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Citizens the world over must be eager to close 2007, a year marked by profound anxiety as vulnerabilities in the political and economic order have become visible and been repeatedly tested. Thus far, the system has survived, but strains are intensifying. If 2007 offers a taste of what lies ahead, we need to be ready for a roller-coaster ride in 2008.

The most important development in 2007 was the rising awareness of global warming and the recognition of the threat that it poses for all mankind. Whatever doubts might have remained about the reality of climate change have been silenced by the authoritative conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which, with Mr. Al Gore, won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work. Their efforts have transformed public discussion of this issue and ensured that climate change figures prominently on the agenda of virtually every international conclave. Governments are now beginning critical negotiations to develop a post-Kyoto Protocol framework that will deal seriously with a problem that threatens the survival of our planet.

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