Hotheaded arguments beat out hot temps

Politicizing the topic of climate change only takes us farther away from solving our issue


Photo courtesy of Time magazine

Rising temperatures are affecting environments tremendously all around the world.

Michelle Zhang, Opinions Editor

In July of 2019, our planet Earth experienced the hottest summer ever recorded. In August of 2019, the biggest rainforest in our world caught flame releasing carbon into our atmosphere and accelerating climate change.

Climate change is defined as a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Today, the term is thrown around among people and politicians arguing for a solution. On the political end, democrats and republicans fight on both sides to reach a compromise that’ll be a win-win for both sides. Except when we take an account of the rest of the world outside America, many other countries have already made steps toward creating a greener future. 

Rather than constantly fighting through media and news outlets, finding and establishing a plan in a coherent and organized manner would create a better result than making environmental issues about politics.

For the United States of America, climate change is politicized through debates. Liberals and democrats are more likely to form consensus beliefs and opinions about the environmental changes while republicans are more likely to deploy and reject all hypotheses. This reaction and response only feeds into wasted time that could be used toward making a change.

When comparing America to other developed societies such as countries in the European Union, we can see the drastic developments and steps already made. Action towards climate change began in 1991in the EU. Today, the countries still work together to promote renewable energy, receive voluntary commits from car makers to reduce carbon emissions by 25% and tax products that require energy.

In the union, steps toward a low carbon economy are taken on a daily basis in order to achieve set targets and goals made by the European Commision.

When comparing the United States to countries of similar developments, we can see the United States of America is not following or even trailing behind in the same path. This creates a huge issue since America is so developed and there are constantly unmonitored carbon emissions from millions of cars traveling to the constant exhale of carbon in big factories.

It is notable that the conservative Trump Administration is not in favor of a radical Green Deal. This was made especially clear in June of 2017. According to Brookings in a 2019 article, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, an accord used to bring nations together in an effort to work towards combating rising temperatures and accelerate towards a sustainable low carbon future. America falling out of the agreement only entails a weakened effectiveness towards combating the world’s climate epidemic. Signed by 195 nations, Trump’s decision to rebuke the Paris Agreement not only created tension among other countries, but taking one of the world’s most developed societies out of the run was a major loss for not only America, but for the planet.

What could’ve been a huge step forward for our country turned into 10 steps backwards. The defining issue of climate continues to pull its ends on societies and countries.  But further disagreements between credibility of science and even the existence of climate change is what prevents people as a whole to take steps toward a healthier environment. 

Rather than the constant raising of voices interviews or aggressive tweets, individuals should become more informed on the scale and extent that rising temperatures and more extreme weather holds. Especially when our youth and future will continue to live on this planet.

Although steps can be taken on a regular basis to help distinguish our world issue, coming together as a unified and coherent country would have left a more lasting impact. Instead, we fight and argue to reach a goal and strategy that was already pulled out of our hands. As individuals we should be fighting for a change by speaking up and keeping people informed with credible science.