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Growing Concerns

Are Individual Efforts Effective? •

Concern about climate change, coupled with fear of a faltering economy, are influencing more and more consumers to make environmentally friendly choices. Total fossil fuel use is on the rise due to low energy costs, economic growth, and population growth.

Professor Gerald T. Gardener at the University of Michigan stated that, "U.S. households account for about 38 percent of national carbon emissions through their direct actions."

By changing the selection and use of household products and vehicles, making significant economic sacrifices, and being aware of their total consumption, individual household's can tremendously decrease energy consumption by almost 30 percent and help reduce the damage being done to the environment.

Total fossil fuel use is on the rise due to low energy costs, economic growth, and population growth.

Government's Role

• •

Bad habits and fossil fuel dependency have caused CO2 and other emissions to rise despite the efforts being made to reduce them. •

Many industrialized nations have an addiction to electronics such as large television screens, wireless communication devices, and game systems and are increasingly growing accustomed to buying larger homes and cars. In turn, energy consumption is sky rocketing when energy conservation is taking a backseat. People are putting their own survival needs ahead of the environment. Climate change and concern over pollution and inefficiency are tak-

Individuals and households can play are bigger role in cutting energy consumption and emissions than many consumers realize. •

Many industrialized nations rely on enormous amounts of energy in order to sustain economic growth, but the increasing cost in fuel and the high costs of environmental damage has led many governments to enact more legislation to enforce stricter standards of energy consumption. However, many speculate as to whether or not any government is actually helping. Many of the U.S.'s programs, laws, and bureaucracies are inefficient, ineffective, corrupt, and hypocritical. They make things worse and are unproductive. Eric Carlson, founder and president of Carbonfund.org, says that the "Government needs to take a [more] holistic approach to the whole carbon footprint issue." Although it is important for individuals to voluntarily do their part in being more energy efficient, it is imperative that the government of many nations implement programs to give incentives to people using less energy, innovate old energy producing plants, and gradually move towards increased us in renewable energy.


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