Global warming is one of the most threatening issues facing the future of the planet and mankind. As an undergraduate student, I feel that much of the responsibility to thwart the potentially disastrous effects of the climate crisis rests on my generation. However, I don’t want to make this seem as a burden, but rather an opportunity for society to come together and think as a collective body to live a more eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle, and defy the stereotype of my generation as being self indulgent. This is also a difficult task, as the United States has a history with strong emphasis on individualism; as long as one’s actions don’t infringe on the rights of others, it is okay.
Science and technology have progressed tremendously, and I agree that the federal government needs to have a stronger role in informing the public with accurate scientific information, that’s not politically biased. I also agree with Dr. Hansen that there needs to be federal regulations on the amount of harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere. With the development of hybrid vehicles, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be federal regulations on CO2 emitted from cars and trucks.
If the federal government made stronger efforts to reduce the United States’ contribution to global warming, it may provide incentives for other nations to do so as well. A country that takes pride in setting an example of how other nation’s should modernize, also needs to set an example in taking an active role to reduce global warming, beginning by creating a cap on greenhouse gases emitted from vehicles and factories. It is an irrefutable fact that the United States uses most of the world’s resources, and is a leading contributor to global warming. Americans can no longer ignorantly consume and waste resources as in previous decades, without being slightly aware of their individual contribution to global warming. Not only does the federal government need to create regulations and promote renewable energy technology, but as consumers, we need to change our mentality and live less selfishly. The average American lifestyle is too costly and comes at the expense of the environment and workers abroad. Every human deserves the right to a healthy, safe life, and advocating for a cleaner planet is one way we can guarantee this for future generations, but we have to start now.
Apr 23 2007 - 7:30am