Politics and Climate Change

When referring to climate change, this means the immense changes in (global) temperature and other shifts in climate over large periods of time. As humans we have realized that climate change has been happening for over hundreds of years. Many people try to deny the existence of climate change and many people who try to deny humans being the reason of climate change.

For centuries the levels of carbon dioxide had been somewhat steady and never surpassed a certain amount. But currently the carbon dioxide levels have surpassed levels we have never reached and continue to do so. The planet is persistently getting warmer and there is evidence showing how the probability of it being due to human activity is more than likely. The planet’s overall temperature has also almost risen a full two degrees (Fahrenheit) since the 1900s. Most of the Earth’s warming has occurred relatively recent and the latest years continue to be the peak in Earth’s temperature. (“Climate”).

Due to the recent major shifts in temperature, around the world there have been records of shrinking glaciers and ice sheets, and less snow coverage. Glaciers from everywhere including the Himalayas and Rockies are shrinking. And because of the melting ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica have both decreased in land mass because of their loss of ice equivalent to hundreds of billions of tons. Oceans have also been warming as well as sea levels have been rising. Oceans absorb a lot of the increased heat and have increased in temperature almost .5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1960s. Sea levels have risen globally eight inches within the last century but had the greatest increase within the last few decades. (“Climate”).

Humans have been contributing to climate change for years and it has just continued to build up. For example, deforestation and land clearing. A big contribution has been transportation because of the constant burning of fossil fuels for its use in cars, trains, ships and planes. All of these produce exponential amounts of greenhouse gas emissions which leads to the warming of the earth. With the amount of CO2 humans are constantly letting out into the atmosphere, its ignorant for anyone to believe humans are not responsible for the continuous change in climate. People often like to believe that the warming of the earth is not due to mankind and they look to examine the Earth’s path around the sun and the irregular weather patterns and come to the conclusion that the Sun influenced the shift in climate.

The political debate on climate change is focused heavily on both the existence of climate change and whether or not we humans are the major cause of it. Republicans are often known for not wanting to enforce any new climate change policies because many of them have claimed climate change to be made up while democrats tend to enforce climate changing policies and think it poses a real threat to economy and national security. President Trump who is a Republican has yet to confirm climate change as a whole.

Although many politicians have claimed to support climate change policies, few have followed through with true solutions to help our world. Just during Obama’s Presidency Republicans showed little to no incentive to do anything about climate change. The current President of the United States actually issued an Executive Order to reduce green initiatives Obama put into place during his presidency. He has also attempting cutting over thirty percent of the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump also detached the United States from the Paris Accord which is an agreement between international leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and regulate global temperature. President Trump is also attempting to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency in total. (“Climate’s Trump).

Even though there have been no true solutions to climate change and saving our planet there have been attempts made by politicians. For example President Richard Nixon who served from 1969 to 1974. Because his name is commonly connected to the Watergate Scandal it is often overlooked that as President he was a firm environmentalist. During his presidency his administration was able to create and enforced multiple environmental laws and policies that include but are not limited to: the National Environmental Policy Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Clean Air Act. President Ronald Reagan who served 1981 to 1989 also helped by signing the Montreal Protocol which is an agreement to help conserve the stratospheric ozone layer. President George W. Bush who served from 2001 to 2009 pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol which is an international treaty that called to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (“How Climate”).

Politics has a lasting effect on all issues, especially climate change. America has a political and economic system that gives power and money to the people. Because of this the solutions are political and economical as well. And it happens that the people with the power deny climate change and ignore the people of future generations. There is scientific evidence that President Trump is choosing to overlook every time he calls global warming a “hoax.” Doing so, as President he is choosing to overlook the future of his nation and the world. (“Facing”). The political debate of this topic can potentially have a dangerous outcome because if the topic is still being debated, that means not all political leaders agree that climate change exists. And if our political leaders do not think climate change exists, there will ultimately be no steps taken to discontinue global warming and our planet will continue to worsen. (“Why Republicans”).

Climate change is still a hotly debated political issue today because as a nation there has barely been anything done to solve the great problem and because of this, the problem continues to stand. The potential effects of this continued debate is even greater and as a whole will continue to worsen if no steps are taken by politicians to acquire a solution. (Things Fall). Climate change and politics go hand in hand in this way because the people have no power to make the change, it’s all given to our leaders. It does not help that our leaders have denied its existence because then people will feel as though nothing is wrong. When there is definitely something wrong and something has to be done about it. Our political leaders have the power to take action and make the most difference and the topic should no longer be debated.

Works Cited

  1. “Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 21 Sept. 2018, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.
  2. HERTSGAARD, MARK. “Climate’s Trump Card.” Nation, vol. 304, no. 13, Apr. 2017, pp. 4–8. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.mesacc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=122341109&site=ehost-live.
  3. Remnick, David. “Things Fall Apart.” New Yorker, vol. 93, no. 21, July 2017, pp. 15–16. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.mesacc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=124105711&site=ehost-live.
  4. SUBRAMANIAN, DIVYA. “Facing the Flood.” Publishers Weekly, vol. 264, no. 36, Sept. 2017, p. 81. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.mesacc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=124973751&site=ehost-live.
  5. Worland, Justin. “How Climate Change Became a Political Issue.” Time, vol. 190, no. 6, Aug. 2017, p. 25. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.mesacc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=124331514&site=ehost-live.
  6. Worland, Justin. “Why Republicans Are Embracing Climate Change.” Time, vol. 189, no. 11, Mar. 2017, pp. 23–24. EBSCOhost, login.ezp.mesacc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=121897732&site=ehost-live.