Climate and Air Pollution

Question: As increases in human population lead to expansive industrialization and cultivation, increased carbon emissions are resulting in global climate change. This atmospheric alteration may result in a number of detrimental environmental impacts including food insecurity, increased spread of disease, more intense storms, and sea level rise. As the United States is one of the largest contributors to atmospheric carbon emissions, describe one or two specific new policies might the United States enact to reduce its impact on global climate change. Be creative here; focus on policies that are not already in place.  Discuss the economic impacts of any proposed policy.

Tonya Gunn

Global climate change is going to cause major consequences if policies are not put in place to slow down the atmospheric carbon emissions that are created daily.  There are many policies that have already been implemented throughout the years but, perhaps more strict policies are needed. Turk and Bensel (2014) discuss that political will is a factor in sensible policies that can be done with the right leadership willing to be aggressive (Section 8.1).  An article by Goklany(1998) discusses the potential for higher crop yields in agriculture that could be developed by less land conversions and efficiently using technologies, stating that “the development of location-and crop- specific integrated nutrient, water, and pest management systems to optimize the timing, quantities, and mix of various inputs and chemicals used” (p 948, para2). This could also lessen environmental impacts by increasing fertilizer use and lessening pesticides. A second policy that could be implemented, which is already in place in some cities, is taxes on carbon footprints (CFT) that would positively impact the environment if more people would lessen their carbon footprint.  An article by McAusland and Najjar (2015) discusses taxes on importing goods in hopes that more people will choose local to reduce the carbon footprint. If more cities used these policies, climate change from carbon emissions would lessen and also positively impact economic growth, especially at a local level.


Goklany, I.M. (1998). Saving Habitat and Conserving Biodiversity on a Crowded Planet. Bioscience, (11), 941.

McAusland, C., & Najjar, N. (2015). Carbon Footprint Taxes. Environmental and Resource Economics, 61(1), 37-70. doi:

Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2014). Contemporary environmental issues (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Crystal Trivolis

There are many policies already in place to reduce carbon emissions in the United States. I was unable to come up with a brand new policy but I did come up with a policy that would add on to a current one. The United States does not require every state to conduct emissions testing on all vehicles in order to be registered and renewed. Only 32 states are required to have emissions testing, that does not mean that the entire state is required it depends on the zip code or county (Emissions, n.d.). On average a vehicle produces “around 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases for every gallon”of gas” (UCS, n.d.). That is saying the cars have passed their emissions test. For the cars that do not require emissions testing the number goes significantly up. The policy for emissions testing should become national and not regulated by the states. This would reduce the number of vehicles on the road that produce a significant amount of pollution. If the policy were to be implemented the United States would have to build an abundance of emissions testing locations. The reason that the emissions testing in a state depends on the zip code is because there is not a testing location. Building the testing sites would require a big budget and many manning hours that the United States may not be ready to spend.

UCS. (n.d.). Cars and Global Warming. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Emissions. (n.d.). State Emission Laws. Retrieve from