Thursday, April 19, 2007

Americans Sound Off on Global Warming

This past weekend, thousands of people attended more than 1,400 events across the country as part of Step It Up 2007 and related campaigns to address global warming and promote public policies aimed at reversing it.

Protests, vigils, public forums, and congressional office visits highlighted the issue and called on Congress to pass the Safe Climate Act, which would require the reduction of carbon emissions by 80 percent over the next four decades.

The nationwide campaign came just before a special meeting of the UN Security Council, initiated by the British, linking the issues of climate change and collective security.

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told the council that the international community needs to build a shared understanding of the relationship between energy, security, and climate.

The discussion was started just two weeks after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing the likely devastating impact of global warming.

One of the most important consequences will be access to water. The panel's experts say that drought and water shortages could affect as many as 250 million people.

Massive flooding, meteorological extremes, disease, and consequent social problems were also predicted to worsen over the next few decades.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and shifting to sustainable non-carbon based energy are the first steps needed to combat global warming, say experts.

Bush administration representatives blocked more urgently worded recommendations issued by the UN panel.

Policy changes to reverse global warming have broad public support, according to a recent survey conducted for the Center for American Progress.

More than three-quarters of Americans believe the case is closed and that global warming is real. Six in 10 believe that human actions are at fault and that immediate action must be taken to stop it.

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