A Year to Solve the Climate Problem

A Year to Solve the Climate Problem For the last five years, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) have teamed up to sponsor a member of our community for a year's work in the U.S. Congress. As the 2005/06 AMS-UCAR Congressional Science Fellow, I chose to work on climate policy in the U.S. Senate. I witnessed the following three major obstacles to legislation intended to protect the climate system: 1) there is a persistent gap in understanding between policy makers and the research community, 2) there is a small group of powerful interests that will experience the costs of climate policy acutely while many of the benefits of climate policy will be distributed diffusely among members of society, and 3) there is concernlegitimate and misplacedover the economic consequences of unilateral U.S. action and the genuine need for international cooperation. The scientific community can help solve these problems. The Congressional Science Fellowship program, for example, provides a valuable opportunity for scientists to actively engage in the policy process and to help reduce the gap in understanding between the research and policy communities. During my year, I focused on developing powerful incentives to encourage international cooperation and provisions to ease acute distributional impacts that could arise from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Based on my time in Congress and despite remaining political and technological hurdles, I conclude that we have the capacity to enact legislation that begins reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

A Year to Solve the Climate Problem

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/BAMS-88-8-1181
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For the last five years, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) have teamed up to sponsor a member of our community for a year's work in the U.S. Congress. As the 2005/06 AMS-UCAR Congressional Science Fellow, I chose to work on climate policy in the U.S. Senate. I witnessed the following three major obstacles to legislation intended to protect the climate system: 1) there is a persistent gap in understanding between policy makers and the research community, 2) there is a small group of powerful interests that will experience the costs of climate policy acutely while many of the benefits of climate policy will be distributed diffusely among members of society, and 3) there is concernlegitimate and misplacedover the economic consequences of unilateral U.S. action and the genuine need for international cooperation. The scientific community can help solve these problems. The Congressional Science Fellowship program, for example, provides a valuable opportunity for scientists to actively engage in the policy process and to help reduce the gap in understanding between the research and policy communities. During my year, I focused on developing powerful incentives to encourage international cooperation and provisions to ease acute distributional impacts that could arise from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Based on my time in Congress and despite remaining political and technological hurdles, I conclude that we have the capacity to enact legislation that begins reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Aug 29, 2007

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