The climate change debate should not exist. It is not an opinion, it is simply a fact. The Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate because of man-made climate change, and we know this to be true because of scientific consensus. Let’s stop arguing about the fundamentals of the science. We could be finding solutions for a safe future climate.
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that the planet is warming because of us. This is not the time to question their findings. Flint, Michigan, still does not have safe water. The Great Lakes are endangered. The past few years have seen the most devastating hurricanes known to mankind. There is a giant mass of trash larger than the state of Texas floating in the Great Pacific Ocean. California is still on fire. And yet, America is the only country who doesn’t seem to get it.
In 2017, Donald Trump ordered that the U.S. back out of the Paris Climate Agreement created in 2015 to mitigate climate change. The intention was to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of every country in the world in order to keep the Earth’s atmosphere under two degrees Celsius warmer than normal. Since the industrial revolution, the global atmospheric temperature has already warmed at least one degree Celsius higher than what is expected. Climate scientists agree that further warming would make Earth unable to support human civilization. At current rates, this will not happen. We are estimated to blow past this level by 2030, 12 years from now, and very much within the lifetimes of most people alive today.
The Paris Agreement was meant to change this daunting fate. The United States is the only country that refused to sign the agreement. This was all because the current administration stated that the agreement was not “economically viable” and that it was “unfair” for our country. I argue that the most unfair situation is that my generation and the ones that come after me will not have a safe planet to live on.
Commonly in mainstream media, we are confronted with the climate change debate. One person versus another. A climate change “believer” and a “non-believer.” This one-to-one ratio is misleading. The majority of Americans believe that climate change is real and that the United States should do something about it. We cannot let denialism continue.
There is a need for climate action now. The polarizing atmosphere of current politics is gut-wrenching. Impacts of climate change will not discriminate. Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, young, old, climate change activist, or climate change denier. We must move past the questioning of fundamental, peer-reviewed climate science that we face today in the media. We must move toward cooperation and progressively finding climate change solutions that work. We can make change for the better, and we need to start now.
Katie Nolan is a sophomore studying environmental studies at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to reach the College Democrats? Send them a tweet @OUCollegeDems.