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Global Warming and the Effects on Earth

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One of the hottest topics being discussed now a days is the effects of global warming on the environment and the efforts being made in order to combat the potential effects. Simply put, global warming refers to the environmental effects caused by the constant emission of carbon dioxide from carbon based fuels. These effects are supposedly widespread; the temperature of the earth will rise, the land becomes less conducive to, vegetation, and various ecosystems become extinct. There is no common consensus on how to control the problem and through out the paper it discusses the issues of global warming.

There were three articles read that discussed how global warming is becoming a potential problem that needs to be analyzed thoroughly. One article ("On Global", 1:18) is very cautious about how to approach the problem; the author believes that not enough is known about the effects of global warming versus the costs of containing it. He suggest no more than a modest flat tax on carbon based fuels Another article (Schneider, A:17) discusses the debates that the Clinton white house representatives have over the best route in dealing with the problem. The third article (Reuter, C:7) touches on the potential effects of global warming in tropical rain forests.

Furthermore, each article shows that there is no common consensus in dealing with global warming. One article stresses that the issue is so murky that it is open to debate. Another article shows how members of the White House cannot agree on the matter and yet another author shows how countries cannot agree to ratify a treaty.

After reviewing the information available on the subject, it appears that there is no easy answer to how to deal with global warming. To begin with , there is absolutely no consensus whatsoever as to the extent of the problem. One article ("On Global", 1:18) simply maintains that the models available to judge the damage that global warming causes are just too ' primitive and insufficient. Both technological and economical models used to deal with the subject seem flawed. Additionally, the question arises as to whether the U.S. should have to calculate the cost of cleaning up the environment for countries like India and China that are too poor to give the matter priority.

But another article (Reuter, C:7) maintains that the effects of global warming are already too well known. The article maintains that not only Arctic regions stand to be damaged by global warming but tropic forests as well. And Green Peace claims that the results of global warming are going to be drastic. So who is the authority to believe?

The question then arises, if a plan of action is going to be taken, which would be the wisest? And the answer depends directly on the amount of certainty one has about the effects of global warming. At one end of the spectrum is the belief that a modest tax on carbon-based fuel should be employed.

At the other end is the Green peace camp which wants an exorbitant tax on such fuels. In the middle are those which want a tax on such fuels which would be adjusted according to a timetable to make sure that goals for reducing carbon dioxide will be met on time. One prominent goal is to have the level of carbon dioxide at the year 2000 to remain at 1990 levels.

And politically, getting different interests to agree on a plan of action is not easy. While running for office, both President Clinton and Vice President Gore promised to' institute a timetable by which carbon dioxide levels in the year 2000 will not exceed 1990 levels. However, the President backed out because he feared the backlash of his opponents who would accuse him of trying to cut the usage of carbon based fuels by adding to the already proposed gasoline tax.

And on a global level, there is also disagreement among world leaders. A recent pact called the Climate Change Convention did not manage to obtain the signatures of fifty countries out of a hundred, necessary to make the agreement affective. Notable among the nations that refused to ratify the treaty is the entire European community which shudders at the thought of any tax whatsoever on carbon based fuels

The question remains: with such a difference of opinion among experts as well



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