The Role of Science in Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection Decisionmaking

In . Springer Verlag. pp. 11-38 (1995)
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Abstract

Those designing sustainable development implementation schemes will inevitably look to scientists to help them understand sustainable development problems. Scientists have already made important contributions to the understanding of many serious environmental problems, such as the causal relationship between certain synthetic chemicals and destruction of the ozone layer. If scientists had not identified the relationship between upper atmospheric ozone concentrations and releases of chloroflorocarbons, government decisionmakers would not have agreed to action limiting their production. However, although causes and effects of some environmental problems are understood well, others are not, such as the timing and magnitude of climate change caused by greenhouse gases. If global environmental problems are serious, there is an obvious and urgent need to increase scientific understanding of which human actions cause environmental degradation and how nations can proceed with needed development programs without causing further environmental damage.

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