Subject:  NOBEL ECONOMISTS' STATEMENT ON GLOBAL WARMING

 Over 2000 American economists and all six of America's Nobel Laureates
in Economics signed this statement:


          "ECONOMISTS' STATEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE" -- Feb. 13, 1997

 We the undersigned agree that:

 I. The review conducted by a distinguished international panel of scientists
 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has
 determined that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human
 influence on global climate." As economists, we believe that global climate
 change carries with it significant environmental, economic, social, and
 geopolitical risks, and that preventive steps are justified.

 II. Economics studies have found that there are many potential policies to
 reduce greenhouse-gas emissions for which the total benefits outweigh the
 total costs. For the United States in particular, sound economic analysis
 shows that there are policy options that would slow climate change without
 harming American living standards, and these measures may in fact improve U.S.
 productivity in the longer run.

 III. The most efficient approach to slowing climate change is through
 market-based policies. In order for the world to achieve its climatic
 objectives at minimum cost, a cooperative approach among nations is required
 -- such as an international emissions trading agreement. The United States and
 other nations can most efficiently implement their climate policies through
 market mechanisms, such as carbon taxes or the auction of emissions permits.
 The revenues generated from such policies can effectively be used to reduce
 the deficit or to lower existing taxes."

 *** *****************************

 -- The six Nobel Laureates are: Kenneth J. Arrow, Stanford University; Gerard
 Debreu, University of California at Berkeley; John C. Harsanyi, University of
 California at Berkeley; Lawrence R. Klein, Pennsylvania State University;
 Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and James Tobin, Yale
 University. The project's five organizers are: Arrow and Solow, plus Dale W.
 Jorgenson, Harvard University; Paul R. Krugman, Massachusetts Institute of
 Technology; and William D. Nordhaus, Yale University.
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Date:         Wed, 01 Oct 97 09:56:16 EDT
From: C 
Subject: INFOTERRA: NOBEL LAUREATES CALL FOR ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING
To: United Nations list ,
        environmental studies list ,
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WORLD SCIENTISTS' CALL FOR ACTION AT THE KYOTO CLIMATE SUMMIT

Five years ago, in the World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, 1600
of the world's senior scientists sounded an unprecedented warning:

     Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible
     damage on the environment and on critical resources. If
     not checked, many of our current practices put at serious
     risk the future that we wish for human society and the
     plant and animal kingdoms.

Addressed to political, industrial, religious, and scientific
leaders, the Warning demonstrated that the scientific community had
reached a consensus that grave threats imperil the future of
humanity and the global environment.  However, over four years have
passed, and progress has been woefully inadequate. Some of the most
serious problems have worsened. Invaluable time has been squandered
because so few leaders have risen to the challenge.

The December 1997 Climate Summit in Kyoto, Japan, presents a unique
opportunity. The world's political leaders can demonstrate a new
commitment to the protection of the environment.  The goal is to
strengthen the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change by
agreeing to effective controls on human practices affecting
climate.  This they can and must do, primarily by augmenting the
Convention's voluntary measures with legally binding commitments
to reduce industrial nations' emissions of heat-trapping gases
significantly below 1990 levels in accordance with a near-term
timetable.

Over time, developing nations must also be engaged in limiting
their emissions. Developed and developing nations must cooperate
to mitigate climatic disruption.

The biosphere is a seamless web. Completion of an effective treaty
at Kyoto would address one of the most serious threats to the
planet and to future generations. It would set a landmark precedent
for addressing other grave environmental threats, many linked to
climate change. It would demonstrate that the world's leaders have
now recognized, in deeds and words, their responsibility for
stewardship of the earth.

The stark facts carry a clear signal:

There is only one responsible choice --- to act now.

We, the signers of this declaration, urge all government leaders
to demonstrate a new commitment to protecting the global
environment for future generations.  The important first step is
to join in completing a strong and meaningful Climate Treaty at
Kyoto.

WE ENCOURAGE SCIENTISTS AND CITIZENS AROUND THE WORLD TO HOLD THEIR
LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL WARMING THREAT.

Leaders must take this first step to protect future generations
from dire prospects that would result from failure to meet our
responsibilities toward them.

The Web of Environmental Effects

Atmospheric Disruption

     Predictions of global climatic change are becoming more
confident.  A broad consensus among the world's climatologists is
that there is now "a discernible human influence on global
climate."
     Climate change is projected to raise sea levels, threatening
populations and ecosystems in coastal regions.  Warmer temperatures
will lead to a more vigorous hydrologic cycle, increasing the
prospects for more intense rainfall, floods, or droughts in some
regions.  Human health may be damaged by greater exposure to heat
waves and droughts, and by encroachment of tropical diseases to
higher latitudes.  The developing world is especially vulnerable
to damage from climatic disruption because it is already under
great stress and has less capacity to adapt.

Climate Change: Linkages and Further Damage

     Destructive logging and deforestation for agriculture continue
to wreak havoc on the world's remaining tropical forests.  The
burning of the Amazonian rain forests continues largely unabated.
Other forests in developed and developing nations are under heavy
pressure.
     Destruction of forests greatly amplifies soil erosion and
water wastage, is a major source of loss of species, and undermines
the environment's natural ability to store carbon.  It releases
additional carbon to the atmosphere, thereby enhancing global
warming.
     Fossil-fueled energy use is climbing, both in industrial
nations and in the developing world, adding to atmospheric carbon.
Efforts to enhance energy conservation and improve efficiency are
much hindered by low energy costs and by perverse incentives that
encourage waste.
     Without firm commitments, most industrial nations will not
meet the carbon-emission goals they agreed to at the 1992 Rio
conference.  The transition to renewable, non-fossil-carbon-based
energy sources is feasible but is not in sight for lack of
aggressive political will.
     The insurance industry has recognized the risks posed by
climate change.  Leading economists have identified viable policies
for reducing these risks.  Markets undervalue ecosystems worldwide
and inflict few penalties against practices that do long-term
environmental and resource damage.  Political leadership must
introduce incentives that reward sound practices.

Water Scarcity and Food Security

               Humanity now uses over one-half of the total accessible
freshwater runoff.  Freshwater is the scarcest resource in the
Middle East and in North Africa.  Efforts to husband freshwater are
not succeeding there, in East Asia, or in the Pacific.
     Global food production now appears to be outpaced by growth
in consumption and population.  There is broad agreement that food
demand will double by 2030.  Most land suitable for agriculture is
already in production.  Sub-Saharan Africa's increase in
agricultural production is one-third less than its population
growth.  The region now produces 80 percent of what it consumes,
and per capita production is declining.  Projections indicate that
demand for food in Asia will exceed the supply by 2010.  Thus, food
consumption levels in many countries are likely to remain totally
inadequate for good nutrition.  Widespread undernutrition will
persist unless extraordinary measures are taken to ensure food for
all, measures not now even contemplated by governments.
     Climate change is likely to exacerbate these food problems by
adversely affecting water supplies, soil conditions, temperature
tolerances, and growing seasons.

Destruction of Species
     Climate change will accelerate the appalling pace at which
species are now being liquidated, especially in vulnerable
ecosystems.  One-fourth of the known species of mammals are
threatened, and half of these may be gone within a decade.
Possibly one-third of all species may be lost before the end of the
next century.  Biodiversity gives stability to the ecosystems that
we are so dependent on, enhances their productivity, and provides
an important source of new foods, medicines, and other products.


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