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Published: Thursday 19 September, 2013

outlet store michael kors outlet store michael kors A surprising consensus is transforming the complex politics of global warming

America belches up more greenhouse gases than any other country: 5.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2003 alone, thanks mostly to autos burning gasoline and power plants consuming coal. Senate have refused to join almost 160 nations in signing the Kyoto Protocol, the landmark treaty that went into effect last year and hopes to curb the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. In the States, global warming skeptics and probusiness politicians argue that mandatory restrictions would drag down the economy and provide a boon for unregulated rivals like China and India.

But for reasons that range from economics to ethics, a confluence of Christian leaders, corporations, and investors are turning up the heat for legislative action. If you said a few years ago that the development of climatechange policy would be where it is today, somebody would say youre smoking something, says Ray Kopp, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. Driving the discussion is an emerging consensus on global warming, fed by a stream of recent scientific reports. If that consensus view is correct, the results could be devastating: rising oceans, ferocious hurricanes, and prolonged droughts. A poll released last month by the Opinion Research Corp. showed public concern increasing markedly in the past two years. The public mood has some politicians listening, most notably Sen. Pete Domenici, the powerful chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. After seeing a number of climatechangerelated bills shot down or stalled in recent years, the New Mexico Republican is trying to broaden the debate; this week hell host a highlevel forum of scientists, businesses, and publicinterest grou outlet store michael kors ps that will argue the fine points of how to curb emissions without breaking the economy. The complexity of the issue and resistance of many in Congress make passage of a bill unlikely this year. And Democrats have no plans to make hay of climate change in this years midterm elections. Nevertheless, experts say a tipping point has been reachedin both the reallife effects of global warming and the determination to do something about it. For the first time, federal legislation curbing greenhouse gas emissions is starting to feel like a case of when, not if.

The science. The National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and even, grudgingly, the Bush administration now believe Earth is warming. The roots of this emerging consensus go back to 1998, when climatologist Michael Mann used tree ring, ice core, and coral reef data to show relatively stable temperatures over the past millenniums, with a sharp spike in the 20th century. Called the hockey stick graph because of its shape, Manns research concluded that humangenerated greenhouse gasessuch as carbon dioxide and methanewere the primary culprits. While the shape of the hockey stick has changed somewhat, numerous studies have largely vindicated Mann. All the new data are in the same direction, showing that warming is continuing, says Ralph Cicerone, an atmospheric scientist and president of the National Academy of Sciences. Averag outlet store michael kors e surface temperatures have climbed about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the early 20th century, coinciding with spiking atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, which have ballooned 35 percent over the same period. Levels of methane, a far more potent heattrapping gas, have jumped 152 percent since the preindustrial age. Last year was the hottest on record, and model projections show temperatures jumping anywhere outlet store michael kors from 2.7 to 10.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years. outlet store michael kors