Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2010


For several decades, global climate change has been an issue addressed in both national and international debates. While much of the rest of the world has adopted a number of treaties aimed at addressing global climate change, the United States has consistently lagged behind its peers. An examination of poll responses, Senate statements, and editorials determined that a number of factors may be causing this effect. Specifically, a disconnect between the public and the scientific community, a political system that has made the question one of elites versus the masses, and a historical tendency for the federal government to prioritize security and economic issues above all others help explain the United States’ policy response.