Monitoring and enforcing a [CO.sub.2] treaty would be very difficult, if not impossible.
Reductions in [CO.sub.2] emissions by rich countries could be negated by increased [CO.sub.2] emissions in fast-growing developing countries (Udall, 1990)."
One of the issues facing the global warming crisis is the debate about who is most responsible for its creation and who should be financially responsible for its curbing. According to recently gathered data Americans are causing a much larger percentage of the problem than less industrialized nation are causing. Americans are producing a larger percentage of the greenhouse gasses that are at the root of creating the global warming crisis (Udall, 1990).
Other nations that have been industrialized are also contributing to the problem however, when all is said and done the entire world will suffer the impact that global warming will cause.
For example, two hundred fifty million Americans produce about nine times more CO.sub.2 than the nearly one billion inhabitants of India (Udall, 1990). Prime Minister Gandhi has made it clear that India will not scale back its ambitious development plans to accommodate what he sees as an excessive life-style here (Udall, 1990).
Seventy-five percent of [CO.sub.2] emissions come from industrialized nations; they have caused the problem," says United Nations Environmental Program's Noel Brown (Udall, 1990). "Why should poor countries, which haven't shared the benefits of fossil fuel use, now be asked to share the burdens (Udall, 1990)?" In all likelihood, such disputes may torpedo attempts to negotiate a [CO.sub.2(Udall, 1990)] reduction treaty, unless that treaty links national security, economic, social, energy, and environmental concerns to create a win/win situation for all countries (Udall, 1990). The outlines of such a grand compromise are faintly visible: developed countries would slash their [CO.sub.2] emissions, forgive much of the Third World's $1.3 trillion debt burden, and increase foreign aid to speed the transmission of energy efficiency technologies to poorer nations (Udall, 1990). In exchange, those nations would agree to stabilize their populations and cease tropical deforestation, which is responsible for about twenty percent of the [CO.sub.2] problem (Udall, 1990)."
While experts agree the answer is to burn less fossil fuel and to be more efficient with what is being burned it is not a simple process to convince the residents of many nations to cut down on their fossil fuel consumption. The world at large has become very comfortable with its electricity use, its comforts and its perks and convincing mass millions of individuals to suffer a little to save a lot is not an easy task.
Currently, Americans are experiencing record high gasoline prices, and one of the solutions seems to be that if Americans would stop driving, even for a week or two, it would force the oil companies to reduce their prices and thereby bring the gas prices down. However, people continue to drive on a daily basis and a mass shut down does not appear possible. This is something that impacts their finances every single day, however they are willing to keep driving. Using this example it is easy to see that a mass reduction in fossil fuel consumption for the overall benefit of future generations will not be an easy sell to the American public or the societies of other industrialized nations (Udall, 1990).
A recent study by the World Resources Institute concluded that developed countries could halve fossil fuel usage by embracing new conservation and efficiency initiatives (Udall, 1990). The United States has a special responsibility in this regard: Americans are five percent of the world's population, but produce twenty-three percent of the world's [CO.sub.2]; on a per capita basis, this works out to a staggering eighteen tons of [CO.sub.2] annually (Udall, 1990). "If the United States doesn't take the lead to cut emissions, no other nation has the slightest incentive to reduce theirs," says Brooks Yeager, former Sierra Club Washington, D.C., representative (Udall, 1990)."
Another side of the responsibility issue is that of the nations that are newly industrialized and emitting more greenhouse gasses than necessary because of the use of outdated technology.
China recently decided to manufacture millions of refrigerators so that the common household could use them. However, the nation erected hundreds of manufacturing plants that were instructed to build units using old fashioned technology which means the units burn more fuel than is needed. This and other technological moves by China may place it in first place for burning of fossil fuel by 2025(Udall, 1990).
The Soviet economy is almost twice as energy intensive as ours, coal burning threatens to make much of Eastern Europe uninhabitable, and East Germans are the only people to produce more [CO.sub.2] per capita than Americans. These political, cultural, and economic realities underscore how difficult it will be to implement an international treaty to reduce global warming (Udall, 1990)."
One of the biggest issues with regard to global warming is the arguments about how accurate the data is with regard to its existence, cause and effect.
While politicians and scientists continue to line up on either side of the debate studies continue to prove then refute the scientific data about whether global warming is (1) caused by greenhouse gas emissions, (2) Causing the rise in temperature, and (3) going to create disastrous effects if not changed or stopped. The following chart is an example of how confusing the scientific data has become.
Global Warming Evidence http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm
Aside from computer calculations, two sorts of evidence have been advanced in support of the "global warming" hypothesis: temperature compilations and statements about global flooding and weather disruptions. Figure 12 shows the global temperature graph that has been compiled by National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS).The urban heat island effect is only one of several surface effects that can confound compiled records of surface temperature. Figure 13 shows the size of this effect in, for example, the surface stations of California and the problems associated with objective sampling. The East Park station, considered the best situated rural station in the state has a trend since 1940 of minus 0.055 "C per decade.
The overall rise of about plus 0.5 "C during the 20th century is often cited in support of "global warming" (38). Since, however, 82% of the CO2 rise during the 20th century occurred after the rise in temperature (see figures 1 and 12), the CO2 increase cannot have caused the temperature increase. The 19th century rise was only 13 ppm (2).
By the above study the temperature rising on earth overall cannot be disputed however the impact that it has on CO2 production is disputed.
Further complicating the matter is a scientific report, commissioned by the United Nations on the topic and the report alleges global warming is not only a real threat but a process that has already started (Dewar, 1995).
The study involved scientists from more than 75 nations who contributed 2,500 climate experts from around the world.
The report indicates their belief that global warming has already begun. According to those scientists there are strong indicators that global warming is under way and the earth is already being negatively impacted by its force (Dewar, 1995).
These are the strongest statements that have ever been made" by scientists on the issue, said U.S. lead negotiator Robert Watson, associate director of the White House office of science and technology policy (Dewar, 1995). "For the first time, it's clear we humans are influencing our climate (Dewar, 1995).
This report, I hope, will move some of the skeptics who are on the fence to say, 'Maybe this really is real and we have to start to deal with it (Dewar, 1995). "
The report states that the earth is getting warmer faster than it has ever done in the past 10,000 years (Dewar, 1995).
The changes are caused by fossil fuel use according to the panel of scientists who put it together.
The report took seven years to compile.
A climate treaty was developed and signed by more than 80 nations because of the results of the study.
Part of that treaty includes nations promising to ask their manufacturing plants and other industries to reduce the emissions that they put into the atmosphere (Dewar, 1995).
The scientists that worked on the report predicted that by the year 2100 the earth's temperature will be between 6 and 8 degrees higher than it is now, which will double the average temperatures worldwide. According to the report this increase in temperature will create weather changes that are unpredictable. In addition scientists predict changes in the ocean, the landscape, the overall eco-system that will negatively impact society's ability to live and survive comfortably.
The warming trend won't stop unless the emissions of greenhouse gases are brought back to 1990 levels by the end of the next century, and "substantially below 1990 levels subsequently," the report concluded (Dewar, 1995).