OPINION: Global warning: inciting climate exchange

Ebonee Gabhart

Global warning is an issue we as a nation are divided on, while nearly every other nation has taken steps to combat it.

In a poll done by The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, out of the 1,576 American Adults that they surveyed in 2014, 56 percent believe global warming is occurring while 20 percent think otherwise. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed were hesitant to take a stance. In terms of addressing global warming, Americans want the United States to be a global leader. There are approximately twice as many Americans favoring U.S. participation in international climate negotiations as those who oppose it.

These findings coincide with the atmosphere that is apparent in our political climate today. Aspects of our political climate, specifically actions taken, have reinforced the belief that global warming is “fake science” and shouldn’t be treated as an urgent matter.

According to The New York times article How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science, “President Trump, has called global warming a hoax, reversed environmental policies that [John] McCain advocated on his run for the White House, and … announced that he would take the United states out of the Paris climate accord, which was to bind the globe in an effort to halt the planet’s warming.”

This outright rejection by Trump of the existence of global warming and the very tangible effects and reality that global warming entails puts us many steps behind other nations that are being proactive. “The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change’s Costs,” an article published in the Atlantic, touches on how we are and will be affected. Robinson Meyer writes: “The study … simulates the costs of global warming in excruciating detail, modeling every day of weather in every U.S. county during the 21st century. It finds enormous disparities in how rising temperatures will affect American communities: Texas, Florida and the Deep South will bleed income in the broiling heat, while some chillier northern states gain moderate benefits.”

Interestingly enough, although it can’t be said they’re directly correlated, the majority of Trump’s supporters in the 2016 presidential election were based in the South. The very people and areas Trump is neglecting by ignoring the long term costs of global warming are supporting him blindly. This relationship only benefits the politician who is neglecting to speak on global warming truthfully.

At this point, we shouldn’t be having conversations regarding whether or not global warming is or is not occurring and arguing over if it’s anthropogenic. It requires those in power to be proactive and have conversations about the actions that need to be taken. There is also a responsibility on the part of average American citizens to remain informed on the issue by reputable news sources. This isn’t a matter that can or should be repressed.