Happy Earth day; the President of the United States thinks climate change is a hoax propagated by China. Many of his fellow Republicans similarly deny climate change. Because why take the time to look into valid scientific data when you can simply play the whole thing off as an economic ploy, or as #fakenews? In case you weren’t aware, climate change is real. During the last century, the global sea level rose 8 inches. The temperatures in 2016 were the warmest ever recorded. Ice sheets and sea ice are melting, and glaciers are retreating. Extreme weather events are becoming more common. These facts, from NASA’s Climate Change site, are not a Chinese hoax.
Happy Earth day; one scientist believes climate change has passed “the point of no return.” Meanwhile, many of us are doing the bare minimum to protect the environment and not planning to do more. There are many reasons for this: unless you live beside an ocean, or in the Arctic, climate change is not immediately visible to you. And so long as there are a few cold days sprinkled in with the hot ones, many people are satisfied that the climate isn’t really warming. Except it is.
Happy Earth day; people are protesting in over 600 marches today because of Trump’s refutal of basic scientific facts, the proposed defunding of the EPA, and his denial of climate change. “March for Science puts Earth Day focus on global opposition to Trump,” a Guardian headline reads. Will this global opposition cause Trump to reverse his views on climate change? Probably not. What it is more likely to do is inspire grassroots change. While this is great, it would obviously be beneficial to have the support of the White House on topics as critical as climate change and environmental issues.
Happy Earth day; what are future generations going to say about us? “Oh, those lucky ones alive in the 2010s — their air was clean enough to breathe without an oxygen mask”? While we certainly feel some of the effects of climate change, future generations will feel those effects even more. And, if action is not taken, they will likely resent the people (politicians and otherwise) who left them a degraded planet with depleted resources.
Happy Earth day; let’s not wail in our despair and ask, “What have we done?!” Instead, let’s ask, “What can we do?” From contacting your local political representatives to using energy-efficient light bulbs, there are many individual actions you can take to reduce the impact of climate change. One of the simplest ways might be to get educated on the facts, and, unlike the President of the United States, choose to believe that climate change is not a hoax, but rather one of the most pressing issues facing our world today.