By Ava Francis-Hall
Climate change is one of the most challenging problems of the century as President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress aim to pass legislation which could advance the rate of global warming.
The exit of the Obama administration has introduced a new era of climate change deniers and enablers. Policies passed by the Trump administration have strongly escalated the rate at which carbon emissions and other harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere.
Josh Fryday, the Mayor Pro Tem of Novato, condemned the inaction of some Republicans regarding legislation to fight climate change.
“I feel that they are clearly on the wrong side of history. And I think that our children and grandchildren will not judge them very well,” Fryday said.
The Trump administration has rolled back countless policies that intended to regulate the release of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. From approving the Dakota Access Pipeline to appointing climate-change denier Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it has become clear that the environment is not considered a priority for the current administration.
On June 1 of this year, the United States decided to exit the Paris Climate Deal, in which every country all over the world (except Nicaragua) agreed to make efforts to curb their toxic emissions. The Trump administration made a choice that had once been unthinkable.
Some Republicans have acknowledged the science behind climate change, but others refute these irrefutable facts. According to NASA, sea levels have risen about 8 inches, which is more than double the amount it rose in the last century. Ice sheets in the Arctic have shrunk and the global temperature has risen at an incredibly alarming rate.
“We see that the amount of carbon dioxide, at least in the measurable past, is at its highest levels… when you have carbon dioxide higher in the atmosphere … the sunlight comes into the earth but because carbon dioxide basically traps that heat, it doesn’t escape and therefore the earth gets warmer,” said science teacher Jon Dick.
However, numerous Republicans still choose to support oil, gas, and coal businesses who would lose money under tougher regulations. A trade of morals is enacted when the Trump administration and his docile Republican congress deregulate and support unsubstantiated claims in an effort to be in the favor of big business. The impact of climate change is already evident.
The images of Hurricane Irma and Harvey are still vivid for Americans nationwide. These natural disasters were worsened by the effects of climate change, including the rise of the sea level and the increased moisture in the air.
“Because of the fact that the earth is getting warmer, hurricanes basically form because of warm water, and if those warm waters are even raising up to a couple of degrees, that’s gonna have an impact on that type of thing [hurricanes],” said Dick.
Climate change for many has seemed to be a problem that future generations will deal with. Natural disasters such as the hurricanes in Florida and Louisiana prove just how real this problem is.
Constituents have a duty to pressure their representatives into making the right decisions for their counties.
“This is an opportunity for American citizens and average people to step up and have their voices heard, and make sure that their representatives are listening to them,” said Fryday.
Fraudulent congress people can pass policies, deny scientific truth, and worsen the state of the environment surrounding every person on the planet. In spite of all the obstacles the American people face in the fight to preserve and nurture the environment, on fact rings true - Congress represents what the people need, and the people need change.