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An essential aspect of carbon (C) accounting is the development of methods and technologies for measurement and monitoring of C pools and fluxes. Forest and agricultural systems are key to the C cycle, as they hold and rapidly exchange large amounts of C, and human-influenced dynamics of C in these systems are very large. Wetlands, streams, and rivers are important reservoirs and exchange points for C, with C in land and hydrologic systems vulnerable to land-use impacts and other natural disturbance forces. In the context of climate change, the sizes of C pools and magnitudes of C fluxes (see Chapter 2) need to be both well understood for modeling purposes and accurately monitored to quantify and attribute changes driven by land-change processes and confounded by climate-change forces.
Direct-measurement methods for C accounting, such as a ground-based inventories, can be inappropriate for covering large landscapes to document extensive C pools or for repeating measurements needed to adequately account for C dynamics. However, if properly deployed, remote sensing systems can be used to provide the spatially synoptic and temporally frequent coverage needed to document land conditions and changes over time (Cohen and Goward 2004; Houghton and Goetz 2008). Remote sensing tools and techniques have developed since the first airborne sensors (photographic cameras) were deployed in the early 1900s. They have progressed from simple passive recording devices to advanced passive and active sensing systems operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms. Remote sensing science includes the data collection technologies and data analysis techniques developed to use remotely sensed data within the framework of spatial data analyses.
Contract rules policing contractual modification are another response to the heightened risk of extortion in specialized environments. For example, the common-law preexisting duty rule can be usefully contrasted with the more permissive regulation of contractual modification under the Uniform Commercial Code. The preexisting duty rule denies enforcement of a renegotiation or contractual modification where an obligor agrees merely to do that which he is already contractually obligated to do. The rule is primarily designed to reduce the incidence of extortionate modification in construction, employment, and other specialized contractual relationships. …
The preexisting duty rule, however, often fails accurately to mirror the underlying bad faith behavior. First, the rule discourages cost reducing negotiations in addition to threats. Moreover, the obligor satisfies the rule by assuming any additional obligations whether or not the “additional” duties are themselves part of the strategic maneuver. The Code [U.C.C. 2–209(1)] abandoned this ill-fitting rule of thumb and instead applies a general good faith standard. … Because this standard is substantially more difficult to enforce, however, the Code may not deter extortionate renegotiation as effectively as did the common law. Nonetheless, if parties generally execute contracts for the sale of goods in the context of a well-developed market for substitutes, the costs saved through legitimate renegotiations will exceed the increased enforcement costs of policing bad faith modification.
Most contract rules are permissive, applying only if the parties do not otherwise agree. By providing standardized and widely suitable risk allocations in advance, the law enables most parties to select a preformulated legal norm “off-the-rack,” thus eliminating the cost of negotiating every detail of the proposed arrangement. Atypical parties remain free to bargain for customized provisions, much as a person with an unusual physique may purchase custom-tailored garments for a premium rather than accept a standard size and cut available at a lower price.
Ideally, the preformulated rules supplied by the state should mimic the agreements contracting parties would reach were they costlessly to bargain out each detail of the transaction. Using this benchmark raises two separable issues: First, what arrangements would most bargainers prefer? And second, what atypical arrangements should be supported as benign alternatives?
The model developed in this article will show that the contractual obligee and obligor would agree in advance to minimize the joint costs of adjusting to prospective contingencies, assigning the responsibility of mitigating to whoever is better able to adjust to the changed conditions. The occurrence of contingencies requiring adjustment, however, may encourage strategic behavior by both parties: The obligor may attempt to evade his performance responsibilities while the obligee may bargain opportunistically whenever his cooperation is requested. Any effort legally to regulate one manifestation of this strategic behavior almost inevitably exacerbates the other. But where a developed market for substitute performances exists, the potential for opportunism is negligible; parties can therefore focus on eliminating evasion of contractual obligations without losing the benefits of cooperation.
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