hot politics

Student Handout

Statements from the CNN article "A Truly Global Problem"

  1. No one knows exactly how, when, or where global warming will play out ... which countries will bear the greatest burdens to control greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. If left unabated ... climate change could elevate sea levels (meaning more flooding, fewer beaches and less land) and alter weather patterns (hurting agriculture and producing more extreme weather events), among other repercussions.
  3. The costs [of unchecked climate change] -- including effects on property values, insurance rates, food and water supplies -- would be in the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the United Nations and other organizations.
  4. Earth's climate system is very complex, so nobody can say absolutely, without question, this [the problem of global warming] is going to happen in five, 10, 50 years time.
  5. If the United States wants cooperation on international security and counterterrorism, then it should be more forthcoming [in addressing global warming].
  6. Politicians are being asked to shell out public money to avoid crises that might only arise many election cycles in the future.
  7. The Kyoto Protocol is quite unique and innovative. It has created a new commodity that can and will be traded: carbon. ... This system can [address the problem] in the most cost-effective manner.
  8. It's hard to get a country to get significant reductions, and it is especially hard to get a country to act unless all its key economic rivals do.
  9. The [Kyoto] treaty is unworkable ... it puts a "significant and unnecessary burden on the U.S. economy" in mandating a roughly 35% U.S. drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.
  10. Politicians will play the biggest role in determining how well and how soon the climate change issue is addressed.
  11. Some of the most significant moves [to address the in creasing amount of greenhouse gases] have come on the state level. Individual companies have also stepped up, intent on helping the environment and/or promoting energy efficiency (thus saving money).
  12. Great Britain's economy has thrived as it has addressed global warming. ... Such efforts could be cost effective in the long-term, saving money by using renewable energy more and making existing energy supplies more efficient.
  13. Action now is essential. Otherwise, the problem will become unsolvable. Every year that goes by, the task becomes more difficult.