How should policy making in the U.S. adapt to the long term challenges of climate change
Introduction: The society and climate change
The society, from the context of climate change, involves the external environment upon which the human and animal population derives its energy. The environment is structured systematically to contain its pressures through a chain and web analysis that extrapolates the balance between feeding habits and energy consumptions within the ecosystem. Over the decades, varied human lifestyle and the dynamic change in human living through industrialization and other technological improvements over time have led to the emergence to an instance of global warming. Global warming generally refers to the incessant increase in temperatures within the world, which is a direct connection to the greenhouse effect of environmental analysis (Fisher 2006). Being a phenomenon encumbered with various risks for the future generation and sustainability index, the situation has created a public opinion as well as a policy shift that revolves around various stakeholders. These stakeholders include the various countries that are currently facing the situation. An interesting fact is the fact that virtually all the countries within the world are battling with the outset and consequences of global warming.
The current issues have now taken a paradigm shift in the form of climate change and environmental analysis. Climate change is a serious phenomenon that has been the centre of various discussions and headlines which may seem to underestimate the nature of environmental conflict witnessed at the moment. These climate change concerns have been influential in determining the nature of current policies. The United States has been on the forefront to establishing policies that enhance climate change with an aim of averting an impending danger for the future generation.
Various scholars have documentations on the position of government policies as well as various stakeholders on climate change. The US position on climate change has been a matter of debate at the congress and the senate and have far-reaching detrimental effects as these scholars attribute. Fisher (2006) creates a sociological forum where the scholars and the public endeavor to create a better understanding of the policies and statements of the US government concerning climate change. York, Rosa, and Dietz (2003) in Footprints of earth, reveal certain consequences of modernity with an aim of extracting the elements of change within the systems. Lahsen (2005) broaches the topic of US politics and the manner that science and human values influence critical decisions on climate change. Examples of protocols that have been subject to debate within the congress is McCright & Dunlap (2003) report, which analyses the Kyoto scenario on climate change and the social problems of the international policy. Molotch (1976) asserts this view in the growth machine scenario that factors various paradigms of political economist and climate change.
Challenges of climate change in the long term
Formally, climate change has been associated with long term demerits that are global and institutional oriented. Molotch notes that the challenge is a critical factor that touches on at least a holistic human generational gap (1976). The generational gap is a long time exhibited with numerous dynamisms such as the realistic norms and cultures of various societies. Three prerequisites determine the extent and limits of climate change that are realizable by GCC in the US and other counties alike. The exhibitions include uncertainty indexes, the time factor, as well as the public goods that are engendered within the limits of focus.
One of the long term challenges include the GHG emissions which began at the outset of industrialization within the develop world. The adaptation measures are a critical variance within which mitigation measures are illuminated and defined within national policies. When mitigation steps are not defined, the transition to a future crisis will emerge where the carbon emission is detrimental to the living standards and lifestyles of many Americans and the world alike. While the short-term effects of climate change are often time bound and related to the elements of convergence, certain elements of short-term affluence are related to the long-term activity of relationship. An example of short-term action is the extreme monsoon action that is precipitated within the episodes of affluence that are gar beyond the expectation stands. Extreme heat is also related to the short-term nuances of climate change and often requires short-term remedies in the likeness of a disaster relief system (Lahsen 2005).
Potential effects of changes in climate within the US
Reports by York et al (2003) as part of the climate assessment evaluation revealed a net negative influence of climate change by the years 2050 in the US alone. Ideally, York… has predicted longer seasons where growth could take place effectively. However, the ever-increasing level of carbon dioxide levels within the environment has been related to the higher yields within the crops. However, heat waves and other auxiliary effects such as droughts and floods, which would increase in the coming times.
The report also indicated a decline in the ice cover on areas such as the Great Lakes, which would be relevant in determining longer rates and ranges of shipping across the water. The varied climate change would also be a sign of major invasive species as well as blooms of algae in the future environment. Current studies also reveal that frequent droughts are common in the western areas of the US, which points to the future elements of climate change within the US and other national confines.
Generally, heat waves as well as extensive downpours are common within the US due to the current standings of climate changes.
The process of policy making in the US
Policy and climate change is an essentialist ideal that touches on many countries. The current politics of global warming are essential elements of the US policies with an over indulgence of the federal as well as state levels become dominant and aggressive. The US is currently enhancing varied elements of policies and bills to counter climate change and enhance direction within the environmental affluence of cooperation. State levels of governance have attempted to draft policies of climate change, which are relative and in line with the demands of the society. The states of Boston are among others making swift and collective efforts to make policies that enhance guidance and direction within the outset and progression of climate change. National debates are also common especially with respect to the presidential input and federal requirements to enhance the direction and drive of every American citizen. The following include policies and commitments of the US government to enhance climate change.
The 2009 Copenhagen Change of climate summit: the summit was an opportune time to deliberate on the variances of reduction in carbon dioxide and the emission effects that often range between 17 percent in the year 2005. The rates are aimed to increase incredibly by 2020 to the tune of 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by the year 2050 (McCright & Dunlap 2003).
The Kyoto protocol: being a signatory, the US has illustrated various oppositions to the commitment, which reduced the significance of the protocol to mere paper. The protocol was agreed in 1997 as a way of encouraging member states to reduce their greenhouse emission of gases. The treaty was bound to create setbacks in the US economic setup.
The Bush plan for carbon emission within greenhouses: After falling out of the Kyoto protocol, the Bush government aimed to reduce the carbon emission by 18 percent over time as would be determine by the elements and influence of various states within the treaty.
Energy consumption assurance: The risk of limiting the lives of the future generation is a phenomenon that is bound to create symbolic relationships and catastrophes within the world.
Policies affecting climate change in the US
Over time, due to the adverse effects of having the climate change for various leaders and humanity in future, policies affecting climate change have began to take a non partisan shape. For instance, political ideologies have been devoid of climate change policies regardless of their vitalities and connection to the people. T Roosevelt from the Republican, for instance, established national parks that would lead to the eventual conservancy of the environment and its ecosystem. F Roosevelt of the Democrat, however, made a soil conservation ideal that became effective in avoiding edaphic insignificances (Fisher 2006). These policy changes and the non-partisan orientation is related to the statement issued by the Reagan administration in the 1980s reflecting the role of the US in securing its economic strongholds through environmental awareness and drive (York et al 2003).
New policies as well as regulations from the US federal system or the state have an enormous impact on the common rates and direction of climate change. Among the solutions that have been raised over time, include the following:
- The greater efficiencies of energies
- Carbon cap-trade scheme
- Carbon taxes
- New economy standards on fuel
- Technologies on renewable energies: these technological advancements include wind, bio-fuels, as well as solar power connections.
These policies are critical and necessary in the developmental process and counter-activity index of the current global climate variations. However, the implementations of these public bills require a backing of the relevant mitigation practices and adaptations. Such practical adaptations include zoning requirements, usages of land that are appropriate as well as new structures touching on insurance rates. Therefore, policies in the US as any other country should touch on practical and incessant ideals of the public domains that will ultimately enhance cooperation and support towards achieving a concrete climate change standards (Leisorwitz 2006).
Challenges of orienting US policies on climate change to the global policies
Countries within the world have a task to take steps that are vital and relevant in mitigating the surge of the ever-changing climate. One of the common problems that the US faces is the other countries’ over reliance on fossil fuels such as petroleum. Nordhaus (1994) has observed that the US aims to keep reserves of such rare products while trading with other nationalities for oil. While this may appear ideal, the true nature of fossil fuel exploitation is the lack of imbalance that will ultimately emerge within the global arena. The policies to curb climate change from a global perspective should have a cross cutting edge that focuses entirely on the production of non-pollutants. Examples of non-pollutants include wind energy, solar and others which these countries must also practice prudent energy usages over time. Policies falling within the domains of climate change mitigation should always have an alignment to the global commonalities such as the relevant stakes of every country with regard to global warming (Fisher 2005). Policies must therefore be aligned to various regulatory tools as well as incentives, financial or social in nature that has the ability to motivate firms, business, as well as the general populace to foster reduction of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the emissions of other greenhouse gases (Molotch 2006).
The US congress is one of the various bodies that have been debating the effects of climate change over time. The policies that have been up for discussion have always dwelt on striking a manner to implement various measures counteracting the carbon emission equation in the US that has been a scourge for decades. Similarly, the policies have been shifting from a national catastrophe to the adjacent inclusion of other nationalities in the debate as well as policymaking. Obama, the current US president has been on the forefront in determining an inclusive measure to policies affecting climate change across nations. The endorsement of the long-term plan that would cut on the carbon extract by over 80 percent in the coming 2050 is a symbol of striving to enhance mitigation factors in climate change. Major changes in the US senate and congress as well as environmental policies have been centered on facilitating a clean air policy. The clean air act became relevant in the determinism process that would later facilitate critical adjuncts in the global scene.
Another policy shift in the contemporary political ideologies is the green energy requirement. Policies with an aim of facilitating a greater economic platform as well as awareness of the need for a climate change factor must have new technologies that facilitate and drive a green economy. The stimulus package of 2009 forms one of the recovery plans that factor a great deal of climate change elements into the US policy establishments. Therefore, evidentially, the shift has been on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, which has been implemented squarely on the population lifestyles as well as policy rating across the nation.
Energy efficiencies implementation
Oreskes (2004) comments that one of the easiest paths to facilitating climate change falls on a remediation call that factors on energy efficiencies. McKinney centre projects a subsequent growth in the world energy that could be halved owing to the advantages of 2020 and opportunities to reduce the waste elements in the environments. Some of the immediate actions with long-term effect are the wastage cut such as turning off the lights within buildings at night, the production of cars that have a high mileage rate as well as the development of more efficient appliances in the household. The policies falling under this domain should touch relatively on the consumers and their ability to enhance direction. For example, policies that fail to include the consumers in the energy efficiency fail to work towards a climate change structure. Such policies should include provisions that enable consumers to monitor their energy usage. When consumers can monitor their energy consumption and adjust appropriately to enhance direction and price cuts, the rate of reduction in carbon emissions as well as fossil reduction increases. Therefore, such policies are a clear stimulus that has the potential of reducing the rate of carbon emission.
The carbon tax system
The carbon tax system is one of the incentives that have driven the policies of climate change a notch higher in the last decades. This system forms one of the financial incentive policies that have been enacted by the US government as well as other European countries to challenge consumers on safe and prudent spending. The tax is levied on carbon emissions as well as numerous greenhouse gases in the ecosystem. The tax is a deliberate attempt to make the carbon very expensive to pollute (Fisher 2005). An example of the implementation angle may dwell on refiners or oil firms that will be given an upstream levy. The consumers who buy gasoline among other fossil products also receive a downstream tax through their purchases. This kind of taxation policy can either find implementation within big firms or limited stands where the teams have not connected with the society. A major merit of this policy is the easy to understand nature and the productivity of its nature to enhance direction and formulation. This kind of taxing can also be used majorly to construct other green economy technologies such as the energy alternatives.
Policies that aim to modify the economy standards of fuel
Having been set since 1973, the economy standards of fuel have succeeded in reducing the standards and rates of fuel consumption over time. The ideal majorly raises the average fuel consumption within cars as well as light trucks within the US. The policy sets a goal on all setbacks used by the composite mileage directive as well as the yearly deficit required within the groundwork of climate change structures. Therefore, a manufacture must always produce cars that have a certain mileage and fuel consumption rate which form a fleet. Fleets without these mileage accruements are required to pay penalties to the government. Research as at 2010 reveals that the FES of many cars today stands at 27.5 mpg for cars as well as 22 mpg for light trucks across the US (Demerits 2001).
The seclusion of other states in the implementation of policies across the US has been one detrimental factor in enhancing climate change ideals across the federal government. California, for instance, has been on the forefront in enacting and adhering to their own policies regardless of the nature and state of operation. A new standard introduced by the current democratic governance of 2012 require new cars as well as trucks to acquire an average rate of 35.5mpg by the year 2016. This would pose a 40 percent increment over the present level. Such a policy covers all states within the US, which raises the benefit of coverage and accountability at every state level.
Adapting policies to renewable energy standards
States have adopted programs that will be beneficial in the usage and generation of renewable energy over time. The program that requires producers of energy to give a certain amount of energy from technologies that is carbonless. These variances may also factor in renewable credits on energies that may be an element of trade in the open market economy. Statistics indicate a laxity in the renewable resource usage to produce energy in the US. Less than 3 percent within the nation’s power is derived from renewable sources. Only two states can pride in the complete implementation of certain green technological usages across the US that is Texas along with New Mexico. Essentially, policies that have a direct influence on the nature and drivers of sustainability is focus on renewable source of energies as an essential component of enhancing growth in a country. Policies that facilitate the usage and adaptation of green energies and technologies thrive and work in tandem with achieving the global climate change mitigation.
Conclusion: alignment towards practicality and expediency
Various governments as well as businesses have task to conserve the environment. It will be critically noted here that while this may be the case, mitigation measures are in themselves not an end-point in the fight against climate change. Such a statement emanates from the fact that climate change is an ongoing process, which started several decades back when humanity failed to enhance sustainability within their ecosystem. Due to such progression, projections reveal that it will be a number of years before effective policies such as the carbon tax or even the cap and trade systems really hold within the human society (Fisher 2005). It is necessary, therefore, to implement policies and deals that work towards setting climate change needs within the terrestrial as well as marine habitats. An example is the alternative to curbing the resilience of coral reefs within the shorelines. Such climate change can be countered through the removal of certain stresses, which include pollution as well as the fishing line disturbances. The protection of cities from the rising seas requires a clear visit of the zoning requirement in the current policies and creating adaptations from there.
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