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Keating, Terry J., and Alex Farrell. 1998. "Problem Framing and Model Formulation: The Regionality of Tropospheric Ozone in the United States and Europe." Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) Discussion Paper E-98-11. Cambridge, MA: Environment and Natural Resources Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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Abstract

In this paper, we compare the evolution of assessments of regional tropospheric ozone problems in the eastern United States and western Europe. We examine the framing of ozone as a policy problem and the use of atmospheric models and other analytical methods to evaluate alternative policy responses. We draw out a number of important distinctions between the United States and Europe, including: 1) In the United States, the ozone problem has been framed by a strongly federalist political system; whereas in Europe, the ozone problem has been framed by international environmental management regimes. 2) Human health impacts, historically, have been the primary concerns associated with ozone exposure in the United States; whereas in Europe, damage to ecosystems has been the primary concern. Thus, we find very different ways of framing the regionality of ozone as a policy problem and different models of the environmental system being used to evaluate policy responses.

We argue that the evolution of the framing of ozone as a policy problem is limited by the analytical models that have been developed over time to address the problem. While the current models in the United States and Europe are useful within the problem frames in which they have been developed, as the problem frames evolve to incorporate new knowledge and changing priorities, the limitations of the current models will restrict attempts to address new problems. The most immediate examples of such limitations within the context of the regionality of ozone is the inability of European models to incorporate increasing concerns about public health and the inability of the United States models to incorporate increasing concerns about ecosystem damage.

 

Companion paper: Farrell, Alex, and Terry J. Keating. 1998. "Multi-Jurisdictional Air Pollution Assessment: A Comparison of the Eastern United States and Western Europe." Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) Discussion Paper E-98-12. Cambridge, MA: Environment and Natural Resources Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

 

 
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