They are suggesting that people all over the world turn off their lights and electrical appliances on the first of February 2007 for five minutes. In the central time zone that should happen between 12:55 and 1 p.m. They say it is not just about saving five minutes worth of electricity but about showing all political leaders that global warming is an issue that needs to come first and foremost in political debate.
Fox News recently cited a poll that suggested a bit less than half the people in the U.S. considered global warming a serious problem and a goodly percentage admitted to not knowing what global warming even was. Searching the Internet for polls one finds that they run the gamut of heavy concern for what the effects of global warming might be to a high level of uncertainly due to a belief that no solid evidence exists or that top scientists appear to be conflicted.
President Bush in his State of the Union address called attention to the "serious challenge of global climate change." This admission was interesting, since he had been silent on the matter and vehemently had opposed participation in the Kyoto Protocol. This international agreement was signed in 1997 and put into effect in 2005 by cooperating countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so-called because they trap energy and heat generated by the sun in the Earth's atmosphere, making the planet warmer like that of a greenhouse for growing plants.
Bush made the reference in spite of the declining number of people polled by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that believe that global warming is a problem requiring immediate government action. Along party lines, Pew's conclusion was that an overwhelming number of both moderate and liberal Republicans, independents, and Democrats believe that the earth is getting warmer as opposed to only 54 percent of conservative Republicans.
According to a May 2006 World Bank report, the U.S. accounts for 24 percent of all CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas that includes waste gases given off by industrial and power plants, automobiles and other processes. A new strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is outlined on a White House website and includes:
...several bold initiatives that incorporate scientific research, technological innovation, and international cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the economy. Through public-private partnerships, the President is working with businesses to encourage voluntary, cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions. The President is also investing in carbon sequestration technologies and practices that can capture carbon dioxide from fossil energy systems or the atmosphere, and store those greenhouse gases in forests, plants, and soils, or in geologic reservoirs underground.