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Climate change denotes the existent and projected climatological effects that are wholly or partly attributable to human influences. This includes the rise of an average temperature of the atmosphere and the large water bodies. According to some scientists, these climatic trends are expected to make contributions to the future thereby posing a great threat to the sustainability of next generations. Over time, research has shown that this trend is majorly caused by the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases that result from a human activity. This includes deforestation and burning of fossil fuels among others. Therefore, scientists have projected a wide range of effects on the environment. For instance, the sea levels are expected to rise considerably thereby flooding the human settlements. Besides, this will influence the patterns of precipitation tremendously and lead to the expansion of the subtropical deserts eventually. The effects of the global warming are expected to be most severe in the Arctic due to the fast ice melting (Hansen, 2000).
The Various Viewpoints on Climate Change
The climate change poses a great threat to agricultural activities such as the growth of crops and livestock. In particular, the climate change that is human induced has the potential of changing the weather patterns as well as increasing the frequency of extreme weather conditions like floods and droughts. According to Stern report that projected an annual increase in temperatures above 3 degrees, the current grasslands that support livestock farming may soon turn into rendered deserts. The United States may be unable to be sustainably engaged in any agricultural activity. This could do serious harm to the entire state of the economy considering that a majority of people earn their living from the agricultural sector. Besides, the industries that are engaged in agricultural commodities are major employers and therefore their inability to sustain themselves may mean serious job losses on the market (McKibben, 2011).
In the light of this glaring trouble, the government has decided to put stiff regulations on the climate change both at state and federal levels. At the federal level for instance, the United States has adopted a policy of rewarding companies that actively take part in environmental conservation. However, their position concerning the world’s approach to this menace as outlined in the Kyoto protocol has been viewed as both controversial and irrational. Although the United States is signatory to the Kyoto protocol, they have remained non-committal it choosing neither to ratify nor withdraw from it. The government of the United States formally declined to implement the Kyoto protocol in 2001. According to it, any attempts to ratify the treaty would impose unnecessary economic setbacks on the US economy. Besides, the treaty has not put stringent measures to reduce greenhouse emissions from the developing countries. For instance, China that is categorized as a developed country has significantly increased its carbon emissions to the levels that actually supersede those of the United States. Therefore, it would only be proper that they face the full force of the protocol as the United States. It was until much later that Bush administration announced their alternative means of environmental conservation. This was a strategic plan meant to lower the intensity of greenhouse gases by18% within a span of ten years. The intensity of greenhouse gases according to the United States government is a balance between the carbon emissions and the economic output. Thus, it technically meant that emissions in the US would continue albeit at a lower rate (Hansen, 2000).
At the state level, several organizations are implementing policies that have yielded real effects on the reduction of carbon emissions. This includes advocating for increased efficient energy use and generating more renewable forms of energy. For instance, the “Climate Change Science Program” carries out aggressive campaigns that target people at the grassroots because that is where environmental destruction occurs. This has seen them make environmental control models meant to demonstrate to the people the real possibilities of success if they remain committed to the ideals that the organizations preach. More often than not, the models have been the basis of formulating state as well as federal environmental laws. The focus seems to be on the states as they have different levels of emissions and therefore require different approaches. For instance, the state of Texas emits more greenhouse gas than whole France (McKibben, 2011).
Comparison of Command and Control Regulations and Incentive Based Regulations
The control form of regulations is generally less successful as compared to the incentive induced regulations. This has been attributed to the fact that no matter how tough regulations are, people will always find a way to break them. After all, the laws enforcers cannot be present everywhere all the time to ensure that all citizens adhere to them. On the other hand, incentive based regulations get people bound to the conservation policies considering that the results that would attract the incentives require complete adherence to the policies (McKibben, 2011).
Given a chance in the Federal Congress, I would be in favor of the United States to seek a revision of the Kyoto protocol so to avoid unnecessary stand-offs that do more harm to the world than the climate change. Besides, I would stress on the adoption of incentive based regulations as the best way to get everyone participating in an environmental conservation (National Research Council, 1994).
Essentially, climate change is such a critical issue that the world cannot sit down and hope that it will just go away some day. As such, people should stop looking at it as a responsibility of the government but rather as their own solemn duty to bequeath a sustainable earth to the next generation. The little things that each individual commits to do will eliminate the eminent threats posed by the climate change.