After Hurricane Sandy this past October, questions have risen over whether or not the “superstorm” was a result of climate change. While global warming has been a well publicized issue, the United States has done little to talk about it, let alone actually do anything about it. If any politician brings up the issue of climate change, they are quickly labeled “tree-huggers” who want to kill jobs. Why is America so against discussing climate change?
Americans are mass consumers. In order to produce enough goods to satiate these consumers, industries must mass produce goods. These industries want to do this efficiently and cheaply. As a result, factories pump out tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. These pollutants are what many scientists say are causing climate change. Because so many industries depend on environmentally unfriendly to produce products, anyone who suggests a shift to cleaner energy is considered anti-industry and, ultimately, anti-american. Politicians who label themselves pro-business argue that putting carbon emission restrictions on industries limits profits and cuts jobs.
The everyday consumer also has a role in this equation. Because American consumers always want the newest thing, the biggest thing, and the most things, they are creating demand for products produced in ways that are harmful to the environment. Americans also have the habit of wanting products quickly and cheaply. If a business were to raise their prices to accommodate a shift to cleaner energy, consumers would be angry and take their business elsewhere. In the United States, the demand for cheap products often leads to practices that are detrimental to the environment. The resulting pollutions leads to climate change, and climate change leads to more superstorms such as Hurricane Sandy.
Are consumers to blame for climate change?
Why are industries so opposed to “clean” energy to produce products?
Why won’t the government discuss climate change in light of recent storms?