Column: Franki and Maddie Try to Change the World

Students in Pittsburgh miss school to strike out against climate change // Image courtesy of wikipedia.org.

For our first piece, we wanted to focus on recent climate legislation action and protests. Students across the globe skipped school on Friday, September 20 to demand government and U.N. leaders to take action combating climate change. Just like any other political issue, Republicans and Democrats have differing views on the subject.

According to climate.nasa.gov, the climate has risen nearly 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. The five warmest years have occurred since 2010, and 2016 was the warmest year on record. Global sea level has risen nearly eight inches in the last century.

Democratic:

Recent proposed goals by Democrats include reducing pollution due to fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing fossil fuels and gases, they aim to create a ‘clean energy economy.’ 

According to climatecommunication.yale.edu, Democrats believe that creating a ‘clean energy economy’ will not only help preserve the environment, but it will also create jobs and reduce power bills for the average American household. Democrats are aiming to create a more sustainable society through green energy sources and cleaner living. Democrats want to see a change in the current laws and regulations on environmental causes, and they hope to make the laws stronger in order to protect the environment. They are also angered by the defunding of the Environmental Protection Agency and extinguishing of regulations on industry pollutants under the Trump administration. 

Republican:

According to the Yale Program on Climate and Communication, only 40 percent of conservative Republicans believe global warming exists, 26 percent of which believe it is due to human error. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of registered Republicans do not see climate change or global warming as an issue. Many in this party argue global warming is caused by the Earth’s natural rotation around the sun, therefore they see no issue in it and do not propose any methods to solve it. Republicans that do believe in climate change are weary of any drastic changes from fossil fuels to clean energy, because they project that it will have a damaging impact on the economy. 

Our Stance:

We believe stronger legislation is needed to protect the environment. The economy is a vital part of our country, but if the climate issue escalates, as predicted by scientists, there will not be a planet for the economy to even exist on. A medium between the viewpoints needs to be reached very soon in order to combat climate change. It is okay to not want to take drastic measures and it is normal to be afraid of change. However, what is not okay is choosing to ignore science and refuse to come to a concession when the future of life on the planet is at stake. This medium needs to include a strong and concise plan to improve our impact on the Earth as well as preserve our species and every other species that inhabits it. The economy needs to be taken into account to a certain extent but the solution should be rooted in motivation to end climate change.

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