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Friday, October 17, 2008

Sustainability_ The Ultimate Quest-Part I_ The Oxford Round Table (ORT) Forum on Public Policy

This has been a round-about trip which I am sure many of you have encountered in your web searching and blogging activities. I have split the journey into several parts.

My meanders began by a visit to a site which appeared via AdSense publicity on my blog, thanks to The “Oxford Round Table’s (ORT) Forum on Public Policy now celebrating their 20th birthday with an “Round Table” on Environment and Sustainability held between August 10 to August 15 at St. Anne's College, Oxford.

The ORT site also references papers published in the 2007 forum.

Prof. Ruth A. Reck, Univ. of California, Davis, coordinated the 2008 Oxford Round Table session entitled: Sustainability_ The Ultimate Quest. Ruth’s own paper was entitled Setting the Balance for Global Climate Change: Scientific Evidence and the Consequences for Society following her article published the previous year in The Forum on Public Policy, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2007, title: "Climate Change and Sustainable Development."

These meetings are distinctly Interdisciplinary. Scholars representing several disciples from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States presented papers regarding the world quest for sustainability. They have an equally distinctive “OCDE – Forum” ring to them in both in name and in spirit, may I add.

Cf. Balancing Globalization. The OCDE forum 2006, title ! link via 2 previous posts on this blog:
1. Climate Change 3 part series from FT-Financial Times-"No getting away from it" Follow-up from OCDE Forum 2008?
2. OCDE Forum 2008 : Climate Change, Growth , Stability: Prime Innovation Motivation Conversation 2-4 June 2008?

Although all the papers presented, bar one are limited to subscribers. Arguably not the best way to achieve the global reach required for “The” number one world quest by Round Table participants. However the abstracts provide excellent summaries to the busy government or company executive, ONG, green movement activists, concerned scientists and general public.

Setting the Balance for Global Climate Change: Scientific Evidence and the Consequences for Society by Ruth A. Reck, Prof. of Atmospheric Science, Dept of Land, Air and Water Resources, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Univ of California.

Abstract excerpt quoted : (full description via ORT.)
"It has become clear to many scientists that the problems of global climate change are the most pressing issues the world faces, far exceeding the concerns of terrorism and the need to promote democracy around the world. In fact the outcomes of these other major concerns may hinge in great part upon our ability to deal with the consequences that changes in climate will have on the world's populations. Because climate has been recognized to be the most serious for the economically challenged peoples it follows that decreasing food availability, decreasing fresh water resources and deterioration of living conditions can but only add to the burdens of those less well off. Regions become politically more unstable the more unstable the weather that they experience. It is a natural consequence. It is within this frame of reference that we embark upon this topic of managing in the face of changing climatic conditions.

In this paper we review the present IPCC Reports, released in 2007, discuss the perilous nature of the current climate situation, and review some of the most recent research findings to support this conclusion. "

The full abstract is available via ORT Forum on Public Policy and from the glimpse above you can easily see that it is well worth the full read.

Note: The Oxford Round Table is a series of interdisciplinary conferences organized and run by an educational organization based in California and at Harris Manchester College in the United Kingdom, which is incorporated as a for-profit corporation in Kentucky,[1] and a not-for-profit corporation in Kentucky,[2] Illinois,[3] and England and Wales.[4] [main LINK]

The full paper title hinted at in the text above is "Clouds in a Warmer Climate: Friend or Foe?"[Pdf] by Sonia Lasher-Trapp. A little gem if I may say so.

For the "too busy executive here is a snip:

"From the most recent, best estimates, clouds
appear to be a “friend” in that they help to cool the earth and offset global warming, but it is yet too early to tell how their assistance may change as the earth‟s climate changes."

Oxford Round Table Forum on public policy

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