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Our Future, Our Environment

Our Future, Our Environment
Editors: Noreen Clancy, Environmental Scientist, RAND
David Rejeski, Flum Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

 
 


Beyond the Internet
by Charles W. Schmidt

We may now be embarking on a second wave of connectivity where "intelligence" is embedded in the objects and materials of our daily lives. We're talking appliances, automobiles, homes, and even clothing that are interconnected. This will create large, pervasive networks which enable new levels of scientific and public understanding. How will pervasive networks be used to achieve environmental gains?

 

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone
by Christian Turner

Gains in computing power and biological insight are converging, giving us the opportunity to learn our own genetic code. While this new genomics era offers untold opportunities for better health, longer lives, and richer human understanding, it will also present some weighty challenges.

 

Nature's Services

Nature's Services
by Tawna Mertz

Of the over one million species of plants and animals on this planet, only a few -- such as crops, timber, and edible fish -- have market values. Most of the remaining species aid humans in less direct ways: by creating oxygen, decomposing organic matter, filtering air and water, and controlling pests. These natural processes can be seen as "services" provided by our ecosystems.

 

Consumer Power

Consumer Power
by Joel Makower

How do we view our ecological footprint? From canned tuna to electricity, consumer behavior has created new markets for "green" goods. What role might consumers play in improving environmental quality and what needs to be done to make that happen?

 

New World, Old Order

New World, Old Order
by Robert Taylor

Of the international institutions created to facilitate global cooperation, many are now decades old. How effective are organizations like the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank at protecting the environment in an increasingly globalized economy? What role will multinational corporations and transnational advocacy networks play in a New World order?

 

Game Changers

Game Changers
by Anders Hove, Amit Ronen, and Noreen Clancy

A few issues have the potential to turn the table on the current environmental picture. These "game changers" include methane hydrates (a potentially large source of energy that is currently untapped), the prospect of a hydrogen-powered economy, and the regulation of contaminants that are only now emerging as problems in our water supply.

 

Manufacturing Anywhere

Manufacturing Anywhere
by Robert Gunther

Heard of Napster? If not, you better find out, because it might become a new model for the manufacturing world. What about manufacturing in your garage or home with a personal fabricator? Build your own car on line? Throw away your old assumptions about how we will design, produce, and distribute products. We are in the middle of the most significant revolution in manufacturing since the beginning of mass production. Find out what it might mean for the environment.


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Preface


Editors' Message

Acknowledgements
 

This publication, IP-203, is part of the RAND Issue Papers series. RAND Issue Papers explore topics of interest to the policymaking community. Although Issue Papers are formally reviewed, authors have substantial latitude to express provocative views without doing full justice to other perspectives. The views and conclusions expressed in Issue Papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of RAND or its research sponsors.