Climate Change Policy in the US

1454 words (6 pages) Essay in Environmental Studies

15/02/19 Environmental Studies Reference this

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Climate change to many is a “hoax” or a daydream, but to others it’s reality. Global warming is the rise of earth’s temperatures through carbon dioxide, air pollutants and greenhouse gases that are collected and trapped in the atmosphere. The pollutants would normally travel to space, but they trap the heat and cause the earth’s temperature to rise. Due to global warming, California has been in a long-going drought, icebergs in Antarctica are melting at a more rapid pace, and has caused disruption in marine-life. EPA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Center for Policy Analysis has discussed the problems and solutions that the government and citizens of the world can help the earth in its stop to global warming.

Ten of the policies being discussed are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, reduce air pollutants, and much more. The ten policies are: Eliminate all subsidies for fuel use, reduce regulatory barrier to new nuclear power plants, reduce wildfires through Alternative Forest Management, liberalize approval of biotechnology, repeal the National Flood Insurance Program, increase use of toll roads with congestion pricing, remove older cars from the road, reform air traffic control systems, remove regulatory barriers to innovation, and encourage breakthroughs in new technology. The many organizations who wants to inform the world of global warming has fought hard to give the attention that it needs and ways that humans can prevent it. Organizations such as the EPA and the NCPA have given factual debate of global warming and the serious outcomes it could bring and is bringing to the earth. The major debate of global warming policies is the costly measures it will take to protect the earth. There is also debate on if humans contribute to the issue of global warming or not. Many argue that humans can’t have any contribution to global warming, and others disagree. Either way if people believe that global warming is a hoax or not, we as humans should take the initiative to keep the earth clean and green.

In 2016, President Obama visited Honolulu, Hawaii as his final family vacation as the president. During his visit, he noticed multiple things that were out of the ordinary for such a place as Hawaii. “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event. It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see,” says Barack. He also mentions how it is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. (Landler, 2016) President Obama wanted the debate of global warming to be heard before the end of his term. Obama presented ideas to cut planet-heating emissions in the United States. Since his call of awareness, he has been ridiculed by republicans and supported by democrats. Republican, democrat politicians and even economists believe that global warming is a hoax and that Obama is abusing his power and this decision could cause harm to the economy Obama said, “When you see severe environmental strains of one sort or another on cultures, on civilizations, on nations, the byproducts of that are unpredictable and can be very dangerous. If the current projections, the current trend lines on a warming planet continue, it is certainly going to be enormously disruptive worldwide.” Obama’s stance on the state of global warming has yet to change, and would be likely to never change.

In 2008, the presidential race between McCain and Obama global warming was brought into debate. They both held the same stance on global warming; believing that it’s caused by humans and Congress should enact legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions and force polluters to buy and trade permits that would slowly lower overall emissions of climate-warming gases. (Davenport, 2016) Obama’s cap and trade bill failed through was blocked by senators from the democratic and republican parties in 2010. In the same year, the Tea Party clutched the cap and trade bill as a defense to politics/ the presidency. A year before that, the attempt to construct a United Nation climate change treaty in Copenhagen failed as well. Data proved that U.S. citizens and politician’s opinion on global warming was not the same as President Obama’s, and the discussion of global warming/ climate change fell into shambles. “There is the notion that there’s something I might have done that would prevent Republicans to deny climate change,” Obama said. Republicans, such as Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, were willing to compromise to a more limited climate bill that would restrict emissions only from power plants (Landler, 2016) but Democrats could not agree to such a bill as that. Republican Alexander mentioned, “The White House wanted 60 votes on climate, and they weren’t interested in Republican votes. Now it’s back to power plant only. The lesson here is that if people who want a result would be a little bit more flexible, they might actually get one.” In Obama’s second term, he took the initiative to cut through Congress with the discussion of global warming/ climate change. Obama and his team establishes the Clean Air Act of 1970 that gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to issue regulations on dangerous pollutants. (Davenport, 2016) Obama revealed the Clean Power Plan: a set of Clean Air Act rules that would end several coal-fired power plants. Many critics imposed that Obama’s plan would damage businesses who flourish on coal-fired power plants. He responded with, “What we owe the remaining people who are making a living mining coal is to be honest with them, and to say that, look, the economy is shifting. How we use energy is shifting. That’s going to be true here, but it’s also going to be true internationally.”

Fast forward to 2017, President Trump has dismantled Obama’s engagement to the stop of global warming/climate change. He has ordered the federal government to retreat from the battle against climate change proposed by Obama destroying the policies that made America a global leader in curbing emissions. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy to reserve government intrusions and to cancel job killing regulations,” Trump explained. Following Trump’s order, the government will no longer apply the “social cost of carbon” (Halper, Trump Orders Government to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Change Policies , 2017) allowing for factories, power plants, and (Halper, Trump Orders Government to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Change Policies , 2017) etc to continue to plant harmful gases into the atmosphere. Trump has called for the attention of global warming and climate change to be cut down “because global warming is a hoax created by China”. Officials have stated that the order instructed from Trump would delete all of Obama’s, EPA, and other environmental agencies work. It has been said that the policies created by Obama and others would cause economic catastrophe. Environmentalists have damned the changes being brought forth by Trump mentioning that the cutback of climate change policies will put humans and the earth at risk, regardless of how long it will take for everyone to “see” climate change. “Obama created a labyrinth of rules and orders and regulations to cement his agenda across practically every agency,” Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance mentioned. Many of the members in environmental agencies agrees that Obama’s plan was for the benefit of human life on this earth and Trump is doing everything in his power to eliminate Obama’s policies.

Work Cited

  • “Climate Change: Basic Information.” EPA. Ed. EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
  • Forster, Katie. “Donald Trump to Scale Back Importance of Climate Change in Government Decisions, Says White House Official.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Mar. 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
  • Hirschfeld Davis, Mark Landler and Coral Davenport, Julie. “Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Sept. 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
  • MacMillan, Amanda. “Global Warming 101.” NRDC. Amanda MacMillan, 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.
  • “NCPA.” Ncpa.org. Fox News, 5 Nov. 2015. Web. 5 Nov. 2015
  • “Trump Orders Government to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Change Policies.” Los Angeles Times. Ed. Evan Halper. Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

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