The politics of global warming have involved policy decisions, legislation, and political debate over the science of and response to global warming. The political struggle over global warming has involved various governmental bodies, special-interest groups, and scientific organizations.

Political sphere Edit

No middle ground Edit

Many moderates suggest the solution to global warming is "akin to buying fire insurance and installing sprinklers and new wiring in an old, irreplaceable house (the home planet) than to fighting a fire already raging." [1]

Mike Hulme, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, wrote how increasing use of pejorative terms like "catastrophic," "chaotic" and "irreversible," had altered the public discourse around climate change: "This discourse is now characterised by phrases such as 'climate change is worse than we thought', that we are approaching 'irreversible tipping in the Earth's climate', and that we are 'at the point of no return'. I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric....I believe climate change is real, must be faced and action taken. But the discourse of catastrophe is in danger of tipping society onto a negative, depressive and reactionary trajectory."[2]

The moderate political viewpoint has been largely abandoned in the US due to Congress' inability to pass any significant CO2 regulation despite the overwhelming popular support for such measures. Also there is substantial evidence showing that the oil industry is working hard to thwart any legislation that would limit CO2 production.[3] Given the US government's intransigence despite the clamor for change by the popular and scientific communities, the political rhetoric has become more extreme if only to get government to move even slightly in the direction of CO2 control.[4]

Political alignment and global warming Edit

In most English-speaking countries, support for action to mitigate global warming, such as ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is strong on the political left.

However, the first politician putting Global Warming on the political agenda was Richard Nixon 1969[5]. Nixon wanted environmental topics (as acid rain and greenhouse effect) to be treated by a third and civil pillar of NATO. The reaction of the NATO allies was lukewarm but the initiative gained impact in the civil field[5]. Margaret Thatcher has been involved as well in bringing an anti-carbon element in the public agenda[citation needed][6]. In Germany Angela Merkel, then secretary of the environment during the conservative Helmut Kohl government, lead the German Kyoto Delegation and had a substantial role in making the Kyoto agreement possible[7]

In some countries the political right are fighting on a platform of taking tough action against global warming[9], while in others the political right either dispute the scientific consensus on global warming or oppose action to mitigate global warming, instead favoring adaption.[citation needed] All European countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and all have supported strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

  • In the United States, a February 2007 survey found that 95% of the 41 Congressional Democrats surveyed agreed "it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made problems" while only 13% of the 31 Republicans surveyed agreed.[10]

Sources and Citations Edit

  1. Montopoli, Brian (January 2, 2007). Middle Ground on Global Warming?. CBS News. Retrieved on 2008 July 7.
  2. Hulme, Mike (November 4, 2006). Chaotic world of climate truth. BBC News. Retrieved on 2007 April 14.
  3. Nesmith, Jeff (June 2, 2003). Foes of global warming have energy ties. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved on 2008 July 7.
  4. Herszenhorn, David (June 7, 2008). After Verbal Fire, Senate Effectively Kills Climate Change Bill. NY Times. Retrieved on 2008 July 7.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named H.C3.BCne
  6. [1]Nationalreview September 17, 2003, 9:00 Fixing the Game Kyoto rules, von Iain Murray
  7. [2] Time Magazine 7/2007: Heroes of the Environment: Angela Merkel
  8. Rudd ratifies Kyoto - National -
  9. Climate change concerns championed by Cameron's Conservatives
  10. Base page