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From Lauren

by on November 30, 2013

From Lauren

On greenhouse gas emissions.

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3 Comments
  1. From a global perspective, the issue with climate change and greenhouse gas emissions is that major developing countries like China and India have an exponential growth rate of the amount of carbon dioxide they emit. This can be a direct result of globalization in the sense that residents from these countries aspire the lifestyles of Americans and Europeans, and are not willing to cut down on their emissions as it can potentially slow down their economic growth. Much like situations with the nearby industrial plants in NORCO and Flammable, citizens in China and India face an economic dilemma: enjoy their lifestyles through emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in a flourishing economy but cause detrimental harm to the environment, or cut down on greenhouse gas emissions to preserve the environment but take a significant cut in their economies. In this article, the United States is faced with the same dilemma, and questions why we should even bother cutting down our carbon footprint. The fact that this is even in question, though, is a little erroneous from an environmental standpoint. Despite the economic benefits that come with lifestyles that feature large amounts of greenhouse gases, we should always be aware of the impact we make on the environment and should continue to make the best ecological decision possible when considering actions that involve greenhouse emissions.

  2. This article presents interesting ideas on more sustainable energy and global advancements. While increasing carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries does pose a fundamental problem, these countries such as China and India are not the only ones to blame. As their residents aspire lifestyles that Americans and Europeans enjoy today, why is that not a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Sally Benson, director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford notes that “the cost of switching to low-carbon energy will probably mean spending twice as much as the U.S. does today on energy investments — a noticeable expenditure, she admits, even though the investment would be spread over several decades. The cost to the U.S. economy would have been a lot less … if we’d started this transition back during the energy crisis of the 1970s.” If the United States had started to make changes in the 70s, we could have had close to forty years of advancement by now. In that case, developing countries trying to emulate our lead, would be doing so in a less damaging way. At what point do we stop talking about change and start taking action?

  3. caaher16 permalink

    This is an interesting perspective on energy use in the U.S. As stated in “Kivalina,” the US government does not want to put the time, effort, and money into switching from fossil fuels to greener energy sources if other countries aren’t subjected to the same demand. Catherine Wolfram gives a good example: a whole year of California reductions are wiped away in one week of Chinese growth. This really makes everyone wonder what the point of making the switch is if everyone else isn’t. Ideally, we will figure out a way to produce low-carbon energy cheaply and spread that method around the world, even to third world countries. I was surprised to learn that China, the world’s largest emitter is also leading the world in the amount of solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles. This is a good start! The transition to low-carbon energy is beginning in certain places, but it also needs to spread in order to make a real impact on the world’s carbon footprint.

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