America has made its choice; Donald Trump is next in line to become the President of the United States. With that, many have expressed concern regarding his views on climate change. Exhibiting a shift in perspective from seeing global warming as a Chinese hoax to recently promising open-mindedness on the matter, President-Elect Trump has demonstrated a fickleness in opinion.
This fickleness displeases many Americans, environmentalists in particular, as it obscures the extent of America’s integrity in abiding by the international accords made in Paris, only last year, to make a global effort against global warming. With this, it seems likely that at best, America will keep existing policies regarding climate change, but will not take much further action in fighting global warming. At worst, America may proceed to ignore such concerns entirely, which would be an enormous blow to the global effort against climate change.
Climate change is most often attributed to the emissions from burning fossil fuels, an activity America heavily takes part in. Of course, cars and other forms of transportation release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, but factory buildings and other power-consuming institutions are heavy contributors also. With such a heavy reliance on burning fossil fuels, it costs big money to restrict the practice of course in America, but globally. This cost is what Trump wants to cut back in spending, but is also perceived as essential by many.
Support from Trump’s apparent policy is not negligible, though. Many Americans make their livings in industries that produce fossil fuels and as such, cutbacks in the area jeopardizes jobs. The fossil fuel industry is a huge industry, with roots to Rockefeller, which offers wealth and power to a great many people. Many also believe that climate change is a scheme conjured up by coastal “aristocrats.”
However, there is strong scientific evidence supporting the global warming theory. Most notably, the polar ice caps are melting rapidly, with temperatures in the Arctic currently 20 Celsius degrees higher than they should be. Scientists even say we are rapidly approaching a tipping point, a point where we have caused enough environmental change either globally or specifically to an influential area such as the Artic so as to cause detrimental, though perhaps collateral, damage on a global scale that is often irreversible. Most of us have seen the graphs, fossil fuel levels in the atmosphere are reaching historically record highs, and there aren’t enough volcanic eruptions to be causing it.
As such, we find ourselves at a pivotal point where environmental efforts against global warming are absolutely necessary. Fortunately, the issue has become very popularized, and either through social media or through the news, almost everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike, knows what global warming is, which is progress. Furthermore, there are big corporations supporting or even built off of the cause. Notably, Tesla Motors, the electric car company founded by Elon Musk has made a huge name and fortune for itself and is even branching out to creating solar-panel roof shingles and home-powering battery packs. These efforts promise progress towards a clean, healthy world, but the fact remains that a unified, global effort is needed to ensure real change.