Brief ReportIsaac Perry
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forum for dissemination of new ideas and practical results, rather than an instru- ment for illusory consensus, rhetoric, and delay.” And I agree that to do this requires breaking from the UN’s tradi- tional approach of consensus-seeking among nearly 190 nations. With the majority of emissions produced by a much smaller number of countries, Benedick asks somewhat rhetorically “Is it necessary to have everybody at the table?” The answer is a resounding no! His suggestion for a parallel structure of smaller, focused negotiation to achieve partial solutions to specific pieces of the problem seems eminently sensible.
The piece that Benedick chooses to focus on is technology development. He notes that “it is ironic that govern- ments were negotiating emission reduc- tion targets while simultaneously reduc- ing their budgets for energy technology R&D.” He rightly notes that “technol- ogy development is the missing guest at the Kyoto feast.” The disconnect between targets and timetables and the costs required to achieve them has been a recurring theme in the climate debate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the assumption that inexpensive low- emitting technologies will somehow just materialize.
This is where Benedick’s call for focused negotiation among a smaller subset of players could be especially valuable. What is needed is an interna- tional consortium of developed-coun- try investors (both public- and pri- vate-sector) to provide the technological wherewithal for the transition to a less carbon-intensive economy. These tech- nologies are not only needed by devel- oped countries to fulfill their emission reduction obligations but even more urgently by developing countries to fuel economic expansion in an environ- mentally compatible manner.
But despite the critical role of tech- nology, certain market failures must
first be addressed. There is need for a sustained commitment of resources on the part of developed-country govern- ments to provide the basic research needed to lay the foundations for tech- nology development, and the private sec- tor of these countries must be given incentives to bring these technologies to the marketplace. Benedick and I may disagree over the role of market mech- anisms versus command and control, but we are in complete agreement about the pivotal role of technology in meet- ing our climate goals.
Finally, I would like to thank Benedick for taking the time to reflect on an institution for which he has been a keen and thoughtful observer since its inception—the UN Framework Con- vention on Climate Change—but even more important, rather than being content to sit back and criticize, for offering practical suggestions for “put- ting the world back on the right path.” I commend his lucid and provocative article to those who missed it. RICHARD G. RICHELS Senior Technical Executive Electric Power Research Institute Palo Alto, California [email protected]
The aging psyche “Growing Old or Living Long: Take Your Pick” (Issues, Winter 2007) by Laura L. Carstensen is a succinct sum- mary of a growing body of work of great importance to our understand- ing of the psychological and emotional processes of aging; in particular, moti- vation. The work focuses on the real- life conditions of older people. What was once the privilege of the few has become the common destiny of the many, and the work Carstensen and her colleagues pursue directly benefits those who are living longer. She con- tinues to explore what she calls socioe-
motional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation.
According to Carstensen, when con- ditions create a sense of the fragility of life, both younger and older people prefer to pursue emotionally mean- ingful experiences and goals. The prospect of death contracts the sense of time and may be particularly rele- vant to the role of motivation in auto- biographical memory.
It is reminiscent of an early paper by Eduardo Krapf, who wrote of the atro- phy of a sense of the future, or “Torschsluspanik”: “panic at the clos- ing door of the gate” [“On Ageing,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 41 (1953): 957–963].
A critical question is “how could it be that aging, given inherent losses in critical capabilities, is associated with an improved sense of well-being?” One of her studies with an order of Catholic nuns supports “the idea that people remember their personal past posi- tively over time,” in contrast to the experience itself. One possible interpre- tation of this finding is that older peo- ple find it difficult and even unaccept- able to consider themselves to have lived unhappy lives.
The Carstensen studies were con- ducted on healthy older people. It would be interesting to undertake com- parable studies of older people who report depression or are diagnosed as depressed. ROBERT N. BUTLER President and Chief Executive Officer International Longevity Center New York, New York www.ilcusa.org
Transportation security R. William Johnstone’s “Not Safe Enough: Fixing Transportation Secu-
SPRING 2007 9
rity” (Issues, Winter 2007) hits the nail precisely on the head. His refreshingly honest and realistic assessment of the current state of affairs not only avoids the D.C. bureaucratic two-step but shows his unmitigated nerve by daring to offer appropriate and effective changes to the transportation security system and its unfortunate failing policies. Few people have the credibility, criti- cal thinking, and integrity to write such an article.
I am the former Transportation Secu- rity Agency Acting Director for Indus- try Training responsible for the initial design of the Federal Flight Deck Pro- gram (FFDO) (voluntary arming of pilots) and the Aviation Crew Mem- ber Self-Defense (CMSD) training pro- gram, which was made mandatory by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Unfortunately, the CMSD program was later declared voluntary under pres- sure on both Congress and the admin- istration from members of the indus- try. I also had a hand in rewriting the sensitive security document known as the Common Strategy. Hence, I can tell you that Johnstone’s concerns regard- ing the effectiveness of all elements of the new system are well founded.
I particularly share his concerns regarding the deficiencies in each of the onboard security measures. It is my sincere professional and personal opinion that the pilots and flight atten- dants have not received the appropri- ate security training needed to counter ongoing concerns regarding possible future terrorist attacks on commercial aviation. Additionally, knowing the level of Johnstone’s knowledge and documented research, I am equally confident that a lack of funding and comprehensive realistic training devel- opment and delivery plague all of the transportation industry.
Johnstone’s recommendations are well founded and supported. Congress
must officially declare transportation security a matter of national security so that the administration will be free to treat it as such. This will go a long way toward alleviating the impact of dual mandates that cause transportation industry representatives to fight against sound security measures because of funding and control concerns. From here, maybe we can get back to work- ing together to fight our common enemy and implement the other well- defined suggestions presented in John- stone’s article. DENNY L. DILLARD President and Chief Executive Officer FAST Training and Operations Group Westminster, Colorado [email protected]
Competitiveness The semiconductor industry epito- mizes many of the points made by Robert D. Atkinson in “Deep Compet- itiveness” (Issues, Winter 2007). Atkin- son’s call for a sense of urgency is underscored by recent trends in where semiconductors are made and sold. In 2002, 30% of semiconductor manu- facturing equipment was sold in the United States, but this had fallen to only 19% by 2006. In 2000, more semiconductors were consumed in the United States than in any other region, but by 2004 there were twice as many semiconductors sold in the Asia/Pacific region than in the United States, and the gap has grown since.
The semiconductor industry’s suc- cessful comeback against Japanese com- petition in the 1980s also supports Atkinson’s rebuttal of those pundits who dismiss the seriousness of the cur- rent competitive challenge on the grounds that we met past challenges. As Atkinson notes, we overcame past challenges precisely because we took them seriously. The United States had
fallen behind Japan in worldwide semi- conductor market share in 1986, and many executives were determined that the chip industry not share the fate of the U.S. television industry, a sector that had suffered an irreversible decline that is readily apparent when one browses the flat-panel TV aisles in a store today. The United States responded with economic sanctions to enforce a trade agreement to open the Japan market and end Japanese dumping and with the formation of the SEMATECH industry/government research part- nership. These actions were unprece- dented at the time and were critical to the United States retaking semicon- ductor market share leadership in 1993.
Atkinson’s focus on an enhanced R&D credit and new industry/govern- ment/university research partnerships is echoed in the semiconductor indus- try’s current activities and policy rec- ommendations. The value of the U.S. R&D credit is far below those of our trading partners, and other nations are quick to point out their tax advantages when companies are deciding where to expand their R&D activities.
The Semiconductor Industry Asso- ciation has launched a Nanoelectron- ics Research Initiative (NRI) that pulls together the semiconductor compa- nies, 23 universities in 12 states, state governments, and the National Sci- ence Foundation. The purpose of the NRI is to identify the next new logic switch, perhaps based on a particle’s spin or a molecule’s shape, to replace today’s transistor. The country whose compa- nies are first to market will probably lead the coming nanoelectronics era in the way that the United States has led for half a century in microelectronics.
DARYL HATANO Vice President, Public Policy Semiconductor Industry Association San Jose, California [email protected]
10 ISSUES IN SCIENCE A N D TECHN OLO GY