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U.S. Government Finally Faces Facts

A new government report calledOurChanging Planet says people are responsible for the globalwarming of the past 30 years. This idea has long beenaccepted by scientists, but has been resisted by bigbusiness interests in the White House who don't want toforce industries to curb their greenhouse gas emissions orproduce low-emission cars.

Maggie McKee writes in New Scientist that the report, whichsummarizes recent computer simulations by 13 governmentagencies, reports that global warming in the first half ofthe 20th century "was likely due to natural climatevariation," including increased solar activity. But thetemperature rise over the second half of the century,especially in the last 30 years, can only be explained byhuman activity.

Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for AtmosphericResearch, says, "There's nothing else we can blame it on,really. If we don't put the changes in carbon dioxide intoour models, we don't get global warming out."

Industrial ecologist Thomas Graedel says, "Well over 98% ofscientists competent in this area would agree with that."

Biologist Anthony Janetos says, "The big question is whateffect this will have on climate policy. The administrationhas been pretty consistent in saying they believe involuntary actions [to cut greenhouse gas emissions]. Ihaven't seen any indication they've changed their mind, butif they had, that would be big news indeed." When a 2002U.S. government report to the UN showed the same thing,Janetos says President Bush "pulled back" from theinformation in the document.

Trenberth says, "Bush has said that if we do something aboutemissions, it will hurt the economy."

If there's one thing we're all tired of?from BOTHparties?it'sruleby secrecy.

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