i4Energy Seminar: Legal implications of Climate Modeling

  • April 23, 2010: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
  • Location: Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Dan Farber [UC Berkeley]

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This presentation discusses the uses and limitations of these models for courts and agencies. Climate scientists have created a unique institutional system for assessing and improving models, going well beyond the usual system of peer review. Consequently, their conclusions should be entitled to considerable credence by courts and agencies.  In particular, modeling results should be admissible evidence in court.

There is considerable residual uncertainty about climate change impacts that cannot be fully quantified. The uncertainties on the whole make climate change a more serious problem rather than providing a source of comfort. The policy process should be designed with this uncertainty in mind. For instance, rather than focusing on a single cost-benefit analysis for proposed regulatory actions or establishing a point-value estimate for the social cost of carbon, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees federal regulatory policy, might do better to require the development of a range of standardized scenarios for agencies to use.


All i4energy talks take place at noon on Fridays in the Banatao Auditorium on the 3rd floor of Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley. These talks are free, open to the public and broadcast live on-line at  mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast the day and time of the event. Questions can be sent via Yahoo IM to username: citrisevents.

The spring series is online at http://www.citris-uc.org/events/i4e-spring2010.

Please note that all CITRIS Talks can now be viewed on youtube.com/citris