Contemporary public perception of environmentalism is generally a positive one. Climate change has been legitimized by mainstream science and its effects have been unfolding before our eyes. There is some sense of urgency with the issue of climate change, it seems to temporarily amplify when we bare witness to disasters like the Gulf oil spill a few years back or the damaged nuclear reactor in Japan. Evidence of a growing interest in environmentalism is everywhere. The nature of this website and its popularity is an indication in its own. “Going green” is a commercial phenomenon that has flooded into almost every market sector. Whether companies go green out of a feeling of responsibility or to maintain good PR the end result is a proactive one. Despite this commercial transition and conscious efforts conserve or avoid, we are near the point of no return. Emissions are as dense as ever, recycling rates are low and we remain dependent on fossil fuels.
Despite the increase in popularity, some opponents of environmentalism have spinned it into a hindrance to job creation and economic growth. For example, Califoria has one of the most comprehensive climate change law (also known as AB32) in the US and possibly in the world. But it has been slow to be implemented and has faced many legal and budgetary challenges. Many opponents are saying the law will drive many small businesses out, burden the state with more debt and lower productivity of companies. This can also be said about the Kyoto Protocol, the current international treaty to lower global greenhouse gas emissions. The United States has not and probably will never ratify this treaty because of the economic disadvantage that the more developed nations will be given if they were to implement the treaty. Overall, I still think environmentalism has been generally favored by the general public.
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