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CROSSLINES Global Report

 

Science in international negotiations

The Climate Change Convention: a load of hot air?

By Peter Hulm

Scientists and politicians, this article argues, are involved in an overt and covert struggle within the nation state and between nations for power, prestige and money, even when the issue is science.

Not so important? Contrast what France and Germany wanted to do - take precautionary action - to what finally emerged. And Britain's hard-nosed attitude against action not only jeopardized its reputation. It also left the country well behind in the technological race to control greenhouse-gas emissions. Eight years on from the first negotiations, things don't seem to have changed much.

Summary

Introduction

The scientific consensus

The problems of consensus

The politics of consensus

The threshold of danger

The politics of science

Knowledge-based communities

'Greenwash'

Buying scientific credibility

Science and the three paradigms

A utilitarian hypothesis

A cobweb model, modified

Conclusion

References

What the Panel Said


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11 December 2000 Webmaster