By Stephen Barr
I strongly believe we as a nation can get through these next four years. However, with a president who believes that climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, our environment and our planet simply cannot. This terrifies me. Even with our current president who believes in climate change, we have struggled mightily to protect our planet.
Therefore, there is no time left. It is imperative that we act now before the damage to our environment is irreversible (some scientists already believe it is). We only have one planet. It is absolutely ridiculous and simply preposterous that we cannot agree that it needs protecting.
Are we really so self-centered, so arrogant not to believe in climate change? Have we become so arrogant not to think about future generations, future inhabitants of this planet?
There is a reason y’all didn’t pull out your jackets until last week. There is a reason why NASA states that 2015 was the warmest year on record and this year is on track to be far warmer. There is a reason sea levels are rising. There is a reason there are more natural disasters than ever. There is a reason why Science Magazine predicts that one in six species will be put at risk of extinction in the near future if change does not come about.
Climate change is real and the fact is that the Republican Party is the only major political party in the entire world that disputes this. The majority of climate scientists believe climate change is occurring. However, according to Scientific American, only 47 percent of Republicans believe in climate change. We are supposed to celebrate this number because it has increased in recent years. I refuse. It is pathetic and perhaps most pathetic of all is that this number is likely to decrease due to our new “leader”; and his views on climate change.
Perhaps if Donald Trump were to visit China whose citizens actively advocate for change because they are directly affected by environmental issues daily, he would realize that if he carries out his wish of abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. would essentially become a second China in regards to pollution, air quality, and burning of fossil fuels contributing to climate change. Maybe then when he has to wear a mask to protect himself from the harmful and dangerous air, he would realize that he is astronomically incorrect and profoundly careless in his views. Perhaps if Trump opened his eyes and looked at the indisputable scientific evidence in front of him, we would have a planet that can survive, we would have a planet capable of sustaining civilization.
President Obama has said that his efforts in protecting the Earth and his efforts in making sure the U.S. is the leader in climate policy, have been his proudest legacy. With Trump on deck, this legacy will quickly be eliminated.
The New York Times reported that Trump has promised to pull out of last year’s historic and monumental Paris Agreement, in which more than 190 countries including the U.S. decided on a collective path forward to keep global temperature rises this century minus 2 degrees Celsius and limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
According to the Washington Post, Trump also wants to get rid of the Clean Power Plan, a plan that details a reduction in carbon pollution from states’ power plants. Essentially, as the New York Times has reported, Trump wants to do everything he can to increase the fossil fuel industry to benefit the economy. What he fails to realize is that if he follows through on his ambitions, our planet will undergo dramatic detrimental change. There will be more floods, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, coral bleaching and disruption of ecosystems. There will be more species extinct, more polluted air, more strain on our electrical supplies, and our food security will be put dramatically at risk.
With this election, in terms of the environment, we have taken a huge step backward — so far backward that we very likely can never step forward again. I am ashamed and downright terrified not only for the future of this planet but for the future generations who will always ask what happened, how we could possibly fail so greatly in electing our next president of the United States of America.
[SB1]The first part of this sentence comes from The New York Times where it says he promised to pull out while the next part with the temperatures comes from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
[SB2]The first part of the sentence where he wants to get rid of the plan comes from The Washington Post. “A plan that details a reduction in carbon pollution from states’ power plants” comes from the Environmental Protection Agency. The last part about fossil fuels comes from The New York Times.