(CNN) – Man-made climate change threatens to stress water resources, challenge crops and livestock, raise sea levels, and adversely affect human health, according to a strongly-worded report from the Obama administration released Tuesday.
The nearly 200-page document on global climate change - released by the White House science adviser and mandated by Congress - does not include new research, but encompasses several recent studies on the effects of global warming over the last half century.
Among the report's key findings are an "unequivocal and primarily human-induced" rise in the earth's temperate of 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 50 years, and a projection of more rapidly changing temperatures over the next several decades.
The continuing temperature rise is likely to spur a series of negative consequences for the Earth's energy supply, water, transportation, ecosystems and health, the report also states.
"[The report] tells us why remedial action is needed sooner rather than later, as well as showing why that action must include both global emissions reductions to reduce the extent of climate change and local adaptation measures to reduce the damage from the changes that are no longer avoidable," said John P. Holdren, the White House science adviser.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans think that global warming is real, and that the federal government can do something to slow or stop the phenomenon.
Fifty-four percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say that global warming is occurring and that Washington can take steps to slow the rate of global warming, or eventually stop it altogether. Twenty-seven percent agree that global warming is real, but think the federal government is powerless to stop it or slow it down, and 17 percent say that global warming is not occurring.
"Two-thirds of Democrats think that the government can do something about global warming, but only a third of Republicans feel that way," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The same number of Republicans don't believe that global warming is happening at all. Only one in 20 Democrats think global warming is a myth."
The poll also suggests that a slight majority oppose a proposal called "cap and trade," which would allow the federal government to limit the emissions from industrial facilities such as power plants and factories that some people believe cause global warming. Companies that exceed the limit could avoid fines or higher taxes by paying money to other companies that produced fewer emissions than allowed. Forty-four percent support "cap and trade," which is backed by the Obama administration.
Obama spoke at an interfaith forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said Sunday that the separation of church and state should not force the people of the United States to "leave [their] religion at the door before entering the public square" and that, indirectly, faith informs politics.
"Our faith informs our values, and I think we'd all agree that our values inform our politics more than they have over the last six years," the Illinois senator said at an interfaith forum in downtown Des Moines.
Obama said that too often religious leaders use faith to "exploit what divides us" by saying that the only issues that matter are abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and intelligent design.
"Everyone in this room knows that's not true," Obama said.
He said there are other challenges that can unite people of faith, one of them being the issue of climate change.
"The bible tells us that when God created the earth, he entrusted us with the responsibility to take care of that earth," he said. "It is a responsibility to ensure that this planet remains clean and safe and livable for our children, and for all of God's children."
"Science has made it undeniably clear that our generation is not living up to this responsibility."
Obama also took a moment to praise former vice president and recent Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore for his work on global warming.
"I think all of us give great thanks to him for his extraordinary dedication, his extraordinary service, [and] his grace after a bitter defeat to rise up and actually transcend and do even more than one could have ever imagined to help highlight this issue."
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-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Edwards is the winner of a MoveOn.org straw poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards tops a recent straw poll of MoveOn.org members on climate-change policy, the liberal political action committee announced Wednesday.
Asked which Democratic "presidential candidate's position on dealing with the climate crisis” is most preferable, Edwards topped the list with 33 percent - more than double the support received by the second place finisher, Dennis Kucinich (16 percent).
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton comes in a close third with just under 16 percent, followed by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (15 percent), New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (13 percent), Delaware Sen. Joe Biden (3 percent), Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (3 percent) and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel (2 percent).
A total of 95,284 people voted in the poll, according to MoveOn.org spokesman Trevor Fitzgibbon. That number is nearly the amount of Democrats who participated in the 2004 Iowa Caucus.
The poll followed a virtual town hall Saturday night on the issue. All of the candidates participated. It was the largest event sponsored by MoveOn.org since 2004, according to the organization, with over 100,000 people either watching online or attending one of 1,300 house parties.
“The enormous response we got from our members on this issue emphasizes how important it will be for our next president to make solving the climate crisis a top priority in 2008,” said Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn.org, in a statement.
The group plans to run ads in Iowa and New Hampshire newspapers next week announcing the results.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney