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Now review and compare the claims, evidence and reasoning from both the “PRO” and “CON” sides of the article “Should Congress consider comprehensive climate change laws?” Opens a new window.

"PRO" side of the article

Claim Evidence Reasoning
Now is the time for the United States to lead other countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that the warming of the Earth's climate system is undeniable and never seen before. The IPCC study also found that it was "extremely likely" that human influence has been the major cause of climate change. At the same time, international meetings struggle to devise broadly acceptable agreements on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is a sense of urgency with which climate change needs to be addressed because greenhouse gas emissions threaten the world’s economy, environment and public health. Because international meetings have not been successful with developing an agreeable plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the United States must act now in leading other countries.
Passing a sweeping national climate change law would be a good start to the United States taking on a leadership role for other countries and minimizing its effects on climate change. More than half of the states and more than a thousand U.S. cities have adopted a diversity of policies that could substantially reduce the release of greenhouse gas emissions. They include innovative actions on renewable fuels, such as those made from vegetables. These cities have also been promoting energy efficiency, public transportation, building efficiency and more. Yet the new regulations are not sufficient to tackle climate change, because there is no commitment by the U.S. as a whole. If there was, it might push reluctant nations around the world to do their own part.

"CON" side of the article

Claim Evidence Reasoning
Congress should not waste time legislating climate change. The combination of the natural gas revolution and economic inactivity has already cut our emissions of greenhouse gases dramatically. These reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have occurred without Congress doing anything at all.
The U.S. should not cut our emissions before an agreement is reached with other countries such as China and India. Chinese energy consumption and the number of cars they are driving are growing rapidly. The additional greenhouse gases they produce will overwhelm any reductions possible in the U.S. today.
Climate change will require careful deliberation, extended debate, and legislation, none of which can occur at this point in the election cycle. Candidates have yet to put forward specific proposals and debate their merits on the campaign trail so that voters can make informed choices. The candidates are too focused on fundraising. Since energy touches every aspect of our lives, this subject requires opportunities for people to review the evidence and discuss it, none of which can happen when candidates are distracted with raising money to get elected.

Remember that part of writing a good argument is to consider the strengths and limitations of both sides of the argument. Use the information from the charts above and any additional evidence and reasoning from the article to answer the question in the activity below.