national policy options, and to inform ongoing management of climate-sensitive sectors and resources. The presentation will provide an overview of the decision support effort of the CCSP and raise several current program challenges as CCSP moves from planning to more active implementation efforts.
January 16, 2002,
Mojdeh Keykhah, Oxford University
January 23, 2002,
Minh Ha Duong, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC and David Keith, EPP-HDGC
February 6, 2002, George Loewenstein,
Carnegie Mellon, EPP-Social and Decision Sciences
February 20, 2002, Gary Yohe,
Wesleyan University, Economics
February 27, 2002, John Soluri,
Carnegie Mellon, History Department
March 6, 2002, Keith Florig,
Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC
March 13, 2002, Hadi Dowlatabadi,
UBC University Fellow and EPP-HDGC Adjunct Faculty
March 18, 2002, Malik Amin
Aslam, Executive Director, ENVORK
March 27, 2002, Conrad Steenkamp,
March 28, 2002, Dr. Felix B.
Dayo, Managing Director/CEO, Triple "E" Systems Associates Limited,
Goodwill House, Lagos, Nigeria
April 10, 2002, Prof. Richard
Tol, Hamburg University and Vrije Universiteit
April 17, 2002, Joseph Arvai, The Ohio State University, Environmental Communication Analysis & Research for Policy Working Group, School of Natural Resources, "Science and Human Values: Decision Focused Approaches for Addressing Complex Environmental Problems." Both researchers and practitioners advocate public participation as a means of helping to improve decisions and overcome the persistent divisiveness and conflict that are common in many environmental management contexts. Unfortunately, relatively few studies have been conducted to help identify what components might be helpful as part of public participation processes that work to foster better informed and more widely supported environmental decisions. Two experiments were recently conducted to help fill this gap. The first involved the test of a test of a strategy to improve the quality of public input by combining themes from risk communication with the prescriptive decision process of value-focused thinking. The second compared science-based and structured, values-based treatments of information as a means of informing choices about the cleanup of contaminated sites. Results and conclusions from both studies will be discussed.
April 24, 2002, David Victor, Stanford University, Director, The Stanford Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, "Electric Power Reform in the Real World." There is a well-rehearsed theory about the reasons for reforming electric power markets and the best policies for achieving such reform. The reasons focus on efficiency and investment; the policies focus on corporatization, privatization, de-integration, and creation of independent regulators to oversee competitive markets. In the real world, especially perhaps in the developing world, the reasons are often quite different and the policies--even when implemented according to the book--seem to fail. This talk will explore the reasons for the disconnect and present some early results from a comparative study that will explore these issues in 5 countries.
May 1, 2002, Nick Shorr, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-HDGC, "The Possibilities and Challenges of Conscious Consumption: Beyond the Virtual World". Perhaps we do not fully appreciate how strange the modern consumer has been in the context of human experience: how profoundly naïve we all are regarding the sources and impacts of our goods, like children whose parents bring home gifts from some mysterious place! If the growth of trade over the past centuries has increased the distance between consumption and production and with it consumer ignorance of production and its effects, then globalization of the past decades has increased the rates of growth of distance and ignorance. Conscious Consumption may be defined as consumer interest in learning the ecological and social consequences of a products life cycle and in including this knowledge into our purchasing decisions. It is a striving towards responsibility, towards adulthood. Here, I will attempt to: 1) convey a sense of the place of the conscious consumption frontier in human experience; 2) encourage enthusiasm at the emerging possibilities of this frontier (as evidenced in the recent growth of ecolabeling and ethical investment?); 3) outline some of the ways that this frontier might improve the landscapes in which environmental engineers and policy makers work; 4) encourage an appreciation for the complex challenges of this frontier and a skepticism towards the quality and quantity of the information currently available; 5) propose strategic policy recommendations to expedite effective movement into this frontier.
May 8, 2002, Christina Fong, Carnegie Mellon, SDS, "Fairness, Incentives and Salience in the Demand for Redistribution". In this talk, I overview some of my published, recently completed, and in-progress research on behavioral motives for redistribution. My goal is to simultaneously present the pertinent findings and illustrate the mixture of empirical and theoretical tools that I use in this interdisciplinary research in public economics. Empirical research has uncovered four important behavioral factors that affect either attitudes to or actual expenditures on redistribution: beliefs about the causes of income, racial group loyalty, social proximity to the poor, and generosity that is not conditioned on the characteristics, work activities, or group membership of the recipients. However, I have found that these effects are not universal. An important problem is to uncover when these variables take effect and why. I present some current research, in which I use data and theory together to suggest a possible condition for the salience of beliefs about why the poor are poor in decisions over optimal redistribution.
May 15, 2002, Ken Strzepek, University of Colorado-Boulder, "Indices for Sustainable Resource Management: Some Generic Thoughts and An Application to Water Resources Management". There are almost as many approaches to quantifying indicators for sustainable development as definitions of Sustainability. This paper will look at some of the broader issues, present an "Index Taxonomy" and then apply that taxonomy to the area of Sustainable Water Resources Management. Lesson learned (primarily Human Dimensions) from leading the Indicator Development Unit of the United Nation's World Water Assessment Program will be shared.
May 22, 2002, Nick Pidgeon, Director of the Centre for Environmental Risk in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, "Public Trust and Risk Policy in Great Britain after BSE: Some Evidence and Institutional Challenges". The talk argues that risk perception and acceptability is as much an issue of trust in scientific and regulatory institutions as it is a matter of 'public understanding of science or risk'. This moves the locus of risk communication away from mere one-way provision of information, to encompass two-way mechanisms for wider forms of dialogue between scientists, policy makers and the many and varied social groups which make up our society today. In Britain the BSE 'mad cow' crisis, and the ensuing Phillips inquiry into BSE, has led to recommendations for greater openness in government handling and communication of risk information, and forms a backdrop to a number of institutional and participatory innovations taking place in risk regulation and public policy. The talk argues that openness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for trust. It draws upon illustrative empirical data from a range of recent mixed-methods studies looking at public trust in health and safety regulation and also perceptions of the handling of the foot and mouth crisis, to illustrate some of the complexities of people's understandings of risk and 'trust'. Implications for policy and research are discussed.
July 10, 2002, Stephen C. Peck, President, Fleche, "Optimal Environmental Research Strategies Include Two Precautionary Principles." In recent years there has been a good deal of attention paid to the Precautionary Principle and its application in environmental decision-making. While there have been many papers written it has been hard to operationalize the principle. I believe that it is most useful to address the issue in the following way. There is usually a large amount of scientific uncertainty associated with questions of environmental protection. In many cases the best thing to do is to obtain a deeper understanding and collect more data so that a well informed decision whether or not to control emissions may be made. However there are two situations where this strategy is not optimal. One is where there is general agreement that there is a moderate to high probability that the environmental emission is harmful. In this case it may be best to neglect research and choose the policy of "Control" for emissions. This situation may be thought of as an (environmental) Precautionary Principle. Alternatively there may be general agreement that the environmental emission has a low probability of harm. Now it is best to neglect research and choose the policy of "No Control". This situation may be considered a (control cost) Precautionary Principle. The approach that we adopt in this paper is as follows. We imagine a Policymaker deciding whether to impose controls on emissions or to run the risk of allowing emissions to continue and possibly do harm. The Policymaker holds certain prior beliefs about the emissions' dangers. Before the control decision takes place, a Researcher, knowing of the Policymaker's decision problem, determines, given his own prior beliefs about the riskiness of the emissions, how precise a research program to conduct recognizing that any such program will yield only imperfect information about the danger of the emissions, but nevertheless, the more is spent on the research, the more precise the information is likely to be. The Researcher expects to update his own and the Policymaker's prior probability distributions of the riskiness of the emissions. Bayesian statistical methods are used to update prior probabilities with experimental data (characterized by likelihood functions) and thus to arrive at posterior probability distributions (Lindley).
September 4,2002, Prof. Fran McMichael, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty, "Uncertainty in Input-Output Calculations."
September 11, 2002, Prof. Benoit Morel, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-Physics faculty. "September 11: One Year Later." In the spirit of the celebrations planned for September 11, this talk will be designed to facilitate a collective assessment of where we stand. It will be an attempt to identify what we have learned about terrorism and the challenge it represents to our society. Could our response have been better? If yes, how and in what sense? How should we look at the future and prepare for it?
September 18, 2002, Lester Lave, Carnegie Mellon, EPP-Graduate School of Industrial Administration faculty. "Bio Ethanol: Achieving Energy Independence & Sustainability." Producing ethanol from biomass could power all US cars and light trucks, ending the need to import petroleum and providing a completely sustainable fuel. The several advantages of bio-ethanol can be achieved at two costs: The first cost is an additional $100-150 billion per year and the use of 300-500 million acres to grow grasses and trees.
September 25, 2002, Prof. John E. J. Gallacher, University of Wales Medical College, Epidemiology, Statistics, and Public Health, "The Epidemiologic Failure of Risk Perception Research." John E. J. Gallacher teaches in the department of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Public Health-Environmental Epidemiology. ESPH is the integration of the Department of Medical Computing and Statistics and Public Health. The department's research strategy focuses on environmental epidemiology. Areas of research include environmental health, infectious diseases, and health services.
October 2, 2002, Barry Chernoff,
University of Chicago, Department of Zoology Field Museum of Natural History,
" The Panatanal and Paraguay Aquatic Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Ecology
and Economics of Sustainable Use." South America has the
richest aquatic flora and fauna of any continent on the planet. In addition
to the time of isolation of South America from the other continents, part
of the reason that South America is so species rich may be the large proportion
of the continent that is occupied by rivers or other water bodies. The
Amazon, Paraguay and Orinoco basins comprise three of the five largest
river basins in the world in terms of length and volume of water-flow.
As an example using fishes, there are more than 9000 species of freshwater
fishes in South America, which is approximately equal to the number of
birds and 1.8 times the number of mammals in the world.
October 16, 2002, Robert Margolis,
Carnegie Mellon, Center for Study and Improvement of Regulation, "Experience
Curves and Solar Photovoltaic Technology Policy." There is
an extensive literature on learning by doing, learning by using and experience
curves, going back to the 1960s. More recently there has been a growing
body of literature on the potential role of learning in bringing the cost
of new energy technologies in general and photovoltaic technologies in
particular down to competitive levels. A number of analysts have used
historical data on PV module production and prices to estimate a PV industry-wide
experience curve. The resulting progress ratios vary from 0.68 to 0.84,
i.e., historically PV module prices ($/Wp) have decreased in the range
of 16% to 32% for each doubling of (cumulative) production. These authors
argue that there has been a history of significant learning in the PV
industry. Typically they go on to use progress ratios to estimate the
size of the "learning" subsidy required to make PV technology
widely cost-competitive in the energy marketplace. The estimated "buy-down"
cost ranges from $120 million to $100 billion. Such a wide-range of estimates
raises a number of questions about how analysts have been using experience
curves to think prospectively about PV technology development.
October 23, 2002, Joel Smith,
Stratus Consulting, Inc. Environmental and Energy Research, "Estimating
Global Damages from Climate Change." In addressing the consequences
of greenhouse gas emissions, an important question is how the marginal
benefits, or avoided damages, associated with controlling climate vary
with particular levels of mitigation. A few studies have attempted to
answer this question by using a common metric, typically dollars, to express
all damages from climate change. (There are other ways to estimate marginal
impacts, including identifying unique and vulnerable systems threatened
by climate change, examining risk from extreme weather events, and identifying
thresholds for triggering state changes in the global climate system,
such as shutdown of thermohaline circulation.) While studies that aggregate
damages from climate change in terms of a single metric provide useful
insight about how marginal impacts change, especially at higher levels
of climate change, there are a number of concerns with such studies.
October 30, 2002, Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University, along with Kris Ebi, EPRI, "Approaching Adaptation: Parallels and Contrasts Between the Climate and Health Communities." Public health prevention and climate change adaptation share the goal of increasing the ability of nations, communities and individuals to cope effectively and efficiently with challenges and changes. Public health researcher approach from the perspective of protecting and enhancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Climate researchers approach adaptation from a perspective that can trace its roots to the natural hazards community.
November 6, 2002, David Gerard,
Carnegie-Mellon, EPP and Lester Lave, Carnegie-Mellon, GSIA/EPP/CEIC,
"Technology-Forcing Automobile Emissions Provisions of the 1970 Clean
Air Act: Forcing Invention or Innovation?" The 1970 Clean
Air Amendments required 90 percent reductions in the emissions of hydrocarbons,
carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides for 1975 and 1976 model year vehicles.
These are known as technology-forcing regulations, because the standards
exceed what could be met with known technologies, and consequently generated
significant pressure not only on automakers, but also on the EPA, Congress,
and the courts. Although the statutory deadlines were not met in a timely
fashion, US manufacturers developed two marquee technologies - the catalytic
converter (oxidizing catalysts) to reduce HC and CO, and the three-way
catalyst to simultaneously reduce HC, CO, and NOx. Ford and GM began widespread
installation of oxidizing catalysts in 1975, and most US autos were equipped
with the devices by 1977. The widespread diffusion of a three-way catalyst
had to wait until 1981. Even so, US producers continued to struggle to
keep CO and NOx emissions low. Indeed, US automakers did not meet the
standards set in the 1970 statute until 1993.
November 15, 2002, Drs. Talaue Mcmanus and Keene Meltzoff, University of Miami, "Initiative for Adaptive Management: Reframing A Shared Vision." We will discuss our coastal fieldwork experiences in various parts of the world, and how these have led to our current goal: to establish an adaptive framework through which local coastal populations become active stewards of tropical artisanal fisheries. We will describe how we aim to facilitate mutual learning with partners at the grassroots in creating the visualization and mapping of local knowledge. This will include thinking about AM's midterm and long term goals of conflict resolution and development of a common information network of globally shared participant-observation experiences.
November 20, 2002, Dr. Athanasios Nenes, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, "Aerosol Indirect Effect: The Elusive Component of Climate Change." The effects of aerosols on clouds are recognized as one of the largest sources of uncertainty in assessments of anthropogenic climate change. This uncertainty arises from the sheer complexity of aerosol-cloud processes, and from the wide range of length scales involved in cloud-aerosol interactions. We will discuss the importance and challenges of resolving aerosol chemical composition, and present recent advancements in developing a general aerosol-cloud relationship based on first principles modeling. Furthermore, we will discuss the current state of instrumentation used in studying aerosol-cloud interactions.
December 4, 2002, Ragnar Lofstedt, director, Risk Management, Kings College, "The Evolving Risk Management Field in Europe: Some Insights and Speculations." The EU has been concerned about better regulation. Regulatory simplification seen as a prerequisite for EU enlargement (1985) Edinburgh 1992 summit better regulation seen as a priority, however, not much has happened. This is now changing. Commission concerned about two areas in particular: (1) Better regulatory preparation need to be as rigorous as possible based on a minimum standards of public consultation and draw in expertise need to be coherent. (2) Regulation needs to be implemented in the member state countries: No uniform implementation; Growing problem of compliance; Rules implemented slowly; Regulations are too elaborate (and many poorly conceived); Laws are not based on consensus; Laws are made too flexible (especially the case of directives); Many unrealistic; Little consultation with affected parties; Some unfair (Swedish woodcock hunting season); Overwhelm national institutions: hence some ignored and others adopted in a nationalistic way.
December 11, 2002, Sarosh Talukdar,
Carnegie Mellon ECE Faculty, "The Trouble with Electricity Markets."
Electricity markets can affect our lives as profoundly as computers, bridges
and airplanes. But markets are designed less carefully. The SMD (standard
market design) proposed by FERC is the latest example of insufficient
December 18, 2002, Neil Leary, Start, Science Director, AIACC, "Vulnerability of People, Places and Systems to Environmental Change." The consequences of environmental change are not uniform. They differ for different people, places and times. This is the clear picture that emerges from studies of the impacts of global environmental change as well as observations of the distribution of impacts of natural hazards, the incidence of hunger and famine, the problems of land use and land cover change, and the spread and toll of HIV/AIDS and reemerging infectious diseases. The responses to the ensuing risks will also differ, and should differ, for different people, places and times.
HDGC LUNCH TIME SEMINAR SERIES
January 16, 2001, Paul
Rutter, Green Operations Technology, British Petroleum-Amoco, United Kingdom