Unintended consequences in environmental science

Publication date:
August 2018

Unintended consequences crop up throughout our lives; they can change our perspective, open new avenues and create all manner of problems. Science owes many groundbreaking discoveries to the unexpected but not all unintended consequences lead to great things - whether positive or negative the impact of the "unknown unknowns" cannot be understated.
This edition of the environmental SCIENTIST seeks to highlight the uncertain nature of environmental science. In this issue we explore how historical and current policy making can lead to unpredictable outcomes, how a green energy solution solves more than one environmental issue and what happens when the native species return to their homeland to find an intruder.

1. Is ignorance an excuse? – David Holmes
2. It’s time to look beyond the intended consequences of our actions – Mark Everard
3. Obstacles to climate policy – Rick van der Ploeg
4. Restoring a native mammal: A muddy picture? – Róisín Campbell-Palmer
5. What's wrong with air pollution controls? – Bernard Fisher
6. Biodiversity benefits from solar farms? – Guy Parker and Hannah Montag
7. UK fishing quotas and unintended environmental consequences – Chris Williams
8. A perfect storm: The 1980s farming crisis of the American midwest – Joseph Martin
9. Alien versus predator: The grey squirrel and the pine marten – Emma Sheehy and Paddy Fowler

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