Newsletter No 4 December 2010

On international equity weights and national decision making on climate change


eeClimate change is a moral problem. The main reason to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a concern for faraway lands (Schelling 2000), distant futures (Nordhaus 1982), and remote probabilities (Weitzman 2009). The people who emit most are least affected by climate change, and the benefits of their abatement would be dissipated. Carbon dioxide dwells in the atmosphere for decades and the effects on temperature and sea level play out over even longer periods. Central projections have that climate change and its impacts are a nuisance for rich countries and a problem for poor countries. But there is a chance that things will go horribly wrong. If you do not care about risk, the future, or other people, then you have little reason to care about climate change.

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Developing Scenarios - Struggling with Policy, Scenario Tools, Uncertainty and Discontinuity

 
epasusAssessing the future is vital in informing public policy decisions. Nowadays, numerous professionals at national and international, public and private organizations around the world have the assignment or ambition to make assessments of the future in a public policy context. One of the most widespread approaches is the development of scenarios, which are alternative hypothetical futures.

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Lysyl oxidases in zebrafish development and teratogenesis


cbOn October 8, 2010, Antonius (Thijs) van Boxtel brilliantly defended his PhD thesis entitled "Lysyl oxidases in zebrafish development and teratogenesis." This research revealed a new mechanism of developmental toxicity of dithiocarbamates, a widely used group of pesticides. This has led to the discovery of novel roles for proteins called lysyl oxidases in vertebrate development.

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The impact of climate change on future disaster losses


spaceThere will be only small effects in the short term from climate change on the economic losses from natural disasters, according to IVM researcher Laurens Bouwer. He defended his PhD thesis "Disasters and climate change: analyses and methods for projecting future losses from extreme weather" on Tuesday November 9 at VU University Amsterdam. 

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Serious gaming by Deloitte teaches ERM students about corporate social responsibility


deloitteSerious gaming by Deloitte teaches ERM students about corporate social responsibility   
To match the ambition of the Master Course "Environment and Resource Management (ERM)" students to engage in the issue of sustainability of the private sector, IVM establishes strategic partnerships with the corporate world. A recent example is the unique collaboration with Deloitte who offered training to ERM students about corporate responsibility and sustainability.

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