President Obama is attempting to pass a carbon emissions bill through the 1976 Clean Air Act. This is to combat the ruinous effects carbon dioxide emissions have upon the atmosphere. If humans continue to pump extra carbon dioxide in the air, scientists agree that this will cause an imbalance in the greenhouse effect, changing the balance of gases in the atmosphere and therefore affecting weather patterns drastically. There is now a global imperative to combat climate change for the good of the earth, evidenced in the United States by Obama’s new EPA bill. The plan involves cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. This is part of a global movement with countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, Indonesia, and Canada. However, there is much debate over the bill concerning whether climate change is actually happening or not.
The other side of the climate change argument is that earth goes through drastic temperature fluctuations in different periods of time. These temperature changes, those of the anti-global warming camps say, occur completely naturally and are out of human control. It is true when looking at the statistics that weather patterns are changing, glaciers are melting, habitats are shifting, and animal species are dying. What is up for debate is the extent to which humans affect these changes. Pollution and carbon emissions are detrimental to the earth’s environment as a whole. However, it is true that the earth is much older than the human race and has never been static.
Obama is firm on his stance that climate change is scientifically proven. The president recently compared those who do not believe the climate is changing because of human activity to people who believe the moon is made of cheese. However, many do not agree with the President’s stance. Energy companies are vigorously lobbying against the bill, spending millions to attempt to disprove scientific discoveries about climate change. House speaker John Boehner commented on the president’s EPA bill to cut carbon emissions saying, “The President’s plan is nuts.” Some politicians think that the President’s plan will be detrimental to the economy.
Obama is thinking about the big picture, as in the future of the planet and America’s children, which is why, against all odds, he is pushing for this bill. Right now, over 30 percent of energy used in the United States happens to come from coal-powered plants, which is very detrimental to the environment. Coal-powered plants produce large amounts of carbon dioxide to burn limited numbers of fossil fuels. Obama’s plan involves investing into alternative energy resources such as solar and wind power. The cost could be as high as $8.8 million per year, but could improve the economy with the investment in new businesses and reduce premature deaths and respiratory diseases.
Obama thinks that a debate about climate change happening or not is futile and that the United States needs to take action rather than debate about its existence. This is why, despite debate over his EPA bill, he is coming in with saddles blazing. He said to thousands of people last week at Angel’s Stadium that his issue with the debate in Congress, “[Congress] is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject scientific evidence.”
Opinion By Louise Webster