Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Government Needs to Address Climate Change
With the last presidential campaign, it troubled me so much that the topic of climate change was virtually ignored. In fact, government makes a habit of ignoring the subject. Aside from the few conferences the United States has gone to to discuss global climate change, this country barely makes an effort to create legislation that could help alleviate the threat to the world. Not only do we ignore the issue, but some states even push the idea that there is no such thing as climate change.
This is starting to change due to the very apparent change of weather this country is going through. Unseasonable hurricanes, giant snow storms, blistering heat and drought—the weather has become completely unstable and in many cases fatal.
It is true, of course, that no single storm can be attributed to climate change. There have always been strong hurricanes and snow storms. But many scientists believe that rising carbon emissions could make extreme weather, just like Super Storm Sandy.
I believe that Sandy will finally make people stop and discuss climate change. The government cannot stand by and not discuss it when there are so many facts and statistics. The rising sea levels create a higher baseline for future storm surges and the New York City Panel on Climate Change has projected that coastal waters may rise by two feet by 2050 and four feet by the end of the century. This could mean a lot more destructive storms in our future.
Climate change also means more record breaking hot summers, droughts like the one we had this past summer that was the worst in more than half a century. Our government needs to invest in cleaner energy, impose a carbon tax on greenhouse gases and overall educate Americans on climate change and what they can do to reduce its toll. I think that there is a huge problem in the country with people either not understanding what climate change is or completely disregarding it.
There is no easy answer and I understand that it will take many decades to put in place everything we need to do, but we need to start today and at least start talking about the real issues. It is not okay for the government to sweep climate change under the proverbial rug.