The world climate is changing and the effects of global warming are being witnessed in various part of the world. Available researches points out human activities as the major case for climate change and global warming. United States is the world leading emitter for global warming pollution and its emission mainly being from green houses and burning of fossils. The country is now on the forefront in taking the appropriate steps to contain the situation and it have come out with a program known as cap trade program.
The cap-trade program which is a market based approach utilizes the market forces to achieve environmental protection which are cost effective by giving business both direct and flexible incentive to find innovative way of pollution reduction. The policy has been implemented successively in several states and it is looking forward to be implemented at the national level. The world climate is changing and the evidence of global warming is unequivocal. According to the report of IPPC synthesis 2001 (Crowley, 2000), the increase in earth warmth is dated back in the years between 1900 and 1940 which later cooled down between 1941 and 1965.
Information collected from millions of thermometer in the world since 1860 shows an increase in the average surface air measurement. These data which is believed to be the most accurate and useful in global climate description, shows 1998 as being the warmest year on record with 1990-2000 being the warmest decade. The global temperature has increased by approximately 0. 6 degrees since the start of 20th century with 0. 4 of this occurring during 1970s (McIntosh & Roderick, 2006).
As result of alteration in the world ecosystem which consists of the atmosphere, ecosphere and social sphere harmful gases have been released impacting negatively to our atmosphere. Scientists believe that the gases have led to global warming due to depletion of ozone layer. They attribute Human activities like deforestation and fossil combustion to increase of carbon dioxide emission while organic wastes and fossil fuel mining increases the release of methane which is affect negatively on ozone layer (Hardoy et al, 2001).
Also Nitrogen fertilizers commonly used by farmers and release of refrigerant cfcs in factories increases nitrogen oxide and chlorofluorohydrocarbons gases respectively to the atmosphere (Hardoy et al, 2001). Over the years this gas has accumulated in the atmosphere bring adverse effect ranging from acid rains, climate change and depletion of the layer (Burroughs, 2001). Ozone layer is made up of ozone o3 molecules which three atoms of oxygen. It is located in the stratosphere portion of the atmosphere and it shields the harmful UV rays from the sun to reach the earth.
Ozone layer depletion is the major cause of global warming and its effect such as Elevated temperature and weather extremes. Melting of ice as witnessed in the Polar Regions and flooding of major cities are clear indications of temperature elevations (Crowley, 2000). As human being competes to exhaust the precious resources around them they leave behind a serious environmental trauma which pauses danger not only to themselves but also to other living things (Hardoy et al, 2001).
The environmental problems of the world today are much greater compared to last century when the damage was smaller. It is predicted that the situation will not reverse in near soon since the population is expanding and also the fact that human being have continued to stress for development without conservation of the environment (Broecker, 1995) In 2007 the panel consisting of the world leading scientist charged with the task of reviewing summarizing and validating the latest research concluded that the warming of the climate is clear.
The panel attributed ninety percent of warming in the 50 s to green houses which are human creation. Other scientific reports have documented the specific impacts of warming including the melting down of the artic ice cap, shifting of the wildlife habitat, increased heat waves and wild fires. The United States of America is the global leading emitter of overall warming pollution. The emission is mainly through green houses and also burning of fossils.
Their however not spared by the effects of the climate change as they experience glaciers, flooding of cities and intense storms in their backyard (Broecker, 1995) The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze climate change as one of the environmental issues and discuss the policy that united states have adopted in dealing with the issue. I wish to take the proactive side that indeed the climate change is being managed in the correct way in reducing its effects in the present and in the future.
Important steps are being taken by various stakeholders in United States to contain the effects of climate change. In order to achieve reduction in large scale emissions as a necessary step to address climate change, there is need to adopt effective policies that stresses on shifting in the way the world uses and produces energy. Policy makers are treating the issue of climate change as an urgent one and are deploying currently available resources to reduce global warming pollution at all cost (Comiso, 2002)
United States is now leading the way after years of inaction. The country now recognizes the need for effective environmental program for management of climate change which is perceived is a threat to environment and human beings in general. The climate policy which United States adopted is called cap-trade program. The plan requires the natural gas producers to purchase allowances for emissions from downstream gas consumers with less likelihood that the cost will be passed to consumers.
Cap and trade program was designed in united states and also tested and proven by the Americans as a program within the clean air amendment of 1990. Its success as shown in the appendix 1, led to be crowned the green success story by the economist magazine. The program which is a market based approach utilizes the market forces to achieve environmental protection which are cost effective by giving business both direct and flexible incentive to find innovative way of pollution reduction. The policy has been implemented successively in several states
Groups of states especially in the east and west coast are coming together to set up market place for electric facilities to buy and sell credits to release carbon dioxide among other gases which lead to global warming (NYT, 2002). In Chicago an emission trading allowance program have been launched which uses electricity utility in more than nine north eastern states. Western states on their side have teamed up with Canadian provinces to unveil yet another ambitious trading system which encompasses both industries and utilities . the plan aim at reducing greenhouse emissions by 15% within 12 years.
Also a program to have a carbon trading market aiming to be running by 2010 is underway in Wisconsin, Illinois and other Midwestern states. I am optimistic that this program will go along way in reducing the emissions blamed for global warming and they will do so efficiently and less cheaply than regulatory program. New York merchantile first auction of emission allowance opened a new beginning in America response to change in climate, although reducing carbon dioxide is predicted to increase electric rates the cost will be lesser as compared to convectional regulation .
to ensure protection of consumers. The program uses the cap and trade approach to realize proceeds that can be used to promote energy efficiency and conservation saving money for household (Houghton, 2004) Emission dealings began in 1990 and focused on reducing sulfur dioxide which causes the acid rain. The cap and trade program is preferred than the regulatory program since it is effective in cutting emissions quickly. In fact with the both McCain and Obama supporting the cap and trade program there is high likelihood of national trading program which will cover the whole country (Houghton, 2004).
The problem related to this policy is that it will lead to fewer natural gas wells which may result to shortfall in production and over all reduction in supplies. High demand and low supply entails that prices will go high in order to meet the new climate goals. An eventual increase in consumer spending is likely and the price will also drive gas dependent industries abroad resulting to job losses (Hardoy, 2001) Conclusion The great scholars seem to agree that the world climate is changing and the earth is warmer than it was a century ago.
Scientist attributes the global warming to human activities such as fossil burning and deforestation. An immediate step is required in the establishment of compulsory emission limits joined with a market based system that provide for a reduction in emission which is cost effective. Nevertheless to address the issue of climate change cannot succeed without involvement of united sates. The starting point is a program that will enable United States to substantially and permanently reduce their emission since they are the largest emitters of global warming pollution.There is need for quick enactment of energy policies which include more stern fuel efficiency regulations.
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