In the article “Can America go green?” by Elizabeth Kolbert a reader is confronted with the fact that America constitutes less than 5 % of the global population and generates, however, 5 times as much percentage of carbon dioxide emissions. It stands out together with Australia as the only two countries that have refused and keep on refusing to accept and comply with the Kyoto protocol with its obligatory restrictions on harmful emissions. Being such a significant source of pollution, America may play a major role in the global environmental catastrophe.
At the same time Al Gore, a former prominent politician, showcases optimism in the film “An Inconvenient Truth” that America’s new focus on the climate change is going to impact the country’s environmental policies. He bases his optimism on that after the facts about systematic obscuring of real emission by ExxonMobil and General Motors have been exposed, the opinion of the general public is undergoing changes.
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However, despite $2bn spent by government on climate research and monitoring as well as support of three climates modeling teams, there is much of federal indecisiveness to put new policies in to action. Local administrations by contrast take the lead and promisingly declare to do their best to conform to Kyoto protocol on a local urban level.
On the other hand, the current energy trends in America with preferences for bigger-sized houses and 7,000lb passenger vehicles it may seem that Americans as individuals are not earnest about the drastic need of change. On the macro-economic level, the changes have to be even of a much larger scope and far more difficult to implement to alleviate the country’s dependence on oil, adjust national transportation systems and guidelines for international relations. It seems like the regularly proposed John McCain’s bill to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will be repeatedly underestimated. For how much long? Obviously, one day we may be forced to take immediate actions to go green, but there is a heavy chance that it will be too late for us and our planet.
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