Public policy is the fundamental policy on which laws rest, especially policy not yet pronounced in specific rules. Public policies can be controversial from time to time because some laws restrict the rights we have as citizens such as freedom of speech. Once citizens realize that their rights are being violated, they then take legal action. Public policy is going to be discussed throughout the paper. One issue that we as Americans need to try and resolve is saving the environment. The environment should be as clean as it can and we should save as much as we can, after all it is the place we live in!
Going green can be really simple by just doing things like recycling or turning the sink off while brushing your teeth, but it also can be more complex and you can take action by using electric cars or putting solar panels on your home. Environmental history goes all the way back to when the first people were on this earth. The environment is the surrounding influences of all the external factors influencing the life and activities of people, plants, and animals. The environment has changed over time in many ways. The physical impact of humans on the Earth’s land, water, atmosphere and biosphere is the biggest way.
The second biggest is how humans use nature, increasing population, more effective technology and changing patterns of production and consumption. The planet that we call home has been around for billions of years. From cavemen to what we have evolved into today, we have been slowly but surely destroying the place we call home. As humans today, we have increased our destruction on the earth and if we don’t do something about it, there might not be a place we call home. Environmental laws can be traced back to about 300 years ago.
Although the environmental movement did not begin until the early 1970’s, the United States Congress created the Rivers and Harbors Act in the late 1800’s. This act was created to prevent the pollution of waterways, a necessary first step to protecting natural resources and environmental protection. This law clearly failed because factories and industries all around the world dump into rivers, streams, and oceans. Today, environmentalists and protection groups such as the EPA are working on stopping this because polluting water can cause serious harm to humans, wildlife, and the environment (epa. gov).
There are many issues that we as humans have created for our environment. One of the issues that we have created is pollution from cars. When the industry created cars, the amount of air pollution doubled. Then cars started to become more and more popular, therefore the amount of emissions emitted into the air grew drastically. More and more people started to travel places which led to an increase of littering. There are Over 51 billion pieces of litter land on U. S. roadways each year which is 6,729 items per mile (Eyraud). Not only were cars contributing to the increase of pollution on Earth but Factories were also.
The Industrial revolution was the period in which fundamental changes occurred in agriculture, textile and metal manufacture, transportation, economic policies and the social structure in England. This period is labeled revolution, it completely destroyed the old manner of doing things, and people went from horse and carriage to cars and planes. Factories were working overtime and they were creating so much waste. They needed a place to dump this waste so the easiest and quickest way was to just dump the toxins into the oceans, streams, and rivers (Fleming).
This caused problems for wildlife, humans, and the environment. The government realized that things were beginning to go downhill and it was time for some changes. There were many laws that were passed and many organizations were created to help keep the environment as clean as possible. One organization was called the National Clean Diesel Campaign. This organization builds on the success of regulatory, non-regulatory, and innovative efforts to reduce the amount of diesel emissions that were emitted into the earth by big diesel engines. Another organization was the Coal Combustion Products Partnership.
This is a joint government and industry program which was created to benefit the use of coal combustion products which helps reduce the amount of energy that is consumed. The Clean Air Act was a law passed in 1970 this law sets goals and standards for the quality and purity of air in the United States many sets of amendments in 1990 toughened air quality standards and placed new emphasis on market forces to control air pollution. EnergyStar is the next program that was created to help American businesses and consumers save money, it is an aid to help protect the environment by using energy efficient products.
The EnergyStar program is a joint program between the EPA and the United States Department of Energy. Through this program, the EPA has teamed up with many organizations to increase the sale of energy efficient products and practices. Another group that has basically the lead group in protecting the environment is the EPA. The EPA stands for the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA was created for the protection of human health and the environment. They were responsible for maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws.
With the many programs and laws that we have our country and industries are being successful in finding ways to go green. Going green is practicing environmental friendly and ecologically responsible lifestyles as well as making decisions to help protect the environment and sustain natural resources. One way that the automotive industry has been going green is President Obama is passing a law stating that says by 2025, all cars must get near or more than 50 miles to the gallon (whitehouse. gov).
Not only has Obama made it so this law could be passed, there are also being more steps taken to reduce the car pollution. Electric cars and hybrid cars are becoming more popular. A hybrid car is a fuel efficient car that has two motors and electric motor and a gasoline powered motor. A biodiesel engine uses a different kind of fuel. This fuel was developed from vegetable or animal fats. This biodiesel functions just like a petroleum diesel engine but there is much less pollutants released into the air. Lastly, electric cars were created.
These cars use there electrically charge power source and once that runs out, it then switches to the gas portion of the power system (phys. org). Automobile Industries are not the only ones that are making changes to green energy. Hotel chains and restaurants are all starting to go green by starting to use solar power. Solar power uses the sun to store energy. Also florescent light bulbs are starting to replace regular light bulbs in almost all homes; most hardware stores now sell mostly just florescent bulbs. Many other forms of green energy are starting to become more popular.
Real estate agents are “greening” portfolios, meaning that more people looking for houses now are in search for a more eco-friendly home . Wind power is also becoming very popular. A wind turbine converts the kinetic energy or the motion of wind into mechanical energy that is used to generate electricity. The energy is fed through a generator, converted a second time into electrical energy and is then fed into the grid to be transmitted to a power station. (greenenergychoice. com). Personally I believe that the environment is very important.
Going green should be something that everyone wants to participate in. Small things here and there are all that it takes before it becomes too late and we ruin the place that we call home. I think it’s pretty obvious that we should keep the place that atmosphere that we walk in very clean. The human population should not be harmed by toxic air and other resources. If we keep using cars that get bad gas mileage, we will keep polluting the air. If we switch to a fuel economic car like a hybrid or an electric car, we could reduce these deadly emissions by a substantial number.
Although solar panels and wind mills can be very expensive there are many ways the government helps you to pay. In the end it is worth it to be eco-friendly because you save yourself and live a longer life. Protecting the environment is a very controversial and important issue that has been debated about for numerous times over the years. The United States government has created man laws and programs such as EnergyStar and the National Clean Diesel Campaign to help save the environment. These laws would be considered public policy.
Public policy is the fundamental policy on which laws rest, especially policy not yet pronounced in specific rules. The proposal changes that I suggested would be beneficial to this social condition because it would help us take steps towards becoming green. If people did simple things like change light bulbs, not run water while brushing teeth, and trying to convert to hybrid or electric cars we will benefit in the long run and live that long healthy life everyone wants to live. Works Cited EPA. gov.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Web. January 3, 2013. Govtrack. us. Civic Impulse,LLC. Web. January 3, 2013. Greenenergychoice. com. 2013. Web. January 3, 2013. James R. Fleming and Bethan R. Knorr. Ametsoc. org. American Meteorological Society, 1999. Web. January 3, 2013. Luc Eyraud and Benedict Clements. Imf. org. Internatioinal Monetary Fund, June 2012. Web. January 3, 2013. Phys. org. January 19, 2006. Web. January 3, 2012. Whitehouse. gov. August 28, 2012. Web. January 3, 2012.