The Approach To Climate Change: Hamiltonian Response Or Jeffersonian Response

1430 words - 6 pages

The approach to climate change has been a topic of debate for as long as the concept of climate change has been around. Some believe that the Hamiltonian response, a focused national response from the government, is necessary in order to get the country to correctly react to the problems the world is currently and will be facing. Others believe that the Jeffersonian response is more appropriate since it means that citizens would be in control of the changes and therefore more willing to make the changes and more likely to accept, follow, and tell others about these changes. However, to truly implement the kind of change necessary to combat climate change, a mixed approach is necessary to not only ensure that a larger portion of people want to follow the changes, but also ensures that the changes are practical and efficient. Any extremes in the matter will result in a large portion of people not taking the matter seriously or only affect a specific group of people. So why is neither response alone the right response and where should the government's control end and the people's begin in order to create the most effective response to climate change?
It is obvious that the community has been the source of some of the most creative and successful practices that have been proven to weather the problems of climate change. Henry Hurage, who is a farmer from Kenya, convinced 300 other farmers to follow practices he had learned in England. The result was that this particular group of farmers were the ones who fared the best when a drought had hit the area. They also became more self-reliant (McKibben, 2011). This is only one of the many examples of "experimental" innovations that communities all over the globe are adopting. However, while this is amazing and great for these particular communities, the problem is that the majority of the rest of the nation is not adopting those same or similar practices. This can be accredited to the kind of government influence that agriculture is receiving. In the United States, growing certain crops, in particular corn, results in the farmer earning subsidies from the government. This is leading many farmers to not only produce too much of these subsidized crops, but also traps the farmers in a never ending cycle of only producing subsidized crops in order to earn a profit (Barrionuevo, 2005). Subsidies have become so important that major farms have become solely monoculture in order to receive large amounts of payment from the government. This has led to a smaller biodiversity and the use of environmentally damaging practices like the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers in order to sustain the large quantities of food required. However, government subsidies have also been taking steps in improving the environment as well. For example, the Conservation Reserve Program rewards farmers for using conservation practices on their land (Richardson, 2011). Yet, widespread programs to improve the environment have not been...

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