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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Copenhagen Opens: Obama Fires What Bullets He Has on Climate Actions
7 December 2009 5:51 pm
As the pomp and circumstance subsides as the first day of the Copenhagen confab comes to a close, the Obama Administration is in full promotion mode on U.S. work on climate—despite decidedly tepid prospects for U.S. legislation to control greenhouse emissions.
The multifaceted message is being delivered in multimedia at live events, a fancy pavilion, and on a swanky Web site. (By contrast, journalists complained at U.N. climate meetings during the Bush Administration that it was difficult to get questions answered by the Administration.)
Here's their pitch: America has sped up regulations for carbon emissions for cars. It's boosted energy research way up (including, as seen today, rather wild research.) The full House of Representatives has passed a bill and the Senate has passed one in committee, allowing Obama some credibility when he committed the United States to a 17% cut in 2005 emissions by 2020, if Congress acts.
Today the Administration went the final step, announcing that EPA has legally determined greenhouse gasses to be a danger to human health under the Clean Air Act.
"The Clean Air Act can complement a legislative solution," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in a press conference. Regulations on large emitters have yet to be announced, but now they can be. But EPA lawyers will be even busier than they were preparing the determination just announced—the first in a series of expected lawsuits was filed today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Next year energy-intensive industries will have to start measuring their greenhouse pollution under the new rules.
As a side note, today White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about why the President moved his Copenhagen visit to the end of the meeting: "Based on development primarily with the Chinese and the Indians," he said, Obama felt, "some agreement was likely to need some help from world leaders."