Climate Change and Environment Laws & Regulations

What Is Climate Change?

Climate change is the change in temperature and typical weather pattern in any place for a long period of time. Climate is usually mistaken for weather.

Climate change and Environment Laws & Regulations

Weather describes the conditions right now in a specific place which changes from day to day. For example: Weather events like Rain, Wind, Snow, Hurricanes, etc.

Climate, on the other hand describes the weather conditions measured over a long-term period. It includes various factors like seasonal temperature, rainfall and wind patterns. Every place has different climates which are classified into three types

  1. Arid Climate: Desert because of little water falls, rain or snow throughout the year.
  2. Tropical Climate: Places having hot and humid weather for a period of time
  3. Temperate Climate: Places having warm summers and cool winters.

Climate Change Definition

Climate change is the change of temperature and typical weather pattern in any place for a long period of time. It causes weather patterns to be less predictable. These abnormal variations to the climate attributes the increased levels of carbon dioxide produced in atmosphere by the use of fossil fuels and it also makes difficult to grow crops in such regions. It also causes other damaging events like frequent and intense hurricanes, winter storms, floods and down pours.

In polar regions, the global warming caused from climate change is melting the ice sheets and glaciers at high speed from every season to season. As a result, sea levels are rising in various regions of the planet damaging the coastlines due to increased flooding and erosion. The scientists of NASA have observed that the surface of Earth is warming, and the warmest years on record took place in the past 20 years.

Is Climate Change Man Made?

The climate change is mainly caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and oil which emits green house gases into the atmosphere. These gases rise the Earth’s average temperature by trapping heat from sun’s rays which is known as “Global Warming”. It impacts local as well as regional climates. This was a very slow process which has taken over thousands of years when it occurred naturally, but now the humans have influenced it very much faster rate.

What is Fracking?

Fracking is a controversial form of drilling used to extract natural gas and petroleum which uses very high pressure liquids to create cracks in underground shale. The emission of Carbon from these fossils fuels results in global warming and climate change.

Climate Change 2020

Climate Change in USA

The frequent floods in the central USA, a longer and costly wildfire season in the state of California, and droughts covering the Great Plains. The world’s best scientists tell us to stop the factors causing the climate change and 2020 must become the year for coordinated climate control action. The sooner the action taken there is better chance to prevent the dire impacts of rapid climate change.

The crescendo for climate change has taken a global momentum and 6 in 10 Americans are either concerned or alarmed about it. It has doubled in the past 5 years. Thousands of people from different walks of life are demanding climate action by taking it to streets, and many global companies have set climate action goals as well.

All Americans want the climate action to happen. 67% of Americans want the federal government of USA to do more climate action for reducing the effects of global climate change. In America more than 3,600 leaders from various walks of life are still dedicated to meet climate action as part of We Are Still In movement. The World Wide Federation(WWF) and other organizations are letting the world know that USA will do its part of climate action and address the climate crisis.

The upcoming United Nations Climate Summit and the 2020, we should reduce our own emissions causing climate change and demand the same from others. The citizens will no longer tolerate inaction and with everyone’s contribution, 2020 can become the year for taking back our planet. According to a report, if the Climate change is not controlled  in U.S. it can cost hundreds of billions a year by 2090.

How Climate Change And Pollution Are Threat To Biodiversity?

According to the reports from a leading global organization on biodiversity and ecosystems, Climate change is becoming  the most fast-growing cause for loss of species in America.

The factors like loss of habitat and land degradation is becoming  a top threat to wildlife around the world. In Africa, it may result in decline of few animals by as much as 50 % by the end of this century, and up to 90% of coral reefs in Pacific Ocean may degrade by mid-century. There are many other threats to biodiversity caused from pollution and over exploitation of land-use and these are greater immediate dangers to the wildlife around the world.

USA Environmental Law

The Environmental Law of USA governs the legal standards to protect human health and environment. It is a collection of laws, regulations, common law and agreements. The U.S. Congress has enacted federal statutes to remediate pollution control .The federal laws also govern the use of natural resources and biodiversity which are strongly affected by environmental principles.The list of major environmental law of USA is as follows

  • The Clean Air Act(air pollution),
  • The Clean Water Act(water pollution)
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act(CERCLA, or Superfund) ( cleanup of contaminated site).
  • The Endangered Species Act
  • National Forest Management Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • The National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • The Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
  • The Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • The Pollution Prevention Act
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
  • The Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act (SARA)
  • The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) etc.

The timeline of USA environmental laws and regulation began in 20th century.

Climate change and Environment Laws & Regulations

What Are Environmental Laws And Regulations?

The United states law compared to other countries could be called out for its lapses when it comes to protecting the human health and environment, but it is still considered one of the best countries for environmental protection. It ranks 3rd in the Environmental Democracy Index. The U.S. Environmental law and regulations deals with various topics such as:

  • Air Quality: The Clear Air Act was passed to protect air pollution from ozone depletion.
  • Water Quality: The Clean Water Act was passed to protect water pollution and how to treat waste water and manage surface run off.
  • Contaminant cleanup:The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act(CERCLA, or Superfund) was passed for contaminant cleanup to deal with includes cleanup protocols and punishment for polluters.
  • Waste Management:The management of municipal waste, hazardous substances and nuclear waste.
  • Chemical safety : It regulates the use of pesticide and chemicals in plastic bottles
  • Hunting and Fishing: The Environmental laws and regulations protect wild life populations.

What Is Environmental Protection Agency ?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an agency of the U.S. federal government established in December 1970 by the executive order of President Richard Nixon in order to protect human health and environment.

What Is The Main Goal Of Environmental Policy?

The main purpose of environmental policy is to regulate use of natural resources to reduce pollution and/or protect human health. It also deals with public policy concerns like economic growth, affordable energy and rights of citizens. Environmental policy also include federal laws and policies addressing air pollution and water pollution, chemical and oil spills, smog,  quality of drinking water, land conservation and management, and protection of wildlife i.e. endangered species.

What Is Local Environmental Law?

Local Environmental Law ensures  environmental preservation and conservation at local level. The local governments all over the country have adopted various policies and environmental standards. The municipalities have also included environmental provisions in their comprehensive plans, land use regulations like zoning, subdivisions and site plan regulations and many innovative laws that protect environmental resources and prevent  degradation of environment. The Center has compiled techniques to protect natural resources at the local level.

Hence, climate action and implementation of environmental law, regulations and policies is a must to protect the human health and natural environment.

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