The litany of global warming hazards is now familiar. Changing temperatures and rainfall may harm agriculture and stress natural ecosystems. Rising sea levels and severe storms may erode and inundate coastal zones. Especially worrisome is mounting evidence that nasty surprises, such as an abrupt shift in climate, become more likely as carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” accumulate in the atmosphere. (The appendix to this book gives a brief survey of the science.) Although uncertainties are still pervasive, the dangers of greenhouse gases are not being ignored. Global warming is hardly the only environmental hazard, but in many countries it is rising high as a policy priority.
With a growing consensus for action, the world now faces the challenge of designing an effective policy response. International cooperation will be required because greenhouse gases are longlived in the atmosphere—emissions from every country spread worldwide to create a truly global problem. Cooperation is also required because controlling emissions may be costly. Most of
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Publication information: Book title: The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming. Contributors: David G. Victor - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 2001. Page number: vii.
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