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America's Role in Combating Global Warming

The editorial "How Best to Attack Global Warming," Sept. 20, appears to accept the position by the Bush administration that what is needed is a comprehensive strategy to incorporate all greenhouse gases.By using this comprehensive strategy, the May 1991 Draft of the US National Report for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development gives the impression that the US is doing its share to stabilize the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in order to forestall global warming. Terminating CFC production, as the US has agreed to do under the 1990 Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, will not lower US greenhouse gas. The US has 5 percent of the world's population and is currently producing more than 20 percent of the world's carbon-dioxide emissions. A recent report by the US Congress's Office of Technological Assessment states that without any new policies, the country's carbon-dioxide emissions will increase 50 percent by 2015. Poor developing nations will make no effort to limit their carbon-dioxide emissions as long as the US's per capita emissions are more than 16 times those of the developing world. Even many industrial countries will be hesitant to reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions. To enable the world to forestall global warming, the US must immediately change its policy and agree to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2005. This action is essential to negotiating a global climate treaty for signature by the nations of the world at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. David Ferguson, Edwardsville, Ill.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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