Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Princeton profs wedge into global warming

In a 2004 article in Science, Princeton University professors Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala wrote about how they gave students 15 wedges with different colors, each representing a way to achieve a billion tons of carbon savings. Then they asked the students mix and match them to come up with a plausible strategy for keeping the 2050 emissions level equal to today's.

Al Gore picked up the 'wedge model' in his book, An Inconvenient Truth, and the model--and its creators--have played an important role in the global warming discussion ever since.

EQN
, the blog of Princeton University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, tracks some of the professors' recent media appearances, including a July 15 Washington Post article, What It Would Take to Put the Brakes on Global Warming, and an essay in the July 13 issue of Science by New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt, endorsing the scientific validity of Gore's book-turned-movie.

EQN notes that, while Socolow and Pacala’s fan club grows larger by the minute, they have their critics, including 1984 Princeton graduate Warren Meyer, who is writing a book supporting the contrarian's view that climate change change cannot all be pinned on man-made CO2.

Expect to see a lot more references to global-warming wedges as New Jersey begins to explore and debate the difficult--and likely expensive--steps necessary to reduce greenhouse gas production under the state's recent Global Warming Act.

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