Global Warming-Carbon Emissions Environmental Science Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Switching to solar heating would make a profound change, for heating and hot water can be heated freely and cleanly from the sun. By switching to energy efficient heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration, the greatest power users, consumers could have a huge impact on emissions. Changing to hybrid, fuel-efficient cars, public transportation and walking, when feasible, would have a profound impact on human-created carbon emissions. Penalizing and rewarding consumers and businesses through tax incentives and rebates could be very effective. One proposal that could go into immediate effect would be to put a surcharge on the purchase of gas-guzzling SUV's and Hummers that would in turn convert to a rebate for consumers purchasing hybrid cars. This would encourage car manufacturers to increase their production of hybrid autos (Jeep Grand Tragedy, ¶ 6-7). Insurance companies could switch to a Pay as you Drive (PAYD) auto insurance replacing premiums based on amount of mileage driven, rather than lump-sum premiums (¶ 8).

Other proposals researched and being implemented are carbon "capture and storage" strategies and geo-engineered carbon sequestration. These strategies have not yet proven cost-effective or solution-effective. Seeding the oceans with iron or chalk to increase carbon sink efficiency, for example, has proven expensive and polluting in the circumscribed areas where it has been tried (Flannery, 250).

Certainly, supporting political candidates that have a plan to convert our country to alternative energy sources would have an immediate impact on governmental policies. The main reason that politicians do not vote "green" is that they
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do not believe their constituency cares. They are mostly concerned with votes and contributions, particularly from powerful lobbyists such as Exxon-Mobile, who along with their coal- producing colleagues seem determine to keep the public misinformed about the critical period we are in such that waiting, until it is too late, will have catastrophic results for the global community. We can no longer afford the laissez-faire economic policies of the last three generations that believe that our hyper-individualism and excessive consumerism in the pursuit of our own happiness and comfort would ultimately contribute to the world. We are quickly witnessing the fallacy of that kind of ethical blindness in the face of Nature's response. The United States, instead of being behind other countries, should be leading the way in energy alternatives.

The U.S. already has the most varied weather patterns of any country on earth and it is experiencing the extreme effects of climatic change due to global warming with intense hurricanes and flooding of coastal regions and its current drought conditions in the West. The U.S. is already paying the price for its excessive CO2 emissions. Australia too is suffering the effects of climate change. It is ironic that these are the two nations still resistant to even the relatively moderate long-term reductions proposed by the Kyoto Protocol.

Works Cited

Causes of Global Warming." Online posting. EcoBridge.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Causes of Global Warming." Online posting. EcoBridge. June 6, 2006

Flannery, Tim. The Weathermakers. New York: Atlantic Monthly

Press, 2005.

Jeep Grand Tragedy." The New Republic. Vol. 234. Issue 4,766. May 22, 2006: 7.

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