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Should the U.S. be putting so much time and money into climate change issues?
Whether you believe that climate change is man made or natural, isn't the issue. But billions upon billions of dollars are being spent on regulations and fuels everyday. But what about the rest of the world? If this is controllable, how much difference will we make if the rest of the world continues to do what they do? Are we throwing money away or prolonging the inevitable? This is a world issue, not a U.S. issue. What do you think?
The point that environmental regulation must be applied globally in order to have global affect is a good one, and for an unexplained reason an often overlooked one. The view from space is available in published photographs taken from satellite and space shuttle. You can Google it. It shows a great plume of air pollution streaming from southeast Asia.
China and India, the emerging economic giants, cannot develop their potential with strict environmental controls on industrial activity, and they therefore will not adopt those. The choice between pollution and the survival of the state is a foregone one. Neither will take the measures necessary to reduce industrial and agricultural side effects. to those expected in America and Europe.
The argument that reducing pollution in America means that much less goes into the global ecosystem is furthermore a false one. Industry is progressively relocating to less regulated jurisdictions because it cannot survive if it attempts to continue operating under the restrictions found in the western world. Go to virtually any store, and you find Asian goods lining the shelves. They would be made in the west were that possible, but that has become economically infeasible. That plume of pollution would rise in Europe and America were those goods made there, and it rises now in Asia. The plume is the same, and its ultimate effect on the environment is likewise the same. The end accomplishments of the west's heavy environmental regulation have been to drive industry overseas and its own unemployment rates up.
The environment's worst enemy is poverty, its best friend prosperity. Across the world, the most degraded places are those unable to afford better. If current trends continue, the west will have impoverished itself through overregulation that in the last analysis fails to do what it intends, and conditions there will begin once more to deteriorate. That process may already have begun. I do not claim to have the solution to this problem of the fleeting, illusory benefits achieved by our regulatory restriction of economic activity, but I do know that if none is found we will continue to follow a course of failure charted by our illusion our methods are working.
I completely agree that it is a world issue. And as such, each country depending on land area should take on its responsibility to alter its fuel resources. The thing with the US as I've read it before, is that it consumes the greatest amount of fossil fuels and has caused a great problem to the ozone layer. The freakish hurricanes like the one that just passed through, according to some experts, is a result of this climate change.
http://www.science20.com/caution_ponder … andy-95729
That is probably why the US is spending so much. Perhaps it is an investment into the future so that we can all have solar powered homes, hybrid cars and so on.
Love ya, but I have to ask. If we are the greatest contributor to these hurricanes, why do they develope off the coast of Africa and head here? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Well, as far as Sandy is concerned, it developed from a tropical wave into a hurricane cyclone in the west of the Carribean Sea. Most begin in the Atlantic or Carribean some in off the coast of Africa, but the surrounding atmosphere feeds it
Hurricanes occur due to the global temperature rising. Warmer waters cause more and stronger storms and hurricanes. It doesn't develop by the country omitting the worst, its a global thing.
Cody, yes that is true, but which country emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? (at least in the past) Global warming came into being from the total emissions, yes, but some countries emit more fumes than others (cars, factories, etc.)
There is definitely going to have to be efforts from all sides of the world in order to fix this problem (if it can even be fixed). In my mind, it's important for the U.S. to set the standard. Not just because we are a heavy polluter, but because we can't demand other countries do it when we are making little to no efforts for our own country. It's kind of like an overweight person telling another overweight person to stop eating junk food. It's hypocritical of us to scold them for something we're doing. So, in that regard, the only way to turn this into a global solution is to start with a national solution. If we can start to reduce the damage at home, we can begin to impose harsher pollution limits around the world. It might sound like an overreach to force these things on everyone, but we are talking about the safety of our planet.
The problem is that the US is the leading cause of pollution for the air, water, and land. It is highly hypocritical to demand other countries to change when the USA, being the wealthiest country who mostly leads the world, refuses to invest in clean technology and research. China and India follow the USA in pollution and are pressured by the global community to cut their carbon footprint but being developing nations, they feel they are entitled to the same relaxed feeling that Europe and the USA got during industrialization.
Investing in climate change solutions could also greatly help the economy get off of dependence on oil and the dangerous practices of coal mining and natural gas fracking. Green energy leads to more engineer jobs, manufacturing jobs for the machines, and researchers. Green jobs to replace coal jobs which is extremely dangerous is quite worth it, in my opinion of course.
The global community needs led by example, not hypocrisy.
That's easy for you to say. You stand in front of thousands of coal miners and tell them to sacrifice their jobs for the safety of green energy jobs. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.Green jobs and development would end now without coal miners.
Train manufacturers gave up their jobs for plane manufacturing, as well as whalers giving up their job for oil as opposed to whale oil. Change has to come with progress and its inevitable.
Climate change is quite a little cottage industry in academia. If you're a scientist grubbing for grant money, you'd better hope no one thinks of better ways to spend the money.
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