Global Warming from the Perspective of the United States of America! !
Although global warming clearly affects every country on Earth, many countries
have different opinions on the matter. The United States have been on the believer’s side of the argument since about 1988, when a NASA scientist named James Hansen testiﬁed before a US Senate Committee, saying that he was “99% certain” that global warming was occurring (Hansen, 1988). 1988 also had a record high temperatures; higher than those of any of the past 100 years. One year later, in 1989, the US began the development and funding of the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Prior to this, the USA had founded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which until the late 80s was not concerned with climate change (epa.gov). Both of these programs are responsible for many of the advancements in environmental policies and technologies that the world uses today. It is because of these programs, and the United States’s recent history of being a more environmentally-friendly country, that I believe the United States will be a key player in the solution for the climate change crisis.! !
Prior to James Hansen’s testimony to that US Senate Committee in 1988, the
United States and its citizens, along with much of the rest of the world, were not very concerned with climate change and the possible effects it may have. This testimony, combined with the fact that 1988 had record high temperatures along with draughts and heat waves persuaded many Americans to believe that climate change is real and that it poses and great threat to our planet. Cambridge University did a survey, multiple times over many years, of US citizens in which they were asked about the severity of the green-house effect. In 1982, only 12% judged the green-house effect as being “very serious,” while 36% selected the “don’t know” option. By 1988, 39% chose “very
serious,” and only 15% selected “don’t know” (Dunlap & Scarce, 1991). A...
Cited: State University, 17 Dec. 1998. Web. 3 May 2013. .!
Dunlap, Riley E., Gallup, George H., Jr
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