U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.) last week said he would support dramatic changes in the Kyoto treaty on climate change, including a move away from mandatory to voluntary targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Faced with immediate criticism by environmental groups, however, Daschle on Saturday backed away from his earlier statement and issued a clarification saying voluntary emissions controls “are not a substitute for binding measures.” Meanwhile, in the month since President Bush said that the U.S. would withdraw from Kyoto, top officials in his administration have been meeting on a weekly basis to figure out how to move forward on climate change. Most of the speakers at the meetings have been scientists and policy wonks who believe that humans bear at least part of the blame for global warming.