Climate change. Still a problem. A problem without easy solutions.
The overwhelming majority of scientists (like 97% of them) say that climate change is caused by humans. Here’s how it works: humans burn fossil fuels (like coal and oil). That emits greenhouse gases that rise into the atmosphere and create a blanket around Earth. That blanket traps in heat, ergo global warming. Climate change causes everything from extreme weather (think: the 2017 hurricane season) to rising sea levels. And rising sea levels can lead to things like coastal flooding – which has gotten worse in the past few decades. Not good.
Isn’t there a climate deal?
You’ve prob heard about the Paris climate deal. Quick reminder: In 2015, the US and almost every other country in the world agreed to make the world a greener place by doing things like cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, adopting green energy sources, etc. It was a BF green D. Last year, President Trump pulled the US out of the deal because he says it hurt businesses and taxpayers. Despite all this, some cities, states, and big companies have pledged to continue to follow the climate goals and guidelines in the deal.
What's the latest?
Earlier this year, the Trump admin released a report that said the planet will warm up a few degrees by the end of the century. Which could lead to things like coral reefs dissolving, coastal cities like Manhattan and Miami going underwater, and extreme heat becoming the norm. How to fix it? The admin’s saying ‘it’s too late to fix it, sorry.’ Also in October, the UN dropped a major report saying the world has 12 years to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions...or we could start seeing severe impacts of climate change by 2040. Meaning some of the worst impacts of climate change – like more frequent droughts and flooding, and extreme heat – are expected to happen in our lifetimes. How to fix it? The UN says governments around the world should do things like set up high carbon taxes and stop using coal.
What does the left say?
We’re with the 97% of scientists that blame humans for climate change. This is a major national security threat for us – and it’s our job to make sure future generations don’t have to deal with this threat.
What does the right say?
Depends on who you ask, some say this could all just be a hoax. Or nature just running its course. Or it could be a real thing – but businesses have to shell out too much money on tech that complies with certain environmental standards.
What can my elected reps do about it?
— Your US senator or representative can work on legislation that protects the environment while also making sure businesses aren’t put at a disadvantage with high production costs
— Your governor or state rep can work on legislation that would help make your state more green. One example is California’s legislation to create more incentives for companies to pollute less
— Your mayor can find ways to make your local community greener – like adding more recycling bins around your town
Ever since President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, state and local reps have been taking the issue into their own hands...so you can bet this will come up this election season.