Global warm­ing emerg­ing as 2008 cam­paign is­sue

The Washington Times Weekly - - From Page One - By Christina Bellantoni

Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates for 2008 mostlya­greethat­glob­al­warmingisa prob­lem that mer­its gov­ern­ment ac­tion, a sig­nal that de­bate on the is­sue willbe­moreprac­ti­calthancon­cep­tual.

Democrats ac­tively seek­ing the nom­i­na­tion or thought to be con­sid­er­ing White House bids say cli­mate change is real and prom­ise plans to cur­b­car­bone­mis­sions,aview­shared by sev­eral Repub­li­can hope­fuls.

“Iwoul­dan­tic­i­patethat­both­theRepub­li­canandtheDemo­crat­ic­nom­i­nee will be ar­gu­ing over who is best to sol­vethep­rob­le­mof­glob­al­warm­ing,” said Sen. Bar­bara Boxer, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat and chair­man of the Envi- ron­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee. “We’re go­ing to need a pres­i­dent who gets it.”

Sen. John McCain, Ari­zona Repub­li­can,andSen.Barack­Obama,Illi­noisDemo­crat,areco-au­thor­so­fa­bill aimed at dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions. The sen­a­tors, who have formed pres­i­den­tial ex­ploratory com­mit­tees, say the Se­nate must pur­sue a so­lu­tion to cli­mate change.

“I am con­fi­dent that given our will and what’s at stake, Amer­ica can and must as­sume its proper lead­er­ship roleinad­dress­ingth­epre-em­i­nen­ten­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue of our time, the con­se­quence­sofwhich­sodi­rectlyaf­fect our na­tional in­ter­ests,” Mr. McCain said.

Sen.Hil­laryRod­hamClin­ton,New York Demo­crat and likely 2008 can­di­date, has said cli­mate change is a press­ing prob­lem.

“Given the sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that we have and the po­ten­tial con­se­quences of con­tin­ued warm­ing, I strongly be­lieve this na­tion needs to take­sen­si­ble­first­step­stoslowan­dul­ti­mately re­duce emis­sions of car­bon diox­ide­an­dother­gas­es­that­con­tribute to cli­mate change,” Mrs. Clin­ton says on­herWeb­site,not­ingth­atNewYork would­beaf­fect­ed­byany­coastalflood­ing­caused­by­se­ri­ouscli­mat­e­change.

Mr. Obama al­luded to the is­sue in hisan­nounce­mento­fapres­i­den­tial­ex­ploratory com­mit­tee on Jan. 16, say­ing,“Our­con­tin­ued­de­pen­denceonoil has put our se­cu­rity and our very planet at risk.”

“I think it’s go­ing to be a very sig­nif­i­cant is­sue, no ques­tion about it,” said Sen. John Kerry of Mas­sachusetts, the 2004 Demo­cratic nom­i­nee who has been men­tioned as a 2008 can­di­date. Mr. Kerry soon will in­tro­duce­hisown­billto“quan­ti­fythe­cost of car­bon in some way.”

High­light­ing the is­sue are for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore’s film, “An In­con­ve­nien­tTruth,”and­new­sthat2006 was the warm­est year on record. Mr. Gore, a Demo­crat who ran for pres­i­dentin2000,has­notruled­outrun­ning in 2008.

Sen.JosephR.Bi­denJr.,Delaware Demo­crat,last­week­in­tro­ducedares­o­lu­tion call­ing on the United States to ne­go­ti­ate to join the Ky­oto Pro­to­col treaty to limit green­house gas emis­sions.“The­cli­mate­haschanged,”said Mr.Bi­den,who­has­said­hewil­l­run­for pres­i­dent. “It has changed out­side, wheretheyear­just­con­clud­ed­wasthe warm­est on record in the United States. And the cli­mate has changed in­hall­soft­heSe­nate,wherethe­causes and­con­se­quence­sof­glob­al­warm­ing, and­howweshoul­drespond,will­bea ma­jor­con­cer­nofthis­newCongress.”

All but one sen­a­tor weigh­ing a WhiteHouserun­vote­d­inJune2005 for a non­bind­ing “sense of the Se­nate”mea­sure­sup­port­ing­manda­tory ac­tionon­glob­al­warm­ing.Fifty-three sen­a­tors voted for it, and of the known po­ten­tial can­di­dates, only Sen. Sam Brown­back, Kansas Repub­li­can, op­posed it.

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