December 28, 2001
Miscellaneous Subjects #119: The Big Bad Bully Is Once Again Exposed
Whatever introductory words I might utter here could only pale in comparison with the sharp and brilliant exposés below. So please *read on* and share.
Please keep also the India/Pakistan situation in mind.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others
they send forth a ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
- Robert F Kennedy
More quotes at http://www.GreatestQuotes.com
"While those who seek to deny our liberties claim to defend individualism, in truth they gently engineer a conformity of belief and action, which is drifting towards a new fundamentalism. This is an inevitable product of the fusion of state and corporate power."
- George Monbiot in "The Taliban of the West" below
1. Rogue Nation
2. The Taliban of the West
3. NO US TROOPS IN CANADA!
4. FDA Ignoring Evidence that New Chemicals Created in Irradiated Food Could Be Harmful
5. Scientists Now Fear 'Abrupt' Global Warming Changes
India - Pakistan Tensions Escalate
Nuclear-Armed India, Pakistan Prepare for War
FBI wants access to worm's pilfered data
The FBI is asking for access to a massive database that contains the private communications and passwords of the victims of the Badtrans Internet worm. (...) The United States is becoming an Orwellian nightmare!
Right-Wing Media Research Center Targets ANYONE That Disagrees With Bush
VISIT also http://www.buzzflash.com - LOTS of good stuff!
The hole in the ozone layer policy -- are higher temperatures the price of saving the ozone layer?
HCFCs and HFCs, the chemicals replacing CFCs, are powerful greenhouse gases. Yet non-ozone depleting, non-greenhouse gas alternatives are readily available for the same applications.
THE MOST BELLICOSE, ROGUEST NATION ON EARTH TODAY: THE UNITED STATES, ACCORDING TO THESE INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS BELOW
Sent by "Robert Rodvik" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rogue Nation - Richard Du Boff
1. In December 2001, the United States officially withdrew from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, gutting the landmark agreement-the first time in the nuclear era that the US renounced a major arms control accord.
2. 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention ratified by 144 nations including the United States. In July 2001 the US walked out of a London conference to discuss a 1994 protocol designed to strengthen the Convention by providing for on-site inspections. At Geneva in November 2001, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations or supporting evidence.
3. UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms, July 2001: the US was the only nation to oppose it.
4. April 2001, the US was not reelected to the UN Human Rights Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including current dues of $244 million)-and after having forced the UN to lower its share of the UN budget from 25 to 22 percent. (In the Human Rights Commission, the US stood virtually alone in opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV/AIDS drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.)
5. International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty, to be set up in The Hague to try political leaders and military personnel charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Signed in Rome in July 1998, the Treaty was approved by 120 countries, with 7 opposed (including the US). In October 2001 Great Britain became the 42nd nation to sign. In December 2001 the US Senate again added an amendment to a military appropriations bill that would keep US military personnel from obeying the jurisdiction of the proposed ICC. [In fact advocating use of force to "rescue" Americans charged with war crimes - RR]
6. Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines; signed in Ottawa in December 1997 by 122 nations. The United States refused to sign, along with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey. President Clinton rejected the Treaty, claiming that mines were needed to protect South Korea against North Korea's overwhelming military advantage." He stated that the US would "eventually" comply, in 2006; this was disavowed by President Bush in August 2001.
7. Kyoto Protocol of 1997, for controlling global warming: declared "dead" by President Bush in March 2001. In November 2001, the Bush administration shunned negotiations in Marrakech (Morocco) to revise the accord, mainly by watering it down in a vain attempt to gain US approval.
8. In May 2001, refused to meet with European Union nations to discuss, even at lower levels of government, economic espionage and electronic surveillance of phone calls, e-mail, and faxes (the US "Echelon" program).
9. Refused to participate in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-sponsored talks in Paris, May 2001, on ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering havens.
10. Refused to join 123 nations pledged to ban the use and production of anti-personnel bombs and mines, February 2001.
11. September 2001: withdrew from International Conference on Racism, bringing together 163 countries in Durban, South Africa
12. International Plan for Cleaner Energy: G-8 group of industrial nations (US, Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, UK), July 2001: the US was the only one to oppose it.
13. Enforcing an illegal boycott of Cuba, now being made tighter. In the UN in October 2001, the General Assembly passed a resolution, for the tenth consecutive year, calling for an end to the US embargo, by a vote of 167 to 3 (the US, Israel, and the Marshall Islands in opposition).
14. Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. Signed by 164 nations and ratified by 89 including France, Great Britain, and Russia; signed by President Clinton in 1996 but rejected by the Senate in 1999. The US is one of 13 nonratifiers among countries that have nuclear weapons or nuclear power programs. In November 2001, the US forced a vote in the UN Committee on Disarmament and Security to demonstrate its opposition to the Test Ban Treaty.
15. In 1986 the International Court of Justice (The Hague) ruled that the US was in violation of international law for "unlawful use of force" in Nicaragua, through its actions and those of its Contra proxy army. The US refused to recognize the Court's jurisdiction. A UN resolution calling for compliance with the Court's decision was approved 94-2 (US and Israel voting no).
16. In 1984 the US quit UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ceased its payments for UNESCO's budget, over the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) project designed to lessen world media dependence on the "big four" wire agencies (AP, UPI, Agence France-Presse, Reuters). The US charged UNESCO with "curtailment of press freedom," as well as mismanagement and other faults, despite a 148-1 in vote in favor of NWICO in the UN. UNESCO terminated NWICO in 1989; the US nonetheless refused to rejoin. In 1995 the Clinton administration proposed rejoining; the move was blocked in Congress and Clinton did not press the issue. In February 2000 the US finally paid some of its arrears to the UN but excluded UNESCO, which the US has not rejoined.
17. Optional Protocol, 1989, to the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolition of the death penalty and containing a provision banning the execution of those under 18. The US has neither signed nor ratified and specifically exempts itself from the latter provision, making it one of five countries that still execute juveniles (with Saudi Arabia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria). China abolished the practice in 1997, Pakistan in 2000.
18. 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The only countries that have signed but not ratified are the US, Afghanistan, Sao Tome and Principe.
19. The US has signed but not ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which protects the economic and social rights of children. The only other country not to ratify is Somalia, which has no functioning government.
20. UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, covering a wide range of rights and monitored by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The US signed in 1977 but has not ratified.
21. UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948. The US finally ratified in 1988, adding several "reservations" to the effect that the US Constitution and the "advice and consent" of the Senate are required to judge whether any "acts in the course of armed conflict" constitute genocide. The reservations are rejected by Britain, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Estonia, and others.
22. Is the status of "we're number one!" Rogue overcome by generous foreign aid to given less fortunate countries? The three best aid providers, measured by the foreign aid percentage of their gross domestic products, are Denmark (1.01%), Norway (0.91%), and the Netherlands (0.79), The three worst: USA (0.10%), UK (0.23%), Australia, Portugal, and Austria (all 0.26).
NOTE FROM JEAN: PLEASE REMEMBER THAT DESPITE THESE FACTS, MOST AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE CHARMING, BENEVOLENT PEOPLE - JUST LIKE MOST EVERYONE ELSE!
BUSH'S INTERNATIONAL CHARADE
Bush claims that the War on Terrorism has united America with the world. But by rejecting treaties and thumbing his nose at international law, he proves exactly the opposite.
And visit the **EXCELLENT** Centre for Research on Globalisation website at http://globalresearch.ca/
Sent by "Robert Rodvik" <email@example.com>
December 18, 2001
The Taliban of the West
This war is threatening the very freedoms it claims to be defending
by George Monbiot
The pre-Enlightenment has just been beaten by the post-Enlightenment. As the last fundamentalist fighters are hunted through the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the world's most comprehensive attempt to defy modernity has been atomized. But this is not, as almost everyone claims, a triumph for civilization; for the Taliban has been destroyed by a regime which is turning its back on the values it claims to defend.
In West Virginia, a 15-year-old girl is fighting the state's supreme court. Six weeks ago, Katie Sierra was suspended from Sissonville high school in Charleston. She had committed two horrible crimes. The first was to apply to found an anarchy club, the second was to come to classes in a T-shirt on which she had written "Against Bush, Against Bin Laden" and "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God bless America." The headmaster claimed that Katie's actions were disrupting other pupils' education. "To my students," he explained, "the concept of anarchy is something that is evil and bad." The county court upheld her suspension, and at the end of November the state's supreme court refused to hear the case she had lodged in defense of free speech.
Katie is just one of many young dissenters fighting for the most basic political freedoms. A few days before Katie was suspended, AJ Brown, a 19-year-old woman studying at Durham Tech, North Carolina, answered the door to three security agents. They had been informed, they told her, that she was in possession of "anti-American material". Someone had seen a poster on her wall, campaigning against George Bush's use of the death penalty. They asked her whether she also possessed pro-Taliban propaganda.
On October 10, 22-year-old Neil Godfrey was banned from boarding a plane traveling from Philadelphia to Phoenix because he was carrying a novel by the anarchist writer Edward Abbey. At the beginning of November, Nancy Oden, an anti-war activist on her way to a conference, was surrounded at Bangor airport in Maine by soldiers with automatic weapons and forbidden to fly on the grounds that she was a "security risk". These incidents and others like them become significant in the light of two distinct developments.
The first is the formal suspension of certain civil liberties by governments backing the war in Afghanistan. The new anti-terror acts approved in Britain and the US have, like the reinstatement of the CIA's license to kill, been widely reported. The measures introduced by some other allied governments are less well known. In the Czech Republic, for example, a new law permits the prosecution of people expressing sympathy for the attacks on New York, or even of those sympathizing with the sympathizers. Already one Czech journalist, Tomas Pecina, a reporter for the Prague-based investigative journal Britske Listy, has been arrested and charged for criticizing the use of the law, on the grounds that this makes him, too, a supporter of terrorism.
The second is the remarkably rapid development of surveillance technology, of the kind which has been deployed to such devastating effect in Afghanistan. Unmanned spy planes which could follow the Taliban's cars and detect the presence of humans behind 100 feet of rock are both awesome and terrifying. Technologies like this, combined with CCTV, face-recognition software, email and phone surveillance, microbugs, forensic science, the monitoring of financial transactions and the pooling of government databases, ensure that governments now have the means, if they choose to deploy them, of following almost every move we make, every word we utter.
I made this point to a Labour MP a couple of days ago. He explained that it was "just ridiculous" to suggest that better technologies could lead to mass surveillance in Britain. Our defense against abuses by government was guaranteed not only by parliament, but also by the entire social framework in which it operated. Civil society would ensure there was no danger of these technologies falling into the "wrong hands".
But what we are witnessing in the US is a rapid reversal of the civic response which might once have defended the rights and liberties of its citizens. Katie Sierra's suspension was proposed by her school and upheld by the courts. The agents preventing activists from boarding planes were assisted by the airlines. The student accused of poster crime may well have been shopped by one of her neighbors. The state is scorching the constitution, and much of civil society is reaching for the bellows.
This, I fear, may be just the beginning. The new surveillance technology deployed in Afghanistan is merely one component of the US doctrine of "full-spectrum dominance". The term covered, at first, only military matters: the armed forces sought to achieve complete mastery of land, sea, air, airwaves and space. But perhaps because this has been achieved too easily, the words have already begun to be used more widely, as commercial, fiscal and monetary policy, the composition of foreign governments and the activities of dissidents are redefined as matters of security. Another term for "full-spectrum dominance" is absolute power.
There are, of course, profound differences between the US and Britain. The US sees itself as a wounded nation; many of its people feel desperately vulnerable and insecure. But while our cowardly MPs seek only to dissociate themselves from the victims being persecuted by Torquemada Blair's inquisitors, the lord chancellor's medieval department is preparing to dispense with most jury trials, which are arguably now the foremost institutional restraint on the excesses of government.
The paradox of the Enlightenment is that the universalist project is brokered by individualism. The universality of human rights, in other words, can be defended only by the diversity of opinion. Most of the liberties which permit us to demand the equitable treatment of the human community - privacy, the freedom of speech, belief and movement - imply a dissociation from coherent community.
While those who seek to deny our liberties claim to defend individualism, in truth they gently engineer a conformity of belief and action, which is drifting towards a new fundamentalism. This is an inevitable product of the fusion of state and corporate power. Capital, as Adam Smith shows us, strives towards monopoly. The states which defend it permit the planning laws, tax breaks, externalization and blanket advertising which ensure that most of us shop in the same shops, eat in the same restaurants, wear the same clothes. The World Trade Organization, World Bank and IMF apply the same economic and commercial prescription worldwide, enabling the biggest corporations to trade under the same conditions everywhere.
Some of those who, in defiance of this dispensation, write their own logos on their T-shirts are now being persecuted by the state. The pettiness of its attentions, combined with its ability to scrutinize every detail of our lives, suggest that we could be about to encounter a new form of political control, swollen with success, unchecked by dissent. Nothing has threatened the survival of "western values" as much as the triumph of the west.
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001
From: Connie Fogal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: NO US TROOPS IN CANADA!
NO MORE FBI DETACHMENTS
NO U.S. TROOPS STATIONED IN CANADA
Toronto, ON - In a strongly worded press release Paul Hellyer, Leader of the Canadian Action Party today urged Ottawa to say no to U.S. demands to establish a new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) detachment in Toronto as well as refusing to allow U.S. soldiers to be stationed in Canada.
"The idea of soldiers being used to patrol the Canada-U.S. border is repulsive enough," Mr. Hellyer said, "but allowing them to be stationed here is totally unacceptable. Cooperation is one thing, and we support it fully, but occupation is something else and that is our principal concern."
"An invasion by the FBI is equally intolerable," Mr. Hellyer added. "First the government of Canada accedes to U.S. pressure to pass legislation that makes this country a police state and then considers a U.S. request to allow their police to be involved in how this Draconian legislation will be used. The answer Ottawa must give Washington is a polite but absolutely firm NO!
What the United States has been doing since September 11th goes far beyond what is necessary for security purposes. It is in the process of establishing an Imperial Empire with considerations far broader than security concerns. In fact geopolitics is foremost.
"This is the reason we must say no to the FBI. Their initial concerns might be security but they would soon be involved in industrial espionage and keeping Washington posted about any Canadian activity that might be primarily in Canada's interest," Mr. Hellyer alleged. "That is one of the functions of U.S. police and CIA operations worldwide, and we have more than enough of them in Canada already.
Even before September 11th the propaganda war in favour of a common perimeter, a customs union and the adoption of the U.S. dollar, all measures designed to bring Canada more tightly into the elephant's embrace, was intensified. "Since September 11th, using the tragic events of that day as a cover, an all-out assault on our sovereignty has begun," Mr. Hellyer added.
"It is time for Ottawa to draw a line in the sand and say, "This far and no further. No common perimeter, no customs union, no monetary union, no more FBI detachments in Canada and American troops stationed on Canadian soil." If they don't, they might just as well run up the white flag and admit surrender."
For more information, please contact:
Hon. Paul Hellyer: (416) 535-4144 or Toll Free (877) 629-0841
THERE THEY GO AGAIN! THE FDA IS OUT TO COVERTLY KILL YOU BY ANY POSSIBLE MEANS
Sent by Richard Giles <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001
FDA Ignoring Evidence that New Chemicals Created in Irradiated Food Could Be Harmful
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ignored growing evidence that a new class of chemicals formed when food is irradiated could be harmful, according to a report released today by Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety.
The groups are urging the FDA to refrain from legalizing irradiation for any additional types of food until the new chemicals are tested for safety.
The chemicals, called cyclobutanones, do not occur naturally anywhere on Earth. They recently were found to cause genetic damage in rats, and genetic and cellular damage in human and rat cells.
The groups' report, Hidden Harm, details how the FDA has ignored this unique class of chemicals, which are created in many irradiated foods that the agency has legalized for sale in this country -- including beef, pork, chicken, lamb, eggs, mangoes and papayas. It is expected that cyclobutanones also would be formed in many other foods the FDA is currently considering to legalize for irradiation.
The organizations today also released a sworn affidavit of toxicologist William Au, who was retained by the groups to independently review the risks posed by cyclobutanones and other chemicals formed by irradiation that could cause genetic damage.
Along with a letter outlining numerous health concerns caused by food irradiation, the groups filed Hidden Harm and Au's affidavit with the FDA to oppose pending petitions to legalize irradiation for processed foods, which comprise 37 percent of the typical American's diet; molluscan shellfish, such as clams and oysters; crustacean shellfish, such as lobsters and shrimp; and meat products.
A fifth petition seeks to double the maximum dose of radiation to which poultry can legally be exposed.
"The risk that the FDA is taking with the health of the American people cannot be overstated," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. "If government officials knowingly allow people to eat food that contains these chemicals, they are courting a major public health disaster."
Though federal regulations require the FDA to determine whether food additives proposed for human consumption are likely to cause cancer, birth defects or other health problems, the agency has not done so for cyclobutanones, nor have agency officials explained why they have failed to do so. Under federal law, irradiation is considered a food additive.
Americans likely are unwittingly eating irradiated foods containing cyclobutanones.
Though most irradiated food sold in stores must be labeled, there is no such requirement for restaurants, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other institutional settings. And there is no labeling requirement for foods with irradiated ingredients, except those containing irradiated meat. Moreover, due to a lack of reporting requirements for food companies, it is unknown how much irradiated food is sold in the US, or where.
"Children are likely to be especially vulnerable to the risks of these untested chemicals in their food," said Peter T. Jenkins, policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety. "It is beyond me why the FDA would take a chance by exposing American children in this way. The science is against it."
Au, an environmental toxicology professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, is internationally recognized for his work on the toxicological mechanisms that induce human disease. For more than 20 years he has taught, published peer-reviewed research and served on expert committees. He has received numerous awards, and has published or co-published more than 100 articles.
"An emphasis should be placed on the products that are unique to the irradiation process and that are potentially mutagenic, e.g. 2-DCB [2-dodecylcyclobutanone]," Dr. Au wrote in the affidavit. "Without conclusive evidence regarding the safety of these products, the safety of irradiated food cannot be assured." Au urged the FDA to "seriously and explicitly" consider "repeated observations" of genetic damage and reproductive toxicity in feeding experiments.
Though cyclobutanones were first identified in irradiated food in 1971, it was not until 1998 that German government scientists discovered that one type of cyclobutanone, 2-DCB, caused genetic damage in rats, and genetic and cellular damage in human and rat cells.
Subsequently, the scientists found that two other types of cyclobutanones -- 2-TCB and 2-TDCB -- caused genetic and cellular damage in human cells. Rat feeding studies of these two chemicals are expected to be completed soon.
Despite these findings, the FDA not only has failed to publicly acknowledge the potential risks posed by cyclobutanones, but the agency proceeded to legalize irradiation for three classes of food even after the first two German studies were made public.
Last year, the FDA legalized the irradiation of eggs, juice and sprouting seeds despite the fact that several high-ranking agency officials four months earlier had attended an international conference in Beijing at which the 2-DCB toxicity findings were presented and discussed.
Ironically, cyclobutanones are so easily detectable and have been known to remain in food for such lengthy periods - more than a decade - that they are commonly used as "markers" to determine whether food has been exposed to ionizing radiation.
The groups are calling on the FDA to take several steps:
- refrain from legalizing irradiation for any additional foods until comprehensive, published, peer-reviewed research is conducted on cyclobutanones;
- conduct a comprehensive analysis of the cyclobutanone levels in foods covered by irradiation petitions already approved by or pending before the FDA;
- convene public hearings to thoroughly explore the potential health effects of cyclobutanones.
Hidden Harm can be viewed at
Au's affidavit is available at http://www.citizen.org/cmep/foodsafety/food_irrad/articles.cfm?ID=6516
Scientists Now Fear 'Abrupt' Global Warming Changes
Climate: Severe and 'unwelcome' shifts could come in decades, not centuries, a national academy says in an alert.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Just six months after informing the White House that global warming is indeed real, largely the result of human activity and likely to cause adverse effects, the National Academy of Sciences issued an even more disturbing alert Tuesday.
Global warming, the academy reported, could trigger "large, abrupt and unwelcome" climatic changes that could severely affect ecosystems and human society.
Until recently, most discussion of global warming has assumed that change would occur gradually, with average temperatures slowly increasing over the next century. The idea that large changes in climate could instead occur abruptly and with little warning has been percolating through the climate research community but had remained controversial. The consensus report from the academy indicates that the idea has reached the scientific mainstream.
"We're reflecting the thinking," said Richard Alley, a Penn State University climate expert and the report's lead author. "We're not driving it.
"We need to deal with this because we are likely to be surprised," Alley added.
A prime example of what scientists mean when they talk about the possibility of abrupt change involves the Gulf Stream. It is a current of warm water that runs from the Caribbean Sea across the Atlantic Ocean, keeping the climate of northern Europe temperate.
Scientists know that in the past, melting of arctic ice caused a flow of fresh water into the North Atlantic that reversed the Gulf Stream.
Many scientists believe the current could reverse again--over a period of a decade or two, rather than a century--leaving much of Europe far colder than it now is.
"It's as if climate change were a light switch instead of a dimmer dial," Alley said.
The possibility of such abrupt changes complicates the task of policymakers in two ways. It could mean that the amount of time available to adjust to climate change is much shorter than government officials have thought. It also increases the uncertainty of predictions, indicating that future climate cannot simply be projected forward in a straight line from the present.
Prolonged Droughts, Extensive Flooding
Scientists cannot yet be certain of any predictions about the Earth's shifting climate, but many scenarios show climate change could lead to the sudden onset of prolonged droughts, extensive flooding and sudden temperature shifts. Predicting exactly where such changes might occur is even trickier.
New research on abrupt changes in climate is being presented here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, a gathering of nearly 9,000 Earth and space scientists. There is much talk of crossing crucial climate thresholds, or "kicking the system."
Part of the reason that climate change until recently has been seen as gradual is that the warming of recent decades has been subtle, with little effect on people's lives.
"We're a little spoiled by the last 30 years," said John M. Wallace, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington and the report's co-author. "Many years, we're just barely breaking the previous record."
Scientists who have looked to the past, however, have found repeated instances of sudden and severe change, including the abrupt onset of cooling that drove the Vikings from Greenland in the 14th century and the Dust Bowl drought that devastated the Great Plains during the 1930s. In some areas, temperatures have risen 16 degrees within one decade. Abrupt climate changes in the past may have decimated forests, speeded the extinction of mastodons and mammoths, promoted the spread of tropical diseases and vastly altered the ocean currents that modify and warm many coastal regions, new research indicates.
Alley and others have used gases within ice cores drilled from the Earth's remaining ice sheets to produce a detailed record of the Earth's climate for the last 110,000 years. It reads like a seesaw.
"We've gotten better and better records, and we've been able to say the changes were really big and really fast and affected a lot of the world at the same time."
The report, which was commissioned by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, includes a plea for more research on the links between the land, oceans and ice that may trigger abrupt change. The report also suggests that many of today's models of climate change are too simple because they do not include such changes.
The scientific report does not include policy directives but does suggest that nations begin to take "no regrets" strategies to protect themselves from possible change. These include conserving water to buffer against drought or planting trees to offset the climate-induced loss of vegetation.
"It's 'no regrets' because even if nothing goes wrong, you still like the trees," Alley said. His report also suggests that poorer nations, with less scientific and economic resources, receive help in planning for change.
Other scientists said the possibility of abrupt climate change made it even more important that the federal government establish a reliable climate monitoring system. Federal agencies have been unwilling to spend the estimated $10 million to $15 million needed for the system, said Bruce A. Wielicki, a climate researcher at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., who was not involved with the new report.
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