What We Can Do for Our Country How politics have failed to address climate change

The International Level

The Kyoto Protocol

  • International agreement in 1997 meant to address climate change (Doha Amendment)
  • It was augmented with the Doha Amendment in 2013 (Doha Amendment)
  • While it was well received, it was poorly implemented (Clark)
  • Most countries failed to meet their emissions goals; the US did not ratify it (Clark)

The Paris Agreement

  • Another international agreement to address climate change that was constructed in 2015 (The Paris Agreement)
  • It is meant to build a foundation for future climate change action (Falkner)
  • The agreement commits countries to do something about climate change (Falkner)
  • While it is a foundation, it has not let to any direct action

The Federal Level

The Clean Air Act

  • Passed in 1970, it forms the cornerstone of US climate change policy
  • Led to economic benefits of $22.2 trillion at a cost of only $500 billion (Lockwood)
  • Prompted a massive increase in air quality with the six common pollutants as defined by the EPA dropping 69% in emissions levels (OAR, "Benefits and Costs")
  • The US is still the second highest emitter of pollutants in the world, second only to China (Ge et al)
"One of the most successful laws in American history"—Arnold Schwarzenegger

Barriers to Further Action

  • Climate change deniers in Congress and other government positions (Strong)
  • Lobby groups for industries against climate change legislation funding congressional campaigns (Strong)

It Starts With the Kids...

Climate Change Education in the US

  • 70.1% of teachers teach climate change, but only an average of 4.3 hours a year, and a median of 1.5 (Hannah et al)
  • 30% of teacher emphasize that it is due to natural causes as opposed to man-made causes (Hannah et al)

Why is this a problem?

  • This type of education leads to children becoming climate change deniers
  • Children will not think climate change is an issue, but, if continued, it can and will threaten people's lives

What can I do to help?

There are many groups dedicated to augmenting climate change action around the country

Source: NCSE
Source: NSTA
  • UNICEF, an international NGO that looks to promote climate friendly behavior for the benefit of children
Source: UNICEF


Created with images by NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Black Marble - Americas" • edgarwinkler - "un flag internationality" • DHuiz - "Washington, DC - Capitol Building" • justine warrington - "school" • Rosmarie Voegtli - "children of the world"

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