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Current Policies In Global Climate Change

1695 words - 7 pages

A current ongoing debate is whether the topic of how some areas are hotter than they used to be and some colder than they use to be should be referred to as “global warming” or “global climate change”. I agree with the term “global climate change” since it seems that the earth is not only getting warmer, but also colder in some places (Schimel, David Steven et al). Global climate change is threatening life on earth, and needs to be stopped in its tracks before it escalates.
CO2 emissions are the main greenhouse gases that are of concern (Singh). Since there are many greenhouse gases, this is the most abundant in the atmosphere after water vapor, and is the main focus of all global climate change debates since it is the gas that humans have control over (Newman). The first major claim of the greenhouse effect was by a NASA climatolost named James Hansen. Unfortunately, the evidence he gathered was mocked in front of senator Tim Wirth in front of his Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Although he was not taken in a serious manner, there might not be a mess as big as there is today regarding it if he had been taken seriously. Although he was not the first one to notice that the CO2 ¬in parts per million were going up, he was the first to give scenarios of what would happen in the future if nothing was done about it. He correctly predicted the path that we were on right now in 1988, and even claims that “13 years from now, in the year 2000… it will be mostly warm everywhere, instead of being cooler than normal” (Goldstein). This what we are seeing today as well, with temperatures far above normal in some areas and below in some as well, which is where his prediction was a bit off (Goldstein).
The next major thing to happen was a policy being implemented, mainly the Kyoto Protocol. The United Nations agreed that something should be done about global climate change. In 1995, in Kyoto, Japan the UN gathered in order to help countries reduce carbon dioxide emissions by setting a target. The US did not sign this because it was believed by the members of the Senate that it would hurt American workers and the economy if it were to be ratified, and also because many Americans doubted the science behind climate change (Goldstein).
The next step was the “Clear Skies Initiative” by George W. Bush, in which he talked about not only climate change, but also air pollution. In it, he mentions that he says that Americans need to find a way to foster growth while at the same time protecting the environment (Goldstein). Encouraged, some Chief Legal Officers sent George W. Bush a letter saying that although his plans were a good foundation, there was a need for dramatic action (Goldstein). Some reports were even made in 2003 about how the warm weather was causing more threats to US security (Goldstein). In 2005, Senator James Inhofe claimed the global warming was a hoax and that the Kyoto Protocol was a conspiracy to lower the US economy and “level...

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