Should America Deal With Global Warming?

The question before the house is “should America deal with Global warming”?  Before trying to answer that question, one must recognize that America alone can not solve the problem of global warming even if it were possible for us to cease burning fossil fuels.  Emissions from India and China along would ensure that global temperatures would continue to rise.  And beyond India and China, there are the still emerging economies of Africa and the existing European Union economies.  Hmmm.

So if there is nothing America can do to solve the problem, why do anything?

All tough problem solutions must begin someplace. Accordingly, a good place is to confirm there is a problem.  A great deal of money has been spent postulating that global warming does not exists, that the science behind the global warming assertion is bogus, and that worldwide calamities are overstated.  One reason for America to do something is that these postulations are false and misleading.

  • Global Warming exists and the US needs to go on record again affirming.  The issue is not that the planet is warming (this can be measured) but rather that mankind is facilitating the warming by releasing heat holding gases into the atmosphere at alarmingly high rates.  In earth’s history, scientist can show there has been periods of warming and cooling, glacier formation and melting, and rises and declining of sea levels.  Since the Industrial revolution (1820s to present), coal, wood, and oil combustion has poured tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.  More recently methane gas has joined carbon dioxide.  President Trump disputes the science and does not accept the conclusions that the environment is warming to quickly due to man-made events.

 

  • Global warming is a world event and will require all countries participating in reducing warming.  The argument most developing countries make is why should we reduce our growth when the developed world has polluted the atmosphere for so long?  This is a reasonable argument that can be addressed by sharing non-polluting technology.  President Trump says the US owes nothing to other developing countries (America First).

 

  • American Leadership could make a difference.  Leading by example is a well proven method to gain cooperation of others.  The US could embrace a pledge to reduce Global Warming with a goal of stabilizing the annual increase of global temperature.  From that position, the US could form international groups of countries taking a similar pledge.  Such alliances could stimulate both ideas and action with many more countries.  President Trump, however, has chosen to walk away from the Paris Climate Accord and eliminate all means to influence other countries.

 

  • Actions speak louder than words.  Doing something rather than just pontificating is a more solid sign of support.  Setting emissions targets, sponsoring lower emitting technologies, and recognizing positive action by others can generate a positive momentum.  President Trump has encouraged more oil exploration, greater use of coal, and lowering of automobile emissions standards.  Hmmm. 

There are no short term consequences for President Trump’s actions, other than maybe his supporters may get a bit richer.  But there are potential serious outcomes for the President’s policies on the long term.  The fundamental issue is and will be “if you don’t begin now, when will the right time be?”  Deniers say “never”.  Commonsense says “we must start now if we are ever to expect others to join in.” 

Elections are important.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Donald Trump, Global warming, Uncategorized

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