The Need for Action

Compelling scientific evidence indicates that the human effect on climate is apparent today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authoritative scientific source on the subject, has concluded that, "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." More than 2,600 leading scientists have endorsed this conclusion and argued that continued increases in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases "commits the earth irreversibly to further global climatic change and consequent ecological, economic and social disruption."

Scientists agree that global warming and resulting climate disruptions could seriously harm human health (projections include 50 million more cases of malaria per year); increase the incidence and intensity of floods and droughts; raise sea levels enough to inundate up to 7,000 square miles of U.S. coastline; decrease food production in some of the world's poorest nations; and threaten the survival of many plant and animal species.

In December, more than 160 nations, including the U.S., will meet in Kyoto, Japan in an effort to complete negotiations on a new international climate change agreement. The Kyoto meeting will follow a last formal negotiating session to be held in Bonn, Germany at the end of October.

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