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PNS Daily Newscast - June 11, 2021 

We reflect and update as HIV/AIDS first came to national attention 40 years ago this month; and when it comes to infrastructure spending, bipartisanship isn't dead yet.

2021Talks - June 11, 2021 

President Biden offers up more COVID-19 vaccines to the world; Dems and GOP close in on an infrastructure deal; and Speaker Pelosi tries to quell a spat over the Middle East among Democrats.

Scientists Warn MA Lawmakers Of Carbon Level Danger

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 By Kevin Clay/Craig Eicher, Contact
June 9, 2008

Boston, MA - Are we past the point of "safe" carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and could severe signs of global warming hit sooner than we thought? In the view of scientists from the Sustainability Institute the answer is
"Yes" on both points. They visited the Massachusetts state House last week, laying out their case to lawmakers and asking for quicker action in fighting pollution related to climate change.

The talks focused on a report from NASA scientist James Hansen which indicates there are 385 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere; the so-called "safe level" is around 350 ppm. Sustainability Institute scientist Dr. Phil Rice says either way, it's time to get serious about reducing this type of airborne pollution.

"As soon as possible is the best time to act. Every year that goes by is one more year where we could trigger some of these events that are unstoppable."

Rice believes it is too early to tell which presidential candidate would lead the most effective fight against global warming. Republican John McCain has called for a 60 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050; Democrat Barack Obama wants an 80 percent cut. Rice applauds their suggestions - but says neither may be sufficient.

"Those are a great start, and unfortunately, 80 percent by 2050 is going to fall short of bringing us to 350 parts per million, so we're going to have to do more."

The discussion included what some believe is evidence that problems already have begun. Rice mentioned the rapidly melting Arctic ice, as well as the United Nations' claim that 12 of its 13 emergency responses to international disasters last year were climate-related. There are still skeptics, however, who question whether man-made CO2 in the atmosphere is what's causing the problem, or who believe global warming is part of the planet's natural cyclical climate patterns.

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