Regardless of politics, climate change is our problem to solve
Climate change, whether we like it or not, is a problem that is beginning to seriously affect the planet.
Scientific evidence for climate change is now “unequivocal” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and research shows that humans cause a lot of the major effects of climate change.
Despite this evidence, the media leads many of us to believe that most Americans don’t believe in climate change. However, a Yale study found that seven in ten, roughly 73 percent of Americans, believe that global warming is happening, which is a 10 percent increase from the study conducted in March of 2015.
Close to 70 percent of those who believe in global warming say that they are “somewhat worried” about the effects of climate change.
With unequivocal evidence that a majority of Americans believe in climate change, why isn’t anything happening to fix the problem?
The government has only been involved with climate change since the 1970s when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established and America had its first Earth Day.
Climate change has existed before then, but it wasn’t high on the government’s agenda. Arguably, it isn’t high on their agenda today either.
President Trump has rolled back numerous strides the Obama administration took to help battle climate change.
Mr. Trump has cut funding for the EPA, removed barriers from two different pipelines to speed production, and signed an executive order that rolls back Obama-era orders to limit carbon dioxide emissions.
Even though environmental justice advocates and a large percentage of the general public have rallied for a cleaner, greener administration, very little change has been made.
Politics are to blame. Our nation has become increasingly polarized when it comes to political parties, especially in the media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – all of these sites take social issues and push them to the extreme.
Though most Americans are more moderate in terms of major social issues, like abortion and gun control, social media sites tend to alienate those trying to find a “middle ground.”
It’s this tendency to push things to an extreme that makes it hard for Americans to agree on basic issues.
When it comes to climate change in the media, you are either a conservative who denies climate change and its effects, or a liberal who wants to eradicate fossil fuels and force everyone to eat vegan.
The average person doesn’t fit into one of these two boxes; they are likely knowledgeable about climate change but don’t necessarily think that the government needs to make drastic changes to fix the problem.
When this average person is forced to align himself or herself with the far-leaning left or right, it becomes difficult to have intelligent conversations that inspire solutions and real change.
Instead, debate dissolves into screaming matches that show up on Facebook the next day with splashy headlines about climate deniers who’ve “gone off their rocker” or liberals forcing the reader to “give up meat for the rest of their lives.”
Climate change is not a Democratic or Republican problem. It is a HUMAN problem.
There is no perfect solution for climate change. Everyone will have to make some sacrifice to remedy the problems we’ve created, and not everyone will be happy in the end. But to find that solution, we’ll need to work together and strip the labels placed upon us.