Predictions Book

Book Description:

Prediction: Decision-Making and the Future of Nature, published by Island Press in 2000, addresses the use of scientific prediction in environmental decision making. This book provides insight into the promise and limitations of prediction as a tool for decision-makers, explores alternatives to prediction, presents fresh perspectives about the interface between science and environmental decision making, develops an analytical framework to govern this interface, and makes recommendations that can increase the likelihood of effective decision making. Predictions are examined within the context of 10 case studies, described in the table of contents that follows.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Death, Taxes, and Environmental Policy
Daniel Sarewitz, Roger Pielke, Jr., and Radford Byerly Jr.
Part I: Predictions as a Problem

1. Prediction in Science and Policy
Daniel Sarewitz and Roger Pielke, Jr.
2. Why Predict? Historical Perspectives on Prediction in Earth Sciences
Naomi Oreskes
3. Uncertainty, Judgment, and Error in Prediction
Thomas R. Stewart
Part II: Disasters Waiting to Happen: Predicting Natural Hazards

4. Short-Term Weather Prediction: An Orchestra in Need of a Conductor
William A. Hooke and Roger Pielke, Jr.
5. Flood Prediction: An Issue Immersed in the Quagmire of National Flood Mitigation Strategy
Stanley A. Changnon
6. The Asteroid/Comet Impact Hazard: Homo Sapiens as Dinosaur?
Clark R. Chapman
7. Predicting Earthquakes: Science, Pseudoscience, and Public Policy Paradox
Joanne M. Nigg
Part III: Foreordained Conclusions: Prediction and Politics

8. What You Know Can Hurt You: Predicting the Behavior of Nourished Beaches
Orrin H. Pilkey
9. Is This Number to Your Liking? Water Quality Predictions in Mining Impact Studies
Robert E. Moran
10. From Tin Roof to Torn Wet Blanket: Predicting and Observing Ground Water Movement at a Proposed Nuclear Waste Site
Daniel Metlay
Part IV: Cascades of Uncertainty: Prediction and Policy

11. Oil and Gas Resource Appraisal: Diminishing Reserves, Increasing Supplies
Donald L. Gautier
12. Predictive Modeling of Acid Rain: Obstacles to Generating Useful Knowledge
Charles Herrick
13. Predictions and its Alternatives in Climate Change Policy
Steve Rayner
Part V: Prediction in Perspective

14. Alternatives to Prediction
Ronald D. Brunner
15. Prediction in Society
Dale Jamieson
16. Prediction and Characteristic Times
Radford Byerly Jr.
17. A Decision Framework for Prediction in Environmental Policy
Charles Herrick and J. Michael Pendleton
Part VI: Conclusion

18. Decision Making and the Future of Nature: Understanding and Using Predictions
Roger Pielke, Jr., Daniel Sarewitz and Radford Byerly Jr.
Appendix: Biographical Sketches

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