Climate Change Is Certain; Still, Industry Resists

Last week's U.N. report on climate change took an unequivocal stance on the menace of global warming. However, the world's carbon-burning industries still question the science and the threat of warming.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

The latest news about global warming is what's on the mind of our senior news analyst, Daniel Schorr.

DANIEL SCHORR: In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush went out of his way to stress that the challenge of global warming would be met by new technologies. He was undoubtedly aware that soon afterward would come a report by distinguished international panel of scientists saying that global warming is here and now and primarily caused by human activities.

And then the words that carbon-burning industries hate to hear, that the world can be saved only by a really massive reduction in emissions, in the words of Richard Summerville, one of the authors of the report.

To the hundreds of scientists on the international panel, the menace of global warming is unequivocal, but to the industries that produce the emissions, from the smokestacks and the tailpipes, nothing is unequivocal.

Some advocacy groups have disclosed that the American Enterprise Institute, which receives funding from Exxon Mobil, offered scientists $10,000 each to contribute essays critiquing the international study. An AEI scholar, Kenneth Green, explained that his group was examining the policy debate on global warming, not the science.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken the lead in proposing tougher emission standards, and several states are following. It may be that the states will move in where the Bush administration fears to tread. As of now, the international group is left with its dire warning that global warming is here and now with all of its deadly consequences.

This is Daniel Schorr.

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