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The Climate Change Debate
Overview

image of Climate change demonstration in Oslo

Click to Enlarge The Climate Change Debate

Thousands are expected to gather in Washington, D.C., on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, for the March for Science, which was organized in response to recent policy decisions that critics feel undermine the role of scientific research in public policy making. One such action, the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Independence and Economic Growth, signed by President Donald Trump on March 28, has eased environmental regulations for industries such as coal. This and similar actions undertaken by the Trump administration have once again reignited the debate over climate change and the role the government should play in combating it.

The study of climate change has a long history. Beginning in the mid-1800s, scientists began to develop an understanding of the interaction certain gases like carbon dioxide have when released into the atmosphere (the "greenhouse effect"). In the 1930s, a researcher by the name of Guy Callendar suggested that global warming was partly anthropogenic (human-caused), caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Coinciding with the environmental movement of the late 1960s, the issue took on a new dimension when, for the first time, research on climate change began to have an effect on public policy.

Despite more research and greater scientific understanding of the effects of humans on climate change, the public and government continue to be divided on the issue. It remains clear that the issue of climate change is volatile and shows little sign of cooling off any time soon.

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MLA Citation

"The Climate Change Debate." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2072980. Accessed 19 July 2019.

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