Rachelle Brazeau Luca OrtolaniEAE4UOctober 27 2017ISU Introduction: Global temperatures have continued to rise causing a plethora of problems and threatening billions of people. A paper written by NASA show’s what has happened because of climate change, and what might happen in the future if we don’t curve the path we are on at the moment. It states that sixteen of the seventeen hottest years on record have occurred since 2001. Over 93% percent of scientists agree that climate change is happening, and is a consequence of human activity (Cook, John, et al), however this issue still is hotly debated with some asking the question if climate change is even real In the United States Senate, 53% of members are climate change deniers (Emerson 1). This is because the politics associated with global warming have sabotaged any hope of the U.S resolving this crisis. This is due to the lobbying efforts of big multifaceted companies, gridlock in congress and increasing polarization of the people.Arguments:The lobbying efforts of big multifaceted companies makes it impossible for politicians to take meaningful action against climate change. Firstly, the lobbying that takes place in the campaign process severely hurts climate change law. Getting a seat in congress takes on average 14,000 dollars a day and big companies are the solution to the problem they have essentially created (Newell –). Through a lobbyist, they sponsor a candidate with the agreement that once he is in office he will have a certain stance on an important topic. This happened with president bush. When he won, Bush kept his word and used his power to denounce climate change. He did this emphasizing the uncertainty of climate science and calling for “sound science”. Once Obama was elected, Republican politicians were convinced by what bush said and continued to do his dirty work. “The predictable upsurge in denial activism and lobbying against climate policy that has occurred following the change in administrations, especially the embrace of denialism among the more extreme elements of the Right (e.g. Tea Party supporters), has turned climate change denial into litmus test for Republicans” (Johnson 2010). As a consequence, Republicans who once supported action against those who caused climate change such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham had to stop in order to appease Republican interest groups and supporters. The US political system is too open to direct lobbying of individual congress people. This makes it incredibly easy to for companies to form coalitions with the help of lobbyists and prevent the implementation of climate change laws. The Byrd-Hagel resolution in July 1997, where the Senate, heavily backed by corporate lobbyists, voted to reject any treaty that harmed US economic interests hurt many negotiation for the implementation of climate change laws in the future. This is because any move to sustainable energy would be expensive to implement because of the technology required. The Copenhagen negotiations, were severely hurt by this resolution as “Obama’s negotiators were heavily constrained by the requirements for ratification in the US, with arguably disastrous consequences for the negotiations as a whole.” (Dunlap, Riley E.and Aaron M. McCright). Because of this, we can see that due to the lobbying efforts of large corporations, it is very hard for the us to do anything to stop global warming.Secondly, in the past decade, congress has failed to pass the most basic laws due to gridlock caused by the problems in the US political system, this makes is incredibly hard to pass climate change law. First, the US constitution creates a lot of hurdles that get in the way of the implementation of laws.Ratification requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate. This creates a lot of problems since the current system in the US has only two parties. This system gives too much power to the extremists in each part and makes congress mess. During the Obama era many laws were proposed and got stuck because of this phenomenon. The EPA rule, proposed by the democrats, were a set of guidelines that would require states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy consumption. It would also reward companies who surpassed these goals in an effort to be environmentally friendly. (Beck)Second, when laws are passed by congress, they have been stripped of most of what they originally meant to do in order to pass.When a law is initially proposed in congress it is extremely rare that it is adopted right away without any negotiation. Usually, it goes through many changes in order to get the necessary amount of votes to be ratified. The changes usually significantly water down these laws and make it so that they do practically nothing. As a result both parties pat themselves on the back saying they did a good job either by passing the law or limiting the “damages” it could have made. The Climate Stewardship Acts are a great example of this. These acts, introduced by Senator John McCain and Joseph Lieberman aimed to implement a cap to greenhouse emissions. The acts spent four years in congress before being completely abolished. This is largely due to the fact that the extremists could not agree on the details of the law, saying they were to much, or too little. (Fisher, Dana 438). Other bills such as “Public Law 113-10” are just entirely pointless as it was redacted to standardize the size of the precious-metal blank used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins. Because of this, we can see that it is very hard for the us to do anything to stop global warming.Thirdly, the fact that both of the American parties have two radically different stances on global warming polarizes the american population. Divided elite stances about global warming have made it very difficult for the United States to adopt policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.With the increasing polarization in american congress, the voting population followed along with their respective parties, increasing the division in the US. Americans have adopted the “us versus them” mentality. A study conducted by McCright and Dunlap confirms this increasing polarization. These numbers not being matched since the end of the 19th century. In 2001, about 49% of self-identified Republicans said in the Gallup survey that they believed the effects of global warming had already begun; but that number dropped to 29% by 2010. Meanwhile, the percentage of Democrats who believe global warming has already begun increased from about 60% in 2001 to 70% in 2010. All told, the gap between “believers” in the two parties grew from 11 to 41 percentage points in just one decade. (Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap). Scholars doing research on climate change have found that politically associated media polarized the population.”To see how this works, think of two different people. On the left, imagine a liberal Democrat who follows Al Gore and gets her news from National Public Radio, from the liberal-leaning cable network MSNBC, and from the New York Times. On the right, imagine a conservative Republican who follows politicians like Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe and gets his news from conservative talk radio, FOX News, and the Wall Street Journal.” (Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap). Both of the people in this example are likely to hear different information and assume that it is factual. A poll found that ” skepticism among Republican and conservative elites (particularly leading conservative media figures) has led rank-and-file Republicans in the electorate to follow suit. Currently a very large gap exists between self-identified Republicans and Democrats in terms of perceptions of global warming.” (Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap) we see that when the population has access to different information, and be told its correct, they will think that they are confident they understand the issue. This has the effect of separating the population by what their general political view is. Because of this, it becomes very hard for politicians and the entire american population to come together and make meaningful change.Conclusion:In conclusion, we can see that because of gridlock in US congress, the lobbying efforts of large corporations and because of the menacingly increasing polarization within the population, the US is not able not do anything to stop global warming. Climate change continues to worsen, glaciers have shrunk and the frequency of so called “natural disasters” augments. In order to really be able to have meaningful change, it is important to take action. As we enter this time of uncertainty it is important to talk to your friends and family about what you can do. By voicing your concerns whether it be on social media or to your government representatives, they are forced to take meaningful actions in their respective governments. 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