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Contrary to The News editorial, "The global warming report," the new report by the National Academy of Sciences on global climate change is quite clear that a large number of uncertainties remain regarding human impact on the climate. The report says we don't know how much of the past century's modest warming was caused by humans or what will happen in the future. As professor Richard Lindzen of MIT said, its primary conclusion is that "the science is by no means settled."

Given the many uncertainties, the Bush administration was right to reject the costly and unworkable Kyoto Protocol. Even those nations that support it won't meet its strict emission reduction targets. Nor would it make much difference if they did, considering that, under Kyoto, more than 130 developing nations have a license to increase their emissions. This inequitable formula also means that jobs would flow out of the United States and into these developing nations.

The Bush administration has endorsed the academy's call for more basic research, including more resources for climate observation systems. And it has advanced an initiative to help develop new energy-efficient technologies to reduce emissions.

An intense focus on driving these technologies to market faster will change the way we find, develop, produce and use energy, and will have far more impact than the Kyoto treaty ever could.


Executive Director, Global Climate Coalition

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