William C. Clark

William C. Clark is Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  • Global Environmental Assessments

    Global Environmental Assessments

    Information and Influence

    Ronald B. Mitchell, William C. Clark, David W. Cash, and Nancy M. Dickson

    Knowledge about environmental problems has expanded rapidly in recent decades, as have the number and variety of processes for making large-scale scientific assessments of those problems and their possible solutions. Yet too often scientific information has not been transformed into effective and appropriate policies to protect the global environment. In this book, scholars use a comparative analytic framework and supporting case studies to evaluate the impact of environmental assessments, looking at how, and under what conditions, global environmental assessments influence political and economic decision makers. They find that global environmental assessments are more likely to be influential if the process is perceived not only as scientifically credible but also as salient to policy concerns and as generated through legitimate means. The studies show that although the content of the assessment clearly matters, its influence is often determined more by the process that generated it and by external factors affecting the receptiveness of different audiences. Assessments that involve ongoing interactions among scientists, stakeholders, and policymakers prove particularly likely to influence behaviors.

    The diverse case studies—ranging from global assessments of climate change and acid precipitation to assessments of sea-level rise in Maine and Hawai'i and climate forecasting in Zimbabwe—embed their findings in contemporary theoretical frameworks while remaining informed by pragmatic policy considerations.

    Contributors Liliana B. Andonova, Frank Biermann, David W. Cash, William C. Clark, Aarti Gupta, Ronald B. Mitchell, Susanne C. Moser, Anthony Patt, Noelle Eckley Selin, Wendy E. F. Torrance, Stacy D. VanDeveer

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Earth System Analysis for Sustainability

    Earth System Analysis for Sustainability

    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Paul J. Crutzen, William C. Clark, Martin Claussen, and Hermann Held

    Demonstrates how understanding the intertwined evolution of the Earth's geosphere and biosphere can contribute to the achievement of global sustainability.

    Earth System Analysis for Sustainability uses an integrated systems approach to provide a panoramic view of planetary dynamics since the inception of life some four billion years ago and to identify principles for responsible management of the global environment in the future. Perceiving our planet as a single entity with hypercomplex, often unpredictable behavior, the authors use Earth system analysis to study global changes past and future. They explore the question of whether the unprecedented human-originated changes transforming the ecosphere today will end a 10,000-year period of climate stability.

    The book presents the complete story of the inseparably intertwined evolution of life and matter on Earth, focusing on four major topics: long-term geosphere-biosphere interaction and the possibility of using extrasolar planets to test various geophysical hypotheses; the Quaternary Earth System's modes of operation; current planetary dynamics under human pressure; and transition to global sustainability. Written by leading figures in the disciplines of geology, climatology, evolution, biogeochemistry, macroeconomics, and institutions theory, Earth System Analysis for Sustainability analyzes the driving forces behind global change and uses this knowledge to propose principles to propose principles for global stewardship.

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99