3. Testing is feasible.
4. Limited testing is feasible.
(Air pollution: SOx and NOx, smog problems, contamination of watershed resources)
(Loss in biodiversity, depletion offish stocks)
The long-term global problems in cells 1 and 2 allow little, if any, opportunities for field testing of hypotheses as to what needs to be done now to avert future problems because of the long time spans over which the phenomenon occurs. The consequences (or the damages) of these environmental problems, however, are generally postponed and shifted to future populations; future losses are generally assessed and valued at a discount relative to imminent losses to the present population. No time is available with such problems to experiment with different mitigation strategies to determine which works best. Both cells 3 and 4 allow testing and experimental verification of mitigation-related hypotheses because the phenomenon spans relatively shorter time scales. However, the likelihood of testing and experimentation is relatively smaller for cell 4 because it requires coordination of effort over geopolitical boundaries. With issues that fall within cell 4, such as overfishing or whaling, different national agendas come into play and their resolution often becomes politically complicated.
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