DECEMBER 1997

 

DECEMBER 1997 FULL ISSUE

THE HEAT IS ON

By PATRICK MAZZA

This month, world leaders are gathering in Kyoto, Japan to sign a treaty to slow down global warming. Most will seek more government action or ask for more corporate responsibility; they will be lobbied by industry reps who want less of both. This treaty is facing strong resistance in corporate boardrooms, where the risks of global warming are weighed against next quarter's  profits.

As we see on the next page in the first of three stories in this Special Global Warming Issue, one company in a position to take lead is Portland's Pacificorp, which is planting and protecting trees to soak up C02 emissions. But is that enough?

In the consensus view of scientists, our present course is leading to climate change. As Portland writer Patrick Mazza explains beginning on Page 11, we are witnessing the storm's leading edge in the form of El Nino, the weather phenomenon that's been coming around every 4 to 7 years.  

Is this the global warming version of El Nino? As Mazza explains in his companion piece on page 14, we should expect cracks in the Northwest's weather machine. The forecast is for warmer weather ahead, and much turbulence too.

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Paul Koberstein