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COPENHAGEN — You would have had to be stuck in deepest Mongolia to avoid hearing that the United Nations’ climate panel, the IPCC, issued a new report. Perhaps even in the depths of Mongolia, you would have heard the dire warnings emitted by journalists. You would have distilled from these agonized noises that the report concluded that global warming is worse than we had imagined, and that we need to take swift and strong action right now. You would have been misinformed.

The IPCC has produced a good report — an attempt to summarize what the world’s scientists know about global warming. Unlike the Bush administration, caught downplaying the science, the IPCC squarely tells us that mankind is largely responsible for the planet’s recent warming. And, unlike former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who has traveled the world warning that our cities might soon be under the oceans, it refrains from scaremongering.

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