Environment: A Sizzling Scientific Debate

Skeptics claim that the evidence for global warming is not so hot

Environmentalists staged Earth Day to dramatize a simple message: The planet is threatened by a host of man-made ills, from toxic landfills to ozone depletion. But at least one part of the message -- the theory that the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will cause global warming -- has come under considerable attack. A small but vocal group of scientists contends that the case for warming is sketchy and based on inadequate computer models.

Forces within the White House, led by chief of staff John Sununu, have seized upon the debate and persuaded President Bush...

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