Policymakers facing complex decisions about climate change have a new resource to put marine science in their toolkits. The Stanford Journal of Law, Science and Policy (SJLSP) has released its latest issue, “Climate Change and Marine Systems, ” available for free online at http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjlsp/cgi-bin/articles/index.php.
Three Stanford graduate students from programs in law and biology founded the journal in 2008 as a needed outlet for interdisciplinary, science-based papers on public policy. Their latest issue follows a symposium hosted by SJLSP in April 2009 called “Climate Change and Marine Systems: Managing for Resiliency.” The symposium attracted participants from regional NGO’s, state and federal agencies, and academia to discuss themes of ocean energy, marine reserves and fisheries.
SJLSP articles often represent the collaboration of scientists and legal scholars. In the current issue, Mark Carr of UC Santa Cruz, Meg Caldwell of Stanford and Emily Saarman of PISCO present “The role of ‘rules of thumb’ in science-based environmental policy: California’s Marine Life Protection Act as a case study.” The authors suggest an improved format for distilling scientific information into useable guidelines that policymakers can incorporate into their decisions.
Edwin Feo and Josh Ludmir of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP contributed an article called “Balancing the right regulation with the right economic incentives: government’s role in the development and financing of marine renewable energy in the United States.” They discuss how current U.S. laws impede the development of technology to harness the ocean’s enormous potential for clean, renewable energy. Other articles include a review of marine organisms’ physiological responses to climate change as a means to predict fishery and ecosystem “winners” and “losers,” and proposed guidelines for melding natural and social science to develop scientific-yet-appealing marine indicators of climate change.
The unique approach of SJSLP allows scientists to communicate the salient findings and implications of their research directly to policy makers, who can in turn draw on relevant, cutting-edge science when crafting policy solutions. More information about SJSLP and access to journal articles can be found at http://www.stanford.edu/group/sjlsp.
New York Times Article coverage of marine energy talks from the 2009 symposium: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/04/15/15greenwire-marine-power-not-ready-for-prime-time-experts-10525.html
The above is a a slightly modified press release by Arlo Hemphill, Center for Ocean Solutions
Hopkins Marine Station