Combating Climate Change One State at a Time: Soo Jeon

Combating climate change has been an issue for quite some time now, but many of us are on different pages regarding the seriousness of this issue. Some people choose to ignore because they don’t think it will affect them, while some are trying to address climate change as quickly as they can. From the readings that I’ve read, it’s clear that all three of the authors feel that combating climate change is something that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. It is also apparent that these authors all agree that there needs to be solutions to problems of international cooperation. However, here’s the catch. Every country view benefits of the climate change differently that not all of them are willing to cooperate at the same rate or on the same level. Every country is different in what they think they need at this time and the benefits or troubles that might come with addressing climate change. In the US, we are actively trying to combat climate change- especially the younger generation. This is because we know that it will affect us! However, the older generation might not feel that climate change is a very big concern to them because they will not live long enough to see the changes made through combating climate change rapidly.

Additionally, although there must be push for climate change on an international level, I feel that it is more important to combat this in a domestic level first. I feel that on an international scale, some of the smaller states who do not have such a big problem with climate change yet seem like they are not very relevant to combating climate change. This might be because they don’t think their use of CO2 emission will make a difference in the long term. It might also be because their CO2 emission doesn’t compare to the amount of CO2 emission from China or India. This is why every country must find their individual losses and gains by combating climate change on a domestic scale first. Then, they can decide to join other countries on an international level to agree on a decision regarding addressing climate change.

Of course, major emitters like India and China will need to have pressure on them to make changes immediately regarding cutting back on their CO2 emissions. Maybe attaching a price to carbon will help. However, if this is enforced to other small countries that don’t need this type of regulation on them yet, they will just choose to opt out and not care about the climate change at all. This is why it is important to have each country, small or big, figure out their costs and benefits regarding taking immediate action on climate change. Combating climate change must be done. However, there are steps and different stages to ultimately achieve this.


4 thoughts on “Combating Climate Change One State at a Time: Soo Jeon”

  1. I agree with your argument that different standards should be put upon different countries based on their contribution history. Often times, target for the reduction of the emission is expressed in percentage form, such as “reduce 6% of the emission”. However, according to Gelman’s piece, there is a necessary amount of CO2 that is understanable for a country to be producing-let’s set that amount as X. If a developing country is producing X amount, and is asked to produce 6%less, that is despotic limitation of state’s development. For this case, implementing sustainable deveopemnt project is a more suitable response. However, for main emitters, especially to those industrialized countries like U.S., Japan and E.U.,should hold more responsibilities due to its past emissions. For those countries, stricter regulations and setting goals like ‘7% reduction is emission’. makes more sense. Rather than setting a universal goal, setting different goals according to each country’s industry culture makes the target more realistic and and compliable.


  2. While I think that climate change is an issue that should be adequately addressed by the international community as the author mentioned, it is also very important to note the uniqueness of this global issue. It will be very difficult to establish consensus on a comprehensive climate deal because this issue is inextricably linked to global economic prosperity and has a large impact on domestic production and industries in many states. Past forums in Copenhagen and the Kyoto Conference, which resulted in fairly low compliance rates, exemplify the unsuccessfulness of a climate change agreement. It seems this is not an issue that can be solely addressed for its own sake, and if a climate change deal is to be lasing and effective with sufficient member state compliance, its goals and standards must closely align with national interests and provide incentives that accommodate global economic prosperity.


  3. I like the point you make about the younger generation in the U.S. being more concerned about the affects of climate change and doing something to stop it than older generations, I think this is probably true in most industrialized countries with large carbon footprints. Unfortunately, the people who are in charge of making and implementing policies regarding climate change are all part of older generations and tend to be less serious and concerned about this issue because they are less affected by it. This is one of the main reasons it has been so difficult to take action. As the younger generation grows older and gains more power and influence, this will probably change. Hopefully it won’t be too late by then.


  4. You talked about the concept that the younger generation is more concerned with global warming than the older generation, but could this be for good reason? The younger generation knows that the threat of global warming will affect them more than the older generations, but what they do not consider is the fact other issues are just as threatening. If we focus all of our attention on the environment, rather than tax and political issues, we will end up in a world of people being bogged down by financial obligations with no means to actually help the environment.
    Rather than letting smaller and developing countries ” find their individual losses and gains by combating climate change on a domestic scale first” why don’t we try to find affordable and accessible sources of alternative energy so that they never have to guess and check their CO2 emissions. We should invest more in energy sources that even the poorest countries can afford and still be able to develop at a close rate to that of the United States and other highly developed countries.


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