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Anti-global warming movement gains strength

As John Mulligan reports today that a global warming measure has moved to the US Senate's front burner, there are a number of other signs of the swelling effort to come to terms with this pending environmental catastrophe:

-- The New York Times recently reported on how global warming is starting to divide the Republican presidential candidates:

While many conservative commentators and editorialists have mocked concerns about climate change, a different reality is emerging among Republican presidential contenders. It is a near-unanimous recognition among the leaders of the threat posed by global warming.

Within that camp, however, sharp divisions are developing. Senator John McCain of Arizona is calling for capping gas emissions linked to warming and higher fuel economy standards. Others, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, are refraining from advocating such limits and are instead emphasizing a push toward clean coal and other alternative energy sources.

All agree that nuclear power should be greatly expanded.

The debate has taken an intriguing twist. Two candidates appealing to religious conservatives, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, call for strong actions to ease the effects of people on the climate, at times casting the effort in spiritual terms just as some evangelical groups have taken up the cause.

-- Speaking of the faith-based, there's a new local group along these lines, Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light, that's working to spread the message about global warming.

-- The Providence City Council and Mayor Cicilline will host a presentation tomorrow, 6 pm, at the Roger Williams Park Casino, on Post-Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty. Author Daniel Lerch of the Post Carbon Institute will discuss how local governments can prepare for global warming and "peak oil."

-- Next Saturday, November 3, from noon to 3 pm, the official kick-off will be held for "Go Big, Little Rhody," an effort to reduce global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050. The event is sponsored by the Rhode Island Climate Coalition.

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