A Climate Strategy from the Right and a Plea for Ocean Research

Jun 24, 2014, 15:22 ET from Issues in Science and Technology

DALLAS, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three leading conservative thinkers, including an MIT professor and a former Bush administration energy official, argue that differences over political philosophy have prevented policymakers from taking action to respond to the scientifically documented problem of climate change. In the Summer 2014 edition of Issues in Science and Technology they maintain that instead of denying what the overwhelming majority of scientists are saying, conservatives can develop a policy that is consistent with their political principles. They propose a technology-based portfolio strategy that could provide common ground for policymakers across the political spectrum: "Given the uncertainties in climate projection, innovation, and technology development, developing a broad range of technology options can be a hedge against climate risk."

Also in this issue, George Washington University professor Amitai Etzioni argues that the United States is devoting too much attention to space research and neglecting more promising opportunities to support ocean research. In "Final Frontier vs. Fruitful Frontier" he writes that "deep space—NASA's favorite turf—is a distant, hostile, and barren place, the study of which yields few major discoveries and an abundance of overhyped claims. By contrast, the oceans are nearby, and their study is a potential source of discoveries that could prove helpful for addressing a wide range of national concerns from climate change to disease; for reducing energy, mineral, and potable water shortages; for strengthening industry, security, and defenses against natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis; for increasing our knowledge about geological history; and much more."

Finally, this issue includes an experiment in new ways to write about science and technology policy. Three articles are the result of a process in which a young scientist was paired with a young professional writer to produce an article that used an engaging narrative format to address a policy topic. Under the guidance of experienced editors, the teams produced articles on the environmental side effects of the rapidly growing fish oil industry, the challenges facing researchers pursuing valuable research into yeast cells, and the impact of federal budget cuts on the Smithsonian's ability to adequately manage its invaluable collections.

Issues In Science And Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, the University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University.   www.issues.org.

Contact: Kevin Finneran 202-641-1415

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