The current U.S. administration’s decision to remove regulations designed to help fight climate change is a dangerous assault towards the health of our environment and a move backwards from a sustainable approach to energy needs. How can the current U.S. administration look their own families in the eyes and believe deep in their hearts that everything just about every scientist is saying about human induced climate change is miscalculated? Is there anything in this life that you can be 100% certain about? I would argue that there isn’t anything you can really know for sure and when it comes to something as complicated and vast as our climate system, no one can be fully certain.
However, decisions being made at the highest level of our government imply certainty that climate change is not real. What does a warmer, less predictable world wide climate look and feel like? Many would respond by simply saying look around the world now. The scientific community has made it very clear that rolling back regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will ensure that temperatures will continue to rise and precipitation patterns will unpredictably shift. There will be increases in droughts and heat waves, more intense storms, sea level rise and an ice-free Artic.
There is overwhelming scientific data that has been collected over the years that should change even the most stubborn of skeptics minds. But, pointing to this evidence, which has been effectively done through countless organizations, talented writers, speakers, filmmakers, politicians, musicians and of course scientists the world over, simply doesn’t seem to reach the hearts and minds of those who continue to encourage and enable destructive behavior towards our beautiful planet and all of its inhabitants.
I ask anyone who believes in discarding years of progressive environmental policy based on scientific data: is rolling back federal government efforts to fight climate change worth the short term profits at the expense of a potentially less hospitable planet? Many would argue, including all countries who signed the 2015 Paris agreement, that discouraging carbon emissions ignites innovation and growth in the sustainable energy sectors. One must be blind to history to believe that unsustainable jobs for American workers today are more important than the potential ills our planet may face tomorrow. Just go visit the boom and bust ghost towns that litter our landscapes.
The stakes are too high for the future of our planet for these misguided bets against global scientific evidence. We should not be repealing environmental regulations. We should be listening to the scientists and working to make current and future regulations result in positive outcomes for our planet.
Environmental policy decisions made now will have far reaching impacts that will stretch far beyond the lifetimes of those in power. The picture of a warm soupy planet that the majority of scientists are painting is not very pretty. There is a chance that the scientists are right. They tend to be pretty smart people and if they are right, how can we sit back and let what the Trump Administration is doing go on without a fight; a fight that must be won. Thankfully, the rest of the world is not following our lead and they are sticking to the promises they made in the Paris Climate Treaty.
This administration, along with recently becoming a father, has made me feel that the time for standing idly by while the future of our beautiful planet gets shortchanged at the hands of those sick with addictions to power and greed must end. The time has never been more ripe to reject short-term minded environmental policies. The time to rise up and demand action is now.