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Policy: Global Warming and Emissions

A brief introductions to what Global warming is and how the US has tried to implement policy

            Global warming is the result of human activity that releases Greenhouse-gas emissions. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are emitted from burning natural resources, such as oil and coal, which enter into the atmosphere and trap heat. Because of the large amounts of these emissions worldwide, the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, referred to as Global warming (National Geographic, 2019). There are policies, that are determined by congress, to regulate the levels of emissions but there are some policies that disagree and have doubts about the legitimacy of global warming.

            The increase of legislative policies and proposals towards Greenhouse emissions has brought attention to the arguments about how this issue should be resolved (EPA, 2019). There are policies that aim to reduce emissions such as adding an emission’s tax or tradable permits in an attempt to lower the effects of polluting gases. Using these types of policies provides a market-based incentive for consumers to be more efficient with the energy they use and also an incentive to producers to use cleaner techniques (Center on a Budget and Policy Priorities).

            Global warming is a major issue and the policies that were in place years ago have turned into more prominent course of action. The arguments with these policies are the differing opinions on how to approach the issue or if there is even any assistance needed. Republicans and Democrats have different policies towards global warming and whether or not to put regulations on emissions.

            Democrats support policies that will hold stricter regulations on greenhouse gases. They support the funding of the EPA and using cleaner energy like wind power and solar panels to protect our ecosystems and the health and future of the human race (Democrats.org).

            However, the opposing side to fixing this issue is concerned with the republicans and other people who do not see Global warming as legitimate. Any policy that is for conservation of the environment must also be balanced with the economical situation of the country (Republicanview.org).

Basically, if there is no economical growth in the market for the environment, there will be less funding for decreasing global warming. Under President Trump’s administration, the United States is the only country that has not signed the Paris Climate Agreement for decreasing greenhouse-gas (Democrats.org).

            During the Bush administration, President Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty stating that reducing the amount of emissions the treaty called for was not economically suitable for the US economy. Instead, he set a goal to reduce 18% of all greenhouse emissions over a period of 10 years. President Bush received support from corporations that contributed to emissions and backlash from others who support reform for climate change (CNN.com/insidepolitics).

            During the Obama administration, policy for global warming included more funding towards the EPA and working towards using cleaner and less energy. President Obama instructed the EPA and the Department of Transportation to regulate new fuel-economy standards. He also helped in regulating carbon dioxide emissions that are released from coal power plants (Democrats.org).

In his 2015 Presidential address, Obama stated that there is “No challenge [that] poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. Obama wanted to use the United States to drive international action and had China’s interest as well (United Nations Climate Change, 2015).

            Because of the split opinions that drive policy in the US, it is extremely difficult to have set laws for issues such as Global Warming- especially when there are still non-believers in 2019 despite scientific evidence. It is unethical to choose what happens to the environment on the account of how the economy is affected. There is no economy without people and there are no people without clean air so it seems right to take care of the environment and to stop poisoning it.

            These consequences cause spending issues as well. Presidents that push for reform and funding that initially impact the economy but in time will lessen the impact and increase the efficiency of energy use for the US. However, that funding typically goes away when a candidate that has opposite views is put into office, leaving nothing for the next candidate who supports regulation.

            Without regulation, emissions will rise and temperatures will also rise. The ozone will keep depleting and the icebergs will also melt, meaning an entire ecosystem will die and there is no way to avoid the butterfly effect that will happen to the rest of the ecosystem eventually affected the human race and the economy.

References

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-causes/
https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-air-act

https://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-policies-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions
http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/02/14/bush.global.warming/index.html
https://unfccc.int
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