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Deadly Heat Wave Reignites Climate Change Debate

A front of cool air moved over the East Coast Friday, bringing an end to a record-breaking heat wave that started last week in California and is blamed for nearly 200 deaths. Climatologists discuss the debate over the Earth's changing weather.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    All week, in much of the nation, it was oppressive…

  • AMERICAN CITIZEN:

    It's like India, same weather.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    … sweltering, just downright hot.

  • AMERICAN CITIZEN:

    Ever see those machines where they put the peanuts in them and they roast them peanuts? That's what it's like. I feel like I'm a roasted peanut out here.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Numerous deaths were blamed on the heat wave. The nation's power grid was strained.

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Mayor of New York City: If we want to keep the power going, we're all just going to have to conserve.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    People were doing whatever they could to stay cool. And once again, they were thinking about whether today's weather is one more sign of global warming.

    For months, in fact, the global warming conversation seems to have permeated the news headlines and popular culture, in numerous magazine articles and on television, and of course at the Cineplex, with Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth."

    AL GORE, Former Vice President of the United States: If you look at the 10 hottest years ever measured, they've all occurred in the last 14 years, and the hottest of all was 2005.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    This week, global warming took the political stage in California, in an unusual alliance of a state governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the head of a foreign government, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who came together with a group of business leaders to announce a new initiative.

    Also this week, former President Clinton launched his own initiative that allows large cities to pool their resources in order to purchase cheaper, energy-saving products.

    BILL CLINTON, Former President of the United States: We have to reduce about 80 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 to 15 years. It sounds like a daunting task, but I don't believe it is.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Twenty-two major world cities will participate in the program, including Los Angeles, New York, London and Chicago.

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