It's Not Easy Being Green

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NEW YORK CITY: His eye nervously trained on the American auto and energy industries, President Clinton spoke to the U.N. on the evils of global warming but steered clear of committing the U.S. to any specific reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In an abrupt about-face from his recent support for tough domestic clean air regulations, Clinton's most substantial pledge was to supply developing countries with $1 billion over the next five years to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. No better than "using a squirt gun to quell a raging fire," snipped Sierra Club President Adam Werbach. "With the whole world watching, the president of the world's biggest polluter needs to do more than warn of the dire consequences of global warming." Even though the President did promise to come up with a "realistic" U.S. plan to slash emissions before December talks in Kyoto, Japan on a global warming treaty, environmentalists aren't holding their breath. While smog and soot are everyday problems American voters can easily relate to, the threat of coastal areas in Florida and Louisiana being submerged by rising seas is less immediate. And with the U.S.' energy-guzzling economy boasting record growth, the perceived danger becomes even more remote.