Differing Points of View Towards Pollution
There are two main points of view on pollution; that of the environmentalists and that of industry and big business. Basically, the environmentalists want all forms of pollution greatly reduced or eliminated. At the same time, industry and big business say it is too expensive to cut down on pollution. The Kyoto Accord is intended as a way for both sides to have some middle-ground.
Countries around the world are signing on to Kyoto, with the exception of the United States, which says it’s too expensive.
The environmentalists take great exception to businesses and governments who will not spend money to reduce pollution and attempt to save this planet. They believe that all major forms of pollution should be reduced or eliminated no matter the cost. They are lobbying governments all over the world to step in and impose regulations on businesses in which they are forced by law to reduce the amount of pollution they produce.
Some governments are trying to listen to the environmentalists without completely ignoring the businesses that essentially run the economy. This is how the Kyoto Accord came into being. The Kyoto Accord is basically a set of guidelines that are aimed at reducing major forms of pollution, such as greenhouse gasses, that every country which signs must abide by.
Since the conditions of the Kyoto Accord are costly to both business and government, some of the more capitalist countries such as the United States have not signed the Accord. Although other, less capitalist, countries have taken even farther steps than are required by Kyoto. One such country is the United Kingdom. “Helen Woolston, head of environment at EEF, the manufacturers’ organization, said the new caps would double the existing Kyoto target of a 12.5% cut which affects six gasses.” (Gow) Although they know the increased cost of exceeding Kyoto’s guidelines, they are doing it anyway.
The energy industry in Britain is against the government’s decision to exceed Kyoto’s guidelines. It claims that the government is going too far in its efforts to reduce pollution and it’s costing too much money. “Jeremy Nicholson said: ‘These proposals are counter-productive – they will simply drive industry offshore and raise global emissions…’ ” (Harrison)
At this time in history, with our complete reliability on fossil fuels, our economy is run in such a way that causes severe damage to the natural environment. We see in many places, such as the Untied States, where big business and money is far more important than the environment, that environmental regulations are not as strict as they are in most other countries around the world. In the United States, and other similar countries, where business and money is more important than anything else, what is said to the government by business executives and other such rich people is what gets done. So this means the environmentalists, and other “little people” are rarely listened to.
Since the environmentalists are not being taken seriously everywhere, pollution is still a major problem. It is a problem that has no economically easy solution. The Kyoto Accord is the first step to save the environment, but it will be a very long time before it has a major impact on the environment because of countries, namely the United States, which will not sign the Accord.