Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release Tuesday, July 14, 1998


Also Criticizes Congress for Legislative Rider to Bar Discussion of Global Warming

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced new data today showing that last month was the warmest June on record, and he called on Congress to abandon efforts to block any educational discussion of climate change.

"The latest data showing this June was the warmest month on record provide more evidence that global warming is real," the Vice President said. "And disasters around the country, like the devastating fires in Florida, show just how vulnerable we are to extreme weather. That is why we must continue to develop common-sense strategies to protect future generations from the grave risks of climate change."

Today's announcement follows a report by the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that shows that each of the first five months of this year, January through May, set new records for global temperature. This new analysis means that the first six months of this year have set a new global temperature record -- following 1997, which was the warmest year on record.

The Vice President noted that additional heat in the climate system can lead to more extreme weather of all kinds -- more floods, more drought, and more powerful storms. For example, the absolutely devastating fires that caused such grief to so many in Florida were a result of record rainfall followed by record heat and drought.

The Vice President criticized the House Appropriations Committee for attaching a rider to the proposed 1999 Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies appropriations bill to bar federal agencies from engaging the public on the topic of climate change. Specifically, the Appropriations Committee's bill would bar the Administration from "conducting educational outreach or informational seminars on policies underlying the Kyoto Protocol. . ."

"Congress' approach to global warming is: know nothing, do nothing, say nothing," Vice President Gore said. "We owe it to our children and grandchildren to listen to what the scientists tell us about global climate change, to speak out forcefully, and to act decisively. Numerous disasters and tragedies around the country tell us that we cannot wait."

NOAA Website on 1998 Climate Extremes

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