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Will the White House Play Politics or Address Global Warming?

WWF Urges National Leaders to Stand By Scientific Report

WASHINGTON - World Wildlife Fund urges the White House to stand by its recent global warming report and reject requests for the Administration to distance itself from the scientific consensus on climate change.

"Rather than withdraw this report, President Bush should read it and consider its implications," said David Sandalow, Executive Vice President of WWF. "The next step should be to tackle the problem of global warming with solutions that reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases, not descend into manipulative political games."

Soon after the report was released, President Bush said, "I read the report put out by the bureaucracy." However, White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer later conceded that President Bush had not in fact read the report.

Earlier this week, CongressDaily reported that a letter from several conservative special interest groups asked President Bush to withdraw his Administration's report on climate change and fire or reassign all staffers involved in the report. According to CongressDaily, the signatories asked Bush to take these steps because the report undercuts the Bush Administration's energy and environmental agenda.

"This letter from conservative special interest groups is an attempt to encourage political manipulation of science by the Administration," said Sandalow. "The Administration's recent statement that global warming is caused by human action, is in line with scientific consensus around the world. For the Administration to punish its own experts for being faithful to the science would be disturbing."

Report of the letter comes amidst news that the U.S. Senate, at the request of the White House, has delayed hearings on the energy and climate change policies of the Administration in light of the recent report.

The Bush Administration report was produced and reviewed by top scientists at six federal agencies under the guidance of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality. According to the report, human actions cause global warming and the United States may suffer devastating consequences as a result. Despite recognition of the problem, the potential for wide-scale disaster, and the availability of solutions, the Administration still has not put forward an effective program to deal with the problem. The United States' inaction on climate change stands in stark contrast to the building momentum among other nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and combat global warming.