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'08 hopefuls tout climate-change plans

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Democratic hopeful John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, made that same pledge a month ago. He is offering what is perhaps the most detailed program, what he calls "achieving energy independence and stopping global warming through a new energy economy," says a position paper on his website.

Much of the climate plan offered by Sen. Barack Obama (D) of Illinois focuses on improved vehicle fuel efficiency. As a Midwesterner, he's a big fan of ethanol made from corn or other plant material. He says in an AP story running in the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere that legislation he proposes would have the same effect as taking 32 million cars off the road.

Among likely Republican candidates, the proposals may be less specific, but most acknowledge that global warming is a major worry. And none are pooh-poohing what most experts say are increasing temperatures caused at least in part by human activities, such as power generation and transportation. As reported in the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World and elsewhere, Sen. Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas said earlier this year in Iowa:

"It seems to me just prudent that we recognize we have climate increase and temperature change. We have CO2 loading, and we need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere."

Even if the warnings about climate change can't be proved at this point, says former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) of Arkansas, as quoted in the National Journal's Hotline blog, "We ought to act as if that is the case."

"There is never a downside when it comes to conserving national resources," Mr. Huckabee says.

The US-government-sponsored Voice of America reported on a "debate" on global warming earlier in April between Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts, a 2004 presidential candidate, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's been mentioned as a 2008 GOP candidate. But Messrs. Kerry and Gingrich agreed on many key points, including that "urgent" steps should be taken to reduce CO2 emissions. Said Gingrich:

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