EDITORIAL: Climate change comes packing heat
This year’s record temperatures should be considered call to action
Do you feel the burn yet? Because you might soon enough.
The World Meteorological Organization released a statement that said 2016 will most likely be the world’s hottest year, topping the record of the last contender, which happens to be just last year in 2015. But with every year happening to be a mere record-breaker of the last and 16 out of the recorded 17 hottest years being accredited to this century, this news doesn’t come have much of a shock factor. Even scientists, although in a state of alarm, are not surprised.
This universal numbing of sentiments partnered with the record heat happens to hit a triple whammy with the recent victory of President-elect Donald Trump. Trump, who once attributed climate change to a “hoax” that was conceived by China, and has now shared his disapproval for the Paris Agreement, does not seem to be good news for the state of the climate.
With events such as the Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada and Hurricane Matthew, it is clear to see how the effects of climate change are near and frightening, but apparently not enough to incite change in policies or actions in order to protect the environment.
What started as a serene suggestion to “Keep America Beautiful” in the 1950s, is now a frantic call to action that seems to be ignored wherever it reaches. Where people once recommended that it’s the “little” things that go a long way, is now an alarming realization that drastic action needs to be taken. We need to adopt the mindset as individuals and as a nation that many other countries are implementing. Australia’s initiative to completely ban and replace incandescent light bulbs is exemplary of the manner of action that is needed to, at most, create some chance of the climate stagnating before it climbs even more.
But the problem is not just a mere denial of the problem as our president-elect chooses to embrace, but rather, the decision to declare climate change as an issue that is not immediate. Many people choose to ignore the problem simply because of the thinking that focuses solely on the short-term effects of actions rather than their long-term effects. But with the dilemma that was named the “biggest issue of our time” being ignored rather than feared and attended to, what else can another do besides join the masses and mentally apologize to the generations to come after us?
The first and foremost thing to do is not to lost hope. The second thing is to face the harsh reality that people are completely unmoved by the future state of the Earth and then, the third thing to do is to cater your message to whoever you’re talking to. The truth of the matter is that saying “save the Earth” is not enough to get through to some people.
Former President George W. Bush, although not being as proactive in climate politics as one would hope, sent a message in his State of the Union Address by suggesting alternative energy sources in order to reduce the U.S.’s dependence on the Middle East for oil.
But in the current state of politics, it is easy to become disheartened at getting through to making change. However, it could be possible. Focusing on an industry of carbon captures rather than burning fossil fuels can be good for business. And with one of Trump’s main concerns being creating a better infrastructure as well as more jobs, one could point him in the direction of green jobs.
The climate is in an extremely vulnerable position and the vast majority of the people in power care more about immediate business rather than the eventual condition of the environment, but all hope is not lost. With a lot of optimism and extreme dedication, maybe we can make America beautiful again — or at least a little cooler.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.