Opinion

It’s Time to Change the Politics and Stop Changing the Climate

Photo courtesy of Laurie Shaull

President Donald J. Trump recently signed an executive order that halts efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict and limit carbon dioxide emissions, curbing the U.S. government’s attempts to combat climate change.

The Trump Administration’s reasoning behind this order is to encourage American business. Trump believes climate change policies put the U.S. economy at great risk and harm.

What Trump is failing to see is the significant risk he’s putting the entire world in.

Carbon dioxide is the primary gas emitted through human activity, and the three main ways humans emit carbon dioxide are electricity, transportation and industry.

All three are large components of American business such as agriculture, manufacturing, even tourism industries.

In the short term, Trump’s executive order may stimulate business production. But the long-term effects could be much more severe.

If we don’t curb the release of carbon dioxide, the U.S. economy could fail.

Agriculture is a $300 billion industry, according to the EPA. Drastic changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods as a result of climate change pose major threats to crop yields.

If we aren’t able to produce and harvest a sufficient amount of crops, we risk losing a major cornerstone of the U.S. economy.

These changes in temperature will also affect the amount of energy that’s produced, delivered and consumed in the United States.

Without reliable access to energy, how does Trump assume American businesses will be able to operate?

Despite those obstacles, we shouldn’t be singly honed in on the economic aspect of climate change.

Climate change isn’t a political issue. The science is proven. Climate change is real.

Instead of debating whether climate change is real or not, or making the debate political, Republicans and Democrats should create policies that help protect the planet.

For too long climate change has been viewed as a liberal ideology and deception. In reality, climate change is a universal threat. It’s not just a Republican issue or just a Democratic
issue.

It’s as if Trump, by signing this executive order, is showing he cares more about making sure former President Barack Obama has no presidential legacy than ensuring what’s best for the health of the environment and humanity.

It’s time we move away from this emphasis on monetary reliance and realize the reliance we have on the earth and the reliance it has on us to treat it right.

We can no longer avoid facts for the sake of our political reputation or economic gains. Both Democrats and Republicans benefit by universally protecting our home.

As Trump said in his victory speech in November, “I want to tell the world, while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with other countries and all people.”

Is the safety and protection of our home not in the best interest of all Americans and fair to other countries and all people?

Climate change is an environmental and human rights issue. The United States can’t risk being selfish in the case of climate change because climate change affects the whole planet. It’s time we take responsibility and be progressive.

The mentality of denial halts advancements in creating a sustainable earth for us and future generations. We can’t get stuck in the current convenience of ignoring our nation’s direct contributions to climate change.

Our nation’s destructive actions toward the environment aren’t worth any political or economic gain. We need to change the politics, not the climate.

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