What Role Should the Government Play in Protecting the Environment?

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Since the environmental movement began four decades ago, there have been many differing opinions as to what role the government should play in protecting and preserving the environment. What standards should government set and at what expense? Most environmental or “green” issues are often presented as choices of either economic growth or environmental protection. This idea of having to choose between the environment and the economy has often delayed the green movement from making necessary strides. However, more and more Americans are currently looking toward options that include both environmental protection and economic growth. During the 1970’s the war to protect the environment often focused on “point…show more content…
One example that the study cited was the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone”. The “dead zone” is an area that in uninhabitable by marine life during the summer because of a lack of oxygen. Within the last decade, the area has doubled in size to 7,000 square miles. Perhaps the strongest example of a potentially disastrous problem with few tangible manifestations is global warming. Despite mounting evidence that confirms a rise in global temperatures and a change in the climate due to carbon emissions, deep differences exist about the urgency of climate change and who should bear the burden of addressing it. In 1997, all these differing sides met for negotiations to put together a global warming treaty in Kyoto, Japan. Differences were between skeptics and believers, “have” and have-not” countries, free market proponents and environmental advocates. The Kyoto treaty would require all industrial nations to reduce their production of polluting gases below the 1990 levels. The U.S. target was a seven percent reduction by 2008. Unfortunately, the treaty was rejected by the Bush administration for fear that it would impose too great of an economic burden. Instead of the treaty, President Bush has proposed voluntary measures, backed by government tax credits, to slow the growth of greenhouse
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