Beautiful, sun-soaked beaches; Little Havana; Bayside Marketplace. These are just a few of the hundreds of attractions in the lush city of Miami.

Now, imagine parts of this vast urban area submerged underwater. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma has not been the only disaster affecting the South.

About two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast, causing catastrophic damage from Houston to Louisiana. Harvey is the strongest hurricane (classified as category 3 or stronger) to hit the nation since Hurricane Wilma, another hurricane that wreaked havoc upon south Florida in October 2005.

With gusts of wind reaching nearly 130 MPH in some locations, Harvey has caused widespread devastation; displacing about 30,000 people and killing more than 70. Economically, Hurricane Harvey has also been one of the most costly — it's estimated more than $75 to 200 billion has been lost as a result of the damages. 

Also, according to President Donald Trump, climate change is a hoax. Seriously?

Back in November 2012, Trump tweeted “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” One might appropriately think, “Oh, people and their views change over time; he probably didn’t mean it.” 

Trump has tweeted his skepticism regarding climate change 115 times. While some of these tweets are in a joking manner, it is clear that President Trump truly does not see it as a threat that the government must take action on. Back in June, Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. 

The Paris Climate Accord is an agreement within the UN that unites many nations under the cause of combating climate and adapting to environmentally efficient solutions for many years to come. While approximately 29% of Americans favored President Trump’s decision, many world leaders and corporate executives condemned it, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he was “deeply disappointed” with his decision. 

While the last 10 months have been tumultuous to say the least, the way our government has handled the matter of climate change — and other matters too, like DACA — has been preposterous. The fact that our very own head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, does not believe in climate change or see it as a plausible threat is about as bad as it gets. Unsurprisingly, when asked recently about if he sees any link between these hurricanes and climate change, he answered with how he thinks it’s “insensitive” to discuss such a matter right now. 

So we can discuss building walls and banning Muslims, but the second the future of our planet is noted, it somehow becomes unacceptable. 

The truth is this is a problem that needs to be discussed now more than ever. Here’s the thing: There are certain topics you can your have own definite viewpoint on, like immigration, gun control, tax reform and more.

However, climate change is an issue that has answers, and within these upcoming years, more and more answers will slowly become unraveled. So when someone says “I don’t believe in climate change,” they are basically saying “I don’t believe in science.” I wish that excuse could’ve got me out of senior physics. 

Hurricane Harvey set a record for the most ever rainfall from a single storm within the Continental US. Hurricane Irma was the most powerful hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean ever recorded. By 2100, Earth will have increased two degrees in surface temperature due to the result of carbon dioxide and other man-made emissions.

These are all proven facts that cannot be tossed aside. How much longer will we, as a nation, be in denial? The longer I’ve been typing this, the more I’ve realized it’s up to us millennials — the so called “clueless generation” — to help combat this critical issue that will have horrible consequences if we fail to act now. It is up to us to make sure our world remains stable for generations to come, even if we have an incompetent governing refusing to take action on this issue. 

Condolences to those killed and affected within this past month from these terrible disasters, but as we recover we must keep one thing in mind: It is now or never, for we are the future. 

Akash Bakshi is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you worry about climate change? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.

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