The combustion of fossil fuels increases atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. This may cause a long-term warming of the atmosphere. Solutions to the carbon dioxide problem are particularly difficult because adverse effects will be felt by future generations, but remedial action and sacrifices must be made by present generations. Decisions regarding the problem which affect both the immediate and long-range future must be made deliberately or by default in perhaps only 15-20 years, before we are reasonably confident with our knowledge of the problem and before we know whether it will, in fact, occur. Much of the uncertainty involves projections of future energy use, and scientific knowledge of the carbon cycle and the environment.

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