America denies climate change


Tribune Services

GOING, GOING, GONE. Glaciers like the pictured Mendenhall are rapidly retreating. This is due to climate change. “The ice has thinned and melted back more than 2000 meters since it was first measured in 1911,” said Gary Braasch, an environmental photojornalist. Photo courtesy of Tribune Services.

It was a month after Donald Trump had won the election. I was at my grandma’s house celebrating Hanukkah, sitting on the couch because I was stuffed with latkes.

I could see my sister talking to my great uncle, noticeably annoyed and frustrated. All of a sudden I heard my sister declare “Are you serious?! Global warming is real! Maya come over here.”

It took a lot of effort to get up, but I did in the name of global warming. “He says he doesn’t believe in global warming,” my sister told me.

So, I tried explaining to my great uncle why he was wrong, but he still did not budge.

I thought that the denial of my uncle was an anomaly until my cousin said that he too does not believe climate change is occurring… Then my other cousin as well.

That is when I realized that we have a problem: global warming is not viewed as a pressing issue in America.This is evident with our current administration. Trump has gone so far to state that climate change is a hoax: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

In addition to his words, Trump’s actions also reflect his apathy for this pressing environmental problem. He vowed to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords, an Earth-conscious agreement dedicated to tackling global warming. This leaves our country as the only nation not participating in the deal.

Furthermore, Congress reversed 23 recent regulations in place to protect the environment during Trump’s first 100 days in office alone, according to “The New York Times.” One such regulation got rid of the requirement for reporting the emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.

Changes like these result in America regressing, not progressing because the future will be controlled by those who work toward preserving the environment and addressing global warming.

Some nations see that. Norway is one of them, aiming to sell only electric cars by 2025, in an effort to counteract climate change. Nations like France and the Netherlands have similar goals. Will America be behind?

In addition to our administration, the American population does not see global warming as a pressing issue. It is not concerned with this problem and how we as human beings exaggerate it.

This is evident in the numbers provided by Yale’s Program on Climate Change. 69 percent of Americans think global warming is happening, 17 percent are not sure, and 14 percent believe that global warming is not happening. Some may think that these statistics are not too bad… but 92 percent of France believes in the occurrence.

For a moment, never mind the the amount of people that believe in climate change, what about the amount of people worried about it? That number is significantly lower. Only 56 percent of our country is worried.

Some people may hear these statistics and say that more than half of our country is worried about climate change, thinking that is pretty good. However, this does not highlight the fact that 44 percent of Americans are not worried about global warming. Are that 44 percent going to be pushing for proactive climate legislation? Are they going to be concerned about their impact on climate change?

Others may bring up the fact that many state and local government institutions have been trying to address global warming by vowing to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement despite the Trump administrations opposite stance.

As great as that is, think about how much more of a difference would be made if every city, every county, every state, and the whole country were to partake. Now is the time to decide if we will continue to dismiss nature’s downfall or if we will acknowledge and do something about it.

Now is the time to decide if our government will treat climate change as the pressing issue that it is.

Remember, you can make a difference by doing the little things: eating less meat, unplugging appliances when they are not being used, and most importantly, by calling your local congressman or woman and demanding action.