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Gore unveils anti-global warming effort

graphic August 10, 1998
Web posted at: 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Noting that July had been the hottest month on record in the United States, Vice President Al Gore on Monday called on Congress to pass a new multi-million-dollar initiative to combat global warming.

That initiative, included in the 1999 budget currently before Congress, calls for $6 billion to be spent over five years. Congress has not yet acted on the proposal.

The administration would like to see a package of tax incentives for companies to adapt to new technologies that cut greenhouse gasses, which are believed to have contributed to global warming. Other money would go into research.

Speaking Monday at a White House ceremony, Gore also announced that the government was launching a jointly funded initiative through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services to create eight centers of excellence in children's environmental health research.

These centers will receive grants of between $1.2 million and $1.5 million dollars each to carry out the necessary research to "protect our children," Gore said.

Gore announced a jointly funded initiative through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services  

The research was to delve into such areas as the causes of asthma and the effects of exposure to pesticides.

The centers include the University of Southern California Medical School, University of Michigan School of Public Health and Columbia University's School of Public Health.

While scientists acknowledge that the high temperatures are the result of a combination of factors, Gore said it was pretty obvious that "something is going on" -- namely, global warming.

Gore said that due to the heat, smog has gotten worse, leading to more respiratory problems for children.

"Today we have more evidence that global warming is real," Gore said. He said it was time to overcome the attitude of denial and admit that global warming is related to this summer's record temperatures and an increase in health and environmental problems.

Correspondent Eileen O'Connor contributed to this report.

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