Global warming is one of the most challenging environmental problems in existence today. It threatens the health of the earth’s inhabitants and the world’s economies every day. With global warming comes longer and more intense heat waves and storms. Along with those climate changes, come more pests which in turn can carry devastating diseases. Forestry and farming are feeling the negative impact of global warming and we’re also seeing traces of a devastated ecosystem. To prevent further damage and begin repairing the damaging effects of global warming, policies must be implemented and diligently enforced.
Energy conservation is the only policy that I would put into effect. This policy would be very broad; encompassing as many aspects of energy use as possible.
The first item on the table would be to force automobile manufacturers to only produce vehicles with high MPG ratings and eventually to develop new models that are not run on gasoline alone. Such vehicles are known as hybrids and are run on a combination of electricity and gasoline. Currently, the technology is available to manufacture cars with 40+ mpg ratings, however, the concern lies with the increasing number of trucks and SUVs that are known worldwide as “gas-guzzlers”. These larger vehicles are becoming more and more prevalent and currently do not meet any efficiency standards. Requiring that all new SUVs and trucks from this point forward be as fuel efficient as their smaller counterparts, would be a large step in the way of vehicle efficiency and pave the way for less gasoline reliance. This in turn will allow for fewer emissions of carbon dioxide from the vehicles that we have all come to rely on for our sole source of transportation.
The next policy to implement would be that technology be developed to make all appliances run efficiently; from refrigerators and stoves on down to video game equipment and lamps. Every piece of machinery or device that we own uses energy in some way, shape, or form. Large pieces of industrial equipment and even residential equipment require a lot of energy to run thereby contributing to the world’s air pollution. If we would require that manufacturers of such items follow strict guidelines of energy efficiency, not only would users save money, but energy use would be at a minimum and thus, less air pollution would be created.
Some headway is being made in this area, but not enough and not nearly fast enough. We see most progress being made in the residential areas: examples are Energy Star appliances and compact, fluorescent light bulbs. However, everything coming onto the market needs to be required to be energy efficient according to pre-determined standards and we can’t continue to bypass the industrial aspect of this.
The last policy that I would implement revolves around recycling. I would require that all packaging be recyclable and that it be made from recycled materials. Recycling helps the environment by conserving our natural resources, saving energy, reducing air and water pollution, and reducing the need for landfill space. Currently, many recycling programs are in place worldwide, but there are no policies that enforce its unequivocal use, yet this is one of the easiest ways of protecting our environment. In order for my policy to be successful, all businesses and consumers need to actively participate. Following the reduce, reuse, and recycle methodology will help to reduce the amount of energy that is used during the elimination of waste products.