In a recent guest post to ClimatePolicy.org called “Climate Policy? It’s a Human Choice,” William Hooke says, “Readers of ClimatePolicy.org may remember a four-volume assessment of the social science research relevant to global climate change that appeared about a decade ago, entitled Human choice and climate change, edited by Steve Rayner and Elizabeth L. Malone. If not, here’s a bit of background. This was a truly extraordinary effort, centered on a Vancouver meeting in 1997, and involving more than one hundred contributors. Especially intriguing was a small satellite document issued with the assessment entitled ‘Ten suggestions for policymakers.’” Hooke goes on to quote Michael Hulme, who points out the enduring value in social science research on climate change.
The Ten Suggestions are as follows:
1. View the issue of climate change holistically, not just as the problem of emissions reductions.
2. Recognize that, for climate policymaking, institutional limits to global sustainability are at least as important as environmental limits.
3. Prepare for the likelihood that social, economic, and technological change will be more rapid and have greater direct impacts on human populations than climate change.
4. Recognize the limits of rational planning.
5. Employ the full range of analytical perspectives and decision aids from natural and social sciences and the humanities in climate change policymaking.
6. Design policy instruments for real world conditions rather than try to make the world conform to a particular policy model.
7. Incorporate climate change into other more immediate issues, such as employment, defense, economic development, and public health.
8. Take a regional and local approach to climate policymaking and implementation.
9. Direct resources into identifying vulnerability and promoting resilience, especially where the impacts will be largest.
10. Use a pluralistic approach to decision-making.