Climatic Uncertainty and Natural Resource Policy: What Should the Role of Government Be?

Climatic Uncertainty and Natural Resource Policy: What Should the Role of Government Be?

Recent concern about the consequences of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has focused attention on how policy implications are interpreted and acted upon, and the role government has in monitoring and disseminating predictions of weather patterns. Fundamentally, decision-makers become active participants in the risk-related environment as many governments are involved in supporting people affected by the phenomenon either in their own countries or as part of their aid programmes. The paper argues that the interpretations of global climate modelling are not purely technical, but are policy-related, and claims concerning droughts, floods, forest fires and other possible consequences of large-scale oscillations must be decoded as much for their political significance as their predictive element.

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