A Climate of Despair

Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has been an international festival of environmental celebration and protest. With President George W. Bush's rejection of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls on industrial nations to help slow global warming by cutting carbon dioxide emissions, environmentalists and governments alike might be excused for feeling there's little to celebrate — and much to protest — as this year's Earth Day (April 22) rolls around.

Last month Bush announced that he was abandoning the Kyoto Protocol, having concluded that the international agreement could hurt the American economy, particularly during a burgeoning energy...

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