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An opportunity to sort out the climate-change treaty

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In their Sept. 14 opinion piece, "Clarity on global warming," Kilaparti Ramakrishna and George Woodwell completely missed the point of my recent remarks on global climate change.

Anyone slightly familiar with my record would know that I never said we should "completely ignore the progress made so far, drop any further consideration of the Kyoto Protocol [on climate change], and form a new agreement from scratch."

What I have said is that the Kyoto Protocol's good qualities vastly outweigh its flaws. But many important details of implementation are undefined, and this provides national governments an opportunity to compromise the treaty in order to meet their first round of emission-reduction targets. It is vital that the Kyoto Protocol has environmental integrity.

As we look toward the next formal treaty negotiations in The Hague in November, we must clarify as much of the Kyoto framework as possible, so that we keep the process moving forward and make future implementation and international political support more likely, not less.

Eileen Claussen Arlington, Va. President Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Redistricting limits voter choice

In your excellent story "House races go national" (Sept. 14), one crucial point needs more exploration. You quote one observer, who says, "The irony ... is that in most congressional districts in the country, the election has already been decided, because incumbents have such a huge financial advantage."

But our research shows this conventional wisdom is simply wrong. We have predicted with great accuracy a startlingly high percentage of winners and their victory margins in the past three congressional elections, without any reference to campaign spending.

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