The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio
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Climate Change

April 12, 2017

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Climate changes cause chaos

CClimate change is an issue that is increasingly being discussed. Recently, reports of the dangers of climate change have consistently been a concern of environmental scientists. However, due to political matters, climate change continues to be a debated issue.

“I don’t think a reasonable person can look at the data and the obvious signs of climate change and deny it is occurring. Instead it comes down to making it a chief responsibility, looking at the economic cost, making an effort to try to reverse or slow down the negative impacts land looking at the consequences of not responding to climate change effects,” said Mr. Robert Seiple, AP environmental teacher.

Making it a main responsibility in all people’s eyes is not something that can be changed overnight. It takes educating the public on the possible harmful effects and paying attention to the world.

“Climate change is a part of a suite of issues that are defining issues of our time. These are things that will fundamentally change how we live on this planet and perhaps even if we survive on this planet,””

— Mr. Ronald Hochstrasser, AP Envrionmental teacher

Furthermore, people must weigh whether they would rather have short-term economic success or long-term health.

While producing energy through nonrenewable resources might be more economically efficient, it has long-term environmental impacts that devastate the land, water and air on earth.

The importance of trying to reverse or even slow down the process of global warming is demonstrated in the consequences from which the world is already suffering. With ice caps melting, temperatures drastically increasing, and sea levels rising, actions need to be taken sooner rather than later.

“This issue is considered differently to each individual since it is based in our values-our attitudes, which have been shaped by [the] people and experiences in our lives,” Seiple said.

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Climate changes, global challenges

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Government controls climate, or not

Despite general global trends towards regulating carbon dioxide emissions and reducing climate change, the current Trump administration is preparing to roll back on environmental regulations.

This will include reducing federal regulations on vehicle pollution that drove up prices. Following, this may include breaking down previous president Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, all for economical purposes.

While Trump has yet to discuss any kind of replacement, the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide may require him to develop some kind of weaker version of the CPP.

“I’ve seen the impacts of climate change on the tundra as the flora changes and I’ve seen the impact in the tropics as sea level rise increases beach erosion and whole coastlines are shifting. The consequences are happening all around us while idiots continue to take in political positions rather than scientific ones,” said Mr. Ron Hochstrasser, AP Environmental teacher.

In recent years, the EPA has imposed regulations on the oil/natural gas industry and transportation, attempted to reduce America’s carbon footprint, and conducted research to better understand climate change.

However, changes are expected to arrive soon, as the new administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, recently said that he is skeptical of the scientific community’s views on carbon dioxide and human activity’s role in global warming.

It has been suggested that the EPA’s $8.1 billion annual budget and workforce will be reduced. In fact, Trump has mentioned “abolishing” the EPA altogether.
Other federal agencies directly involved with the environment, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior, also face significant budget cuts.

Meanwhile, many international organizations like the European Union and the United Nations have initiatives like the Paris Agreement (which the US is considering pulling out of) to prevent further global climate change.

“Climate change in particular will reshape nearly every country in the world geographically, economically and socially…In the US, ironically, many of the people who will suffer consequences most are the people who buy into climate lies.

“I no longer consider many of those individuals who question climate change to be ‘climate deniers’ but rather I think they are in fact ‘climate liars.’ Most of the politicians who fall into the “denial” camp, know full well that the evidence suggests otherwise, but they choose to lie about the issue for political and economic gain,” Hochstrasser said.

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