It’s kind of funny how America, one of the biggest leaders in the world, has done little to nothing in regards to mitigating the amount of carbon dioxide that is released each year. I understand that certain measures have been put into place and people have become more conscious of which items can and cannot be recycled, but is that really enough? As of today, each person in America is responsible for approximately 18 tons of carbon dioxide emissions (nearly two elephants). Many people would argue that why isn’t China being scrutinized for their excessive carbon emissions even though they are the world leader in this category? The simple answer is that it would take about three individuals living in China to produce as much carbon dioxide as a single person in America.
The figure below shows the percent change in carbon emissions from year to year. As Americans, we should be highly excited about the pattern that has begun to develop (well at least for the most recent two years), displaying a trend that shows carbon emissions decreasing for the years 2008 and 2009. But come on! A mere 3% and 7% change is good enough to keep us satisfied with the way that this country is progressing as a world leader? By no means am I a big environmentalist or an Earth lover, but when a problem of this magnitude exists, which could threaten our existence, something drastic needs to occur to see an improvement.
Thus I have created an American only applicable edition of the Kyoto Protocol, which every person in the country would need to sign or else. (The or else part is up for debate. Let’s just say some of the options considered include waterboarding, hooding, etc. I figured if you have the right to torture Earth, then why shouldn’t we have the right to torture you? Just following the basic principles of the deontological way. Or in other words, payback is a…)
According to the New York Times article, 33% of carbon emissions occur from transportation related actions. (mostly individuals like me who are too lazy to walk to places) To help eliminate or decrease this problem, families would only be allowed one car per household. I understand that a car holds a lot of value to an individual by giving one the freedom to travel whenever or wherever even if that location is about 5 minutes away. To help people cope with their loss of traveling rights, an intense bill would be passed that would increase the amount of escalators present in United States. These escalators would be either solar or wind powered depending on the area and its exposure to sunlight or wind. The escalators would appear everywhere: sidewalks, highways, stadiums, cities, etc. The speeds as to how fast one could travel would be regulated by an officer working the machine. Each time a person uses one of these escalators, he would simply swipe a card and a tax would be added to his account, which eventually he or she would have to pay off at the end of the year. The goal would be to have these escalators to pay off for themselves, and eventually help reduce the U.S’s debt.
Promotion of equipment that doesn’t use a motor would be highly advertised, such as bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, and for the youngsters even those things that are no longer popular, heelies. Essentially the focus would be to encourage individuals to avert to means of transportation that they had when they were younger. I understand Henry Ford is most likely cursing me from somewhere, but the auto industry is a dying one. Each year, car manufacturers advertise the improvements made to cars and how much one car can travel per gallon of gas, but the truth of the matter is that this technology existed in the 90’s, with the creation of the electric car. Now it’s been 20 years, and it seems like we are in the same place as before.
The last part of my protocol is to have pedometers for every person in the United States. An incentives program would be implemented that would help reward the walker-enthusiast for achieving a certain distance by purely walking. These pedometers would be scam free because as many of us know, if you shake some of the cheap ones, they automatically count the steps.
Now that this protocol has been outlined in great detail, please feel free to sign at the bottom of the page or else…!