Author Archives: Roger Pielke Jr.

Opening Up the Climate Policy Envelope

This article is in Is Innovation China's Next Great Leap Forward?, Summer 2018

Fudged assumptions about the future are hampering efforts to deal with climate change in the present. It’s time to get real. Policy action is required to mitigate and adapt to human-caused climate change, but current efforts to develop a global climate policy cannot fly. What the world’s leaders have been able to agree on will […]

What Is Climate Change?

This article is in U.S. Forests: Facing New Global Market, Summer 2004

Incompatibility between the definitions used by science and policy organizations is an obstacle to effective action. Believe it or not, the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), focused on international policy, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), focused on scientific assessments in support of the FCCC, use different definitions of climate change. The […]

Book Review: Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal

This article is in Energy Update, Winter 2011

The myth of objective scientists Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal by Heather Douglas. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009, 210 pp. Roger Pielke Jr. In Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal, Heather Douglas of the University of Tennessee–Knoxville seeks to challenge the belief that science should be “value-free,” meaning that it is guided […]

Defining Energy Access for the World’s Poor

This article is in Does Education Pay?, Fall 2013

The poorest three-quarters of the global population still use only about 10% of global energy—a clear indicator of deep and persistent global inequity. Modern energy supply is foundational for economic development, yet discussions about energy and poverty commonly assume that the roughly 2 to 3 billion people who presently lack modern energy services will demand […]

Making Energy Access Meaningful

This article is in The Online Challenge to Higher Education, Summer 2013

The world’s poor need more than a token supply of electricity. The goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise living standards. In a somewhat inconsequential meeting at the United Nations (UN) in 2009, Kandeh Yumkella, then Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s informally […]

Wanted: Scientific Leadership on Climate

This article is in Standardized Testing Takes Center Stage, Winter 2002-2003

Effective action on climate change depends on the willingness of the climate science community to support new research priorities. What happens when the scientific community’s responsibility to society conflicts with its professional self interest? In the case of research related to climate change the answer is clear: Self interest trumps responsibility. In 1989, Senator Al […]

Humanities for Policy—and a Policy for the Humanities

This article is in Flaws In Forensic Science, Fall 2003

Scientists have been asked to demonstrate their value to policymakers; now humanists must show what they have to offer. Since World War II, policymakers have increasingly viewed investments in knowledge as central to achieving societal goals—unless that knowledge is in the humanities. In 2003, less than 1 percent of the $100-billion investment of public resources […]