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# The Hartwell Paper

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1.
edited November 2010

I posted the Hartwell Paper some time back on recommended reading under "white paper" - you questioned what was a "white paper". I quoted a passage in the forum. "Politics is not about maximising rationality. It is about finding compromises that enough people can tolerate to allow society to take steps in the right direction. So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics". (Harwell Papers 2010)". Nobody took the bait.

The concept of "tame" and "wicked problems" is worth noting. Tame problems are "complicated, but with defined and achievable end states, whereas climate change is 'wicked' (comprising open, complex and imperfectly understood systems). Originally described ... in the context of urban planning, 'wicked' problems are issues that are often formulated as if they are susceptible to solutions when in fact they are not." (Hartwell Papers 2010).

The Harwell Paper is a reformulation of the questions rather than an action plan.

Comment Source:I posted the Hartwell Paper some time back on recommended reading under "white paper" - you questioned what was a "white paper". I quoted a passage in the forum. "Politics is not about maximising rationality. It is about finding compromises that enough people can tolerate to allow society to take steps in the right direction. So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics". (Harwell Papers 2010)". Nobody took the bait. The concept of "tame" and "wicked problems" is worth noting. Tame problems are "complicated, but with defined and achievable end states, whereas climate change is 'wicked' (comprising open, complex and imperfectly understood systems). Originally described ... in the context of urban planning, 'wicked' problems are issues that are often formulated as if they are susceptible to solutions when in fact they are not." (Hartwell Papers 2010). The Harwell Paper is a reformulation of the questions rather than an action plan.
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2.
edited November 2010

Okay - sorry, I never got around to looking at that "white paper", I was apparently satisfied just to know what a white paper was.

So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics.

I certainly agree with that. However, I believe it is useful to bring scientists up to speed on climate change issues, starting with myself. That's all I'm trying to do now. My ambitions are grandiose but not messianic.

The Harwell Paper is a reformulation of the questions rather than an action plan.

Okay, I'll move it to Reports and assessments, add the information you provided, and generally do some linking.

Comment Source:Okay - sorry, I never got around to looking at that "white paper", I was apparently satisfied just to know what a white paper _was_. <img src = "http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/emoticons/redface.gif" alt = ""/> >So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics. I certainly agree with that. However, I believe it is useful to bring scientists up to speed on climate change issues, starting with myself. That's all I'm trying to do now. My ambitions are grandiose but not messianic. >The Harwell Paper is a reformulation of the questions rather than an action plan. Okay, I'll move it to [[Reports and assessments]], add the information you provided, and generally do some linking.