Discussion Questions


  • In what ways might climate change affect the way people live?
  • Describe how our economy and way of life are dependent on fossil fuels.
  • Describe the problems developing countries face in trying to modernize.
  • Describe how U.S. policy toward global warming changed between the Kyoto Protocol and the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Bali.
  • Why is the expression “America is addicted to coal” true?
    • Why is “clean coal” technology going to be difficult to implement as an environmentally acceptable fuel for producing electricity?
    • What is President-elect Barack Obama’s position on clean coal?
  • Historically, what has been the U.S. automakers’ policy on fuel-efficient cars?
    • How has this policy benefited the automakers and cost the American consumer?
  • Explain how the oil industry’s attitude toward renewable energy is similar to the U.S. automakers’ attitude toward fuel-efficient cars?
  • Describe the lesson learned after the Clinton administration’s attempt to encourage U.S. automakers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles.
    • Explain why corn-based ethanol might ultimately be an impractical alternative to gasoline.
  • Describe how Europe has taken the lead in developing fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable energy.
    • How will T. Boone Pickens’ natural gas and wind plan and building more nuclear power plants help address America’s dependence on fossil fuels?
  • With all the evidence indicating that fossil fuel consumption contributes to global warming, why do you think Congress is still unable to come up with a plan to address the problem?
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