Spend Resources to Stop Global Warming
- Strongly Support means you believe: Global warming is a serious threat that we should deal with immediately by raising carbon taxes,
raising CAFE standards, an pushing towards sustainable energy resources.
- Support means you believe: We should establish a market-based solution for excess carbon emissions, and the problem will be solved. The Kyoto Protocol should require developing countries' participation to make the solution work.
- Oppose means you believe: The cost of dealing with global warming is far higher than the potential damage, so we should do nothing. There's some evidence for global warming, but the effects are not certain. We should perhaps sign on to some international agreements, but make only minimal financial commitments for now.
- Strongly Oppose means you believe: There's no such thing as global warming - it's all natural climatic variation.
And if there is a problem, it won't affect us much, and we can deal with the problems as they arise.
This question is looking for your views on the environment in general. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:
- Institute a Carbon Tax or increase the gasoline tax.
- Climate change is a serious problem that should be dealt with now.
- Implement the Kyoto Protocol and the Greenhouse Gas treaty.
- Spend resources on pollution control and on achieving clean air and clean water.
- Support and expand the Endangered Species Act.
- Greenhouse gases: Atmospheric gases which keep heat in, like greenhouse glass does. The most common greenhouse gas (GHG) is carbon dioxide (CO2), which comes from burning gasoline, wood, oil, etc. The evidence of rising CO2 levels is undisputed; the political dispute centers on how much of the rise is attributable to human activities versus how much is natural climatic fluctuation.
- Global Warming: Increase in worldwide temperature due to excess emissions of greenhouse gases. A few degrees rise in temperature, in theory, would cause rising sea levels, more extreme weather, and climate change around the world. The evidence of rising temperatures is undisputed; the political dispute centers on and whether it will change the climate and whether we can or should do something about it.
- Climate Change Treaty: The basic international treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions was signed by the US and 182 other countries in 1992. It set up a framework for later protocols. Also known as the Rio Treaty or Greenhouse Gas Treaty.
- Kyoto Protocol: The follow-up to the Climate Change Treaty which sets GHG reduction targets for the US and other developed countries. Completed in 1998, the US has not yet signed (Argentina is the largest economy to have signed). This is politically controversial because it would require the US to cut CO2 emissions, which is potentially costly.
Pollution Control vs. Cost Control
- Endangered Species Act (ESA): 1973 law prohibiting activities that harm endangered plants or animals or their habitats. Which species are threatened & endangered are listed or delisted by the Secretaries of Interior & Commerce. The controversy comes from limitations on private property to protect one species.
- Takings: The federal government is allowed to take private property when it serves the public interest (via eminent domain) but must pay fair market value. When the ESA regulates private property use (such as disallowing development), the value is decreased even though the property is not fully taken. The takings controversy concerns how much the government should pay to property owners when their property is only partially taken.
- The Clean Air Act: (CAA) regulates industrial smokestacks and other sources of smog, acid rain, and other air pollutants. The CAA uses numerous market incentives, including pollution permits that are traded on open markets, to minimize costs.
- The Clean Water Act: (CWA) regulates point-source (sewage pipes) and non-point-source (land and road runoff) water pollution. The EPAs approach since the early 1990s is watershed-based, which means cooperating across political boundaries.
- CAFE standard: The Corporate Average Fuel Economy requires that all automobile
manufacturers maintain an average of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) for all vehicles sold.
- Command-and-control: Standardized regulations with central enforcement (usually by EPA), as opposed to market-based incentives.