Climate Change and Public Policy Essay examples

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It is becoming increasingly certain that climate change will have severe adverse effects on the environment in years to come. Addressing this issue poses a serious challenge for policy makers. How we choose to respond to the threat of global warming is not simply a political issue. It is also an economic issue and an ethical one. Responsible, effective climate change policy requires consideration of a number of complex factors, including weighing the costs of implementing climate change policies against the benefits of more environmentally sustainable practices. Furthermore, this analysis must take place amidst serious gaps in the existing research and technology concerning the developing climatic condition. For these reasons, global…show more content…
However, even for those who are less motivated by such moralistic calls to action, the fact remains that conservation is as much an economic issue as an ethical one. While economic considerations are a problematic feature of climate change policy, under the proper analysis, they also serve as an important motivator. Economic analysis that weighs all costs and benefits of a particular model must include environmental considerations. That is to say, the potential for short-term economic losses caused by conservation in the present, should be measured against the dividends that conservation will pay in the future (Nordhaus, 2007). If the earth is truly our most valuable commodity, then analysis under these conditions should recognize that if a “dollar value” were placed on environmental sustainability, more often than not it would outweigh any initial monetary loss resultant of the implementation of more sustainable practices. Indeed, if we accept the danger of global warming to be a real and present one, then the question of how to address it must be given serious consideration. Research conducted from as early as the 1950s through the present has afforded us a solid understanding of its causes. In the most basic sense, the problem lies in the burning of carbon-based fossil fuels such as carbon and oil which leads to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). Gases such as CO2 are referred to as greenhouse gases (GHGs) which accumulate in the atmosphere. GHGs can
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