November 20, 2000
Subject: Green Files #15: Urgent Action to Cool Down Global Warming + WAY COOL + A HAGUE SENSE OF UNEASE + Israel Helicopters Hit Gaza Strip After Bus Bomb + The Joe Energy Cell + People power + Al Gore is not the lesser of two evils + Global Panel Approved HIGH DOSE RADIATION of Food... NO STUDIES! + Putting Citizens' Concerns on the Agenda in Canadian elections + STATING THE CASE + Greenmeans website on Fritjof Capra and David Brower + Florida tug-of-war could drag into the new year
Lots of important and urgent stuff in this Green files.
Please see the "NOTES FROM JEAN" below for my comments and suggestions.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
From: Frankie Lee <email@example.com>
Subject: Urgent Action to Cool Down Global Warming
Jim Stewart - one of ours, who is co-chair of Earth Day LA and the most dedicated fellow I know when it comes to things like conscious conversion to Green energy - has forwarded the following information regarding an action you can take today to make sure the integrity reached in the Kyoto Global Warming Protocol is maintained. Read on for details, and call the White House today if you are so moved.
URGENT ACTION: CALL THE WHITE HOUSE (202-456-1111) AND DEMAND THE U.S. CUT ITS DOMESTIC EMISSIONS OF GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTION. Please call now and pass this message on.
International climate negotiators are now meeting at The Hague, The Netherlands and these meetings will determine the future of the Kyoto Global Warming Protocol. In 1997, the world's leaders agreed to reduce their global warming pollution to five percent below 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012. The details of those emissions reductions are now be discussed, and the U.S. is negotiating agreements that will maximize loopholes and avoid any real reductions in U.S. global warming pollution.
TAKE ACTION: Call the White House comment line (202-456-1111) and demand that the U.S. stop negotiating to weaken the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. must act now to cut our auto and power plant emissions to become the world leader in cutting our global warming pollution instead of the world leader in creative accounting and passing the buck.
Climate change activists have chosen Friday, November 17 to flood the White House with calls demanding the U.S. take action to curb global warming. Please call the White House at 202-456-1111 Friday (or anytime) and tell President Clinton that you want the U.S. to cut its global warming pollution through real domestic reductions, not with loopholes and risky trading schemes.
Recent studies have revealed even more evidence of man's impact on climate change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now projects that global temperatures could rise by as much as 11 degrees F by 2100! Meanwhile, a storm, (with an intensity that once was predicted to occur once every 500-years, but now likely because of global warming, is pelting Europe and serving as the backdrop to the climate change negotiations.
MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION BELOW
Instead of heading to The Hague Summit armed with emissions reductions, the U.S. position is brimming with loopholes and risky pollution trading schemes to weaken the Kyoto Protocol. These threaten to denude the environmental integrity of the Protocol turning this into the "Emperor's New Treaty".
The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations are urging the U.S. to stop using loopholes and accounting tricks to meet international obligations, and to instead commit to real reductions in global warming emissions. As the world's largest global warming polluter, the U.S. must take the lead in reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide and other green house gases.
The U.S. committed to reducing its global warming pollution and we should meet this obligation by cutting our domestic emissions, not with smoke and mirrors. We should oppose efforts to use loopholes and risky trading schemes to evade our obligation as the world's biggest global warming polluter.
DAILY GRIST - 16 Nov 2000
The U.S. could significantly cut its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chief heat-trapping greenhouse gas, by making a few fairly simple and inexpensive changes to its energy policies, according to a study released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Energy. The study suggests that the U.S. could get three-quarters of the way to meeting its emissions-reduction targets under the Kyoto climate change treaty by taking steps such as establishing strict energy- and fuel-efficiency standards and launching a domestic emissions-trading system that would give companies a financial incentive to cut their CO2 emissions. The report will be presented today to negotiators from more than 160 countries gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, to hammer out the details for implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Some American politicians and business interests argue that the U.S. should not ratify the treaty because it would hurt the nation's economy, but the new DOE study suggests that cutting emissions would not have to be costly.
New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 16 Nov 2000 http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/16/science/16CLIM.html
USA Today, Traci Watson, 16 Nov 2000 http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20001116/2843413s.htm
Can Richard Simmons solve our energy woes?
And from DAILY GRIST - 20 Nov 2000
A HAGUE SENSE OF UNEASE
A feeling of resignation seems to be spreading through the climate
change talks now entering their second week in The Hague,
Netherlands, as if the rest of the world has begun to concede that
efforts to curb global warming will be watered down by the U.S,
writes Bill McKibben from The Hague in Grist. American negotiators
are looking for ways to get the Kyoto treaty on climate change
ratified in the U.S. Senate -- and that means making it as painless
as possible for the U.S. to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
Thousands of demonstrators outside the negotiating sessions are
protesting the U.S. position, and some world leaders such as the
French President Jacques Chirac have urged the U.S., which releases
about a third of the world's greenhouse gases, to take the lead on
making sharp domestic emissions cuts. But so far the protests seem
to be falling on deaf ears. Would a watered-down Kyoto treaty be
better than no treaty at all? Read more on the Grist Magazine
On-the-scene reporting from The Hague -- by Bill McKibben
NOTE FROM JEAN: I just saw on BBC World News that the arrival of prime ministers and other political figures at the meeting has increased the pressure on the U.S. to accept some compromises which the head of the U.S. delegation pledged to be willing to do. This week is critical if the world is to move away from the treacherous abyss of global warming. Please keep this situation in mind during your meditations.
For more details read also "US row threatens climate summit" from http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1031000/1031424.stm
NOTE FROM JEAN: As is amply demonstrated in the Middle East, violence can only breed more violence. Please also keep this critical situation in your prayers and meditations - on a daily basis...
Monday November 20
Israel Helicopters Hit Gaza Strip After Bus Bomb
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli helicopters blasted missiles into Palestinian security targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, retaliating for a bomb explosion that killed two Israelis on a Jewish settlers' school bus.
The fresh upsurge of violence clouded faint hopes of any early end to nearly eight weeks of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed that has killed 245 people, most of them Palestinians, and shattered Middle East peacemaking.
The missile attacks, which also involved Israeli gunboats, began after nightfall. They followed calls for Prime Minister Ehud Barak to extend the use Israel's military muscle after a mother of four and a father of six died in the bomb blast. At least four children were also wounded.
During a hospital visit to meet the wounded and their families, Barak told reporters the bombing was carried out by ''Tanzim,'' Israel's term for militants from the Fatah faction of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat
``The (bomb) attack itself is, in our eyes, the direct responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. That's why we acted today with power against Palestinian Authority target in the Gaza Strip,'' Barak told reporters.
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah rejected the accusation.
``The Palestinian leadership holds the Israeli government and Israeli army fully responsible for this criminal aggression,'' the authority said in a statement.
It appealed to Arab states, the United Nations, the United States, Russia, the European Union, China, Japan and the Non-Aligned countries to intervene immediately to protect the Palestinians and stop the ``barbaric attacks.''
In Washington, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged both sides to show restraint, saying ``violence cannot solve the problem in the Middle East.''
Security Targets Hit Across Gaza
Lighting the night sky, Israel's missiles hit Palestinian naval, civil defense and police buildings as well as the main police headquarters and offices of plainclothes security agencies in Gaza City, witnesses said.
About 40 people, including about seven policemen and six children were admitted to Gaza City's Shifa Hospital and a hospital in the town of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
Hospital officials said no-one was killed in the attack and most of the wounded were suffering from shock or bruises.
From: "lilweed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Subject: Global Manipulators Move Beyond Petroleum
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
Thanks for the info Jean ;) free power (to the People) Now :) !
The Joe Energy Cell
An Australian man, only identified by the name of Joe "X",
has designed a remarkable water Energy Cell that only utilizes
water for a "fuel" and develops substantially more power than
gasoline. It was originally designed for use in cars, but it can
be used with almost any engine that normally runs on gasoline
such as motorcycles, outboard marine engines, lawn mowers,
portable electric generators, etc.
Orgone energy is pulled out of the surrounding atmospheric
fluroplasmic environment or Ether. http://orgone.org
:) lil' & s17 ^*^
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
From: Mark Graffis <email@example.com>
Subject: People power
Forget big generators, in ten years' time we could be making and even selling our own electricity. We might even save the planet
LONDON's fabulously successful Tate Modern art gallery has wowed the public. Now it seems that the gallery, housed in the disused Bankside power station, has captured the industrial zeitgeist, too. Power stations, the behemoths of the industrial age, could be on the way out.
As politicians in the Hague this week thrash out ways of limiting the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, industry strategists are forecasting the demise of giant, centralised generating stations. The environmental benefits could be immense.
The people that spread thousand-megawatt power plants across the planet now see the future in small generators, each little more than a millionth as powerful, in basements and backyards round the world. One of the biggest enthusiasts is Karl Yeager, who heads the US industry-funded Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. By 2050 he thinks that most of our electricity will come from millions of microturbines, solar panels and, most importantly, hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
"Within five years I'll be able to go down to Wal-Mart and pick a microgenerator off the shelf to power my house," says Yeager. "I will take it home and connect it to the gas pipe. It will generate power as well as heating my house and producing hot water. And it will be much cheaper than using the power grid."
Existing national power grids won't disappear. But Yeager believes they will operate more like the Internet, as part of a complex web through which people will supply electricity as well as downloading it. And countries that don't have large-scale power networks will cease to need them. The result will be greater efficiency, less pollution and an end to power cuts.
Dan Rastler, a researcher at the EPRI, thinks his boss is being conservative. He notes that natural-gas fuelled microgenerators for the home are being tested this year. "I anticipate some market penetration as early as 2002," he says. The cost of a 5-kilowatt kit--which would provide more than enough power for most houses--will be about $2500. Some will buy bigger and sell to the grid; others will buy smaller and top up from the grid when they need to.
Seth Dunn of the Washington environmental think tank the Worldwatch Institute shares Yeager's vision. In a new pamphlet, Micropower: The next electrical era, he writes: "An electricity grid with many small generators is inherently more stable than a grid serviced by only a few large plants." And it will be the perfect way to introduce renewable energy. It will also, as it happens, be much like the world Thomas Edison envisaged when he opened his first power plant in downtown New York in the 1880s and forecast that soon every community would have one.
Two technological developments are driving the revolution. First, the new generation of clean and cheap electricity generators small enough for domestic use. Second, the emergence in recent years of "intelligent" grids able to collect as well as distribute electricity at every node. These will allow people to sell their surplus electricity or even trade regularly in electricity.
Besides natural gas-powered electricity, the world is on the verge of adopting cheap fuel cells, electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and water. A big thrust for this research comes from car manufacturers looking for a more efficient, less polluting alternative to the internal combustion engine.
Yeager sees the involvement of the car industry as a big plus. Its manufacturing capacity dwarfs that of the electricity generators. Every two years it makes internal combustion engines with a combined power capacity equal to all the world's electricity generating stations. Replace those car engines with fuel cells and it takes no great leap of the imagination to envisage millions of similar cells being manufactured to power homes. The fuel cells will run on hydrogen, and Rastler says he sees homes receiving piped supplies.
It is even possible that cars and homes might share the same power source. "When you get home at night you will be able to drive into the garage and plug the fuel cell into the home circuit to power the microwave and the TV," forecasts Yeager. "There is no reason why the auto shouldn't be a power source for your home when you are not driving it. In fact, vehicles could provide an extensive power generation and storage network." A million fuel-cell vehicles plugged into the grid could generate up to a tenth of US electricity needs.
Hydrogen will have to be manufactured, of course, and for this there are two routes. One involves splitting water molecules using electricity. It requires much more electricity than you'll get back from the fuel cells, so the gain only arises if that electricity is made using non-polluting sources, such as solar, wind or hydroelectric power. The alternative is extracting hydrogen from a hydrocarbon such as oil, methanol or natural gas. Either way there can be real environmental gains in terms of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
On top of that, a big spur is the growing problem of power cuts. The ageing and underfunded grid system in the US is creaking. Dunn estimates that power cuts cost the country as much as $80 billion a year. Losses of power lasting as little as a few hundredths of a second can cause mayhem, says Yeager, "crashing servers, computers, life-support machines and automated equipment".
"In the digital economy you need ultra-reliable power," says Dunn. "It's got to be better than 99.9999 per cent. Conventional utilities just cannot do that." That's why, says Yeager, California's computer companies are all developing their own power systems. No wonder share prices for the pioneers of micropower and fuel cells surged earlier this year in the US.
Countries with national power grids will continue to find them useful as devolved power networks. But places that don't have extensive grids--like much of the developing world--shouldn't bother building them. Currently, 1.8 billion people, almost a third of humanity, don't have access to any more electricity than they can get from a car battery. Rather than copying 20th- century technology--as many countries are often expensively and inefficiently attempting to do--their governments should "leapfrog to the higher efficiencies of the digital age", says Yeager. Local networks running on solar cells will provide all the electricity that most consumers need, says Dunn.
But the biggest gain for the world could be in curtailing global warming. EPRI researcher Steve Gehl anticipates that by 2050 disconnected communities will gain access to basic electric power of the kind available to Americans in the 1920s. Taken together with trends in the rich countries, that would require a global generating capacity totalling three times today's. Doing the job the 20th-century way would mean building a new 1000-megawatt power plant somewhere in the world every two days for the next 50 years. And that would send carbon dioxide emissions soaring way out of control.
The world's governments know that they need to do vastly better than the Kyoto agreement if they are to prevent CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere exceeding the safety ceiling of 550 parts per million being suggested by the world's scientists. That's twice pre-industrial levels and 50 per cent above today's. It is not consistent with a business-as-usual electricity industry.
Yeager says it is possible to electrify the poor world while staying below the 550 ppm ceiling. But it will require drastically cutting the volume of CO2 emissions for every unit of electricity generated. He says that by 2050 we must cut average emissions to a fifth of those from a modern, efficient coal-burning power station and to less than half those from natural-gas plants. And to remain below the ceiling till the end of the century will require moving to an essentially carbon-free energy economy.
Some people don't believe the job can be done without massive disruption to the world economy. Yeager and Dunn both say it can be--and the first step is to overthrow the tyranny of the multi-megawatt power station. Fred Pearce
From New Scientist magazine, 18 November 2000.
From: "Freeda Cathcart" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Al Gore is not the lesser of two evils
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
John Berg wrote:
>"In the years before the Civil War, antislavery voters were told they
>had to vote for the lesser evil -- slave-owning Whigs like Henry Clay.
>They refused, in small but growing numbers. The Whigs collapsed,
>the Republican Party was born, Lincoln became president, and the
>slaves were freed. Today, anti-corporate voters are being handed
>the same lesser-evil logic. But the sweeping political changes we
>need will only come when voters refuse this logic and thereby force
>the collapse of the two-party monopoly."
The "slaves" weren't freed after the Civil War. What do you think that
Civil Rights movement in the 1960's were about? Yes, the Republican party
was born and Lincoln became the President. But the Civil War didn't truly
start over slavery. It started over economics and state rights. The
Emancipation Proclamation wasn't given until three years into the Civil War.
Then it was used to stip up the North who was becoming tired of the Civil
War and irritated after Gettysburg brought the reality of the war into
northern territory. It gave the North a more moral reason to fight than
plain economics which was hard for the people to grasp conceptually.
Al Gore is not the lesser of two evils. He is a conscious and caring person
who has dedicated his service to try and make the US and the world a
healthier place to live. The people of the Earth will be the losers if he
is not elected to the office of President. Ralph Nader and the "Green"
Party would be recorded as the spoilers who kept a good man from fulfilling
his civic calling. Ralph and the "Green" Party were more focused on the
economics of raising money than they were about protecting the Earth's
interests. The people won't forget.
People can try and spin the details however they wish. Only know that the
facts have been and are currently being recorded. We are everywhere and
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
Subject: Global Panel - Approved HIGH DOSE RADIATION of Food...NO STUDIES!
From: Angela Bradbery <ABRADBERY@citizen.org>
Public Citizen press release
Nov. 15, 2000
Government, Industry Panel Approves High-Dose Radiation 'Treatment' of
Global Food Supply
Dose Limit Is Removed Without Studying New Chemicals Formed in Food
Government officials and corporate executives from around the world have
decided that the planet's food supply can safely be "treated" with any dose
of radiation, a conclusion reached without studying whether new chemicals
formed by high-dose irradiation are harmful to humans. In response, Public
Citizen is urging that these new chemicals be studied to avoid harm to the
During a three-day meeting that was closed to the public earlier this month
at the WHO, the International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation (ICGFI)
decided that the maximum radiation dose for food could be eliminated without
posing additional hazards to people. The current international radiation
limit is 10 kiloGray - the equivalent of 330 million chest X-rays, or 2,000
times the fatal radiation dose for humans. The ICGFI reasoned that some food
has to be irradiated at high levels to kill certain microorganisms, but it
ignored evidence that food irradiated at high doses is nutritionally
deficient and may be harmful.
In reaching the decision, the ICGFI also ignored its own 1994 recommendation
to study whether the new chemicals created by high-dose irradiation can
cause cancer, mutations, immune system disorders, reproductive malfunctions
or other health problems in people. Public Citizen has requested that this
recommendation be followed. The request was made to the three international
agencies that oversee the ICGFI: the WHO, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
"The events in Geneva are doubly disturbing," said Wenonah Hauter, director
of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. "Democracy
and science were both thrown out the window, and the population of the
entire world could suffer as a result. At a time when the need for
thoughtful, transparent decision-making has never been greater, the
outrageousness of this action cannot be overstated."
The ICGFI, which met Nov. 1-3, effectively barred a Public Citizen staff
person from entering the meeting room. U.S. government officials invited the
staff person to join their delegation, but under ICGFI's rules, doing so
would have made the organization a de facto supporter of U.S. food
irradiation policies. Therefore, Public Citizen declined the invitation.
Meanwhile, allowed in the meeting room were representatives from several
irradiation companies and food industry trade groups, including Titan of San
Diego, Isomedix/STERIS of New Jersey, the Grocery Manufacturers of America,
and the Association of International Industrial Irradiation. In fact, some
of the corporate executives are government-appointed delegates to the ICGFI.
"This is a classic example of how corporations are granted special rights to
shape public policy to their liking," Hauter said. "It shows how citizens
are left out in the cold."
Public Citizen is formally challenging several recent decisions by the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), including this year's rulings to legalize the
irradiation of eggs and sprouting seeds. In both rulings, FDA staffers
relied on research they admitted was inadequate, requested no scientific
data from corporate applicants, and made false statements in the Federal
Register (the official record of federal agencies), a recent report
co-authored by Public Citizen reveals.
For nearly two decades, the FDA has relied on admittedly flawed scientific
research, failed to follow its own safety rules, misled members of Congress,
and ignored evidence suggesting that irradiated food may be harmful to
people who eat it, according to the report, A Broken Record. Because of the
report's findings, Public Citizen is requesting investigations into the
FDA's handling of food irradiation by the Health and Human Services
Department's Inspector General and appropriate congressional committees.
For MAI-not subscription information, posting guidelines and
links to other MAI sites please see http://mai.flora.org/
THERE WILL BE FEDERAL ELECTIONS IN CANADA ON NOVEMBER 27. THE FOLLOWING IS RELATED BUT WILL BE OF INTEREST TO PEOPLE EVERYWHERE AND IS A VERY GOOD IDEA...
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000
From: Mike Nickerson <email@example.com>
Subject: Claiming the Agenda!
Putting Citizens' Concerns on the Agenda
Canada is adrift on a sea of change with only one instrument to guide our way - GDP (Gross Domestic Product) a simple total of all monetary transactions. Supposedly, everything is OK if GDP is growing, but it is not necessarily true. We have to look directly at the social and environmental impacts of the things money is doing to grow. Problems arise in these areas even as GDP expands.
Citizens' groups of all kinds focus on issues of concern. If a significant number of people are saying that something is serious, we should at least keep an eye on it. Establishing a system to monitor issues of public concern is the purpose of the Canada Well-Being Measurement Act (CWBMA)
The CWBMA proposes that when problems arise which inspire people to action, that those problems be identified and monitored to regularly inform anyone who is interested about whether those problems getting better or worse. The CWBMA was developed during the last Parliament as a collaborative effort between different political parties. It's purpose is to create an institution that can warn individuals and policy makers alike about situations which may cause us grief.
The CWBMA is being promoted by the 7th Generation Initiative. http://www.cyberus.ca/choose.sustain/index3.html The intent is to monitor "the economic, social and environmental well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada". We are looking for contact with people concerned about any issues of consequence to long term well-being. Eventually you can help identify what we should be monitoring. Presently you can help to create an institution which will use that information.
Question on Measuring Well-Being
GDP is not a measure of progress. It only measures money.
It does not distinguish between money spent cleaning up our failures and money spent on useful goods and services.
It counts unpaid work in our families and communities as worthless and it is blind to resource depletion and pollution.
The Canada Well-Being Measurement Act would establish measures where money spent dealing with problems which we should have solved is tallied separately from that spent on useful goods and services. It would recognize unpaid work for the benefits it provides and it would keep natural resource accounts and pollution inventories so that we can monitor our position in the ecology.
For a sustainable future I am:
Sustainability Project - Inviting Debate
P.O. Box 374, Merrickville, Ontario
16 Nov 2000
STATING THE CASE
States with strong records on protecting the environment also offer
good job opportunities and climates for economic development,
according to a new study by the Institute for Southern Studies.
States getting high marks for both economic and environmental health
include Vermont, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Colorado, Maryland, Maine,
and Wisconsin. Many states in the South were ranked low by both
measures, including Louisiana, which is 48th in economic performance
and 50th on the environment, and Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee. The
study suggests that environmental regulation, rather than stifling
economic growth, may actually promote it. Chris Kromm, director of
the institute and co-author of the report, said that "states seeking
quick-fix, unsustainable development end up sacrificing both workers
and the environment."
Rutland Herald, Associated Press, 16 Nov 2000
Duluth News Tribune, John Myers, 16 Nov 2000
Institute for Southern Studies
Taken from http://gm.kqed.org/text/season4.html
The website of the excellent TV series Greenmeans
World-renowned physicist Fritjof Capra talks about what he perceives as the most pressing environmental problem today. It's called "ecoliteracy": appreciating how every action we take has an impact upon the "web of life."
To learn more, visit the website of the Center for Ecoliteracy dedicated to fostering the experience and understanding of the natural world at http://www.ecoliteracy.org/
Their vision is "to discover, with educators, how to reconnect children to the natural world. In providing support to educators, the Center for Ecoliteracy empowers them to help children learn the values and gain the knowledge and skills that are crucial to building and nurturing ecologically sustainable communities."
And also from http://gm.kqed.org/text/season4.html
Bioneers: David Brower
David Brower was born in Berkeley, California on July 1, 1912. He is the founder and Chairman of Earth Island Institute and President of Earth Island Action Group. Mr. Brower was the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club serving from 1952 to 1969. In 1969 he founded Friends of the Earth, along with the League of Conservation Voters, and initiated the founding of independent FOE organizations in other countries. FOE is now multi-national and operating in sixty-three countries.
You may read at the URL above a talk given by Brower near the end of his life.
More information on David Brower at:
Florida tug-of-war could drag into the new year
Congress could be left to make final decision
Monday November 20, 2000
Nearly two weeks after American voters went to the polls to elect a new president, it is becoming clearer by the day that the dispute between George W Bush and Al Gore over which of them is entitled to the White House may not be solved until after the new year, shortly before one of them is inaugurated to succeed Bill Clinton.
Whatever the outcome of today's hearing in the Florida supreme court, lawyers on both sides of the argument now think further litigation about Florida's disputed election is likely, possibly delaying the final award of the state's 25 electoral college votes. The Florida state legislature could even become involved. And if the issue is unresolved by December 12, the US Senate and House of Representatives could also become embroiled.
"It's a very scary thought, but I'm getting a sneaky feeling in my gut that Congress may get involved in it," Democratic senator John Breaux of Louisiana said yesterday.
"I have become an extreme pessimist. I've wondered in the last day or two if we haven't crossed an important point where it's too late for anybody to step back," said former congressman Vin Weber of Minnesota, a Republican. "I think we're doomed to play this out to the bitter end." CLIP
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