range or indirect consequences, such as disruption of ecosystems due to acid precipitation or loss of global biological diversity re-suiting from activities occurring within the domestic jurisdictions of single countries. Some of these types of conflict will prove resistant to resolution through ordinary procedures for handling social conflict, such as diplomacy or negotiation. It is therefore important to consider the effectiveness of alternative approaches to conflict resolution or management that may help in dealing with specific categories of conflicts arising from global environmental changes.
2g: International Cooperation. What can we learn from the recent experience with marine resources, ozone depletion, and transboundary pollution that is relevant to international efforts to deal with climate change and the loss of biodiversity? When do governments resort to international cooperation in dealing with environmental changes, and when are the resultant regimes likely to prove effective? Efforts to cooperate in coming to terms with environmental changes raise questions about collective-action problems occurring at all levels of social organization. Recently, there has been a striking growth of research interest in these problems at the international level. Partly, this reflects a widespread conviction that international cooperation will be necessary to solve all the major problems arising from global environmental changes. It also stems from a sense that the study of international cooperation is an area in which major advances in understanding of collective-action problems in general are now within our grasp.
Like others who have wrestled with the problem, the committee has found it difficult to arrive at simple and straightforward answers to questions regarding data needs for global change research. Given the nature of the subject, it is possible to make a strong case for the relevance of a wide array of data sets in studies of global environmental change. Yet it is not feasible to collect and disseminate data on everything that may prove important for global change studies, because of the extreme cost. Nor is it easy to resolve the organizational issues arising in this field. The argument for centralization in acquiring and disseminating data relating to global change rests on grounds of standardization and efficiency. The counterarguments concern the dangers of entrusting this function to those with little understanding of particular areas, including the human dimensions of global change or, worse,