Proposal 2: The White House on Energy Use in the Future

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Across the globe fossil fuel use is rising.  Even though demand is increasing, the supply of fossil fuels has begun to decline.  Because of this, the United States has had to resort to importing oil from dictatorial countries and has also begun using riskier methods to extract domestic fuels. The increase in risk as well as poor international relations has helped increase prices for these nonrenewable resources, gasoline being a notable example.  These increased levels of burning fuels has also led to more carbon dioxide – along with a host of other gases – in the atmosphere, which has caused steady climate change such as changes in average temperature, increases in weather events, and acidification of the ocean.  With this in mind it becomes necessary to try to get people to change their habits.  Policy must be written that will get people to use less oil and use more sustainable sources of energy.

Unfortunately, people can be stubborn.  They believe nothing is wrong because America is the best country in the world.  There are still billions of barrels of oil to use and even more natural gas (which is cleaner that oil, but is still “dirty” in on an absolute scale).  People are reluctant to change because they either cannot see the benefits of “going green” or are too wealthy to give a hoot.  I’m aware that this is a broad statement and that there are truly environmentally conscious people out there, but their numbers are dwarfed by non-believers, or so it seems.

In order to influence the public, the While House has created a plan known as the “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future” (found using Lexis Nexis).  This document, which is aimed at both the public and policymakers, recognizes that fossil fuels aren’t going away anytime soon.  However, it does make note of the need to change our habits as a nation.  In order to do this, the White House proposes to expand safer domestic oil and gas production, make cars more efficient, and harness the power of clean, renewable energy sources.  This resource will have varying effects depending on the audience.  For those who already see the danger in going forward as we have in the past, this document gives government-backing to their argument.  For people who disagree about climate change, they will likely disregard this document as more liberal hogwash.

With the idea of reducing CO2 emissions in mind, I often find myself getting frustrated over how many people are reluctant to believe scientific fact.  Some people believe what they want to, not what is true.  I, like many environmentally-conscious people, see this document as a step in the right direction.  It’s time for the government to put their foot down and actually do something about climate change.  This document specifically helps develop my argument because the government has to come up with solutions that benefit the greatest number of people (at least ideally).  They realize that change cannot be swift and far-reaching; it has to be gradual.  While I would like sudden changes to occur, I know the U.S. population isn’t poised for that.

The White House is a good resource for what the U.S. government’s standpoint is on the climate.  However, it does have an inherent bias because the White House is primarily Democrat; Democrats are more likely to be environmentally-conscious.  Even if someone does make the argument that the paper’s political leanings make it useless, it does show where President Obama wants the country to go in the next four years.


One response to “Proposal 2: The White House on Energy Use in the Future

  1. I wonder what a climate skeptic like Senator James Inhofe or others would say.

    In general, I think you will find three kinds of positions on climate change.

    1) It doesn’t exist. These people are kind of hopeless.
    2) It exists, but it is unclear how to deal with in a way that does not upset current economic or political status quo and/or does not seem to be too much like government intrusion.
    3) It exists, and there needs to be strong, multi-lateral, global response by nations and or/MNCs.

    There is lots of variation within in, but it might help to separate out the first from the second.

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