University Times

Going Down With the Ship

Kyle Frizol, Editor In Chief

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In the face of insufferable politicians, elected officials, oil executives and corporations, climate change has been written off as an inconvenient improbability, swept behind the priorities of their profits, votes, and re-election support.

Call it what you will; global warming or climate change is a reality that is warming the planet at unprecedented rates, melting massive ice caps on both poles, creating dramatic weather patterns, threatening to wipe out coastal communities and killing off countless species as a result of inhabitable climates. Yet, many that represent the nation in Washington, in governor’s mansions throughout the country, many that continue to invest in oil and gas corporations, who continue to promote inaction and complete disregard to robust evidence.

Since 1995, NASA’s Global Climate Change research has tracked Antarctic ice loss across East and West Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula. The rate of ice loss and the resulting ice sheet contribution to the global sea level has increased exponentially since then. According to NASA, since 2012, ice loss has tripled. Worse yet, it has caused sea levels to rise faster than at any time in the past 25 years, according to NASA.

If rising sea levels wasn’t convincing enough, consider the greenhouse gas emissions that are being trapped in the atmosphere and are warming the planet. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. However, for President Donald Trump, the EPA is “a job-killing bureaucracy that had needlessly hamstrung the American economy with costly regulations.” If the EPA, whose job is to protect the U.S. domestic environment, is not supported by our President, then it’s no surprise that inaction is so pervasive throughout the Country.

Further yet, during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to “get rid of it [EPA] in almost every form.” At Trump’s side, his administrators and cabinet members continue to push the rhetoric of climate change denial. Take Trump’s former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who had sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, according to The Week. When your president condones such a disregard for the reality of climate change, it really isn’t shocking that his constituents and colleagues follow suit as well.

However, on the international stage, the United States is a stark contradiction to the European powers of France, Germany and Britain, who have committed millions of dollars to climate change research, awareness and efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Worse yet, the United States backed out of the Paris Agreement, the only country in the United Nations (UN) to do so. Rather than joining the rest of the world to make last-ditch efforts to slow down greenhouse-gas emissions, the United States is represented by a President who does not reflect the views of the majority in regard to climate change.

We’re beyond the point of salvaging the climate mess and leaving it behind us; now, we must accept the impact of our actions and watch on helplessly as ecosystems continue to crumble, as species go extinct at alarming rates, and the Earth insulates to an inhabitable global-climate.

 

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