Just less than a month ago was Trump’s 100th day in the most powerful position in the world, but also the People’s Climate March. Over 200,000 people marched on Washington D.C. and thousands more around the world to protest and let their voices heard about the effects of climate change and global warming. This march was amplified by the fact the President, Donald Trump, tweeted that climate change “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He also nominated Scott Pruitt, who does not believe climate change is perpetuated by human activity, to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
But enough about Donald Trump and his disastrous environment policies. I have to say that Obama was not great in protecting our planet but definitely much better than Trump, so far. Obama did not have the necessary progressive record to reverse the effects of climate change and become a global leader in the transformation of energy, but he was a start. Trump has already rolled back several of Obama’s key environmental policies. Unfortunately, these pieces of legislation were not progressive and radical enough to save our planet from disaster. Sadly, progressive values may not even be enough to save the Earth as Stephen Hawking just announced according to BBC, “the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive.”
Personally, I disagree with Mr. Hawking, but I know we have to act much faster than we think to reverse what we have already caused. This begins with electing a commander-in-chief who will stand up to the establishment, and one who is unafraid of ticking off the billionaires who profit off of destroying the Earth. We need someone who will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision which allows the rich to buy politicians, and in turn, has created major problems for our planet and the future.
I believe this is just the beginning, and much much more is needed to save our planet. We need to have progressive leaders who are willing to invest heavily in renewable energy to make it even cheaper than it already is further expediting the process to a carbon free economy. On top of this, there must be a tax on carbon, methane, and other greenhouse gasses which are destroying our atmosphere.
By putting a tax on the greenhouse gasses, the fossil fuel companies will see their profits decline, and in response, they will invest more in renewable energy. Also, with the profits of the tax, our government can invest heavily in sustainable/renewable energy. Soon thereafter, the United States could see an almost carbon-free economy.
One of the most highly respected climatologists, Dr. Hansen, says that the most carbon in the atmosphere to “preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted” is 350 parts per million (ppm). Scarily, right now we have carbon levels exceeding 400 ppm.
Even today, we are able to see the disastrous effects of global warming around the world, and what is so sad to me is that the people who are most affected by it the most can do the least to save themselves. There are already climate refugees and as the seas rise many more people will have to flee their homes. Furthermore, extreme weather patterns have dominated the headlines with droughts, super storms, and other catastrophes. Zillow, a real estate company, estimated that over 1 million homes would be washed away by 2100 because of rising sea levels, costing us almost a trillion dollars in lost property value.
Not only do fossil fuels cause tremendous disasters, but moving to clean energy has a major economic benefit, which most people do not actually talk about. The sustainable energy industry is a massive market that has been unopened for a while. It is projected to add a huge amount of new jobs to the economy as compared to the inefficient coal and fossil fuel industries. Not only will solar, wind, and other renewables aid the economy, but it will save people hundreds and thousands of dollars on their energy bills.
Unfortunately, despite these benefits, the U.S. as a whole still has not made significant progress toward a clean energy economy. Some people may tell you that the private sector will be the stimulus to moving toward clean energy and change will eventually occur, but I beg of you not to sit back and watch while the world is being destroyed. “Eventually” will never happen and if it does, it would be way too late.
It is imperative that we act now, quickly, and boldly to prevent further disasters and protect this planet for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. Finally, the Earth is in need of desperate help, so we need to mobilize as many people as we can to demand that the United States be the leader in protecting our world.