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Rising controversy over climate change

Jamie Yeh

Jamie Yeh

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Former President Barack Obama made great strides to protect the environment during his eight years in office. From signing off on the Paris Climate Agreement to addressing climate change as a global threat to introducing the Clean Water Rule in order to restore protection to streams, President Obama made it a priority to ensure the health of his citizens and the natural world. Unfortunately, the Trump administration threatens to undo this progress in order to free businesses from regulations. While these decisions may lead to quick economic growth, it will be regular citizens who end up paying for it.

President Trump himself is a staunch climate change denier, having referred to the concept of “a hoax” and stating his intention to pull out of the Paris Agreement several times throughout the campaign trail. A recent report from The Independent states that the President intends to cut funding for the NOAA by almost a fifth. This is unacceptable; there is an overwhelming amount of evidence proving the existence of global warming. NASA does an effective job of  summarizing this data for everyone to understand. For 400,000 years, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern, never dropping below 160 parts per million or exceeding or exceeding 300. That all changed in 1950 when industrialization caused carbon dioxide levels broke 300 parts per million for the first time in Earth’s modern history and have been sharply increasing ever since.

Challenging the concept of human caused climate change isn’t healthy debate, it’s ludicrousy. The President is endangering the lives of countless generations that will come after him by refusing to acknowledge very basic evidence. That is the stance of a child throwing a tantrum, not the leader of a global superpower.

The President  also targeted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since taking office. The President has been at odds with the agency due to regulations imposed on projects such as the Keystone XL Pipeline. Myron Ebell, the head of President Trump’s EPA transition team, even referred to the agency as “the greatest threat to freedom in the modern world” during an interview with the Guardian. That makes no sense; the EPA exists to ensure that Americans are living in a country with clean air and water. It plays a key role in upholding the constitution by protecting the right to life. A lack of scientific oversight denies Americans access to safe drinking water. As a business man, it is understandable why Donald Trump may be frustrated by regulations; but has President, he needs to understand that they ultimately exist to protect the American people from the rash actions profit motive causes.

The President has continuously stated that his goal is to make America safe again, but doing so requires acknowledging scientific truths. It is vital, not just for the future of the planet as a whole, that the President understand what Obama was saying from his first day until his last: that our well being will always be directly tied to the environment.

 

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Rising controversy over climate change