"'The catalytic converter has had a profound impact on our environment,' says Jim Kliesch, senior engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Advances in the catalytic converter, which rolled out on GM's 1975 model-year cars, and computer-controlled fuel injection technology have all but eliminated tailpipe emissions, he says."
Is Climate Change the 21st Century’s Most Urgent Environmental Problem?
"Despite any warming, by virtually any climate-sensitive measure of human well-being, human welfare has improved over the last century. ... While some credit for increasing agricultural and forest productivity is probably due to higher carbon dioxide concentrations and higher wintertime temperatures, most of these improvements are due to technological progress driven by market — and science — based economic growth, technology, and trade. ... Such progress has also reduced human vulnerability to the effects of climate change. ... As a result, technological progress has so far had a greater impact on the climate-sensitive measures than has climate change itself. ...
On the other hand, matters may actually have deteriorated for some climate-sensitive environmental indicators, such as the loss of habitat and forests, and threats to biodiversity. However, so far, climate change (human-induced or not), while contributing to change, seems to be responsible for little, if any, of this deterioration.
On the basis of current evidence, it is difficult to sustain the notion that climate change is the greatest threat to public health or the environment today. But what about the future?"
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