The Problems The United States Has With Other Coun Essay

This essay has a total of 2125 words and 9 pages.

The Problems The United States Has With Other Countries On Global Warm

In my paper, I plan to explain why the United States and other nations cannot get along
when it comes to environmental issues. I plan to break up the paper into three sections
that contains what global warming is and how it effects the world, the United States
problems and conflicts with other counties about this subject, and my own conclusion based
on the information I have found.

Global warming is a serious issue in today's society. World powers such as the United
States, Japan, Canada, and Australia can usually see eye to eye with each other about
global warming. Other countries, either less developed or more climate aware, do not agree
with the countries that are more industrial, because they want strict regulations on air
pollution that the more developed countries do not want. The more industrialized countries
complain because they say that in order to keep the world going at a safe and orderly
pace, they cannot have a change the lifestyle that we are used to today. Both sets of
countries know that the amount of greenhouse gasses need to be lightened, but cannot come
up with a viable solution.

In order to understand what the countries are talking about, one would have to know why
the earth is warming and what exactly is causing it. Greenhouse gasses are what is causing
the earth to retain more heat. Greenhouse gasses "that have increased over the industrial
period are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N20), and
chlorofluorocarbons CFC-11." (2-453) The increase in these gases has caused global warming
and it continues to rise today. Factory smoke stacks, car emissions, forests burning, and
energy usage that burn fossil fuels produce the highest percentage of the gasses that harm
the Earth and continue our warming trend. (5-1) For example, the United States, for the
nine month period of January to November 2000, "had the warmest nine month period since
records began in 1895." because we use the most fossil fuels and put out the most
greenhouse gasses (6-1). This was all caused by the growing industrial age that we live in
today.

Why do greenhouse gases produce global warming? "Infrared active gases (IR), principally
water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ozone (O3), naturally present in the Earth's
atmosphere, absorb thermal IR radiation emitted by the Earth's surface and atmosphere".
(2-453) The greenhouse gasses stop the flow of infrared waves out of the Earth's
atmosphere. When the atmosphere is warmed it emits IR radiation, with a portion of the
energy acting to warm the surface and the Earth's atmosphere. As a result the average
surface temperature of the Earth is higher than it would normally be without the
atmospheric absorption and re-radiation of IR energy. This is known as the "Greenhouse
effect". The predictions of the future of these greenhouse gasses being in our atmosphere
is based on how much we put into the atmosphere and how much is consumed. One thing is for
certain, there are still large controversies on how much of these gasses that are let into
the atmosphere are by natural or man made processes. (2-453-454)

One of the only known things on Earth that consumes CO2 is plant life. The industrial
nations cut down and consume more trees then they can reforest. Also, toxins and
pollutants kill plant life in the oceans like algae. This is a major reason for the
abundance of CO2. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere went "from about 280 PPM in the
preindustrial age to about 364 PPM in 1997…" (2-454) The amount consumed is far less
that the amount that is put into the atmosphere.

One of the major reasons that the rest of the world is unhappy with the United States is
that we produce the most greenhouse gasses on the planet. The reason for this is our large
amounts of factories and inadequate transportation. Chart one shows the amounts of
greenhouse gasses as related to the other parts of the world in 1998.


Chart 1


The United States understands that they are making to many green house gasses but feel
that they need to in order to survive. The United States is doing little to prevent global
warming. It is not doing as much to prevent it as much as it is to prepare it for the
inevitable. "In New Jersey… the state government has begun an aggressive program of
buying out property owners whose homes or business are in vulnerable flood planes."(4-2)
In New York City they are teaching public school children about global warming so that
they may conserve energy and be environmentally conscious. (4-2) These are little,
insignificant things that they doing to try to keep energy levels down, but they are
failing miserably. If you ask the U.S. if their doing a good job in trying to reduce
pollution they will tell you yes they are. They can teach kids in school about the dangers
of wasting energy (seeing if there are even awake or paying attention), but they won't put
higher standards on factory and car emissions.

In order to help reduce these gasses in the U.S. and around the world the United Nations
have held conferences to try to establish an environmental treaty. There was a proposed
treaty, which was called the Kyoto Protocol. (5-2) This treaty explained that certain
countries were to cut "their greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to at least 5 percent below
emissions in 1990. So far, no industrialized countries have ratified the pact." (5-2)
There were to many provisions the United States could not uphold. They could not put their
industrial revolution on hold, even if it was for the sake of the environment. No one can
seem to agree on this treaty, so this conference ended with little progress.

Most countries could not agree on certain parts of the provisions of the treaty. Prime
example, "The European Union and the United States remain far apart on key provisions,
including the amount of credit a country can get by investing in climate- protection
projects abroad and how much credit towards emissions cuts could be gained by using
forests to absorb carbon dioxide." (5-2) Many environmental campaigners were mad because
countries would only have to save forests to receive credit for emissions goals and not by
lowering pollution made by cars and burning fossil fuels. The United States wanted to take
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