NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reason Climate Change Guide

August 30, 2000

The Reason Public Policy Institute recently published a "Plain English Guide" that reviews the evidence surrounding global warming. Reason emphasizes that the guide is free of commentary, has been peer-reviewed and is designed to encourage readers to draw their own conclusions.

Entitled "Exploring the Science of Climate Change," it was authored by Kenneth Green, RPPI's director of environmental programs.

He makes several observations about the need for such a document.

  • The science of climate change is so terribly complex that it posses a challenge for decision-making in democratic societies.
  • It is unrealistic to expect the public, policy-makers or the media to read and understand the full body of climate-change literature.
  • The public has been forced to make up its mind based on 30-second media sound bites and publications put out by pressure groups with positions for or against.
  • The importance of having accurate portrayals of the nature, magnitude, certainty and imminence of environmental hazards is hard to overstate.

The publication is divided into major sections on climate-change theory, warming and cooling forces, observed climate changes, and the impact of climate changes.

Green writes that the guide is offered to provide a basic foundation in the policy-relevant elements of climate science in order to enhance the quality of public-policy debate.

Source: Kenneth Green, "Plain English Guide 3: Exploring the Science of Climate Change," August 2000, Reason Public Policy Institute, 3415 Sepulveda Boulevard., Suite 400, Los Angeles, Calif. 90034, (310) 391-2245.


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