Monday, February 22, 2010

Climate-Change Fervor Cools Amid Disputed Science, Defections

Three years after former Vice President Gore won a Nobel Prize for sounding the alarm on climate change and GE joined a coalition of companies pushing for a cap on greenhouse gases, public concern is flagging, along with U.S. and global efforts to mount government responses. Polls find more Americans questioning whether human activity is leading to climate change, or whether the trend is so dire as to justify reshaping U.S. energy use during an economic slump, as President Barack Obama has proposed. Record snowfalls in the U.S. also are fueling doubts. “The consensus of anybody who studies American opinion has to be that there’s less concern, rather than more, on global warming,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Organization Inc., a Washington-based polling company. The latest blow to those urging action against global warming came last week, when Yvo de Boer said he would step down as United Nations climate chief, two months after 193 countries meeting in Copenhagen failed to reach a binding agreement on curbing greenhouse gases. The resignation may reduce the possibility that a worldwide market aimed at reducing carbon emissions is within reach, said Trevor Sikorski, an emissions analyst for Barclays Capital in more

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