Some Like it Hot

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WASHINGTON: The world is coming to an end. That's not a pleasant message to deliver to an American public that hasn't felt this good about big cars since the '50s. Yet President Clinton is determined to convince America that global warming is real and that it's high time the villainous U.S., producer of 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gases, started to do its part.

Politically, the idea is about as agreeable as a tax hike. "This campaign can only be a long-term effort," says TIME White House correspondent Jef McAllister. "He doesn't have the votes in Congress; his only chance is to educate the public. You'll see a lot of public events, and there's talk he'll go to Kyoto (Japan, in December) personally."

By then, Clinton has to somehow muster enough momentum to convince the third world that the U.S. is serious. Most likely to succeed: the ol' bait-and-switch. "Clinton will probably come up with promises of big reductions in later years," says McAllister. "Then we'll see." Sounds like a job for yet another environmental president.