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Facilitating climate change Responses A RepoRt of two woRkshops on knowledge f R o m t h e s o c i A l A n d B e h Av i o R A l s c i e n c e s Paul C. Stern and Roger E. Kasperson, Editors Panel on Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change Through the Behavioral and Social Sciences Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Govern- ing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineer- ing, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropri- ate balance. This project was supported by Grant No. 2008-2146. Support of the work of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommen- dations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not neces- sarily reflect the views of the sponsor. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-16032-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-16032-4 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet http://www.nap. edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2010). Facilitating Climate Change Responses: A Report of Two Workshops on Knowledge from the Social and Behav- ioral Sciences. P.C. Stern and R.E. Kasperson, Eds. Panel on Addressing the Chal- lenges of Climate Change Through the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Acad- emy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding en- gineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineer- ing programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles. M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Insti- tute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Coun- cil is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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PANEL ON ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ROGER E. KASPERSON (Chair), George Perkins Marsh Institute, Clark University RICHARD N. ANDREWS, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina MICHELE M. BETSILL, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University STEWART J. COHEN, Adaptation and Impacts Research Section, Environment Canada, and Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia THOMAS DIETZ, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Michigan State University ANDREW J. HOFFMAN, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan ANTHONY LEISEROWITZ, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University LOREN LUTZENHISER, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University SUSANNE C. MOSER, Susanne Moser Research and Consulting, Santa Cruz, California GARY W. YOHE, Department of Economics, Wesleyan University PAUL C. STERN, Study Director LINDA DePUGH, Administrative Assistant v
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COMMITTEE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL CHANGE 2010 RICHARD H. MOSS (Chair, 2010-), Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of Maryland THOMAS J. WILBANKS (Chair, 2004-2010), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee RICHARD N. ANDREWS, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ANTHONY BEBBINGTON, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University WILLIAM U. CHANDLER, Transition Energy, Annapolis, Maryland ROBERT CORELL, Global Environmental and Technology Foundation, Grasonville, Maryland KRISTIE L. EBI, Technical Support Unit, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, California ANN KINZIG, Department of Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe MARIA CARMEN LEMOS, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan TIMOTHY McDANIELS, Eco-Risk Unit, University of British Columbia, Vancouver LINDA O. MEARNS, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado EDWARD MILES, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle DENNIS OJIMA, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University ALEXANDER PFAFF, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University EUGENE ROSA, Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, Washington State University GARY W. YOHE, Department of Economics, Wesleyan University ORAN R. YOUNG (ex officio), International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Enironmental Change Scientific Committee; Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara PAUL C. STERN, Study Director LINDA DePUGH, Administrative Assistant vi
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Preface A series of reports from the National Research Council (NRC), in- cluding the recent reports in the “America’s Climate Choices” project, has underscored what has long been known—that the U.S. government continues to lack the basic social science capability to address many of the nation’s serious environmental and health problems. It is increasingly clear that the technological systems facing the United States—in such varied do- mains as energy systems, chemicals in the environment, radioactive waste disposal, nanotechnology, and health systems—are at root social-technical systems whose prospects and problems need to be addressed with integrated analysis of technology, people, ecology, and social institutions. Yet the interactions of technology and environment with human systems remain a neglected research area. The recent NRC review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change, is one of a plethora of examples. The program across 13 federal agencies lists social science issues as central to two to three of its major goals. Yet the review found that although effective progress had been made on the natural science issues, very little progress had been achieved on such critical social and behavioral science issues as risk communication, poten- tial impacts of climate change on human systems, and engaging stakehold- ers. Ant it was apparent that social science issues commanded only a few percent of the total budget for federal climate science budget. In another case, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) re- cently completed a review of its progress since a highly negative report in vii
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viii PREFACE 2004 on its social science capability detailed its inadequate expertise and resources. The 2009 review, Integrating Social Science into NOAA Plan- ning, Evaluation and Decision Making: A Review of Implementation to Date and Recommendations for Improving Effectiveness, found that not only had NOAA failed to make significant progress, it had actually lost ground over the 5-year period. To help show federal agencies the value of the social and behavioral sciences, the Hewlett Foundation provided a modest grant to the NRC for two workshops that would showcase how the behavioral and social sci- ences could contribute useful knowledge to the nation’s effort to respond to climate change. The first workshop, in December 2009, was on mitigation of climate change risks, and the second, in April 2010, was on adaptation to climate change. The terms “mitigation” and “adaptation” have particular uses in the climate change science field that are different from usage common in the social sciences. In climate change science, mitigation usually refers to ac- tivities that reduce the extent of climate change, and adaptation refers to actions that reduce the damage resulting from whatever climate change occurs. In hazard research in the social sciences, by contrast, mitigation typically refers to the amelioration of consequences by whatever means. Adaptation, in climate change science, usually refers to organized efforts rather than what might be termed “autonomous adaptation” by individual natural resource managers. Indeed, as several speakers at the adaptation workshop made clear, adaptation is ongoing in all societies where change in their social and natural environments are an inherent part of daily decision making and economic behavior. The term “social-technical” system seems particularly relevant here. The workshops gave particular attention to the couplings or linkages that shape the interactions among society, technology, and ecology. At the same time, it is apparent that the understanding of the nature of this coupling, and particularly its causal connections, is still highly rudimentary. Much work is needed for a more robust understanding of how such coupling comes into being and how it functions in different contexts. Social science research on mitigation and that on adaptation are at different stages of development. Work on mitigation includes several bod- ies of knowledge that can offer useful practical insights now. For example, research on household behavior revealed significant opportunities for green- house gas reductions without major changes in values or lifestyles. For adaptation, however, although much is known about specific elements or facets of the processes of adaptation, no general integrative theory or frame- work now exists to guide a coherent research agenda or to suggest a set of best practices. The workshops were a salutary experience for most of the
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ix PREFACE participating social and behavioral scientists, often because there was the opportunity to dig deeply into issues with other accomplished researchers working on global climate change. The workshops also benefited strongly from the attendance, and commentary, of a number of agency representa- tives, including those from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin- istration; National Science Foundation; Office of Science and Technology Policy; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Interior, and Transportation; U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency; U.S. Government Accountability Office; and U.S. Global Change Research Program. I am very grateful to the staff of the Committee on the Human Dimen- sions of Global Change: Paul Stern, director of the committee and of this project, and Linda DePugh, who handles all the administrative arrange- ments. In addition, the project also would like to thank NRC fellow Hadas Kushnir who provided research support for the second workshop. For background, the project commissioned a paper from Seth Tuler of the Social and Environmental Research Institute, which overviewed a number of the major studies conducted on the siting of controversial facilities. The paper, “Factors Influencing Public Support and Opposition to Renewable Energy Facility Siting: A Review of the Literature,” will inform future efforts by the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change to develop new projects that build on the results of these workshops. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Arun Agrawal, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan; Kristie L. Ebi, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institu- tion for Science, Stanford, CA; and Charles Wilson, Department of Geogra- phy and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. Although the reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Susan Hanson, Department of Geography, Clark University. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in
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x PREFACE accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. Roger E. Kasperson, Chair Panel on Addressing Change Through the Behavioral Social Sciences
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Contents Introduction 1 PART I: PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING AND MITIGATION OF CLIMATE CHANGE 1 Public Understanding of Climate Change 7 2 The Potential for Limiting Climate Change Through Household Action 27 3 Public Acceptance of Energy Technologies 45 4 Organizational Change and the Greening of Business 61 PART II: ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE 5 Climate Change Adaptation: The State of the Science 75 6 Federal Climate Change Adaptation Planning 85 7 Place-Based Adaptation Cases 93 8 Adaptation and Natural Resource Management 103 9 Cross-Cutting Issues in Adaptation 113 10 Synthesis of Key Questions for the Workshop 129 References 143 xi
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xii CONTENTS Appendixes A December 2009 Workshop Agenda and List of Participants 147 B April 2010 Workshop Agenda and List of Participants 153 C Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff 157