Greenpeace activists display a banner near a coal mine to commemorate the second anniversary of the Kyoto protocol in Most, Czech Republic, February 15, 2007.
David W. Cerny / Reuters

TAKING THE LONG VIEW ON GLOBAL WARMING

Even well-informed observers disagree about what the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change will accomplish. Some gaze at its text and see a battle won. They cheer the fact that the generally richer nations participating in the protocol agreed to cut their collective emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming to about five percent less than 1990 levels by early in the next century. These optimists also applaud features of the Kyoto accord designed to hold down the costs of achieving these reductions. In computing their emissions, nations can include changes in the

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