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Climate Change Update

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Global Climate


January 31, 2000

Dear Interested Party:

As the new year and the new millennium arrived, so did increasing recognition that global climate change will be among the most important environmental issues of the new century. I want to take this opportunity to send you some updated information on this pressing global issue.

You may have noticed the steady stream of new scientific studies showing that global warming is not only occurring, but occurring more rapidly than previously thought. Reports by the World Meteorological Society and the National Climactic Data Center, among others, found that since 1976 the planet has been warming at a rate of .35 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. Attached are summaries of some key studies and associated news stories that may be of interest to you.

Some say that we should not take any action until we have absolute, incontrovertible certainty about global warming and its causes. We believe, however, that the risks of inaction are too great, and that balanced, preventative steps are called for now. Fortunately, the initiatives we are working on also create strong economic opportunities. The investments we are already making have helped produce new technologies to begin to address the problems of climate change. For example, new hybrid cars that get more than 80 miles per gallon of gas recently debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. This new breakthrough did not happen by accident. It was a result of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program created by the President and Vice President, a joint public-private research and development initiative to produce more environmentally sound and economically viable vehicles. Fuller descriptions of this and of other recent energy technology developments follow.

The Administration will soon announce additional initiatives to fight global warming. You can expect a detailed presentation of these initiatives to reach you in the next several weeks, as part of my commitment to keep you informed of the latest information, news, and events related to global climate change.


Roger Ballentine
Deputy Assistant to the President
for Environmental Initiatives

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