Global Warming: Can Americans Prevent the Inevitable? Essay

Global Warming: Can Americans Prevent the Inevitable?            With the state of global warming increasing at a danger rate all people should make an effort to use less fossil fuel and create less pollution.  Many people have the view that one person can not make a difference, this is not true.  Americans for the most part have been ignoring their social responsibility. A fine balance needs to be found between human beings and nature.  “Humans and nature” problems press in upon us from all sides. We are all becoming–or should be becoming–more cognizant of global warming; ecologically unsustainable cities and agricultural practices; the overuse of antibiotics in our health care systems and on our factory farms; the global crash of ocean fisheries; a human population and use of natural resources that is squeezing out other forms of life; the pollution and degradation of our air, soil, and water” (Donnelley).

  Now all of these points need to be taken into consideration and changed as a whole, but the first step is for Americans to accept their responsibility to the environment and change the way they effect global warming.  Americans are fortunate to live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.  By adapting the vehicles we use we can slow down the burning of fossil fuels by taking a few small steps.The cost of gas in America is significantly lower than other places in the world.  America also has the largest vehicles on the road, and in turn use more fossil fuels that any other nation in the world.  “Fossil fuels provide roughly eighty-five percent of the world’s commercial energy, and the automobile industry–the world’s leading industry –is highly dependent on the oil industry–a close global second to the auto industry. Seven of the ten largest industrial corporations in the United States are either oil or auto companies.

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  A substantial percentage of carbon dioxide emissions come from motor vehicle exhaust” (Mayer).  In retrospect Americans use more fossil fuels than any other nation and therefore submit more emissions into the atmosphere causing global warming one a large scale. By abusing the resources available to them Americans are socially irresponsible when it comes to auto mobiles and the use of fossil fuels. . Former Vice President Al Gore has recently released a film, “An Inconvenient Truth” that talks about the effects of global warming on the world.  In recent presentation to the House of Representatives Gore “laid out a series of proposals to reverse course, starting with an immediate freeze on the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and passage of emergency legislation instituting a nationwide, if not global, and market system for trading pollution credits in an effort to drive down emissions through economic incentives.

Gore (also) said he also favors cutting income taxes and offsetting the loss to the government with new taxes on emissions.  (Gore suggested) we ought to be increasing employment and discouraging pollution, not the other way around” (Whitney).  Congress has been well aware of our countries contributions to global warming.  In 2002 the Senate passed legislation that “would raise average fuel efficiency standards to 36 mpg by 2015, a standard that would classify minivans and SUV’s as passenger vehicles rather than light trucks” (Mayer).  In less than ten years the classification will have an effect on the people on the United States.

  This amount of time is crucial when we consider the state of ozone layer and the steady increase of global warming.  Education seems to be the best way to reach the American public. By switching to hybrid vehicles or alternative energy vehicles, making sure all vehicles on the road pass emissions tests, and discontinue driving oversized vehicles that take more fossil fuel and because more emissions to be released Americans can contribute to slowing global warming and come one step closer to claiming our social responsibility as individuals and a nation.

The energy consumption of the people of the United States is of great concern both to our nation and the world’s environmental concerns It is my opinion that becoming aware of the staggering usage of gasoline may help sway some Americans to switch to alternative methods of transportation.  This is an area of concern that needs immediate attention and our government officials need to act fast to regulate laws to ensure global warming slows down.  Policy changes are in the works but take time to come into effect.  Americans need to be more aware of the situation presently.ReferencesDonnelley, Astrakhan. “Natural Responsibilities: Philosophy, Biology, and Ethics in Ernst Mayr and Hans Jonas.” The Hastings Center Report 32.

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