It’s getting hot in here (and it’s our faults)

Chloe Ragsdale, Reporter

Climate change s a heavily debated issue in the United States, yet is considered and accepted as a fact throughout the rest of the world. This massive issue is real and will continue to destroy our ecosystems, our lives, and our Earth if we don’t start implementing ways to solve it and stop disregarding it. In defiance of the evidence, people still choose to ignore and neglect climate change.

The Paris Agreement has banded together a group of countries to help decrease greenhouse gas emissions around the world, although the new Trump administration decided to leave it on August 4, 2017. The disbelief of climate change lies heavily in the US and primarily the Republican party, which is considered the only political party in the world to deny this problem.

“So we’re going to be paying billions and billions and billions of dollars and we’re already way ahead of anybody else,” President Trump said.

The US has paid $3 billion dollars towards the Green Climate Fund, but has contributed to 27% of all carbon dioxide emissions on the planet in the past 161 years, according to the World Resources Institute, and this enormous amount comes with some responsibility of paying to fix it.

Climate change is bigger than just one person, one political party, or one’s ego; it will affect everyone and everything no matter how advanced they are, which makes it that much more important to discuss and administer helpful and accessible ways for average citizens to decrease it.

Trump also claims that the Paris Agreement would result in major job losses. However, according to Business Insider, by switching from coal to solar power, there would be twice as many job opportunities in this new green economy, which is good for American citizens, the US economy, and the planet.

According to President Trump, the increase in climate temperatures is just a “tiny, tiny amount”, when really the predicted temperature in 80 years is just below the point of human extermination, according to NASA. At the rate climate is increasing, the Earth will no longer be able to support its immense population in the future if we don’t start making changes.

There is a lack of scientific knowledge about climate change educated to not only students, but citizens around the world. We need to stop avoiding the facts and discuss the dangers of climate change if we want to improve the environment.

Marcie Bidwell, executive director at MSI, Mountain Studies Institute, a program focused on providing scientific research and activities to citizens in the Durango area, talked about the effects of climate change and why we’re defying the facts.

“I think we need to actually stop talking about climate change as the big CC, and talk about what we’re seeing around us,” said Bidwell about the necessity of including climate change in our conversations, no matter what its origin may be. If disregarding climate change’s source leads to action, then it’s something we have to do because it will continue to worsen over time, no matter how or why it started.

Like gun control and abortion, climate change is one of the most politicized issues in our country, and because of this, it is avoided in government conversation, and therefore harder for citizens to take a stand against.

However, citizens can easily help to decrease climate change by simply using renewable energy and energy-efficient appliances, not charging their phones as much, eating less meat, buying local products, and walking/biking more, everyone can help the Earth’s condition.

The simple and effective ways to support the planet’s atmospheric quality should be enforced in every classroom by every teacher so that our future generations, the people living on the planet long after we die, can be informed about what it will take to lessen the effects of climate change.

“It’s much more powerful to have a conversation than to not,” said Marcie Bidwell on the monumental power a discussion of climate change would have on the world, by not only incorporating the facts into our daily lives, but uniting us together, despite our ethnicities, race, political views, social status, or religion, to terminate this issue. Climate change is happening and affecting our lives now, and will not be easier to reverse the more we wait; the seas are rising, dangerous weather is looming ahead, and our futures are in grave danger. It is time to take a stand against climate change so that we can make a positive transformation for our one and only planet.