Climate Change

I am going to start off with some background information about the article. Starting in 1958, CO2 emissions have been tracked in Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Years later, they will track CO2 levels in Antarctica. The records show an exponential increase in CO2 emissions every single year. This leads to the overall increase in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere. The real question is why nobody did anything about it until it became a large problem. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there was an overall lack of focus on climate change in politics. However, there were some politicians who were concerned about global warming. Another reason that nobody did anything about it is because generally, one did not notice. The article points out that you don’t feel, see, or smell CO2 so it did not really affect any average American. However, looking from a broader perspective, the effects of climate change could be noticed. Because of the rising temperature of Earth, the ice caps started melting. This caused the sea level to rise. It may not sound that devastating but island nations began to suffer because of this. Not mentioned in the article is the island of Tuvalu. They are so affected by the rising sea level that they are moving to become a digital nation so their culture and history can be preserved. Another reason that we did not react fast is because the world runs on fossil fuels. The economy and overall culture of America runs on fossil fuels. If the government imposed harsh fossil fuel laws greatly lowering emissions, people would be affected. People would lose their jobs and possibly be forced to give up their right of personal transportation. 

One reason that George H. W. Bush was hesitant to sign the Kyoto Agreement was because of opposing views on timetables and targets. There was uncertainty in agreeing to sign the agreement. Eventually, America does agree with the Kyoto Protocol but it does not pass in congress. This means we pretty much did not agree to it. Another reason that he might have been hesitant to sign the agreement was because of the third world countries that the United States relied on. If the agreement was signed, they would have lost their ties to those countries and the economy would suffer. Ideally, America would be able to produce their own oil and not rely on other countries. However, this would not fix the issue of climate change.

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