Research Colloquium: Michael Toman

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara




Michael Toman
Professional Lecturer
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Johns Hopkins University

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

(overflow seating in 1424)

"Climate Change: Meeting Present Needs and Not Compromising the Future"

Hosted by Dean Steve Gaines

Note: This presentation will be video-recorded



Climate change is an extremely complicated problem because it connects (a) scientific understanding and uncertainty; (b) nearer-term economic costs compared to longer-term potential benefits; (c) significant potential for winners and losers; and (d) challenges in governing the “global commons.” Nevertheless, there is ample evidence of the need to take action; the issue is not whether to do so, but how. The colloquium presentation will identify some steps forward that can be taken notwithstanding the complexities. These include how to incorporate uncertainties in climate-change policies; the strengths and weaknesses of different types of national-level policies; and possibilities for enhancing international cooperation.


Dr. Michael Toman is a professorial lecturer in the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He also works in a major international development institution. He recently served as director of the RAND Corporation’s environment and energy program. Previous appointments include senior economist in the Sustainable Development Department of the Inter-American Development Bank, and senior fellow and division director at Resources for the Future. Dr. Toman is also an adjunct faculty member at the Bren School. His research on a variety of topics concerned with energy, the environment, climate change, and sustainable development has been published in a number of journal articles and monographs, and in several books.


The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change allows the Bren School to attract international leaders in environmental policy, law, business, and science to enrich and expand the intellectual life of the Bren School community and share insight on issues critical to climate change. Activities of the visitors, who are in residence for periods ranging from one week to one quarter, include teaching short courses, offering public lectures, conducting seminars, and leading colloquia and symposia planned around their research, professional endeavors, or areas of expertise. Dr. Kahn is the second or three Distinguished Visitors who will spend time at the Bren School during the 2009-2010 academic year. The first was former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Lynn Scarlett. The third visitor will be announced in spring.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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