ON THE INTERNET
The internet is a great resource tool for those interested in ecology. Unfortunately there is very little organization on the web, and just finding what you're looking for tends to take up more on-line time than anything else. This search can be extremely frustrating. In an effort to ease your search, in this issue we'll take a look at some web sites that are innovative in their approach to educating and informing about their environmental mission.
Based in Washington, DC (atop Capitol Hill), The Climate Institute studies the effects of global climate change at both the local and worldwide levels, and organizes conferences and programs at an international level for the purpose of furthering climatological amelioration and study.
During the 1980s, scientific evidence about global climate change and its consequences led to growing concern among scientists, policy makers, and the public. In 1988, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Through the IPCC process, scientists representing more than 150 countries have assessed the available information on climate change and its environmental and economic effects and have provided the scientific understanding needed to help formulate appropriate responses.
In 1990, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly established the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). The FCCC was adopted in 1992, and over 160 signatories have now become parties to the agreement. the ultimate aim of the FCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic, interference with the climate system."
In the United States, climate change research is overseen by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which was established in 1989. Since its inception, the USGCRP has strengthened research on key scientific issues and has fostered improved understanding of Earth processes. New directions for USGCRP include identifying and analyzing regional vulnerabilities to climate variability and climate change. A very informative site.
This site, though it has a real "home-grown" feel to it (evidenced by the link to the author's personal web page) is actually one of the most innovative environmental pages on the web. The site is put together and maintained by Duncan C. Ferguson. The site contains some very \useful advice and some solid references for more information. More than that, however, is the basic idea behind the site - using the internet (which is now almost as pervasive as television) for promoting sustainable community development, bringing people and ideas together to promote values and establish connections which otherwise might be impossible. This site is highly recommended for community-minded groups or individuals with access to a computer.
(Reprint, The Eco-Letter, Fall 1997 - Published by NACRE, (202) 462-2591)
Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.
Back to Eco-nomics Directory