Global Warning: a planet under siege

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Global Warning: a planet under siege

Spencer Ferguson

Spencer Ferguson

Spencer Ferguson

Sydney Hilbush

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“Global Warning” is a column discussing climate policy under the Trump administration, focusing on the environmental repercussions of proposed legislation in the face of climate change. 

 

It shouldn’t take a climate catastrophe to care about the environment. But here we are— every year, humans dump 14 billion pounds of trash into the ocean, force 10,000 species into extinction, cut down 78 million acres of trees in the Amazon Rainforest alone and warm the planet by 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA and World Wildlife Fund. The human race is degrading our planet at an unprecedented rate—the same planet that provides us with our beautiful oceans, lakes, rivers, forests, beaches, hiking trails and everything in between. As humans have pushed our planet to the brink of catastrophe, caring about our climate is no longer an option, but an obligation.

We take nature’s natural services for granted and exploit the planet for our own monetary and materialistic purposes. We have turned a blind eye to the destruction of our world’s precious habitats and delicate ecosystems while producing greenhouse gases at a horrifying rate.

As we continue to melt the earth, America shrugs and turns back to the political turmoil that encompasses our media outlets. Although the prospect of an unlivable planet in the near future should be drastically alarming to the public, Americans have become consumed with the daily chaos of political upheaval, leaving climate change idle on the back burner of the mind. Global warming is not addressed with urgency in this country, as 54 percent of citizens don’t believe that climate change will pose a serious threat within their lifetime, even though half of those people will be displaced by 2050, according to the Atlanta Georgia News.

But how can we blame ourselves for forgetting about the planet when our nation is ruled by a president who disregards science and labels climate change as a “hoax?” To Donald Trump, the future of our planet is a problem for the next president or the next generation. However, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the human race only has 10 years to save itself before climate degradation kicks in at full speed, gearing the human race towards an uninhabitable planet.

We will be spending at least two of those crucial 10 years under Trump. Suddenly, climate change doesn’t feel like a problem for the next generation, because without immediate action, there might not be a next generation.

Trust me when I say I could spend all day ranting about current climate policy and the selfish nature of humans. However, I did not come here to complain—I hope this ongoing column can serve as a platform for reliable information about environmental policy under the current administration, and what humans should be doing to slow the pace of global warming before we face a bleak planet (from a slightly biased perspective, I will say).

Believing in global warming is no longer a choice. Climate change can no longer be a partisan issue, because at this point, it’s not about policy. It is about the future of our planet and the future of the human race.