Global warming may very well be one of the most important issues you will have to make a decision on in your lifetime. The decisions you make on energy sources and daily conservation practices will determine not only the quality of your life, but also the lives of your descendants.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to gain a good understanding of global warming: what it is, why it is happening, how it can be slowed down, why everybody is contributing to the problem, and why everybody needs to be an active part of the solution.

I would sincerely like to thank several of the federal government agencies that research, educate, and actively take part in dealing with the global warming issue—in particular, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for providing an abundance of resources and outreach programs on this important subject. I give special thanks to Al Gore for his long and diligent effort toward bringing the global warming issue so powerfully to the public's attention. And I applaud California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for putting care of the environment high on his agenda. I would also like to acknowledge and give thanks to the many wonderful universities across the United States, in England, Canada, and Australia, as well as private organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund, that diligently strive to educate others and help toward finding a solution to this very real problem.

I want to give a huge thanks to my agent, Jodie Rhodes, for her assistance, guidance, and efforts, and also to Frank K. Darmstadt, my editor, for all his hard work, dedication, support, and helpful advice and attention to detail. His efforts in bringing this project to life were invaluable. Thanks also to Alexandra Lo Re for her attention to detail and to the copy editing and production departments for their assistance and the outstanding quality of their work.

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