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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Kerry, Gingrich square off on global warming

Watch portions of Kerry vs. Gingrich on global warming.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two political heavy-weights on opposite end of the the political spectrum debated the topic of global warming Tuesday, the latest sign the controversial issue is heating up on Capitol Hill.

Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee for president, and former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off on the issue -- two weeks after the Massachusetts Democrat's book on the subject, co-written with his wife Teresa, was released. Gingrich has also written a book on the environment -- scheduled to be released next November.

In what was largely a cordial debate, Gingrich said he believes global warming is occurring, but denied the contention that it could lead to catastrophic results for the earth.

"I believe it is a fact that the computer simulations, which are only computer simulations, show that over the next century there is a probable increase in the sea level between 7 and 23 inches," he said. "It's very important between 7 and 23 inches over the next century -- very different then the sense we'll be in a catastrophe one day."

While Gingrich argued for tax and economic incentives as a way to entice businesses to create fewer pollutants and develop innovative ways to conserve, Kerry pushed for increased government regulation as a way to affect change more quickly and set an example for the rest of the world.

"I believe that if you show the leadership in the United States and set the standards, we will have the clean hands and the leverage that we need to be able to go to India and China and bring the world together," Kerry said. "They are waiting of our leadership and that's what's critical."

Disagreements aside, Gingrich was happy to plug Kerry's book, calling it "very good."

"As clearly a right-wing reader, I would commend the book," he said.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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