AgBioResearcher Part of Group Advising Government How to Make Climate Change Decisions

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Joe Arvai was part of an advisory panel that advised the government on climate change policy. (view larger image)

Creating government policies that influence climate change—setting auto or industrial emission levels, for example—requires considering the needs of industry, consumers and the environment, as well as scientific research priorities, says an MAES scientist.

Joe Arvai, associate director of the MSU Environmental Science and Policy Program and judgment and decision-making researcher, was part of a national expert panel that recently published a report aimed at helping federal, state and local officials make better decisions about affecting climate change.

“Right now, decisions on climate change are made on a patchwork basis,” said Arvai, who was one of 15 authors of Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate. “The report discusses how government agencies and officials can make better climate decisions and gives them recommendations and models to do so.”

Creating a coordinated national effort to monitor and respond to climate change is one of the report’s recommendations. Such an effort might take the form of a new agency—a national climate service—which could operate in much the same way as the Department of Homeland Security oversees domestic aspects of national security, Arvai said.

“Greater coordination at the national level would offer clear guidance and would set the stage for an information clearinghouse on climate change,” Arvai explained. “This will help ensure that policies don’t conflict or undercut each other. Congress and the White House are very interested in this report.”

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published by the National Academies Press, Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate will be used by the leadership committee of the America¬ís Climate Choices study, which will assess short-term actions and long-term strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Thomas Dietz, MSU assistant vice president for environmental research, is a member of the America’s Climate Choices leadership committee.

Copies of Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate are available from the National Academies Press.

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