"The science is already there. The policy is there. So how do we implement it?" said Ramanathan, who will discuss prospects for controlling short-lived climate pollutants at the Stockholm conference. "It needs a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches."
The authors and other advocates of this new approach believe its large benefits to public health and agriculture as well as the relative affordability of adoption could garner it broad public support. They note that the Montreal Protocol, which banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, was widely supported in part because people understood the tangible benefits from protecting against skin cancer and agricultural crop damage that came from it.
The authors cite policy changes that produced significant environmental improvements in locales such as California that could have a far-reaching effect if adopted globally. Use of improved filters in diesel-burning vehicles and reformulated gasoline cut California's black carbon emissions in half from 1989 to 2007. The state has also been a leader in planning adaptation strategies to climate problems that are likely to be inevitable regardless of mitigation efforts, the authors said.
Victor, Kennel and Ramanathan conclude that the success of these measures could reinvigorate efforts to create international policy to curb carbon dioxide emissions. These remain the chief sources of anthropogenic climate change and have climate effects that last for more than a century.
"We don't have to wait to get started on the climate problem," said Kennel. "We can work with communiti
|Contact: Robert Monroe|
University of California - San Diego