The role of science in climate change policy development: Science got us here and demonstrates that we are here but what role does it have in managing the future

Farebrother, Graham, Beeton, R. J. S. and Menzies, Neal (2011) The role of science in climate change policy development: Science got us here and demonstrates that we are here but what role does it have in managing the future. The International Journal of Science in Society, 2 3: 135-152.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Farebrother, Graham
Beeton, R. J. S.
Menzies, Neal
Title The role of science in climate change policy development: Science got us here and demonstrates that we are here but what role does it have in managing the future
Journal name The International Journal of Science in Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1836-6236
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 2
Issue 3
Start page 135
End page 152
Total pages 18
Place of publication Champaign, IL, United States
Publisher Common Ground Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract The scientific and societal understanding of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) has grown tremendously over the last few decades. Alongside this growth, the discourse has increasingly become entwined with the concepts of, and implementation of, sustainable development (SD). In addition, the AGW discourse is used to promote many interests and ideas coming from a variety of nation states and a wide spectrum of organisations. Utilising findings from a study conducted in both Australia and the United Kingdom, this paper examines how the AGW discourse became embedded in society, what drives the discourse forward and what various stakeholder expectations are regarding the outcomes of mitigation policies. Study findings suggest that in general, societal understanding of the complexity within the discourse is low but the expectations of its ability to deliver beneficial outcomes are high. The discourse is seen by many as an umbrella cause that heightens awareness of environmental and societal problems. Some, however, see this effect as a weakening of science in the subjugated areas that reduces human ability to identify and tackle specific issues. It is suggested that a way to manage the set of problems facing humanity is to liberate and diversify the role of science from this AGW focus; improve societal understanding of science’s abilities and its shortcomings; and, instigate greater flexibility to identify and aim for achievable goals for humanity. The AGW discourse, while increasing societal awareness of its dependence on the natural environment for survival has become cumbersome to the extent that policies necessary to promote sustainability are difficult to delimit, develop and implement.
Keyword Climate change policy development
Sustainable Development
Environmental impacts
Resource use
Evidence based policy
Human development path
Anthropogenic climate change
Natural resource management
Global warming
Environmental policy
Science and policy
Future planning
Climate change science
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 12 Jul 2011, 14:52:55 EST by Helen Smith on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management