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What the G8 is doing about global warming
Will aiming to cut emissions by half help?
T

he G8 leaders’ promise to fight global warming may be too little, too late, said The Denver Post in an editorial. Environmentalists certainly think so, and setting the goal to cut global greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2050 will prove meaningless unless it serves as “groundwork for a binding climate-change treaty” that spells out concrete steps to make it happen.

Actually, this goal is so ambitious that, if the industrialized nations try to meet it, said The Washington Times in an editorial, the pricetag “would make the Manhattan Project, the Hoover Dam and other feats of state all combined look miniscule by comparison.” No wonder ordinary Americans remain reluctant to shell out a fortune “to combat the uncertain threat of global warming.”

Don’t worry, said Stephen Addison in Reuters, there’s no way to realistically shoot for halving emissions unless China and India go along. The U.S won’t make cuts unless they go along, and the world’s rapidly industrializing, energy-guzzling giants aren’t about to sign up for anything that will put the brakes on progress that will “improve the living standards of their people.”

This agreement could mark a welcome first step toward a concerted effort to help the environment, said the Tokyo Yomiuri Shimbun in an editorial. Now the challenge is to convince developing countries that, with support from industrialized nations, they can “work for the common good of the planet" and "strive to reduce their emissions as much as their circumstances allow.”

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