Earth Science News  





. Global Warming Debate Heats Up In Washington

As the Potomac freezes, the climate debate heats up in Washington.
by Jitendra Joshi
Washington (AFP) Feb 10, 2007
Global politicians and business leaders aim to turn the unfertile territory of Washington into a hotbed of action against climate change this week. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be among those addressing a two-day forum on Capitol Hill that comes at a time when scientific warnings about the catastrophic potential of global warming are reaching a fever pitch.

"The science has become more clear, more certain and more urgent," says British Environment Secretary David Miliband, who will attend the forum at the US Senate along with World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz.

"There's a major shift in the science and there's a major shift in the way that this issue is conceived," he told reporters on a conference call.

The Republican administration of US President George W. Bush insists that it takes the issue of man-made climate change seriously, but remains opposed to endorsing the Kyoto treaty against global warming.

Heavyweight US senators including 2008 presidential contenders Joe Biden (Democrat) and John McCain (Republican) will speak at the forum to drive home the message that not everyone in the United States opposes action.

With the Democrats back in control of Congress, initiatives such as enforced caps on greenhouse gas emissions from industry, and European-style carbon markets, are getting a new hearing.

California and northeast US states are driving forward their own anti-warming initiatives, while evangelical Christians argue that man has a God-given duty to safeguard the planet for future generations.

"So what we're starting to see is a coalition for action in the US," said Robert Watson, the World Bank's chief scientist who from 1997 to 2002 headed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC, the UN's top scientific authority on global warming, delivered its starkest warning yet at a Paris conference this month.

The UN body's first report for six years said fossil fuel pollution would raise temperatures this century, worsen floods, droughts and hurricanes, melt polar ice and damage the climate system for a thousand years to come.

Last Wednesday, the White House issued a rare open letter defending Bush's record on climate change, rejecting criticisms that he has only recently awakened to the problem.

But the letter coincided with hearings in Congress in which experts and politicians accused the Bush administration of repressing public debate over global warming in what one witness branded "a conspiracy of silence."

This week's Senate gathering will hear company leaders such as Virgin Group boss Richard Branson, BP America president Bob Malone and Tata Steel managing-director B. Muthuraman discuss corporate action on the issue.

The forum will also debate how best to bring fast-growing economies such as India and China into the Kyoto fold, with lawmakers from both those countries due to attend.

Beijing has repeatedly insisted that industrialized countries must take the lead on solving a problem they created. That argument has merit, Watson said.

"But without working with China and India, we cannot ever stabilize the world's climate," he said.

During their two-day meeting, the participants aim to forge a consensus statement to deliver to Merkel, this year's chairman of the Group of Eight nations who will give the opening address by video-link on Wednesday.

The forum aims to hammer home that economic security goes hand in hand with fighting climate change, and press the message that Bush is wrong to fear economic disaster from aggressive caps on industrial emissions.

"There is clear evidence that the old argument that you have to choose between the environment and the economy just doesn't stack up any more," Miliband said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
Learn about Climate Science at TerraDaily.com

Study Shows Largest North America Climate Change In 65 Million Years
Gainesville FL (SPX) Feb 09, 2007
The largest climate change in central North America since the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, a temperature drop of nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit, is documented within the fossilized teeth of horses and other plant-eating mammals, a new study reveals.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Catastrophe Bonds A Market Answer To Hail Or High Water
  • Call To Move Indonesian Capital After Deadly Floods
  • UN Warns Of Natural Disasters Linked To Global Warming
  • Ireland Launches Rapid Response Unit For International Crises

  • Global Warming Debate Heats Up In Washington
  • Study Shows Largest North America Climate Change In 65 Million Years
  • White House Issues Rare Letter Defending Record On Warming
  • From Greenhouse To Icehouse: New Clues On Ancient Climate Shift

  • Gascom To Launch 4 Smotr Low-Orbit Remote Sensing Satellites
  • GeoEye Makes Final Debt Payment For The Purchase Of Space Imaging
  • Google Earth To Blur Key India Sites
  • Brazilian Satellite Undergoes Environmental Tests

  • Cold Storage Solution For Global Warming
  • Energy Giant Total To Test Scheme To Store Carbon Emissions
  • Chinese firms win 1.46 bln dollar hydro project in Nigeria
  • Storing Carbon Dioxide Below Ground May Prevent Polluting Above

  • AIDS Vaccine Closer But Remains Elusive
  • Global Vaccine Market To Top 23 Billion Dollars
  • US Overdue For Bird Flu Experts Warn
  • EU Confirms Virulent H5N1 Bird Flu Found At British Poultry Farm

  • Adaptation To Global Climate Change Is An Essential Response To A Warming Planet
  • Electric Fish Shed Light On Ways The Brain Directs Movement
  • Investigating The Invisible Life In Our Environment
  • Return Of Wolves To Britain Would Be Howling Success

  • Facing Jail US Mining Boss Says Pollution Trial A Sham
  • EU To Propose Laws To Fight 'Green Crimes'
  • Cleanup Of SLAC Cooling Tower Leak Complete Workers Investigating Cause
  • Government Selling House Dust For $450 A Unit

  • Human Ecological Footprint In 2015 And Amazonia Revealed
  • Risk Of Extinction Accelerated Due To Interacting Human Threats
  • Carnegie Mellon Student Develops Mood-Sharing Gadget To Help Computer Users Express Their Feelings
  • Selectivity Is Ultimate Aphrodisiac

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement