Government, private corporations and my individual choice influence my energy consumption patterns. The government influences my consumption patterns since it sometimes ration energy in an attempt of conserving energy. Private corporations influence my energy consumption patterns since they determine the supply of energy and the price that they are to charge energy sources such as oil, petrol and gasoline. I influence my consumption pattern since I mostly decide the type of energy I need and the amount of energy that I should purchase.
According to Olmstead and Rhode (1985), the intervention of the government into the energy sector causes shortages of gas in the industry since it affects its prices. It rationed the supply of gasoline and this caused a shortage of gasoline in the spring and summer of 1920 crippling the economy of West Coast that led to the shutting down of businesses. Furthermore, oil marketers in western nations suppressed the advances and this led to the creation of a complex allocation scheme (Olmstead & Rhode, 1985). This shortage was created by the fact that entrepreneurs chose non-price rationing. Martin v. Melosi (2001) stated that the exploitation of the energy resources has been a cause of disagreement since the government set the Oil Pollution Act of 1924. This act aimed at reducing the contamination of water by discharges from tankers transporting oil. In addition to this, it put strict measure on exploration of energy and this caused shortages in the supply of oil in the market. Everden Matthew (2005) stated that because of increase in power demand by Canadian citizens, after the World War 11, the federal government imposed strict power conservation measures. However, these measures were not successful since they created conflicts among the consumers. Some people argued that the measures were not directed at protecting the environment but restrict uses at some economic sectors. These three examples are similar since they show how government and corporations have been regulating the energy consumption levels by enacting laws and setting price controls.
Santa Barbara oil spill, the publication of Silent Spring and the Love Canal emergency led to the modern environmental movement that was easier than was different from the earlier conservation movement. After these events, the culture of the people in the 1960s and 1970s changed since people started seeing the need of environmental protection. Furthermore, the political system in USA enacted laws that would ensure that people adhered to environmental protection policies. After suffering a decrease in the economic growth due to effects of pollution, states started observing strict rules of environmental protection and this improved the economy.
The Santa Barbara oil spill had massive effects to the environment. It occurred in January 1969 and it is among the largest oil spills in the world. It had significant effects on the marine life since in this channel since it killed thousands of sea birds, dolphins, elephant seals and sea lions (Campbell, 2008). After this, the U S government formulated several laws that aimed in ensuring environmental protection. It formulated the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Water Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. The disaster in Love Canal also made people view the importance of conserving the environment. Chemicals from a company called Hooker Chemicals caused children to born with massive deformities (Bryan, 2003). In addition to this, the cancer levels in this area increased and this forced the government to tell people to vacate from this area. After this disaster, Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency was founded to restore this area. The Silent Spring written by Houghton miffin helped in launching an environmental movement. It mainly educated the public on the effects of using harmful pesticides (Carson, 2002). This helped in creating awareness to the public on ways of reducing pollution levels in order to protect the environment.
Global warming has captured the attention of environmentalists, policy makers and the broader public at the turn of the 21st century. This is because global warming has caused extreme weather conditions all over the world. Countries in Europe are experiencing longer winters with temperatures dropping to very low levels. Furthermore, countries in Sub Saharan Africa have experienced an increase in temperatures leading to hunger and starvation in poor countries such as Kenya and Somalia (Houghton, 2004). It has also caused the rise in the sea levels. This has really affected the beaches of most countries and many people lose their lives during floods. The temperatures of ocean waters have also increased leading to decrease in the oxygen levels in the seas that affect the marine life. According to Mark (Weart, 1988), glaciers have become an important factor in global warming the lives of endangered species. He argues that in order for people to understand why glaciers are directly tied to global warming, they should not only look climate science and glacier melting but also concentrate on the culture that people have adopted and the power relations of the people in the society. The glaciers have retreated due to the decrease in snow cover in mountains. This has contributed to the increase in the sea levels. Since most people receive water from melt water found in these glaciers, the world supply of water is likely to reduce.