Case Study on Climate Change

Cole Young
Cyril Klein
Zoe Mullendore
Jelle Barkema
Thurs. 9AM
Word count: 1021
      United States Climate Change Case Study
      Our government’s position on climate change has taken a sharp turn since the inauguration of President Obama in January of this year. Where previous administrations have followed a course of lukewarm (in the Clinton era) or outright obstruction (under Bush) of restrictions on emissions, our administration is determined to lead the effort to gain control of and reverse climate change.
      Although the Clinton administration, particularly Vice President Gore, supported the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the United States signed it, we have never ratified it. Analysis of economic costs, estimated in 1998 at between 1.0% and 4.2% of GDP by 2012, combined with the long-held Republican position that global warming was “unproven”, supported Bush’s hostility to ratification and compliance. Their stance was that China’s exemption was a fatal flaw and that it would be too costly to our economy and the job security of millions of Americans. The Bush administration continued to block climate change regulations until he exited office in 2009.
      President Obama has begun to reverse our nation’s position. Within two weeks of taking office he altered the global equation, putting us at the forefront of climate change policy. He changed federal rules, requiring that by 2030 all U.S. made cars average 35 mpg or better. He reversed the federal government’s position on blocking California’s tougher air quality standards. He started talks about a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, that would include restrictions on “developing” countries, such as China and India.. We are finally on the right side of this important issue.
      Yet impacts of climate change are felt across the globe .The Global Recession has had a great impact on the United States, but according to a report by the World Bank, “the recession hurt the...