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Bush Administration Faces Pressure After Release Of UN Climate Study February 2, 2007

Posted by notapundit in US News, White House.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–A report from the world’s top climate scientists concluding the world is in for centuries of manmade warming put pressure Friday on the Bush administration to reverse the growing U.S. share of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.

Democrats newly in control of Congress and other critics of President George W. Bush’s environmental policies pounced on the long-awaited United Nations report like it were fresh meat.

“For those who are still trying to determine responsibility for global warming, this new U.N. report on climate change is a scientific smoking gun,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of House panels on energy and natural resources.

The White House issued a statement less than four hours after the report’s release defending Bush’s six-year record on global climate change, beginning with his acknowledgment in 2001 that the increase in greenhouse gases is due largely to human activity.

It said Bush and his budget proposals have devoted $29 billion to climate-related science, technology, international assistance and incentive programs – “more money than any other country.” Bush has called for slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions to 1% a year but has rejected government-ordered reductions in them. Last week he also called for a 20% reduction in U.S. gasoline consumption over the next 10 years.

Markey said it will be Congress which will have “to meet this challenge by moving aggressively to transition away from forms of energy which have the capacity to destroy the planet as we know it.”

Compiled by scientists in 113 nations, the report says global warming is very likely caused by humans, meaning it is a 90% certainty. By the year 2100, temperatures are predicted to rise by about 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit and sea levels to go up 7 to 23 inches.

The last U.N. report – five years ago – said it was “likely,” or 66% probable, that people had caused global warming over the last 50 years.

“The IPCC report demonstrates that the scientific evidence linking human activities with changes in the Earth’s climate is even stronger than previously reported,” said Robert Watson, the World Bank’s chief spokesman on global warming and former chairman of the U.N. scientific panel responsible for evaluating the threat of climate change.

Some evangelical Christians who helped Bush win re-election in 2004 demanded he provide more world leadership on the issue in light of the new U.N. report.

“I am absolutely certain that as Christians we need to act today to curb global warming pollution,” said Jim Ball, national coordinator of the Evangelical Climate Initiative and president of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “It is a moral imperative that we act to protect God’s creation, including the helpless victims of what the report indicates will be the decades-long impact of global warming.”

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