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E-M:/ knollenberg gets head in sand award



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Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
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For immediate release					Contact:  Lana Pollack
Thursday, October 29, 1998				517-487-9539

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP GIVES KNOLLENBERG
'HEAD IN THE SAND' AWARD
FOR DENYING REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE

	The Michigan Environmental Council today gave U.S. Representative Joe
Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) its "Head in the Sand Award" for his
persistent efforts to deny and cover up the reality of global climate change.

	At a press conference in the State Capitol where Knollenberg joined forces
with the so-called "Michigan Climate Change Coalition" to attack an
international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, MEC President Lana
Pollack said Knollenberg richly deserves MEC's "Head in the Sand Award."

	"Mr. Knollenberg has done his best to overlook the massive amount of
evidence pointing toward significant climate change," said Pollack.  "But
he doesn't want to be alone in his ignorance.  He's tried to block the U.S.
public from learning about the issue and the U.S. EPA from talking about it."

	Pollack pointed out that Knollenberg is the author of an unsuccessful
amendment to this year's EPA appropriation bill that would have prevented
the agency from spending funds to educate the public about climate change
or to take steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the
international agreement arrived at in Kyoto, Japan in 1998.  Knollenberg
has also inflated cost estimates of U.S. compliance in an effort to
frighten the American public, she said.

	"Global climate change is a serious issue and it deserves better than Mr.
Knollenberg's treatment," Pollack added.  "Climate change will rack up huge
costs to Michigan's economy unless it is addressed.   It will jeopardize
our natural resource base, our agricultural economy, and public health."

	MEC pointed out:

Warming of the Earth

· Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly30% and
methane concentrations have doubled since the pre-industrial era.

· Without emissions controls, carbon dioxide levels are expected to
increase between 30% and 150% by the year 2100.

· Global mean surface temperatures have increased between 0.6 and 1.2
degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years. Global surface temperatures could
increase another 1.6 to 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

· The nine warmest years in this century have all occurred in the last 14
years.

Michigan's Contribution to Greenhouse Gases

· Michigan's coal-burning electric utility plants emitted 73.3 million tons
of carbon dioxide in 1996, the most recent year for which statistics are
available.

· U.S. cars and trucks are alone responsible for more of the world's total
energy-related carbon dioxide emissions than the combined total of all but
three other nations (China, Russia, Japan).

What One Michigan Business Is Saying

· On Tuesday, October 27, 1998, General Motors announced its commitment to
addressing the problem of global warming, including measuring emissions,
exploring ways to reduce emissions, and contributing to research and
technology.  "We hope this cooperative effort inspires…additional business
to engage constructively in the climate debate and to undertake similar
commitments," said GM's chief environmental officer.

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Michigan

· Higher temperatures and increased frequency of heat deaths could increase
the number of heat-related deaths and the incidence of heat-related illnesses.

· Areas not meeting ozone standards in Michigan could almost triple,
aggravating respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

· The extent of forested areas in Michigan could decline as much as 50 to
70% depending on whether soil dries and by how much.

· Fresh water flowing into the Great Lakes could decrease by 20% with a 4
degree Fahrenheit warming, reducing lake levels by a foot or more and
threatening commercial shipping, fisheries, and other economic benefits of
the lakes.

· Climate change could reduce corn yields 34% and hay yields 17%.

Costs of Cleanup

· The U.S. can meet all or most of the Kyoto Protocol's mandated emissions
reductions through domestic actions that will have zero or negative net
costs, according to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the
Tellus Institute.

· Because most of the initial carbon reduction steps of the Protocol will
have low or no cost, our nation's competitive position in most industries
would be largely unaffected.





Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
davemec@voyager.net
www.mienv.org

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