Combatting Climate Change: Trusting in the Science with Swift Meaningful Action
There is an unfortunate misconception circulating in 2020 that climate change is fictional. Many, including our leaders, refuse to recognize the scientific facts and take accountability for their lifestyles. We all learned how pollution is wrong in elementary school, so why do we continue to perpetuate the problem? Many of our leaders doubt (and some actively fight social acceptance of) global alterations, not because they don’t know it’s wrong, but because their pockets are lined with the money from corporations who created the problems in the first place. What’s worse is the general populace’s ignorance as a result of the people in power wanting to keep it all hush-hush. There’s so much we don’t know that we don’t know but that doesn’t keep the "invisible clock" from ticking.
As time goes on, we continue to see even more plainly that the pollution we create is killing our planet, affecting our homes, our communities, and our families. The last 4 years have seen a dramatic increase in natural disasters like floods, tropical storms, massive wildfires, and earthquakes all over the globe. Even scarier is the rise of natural disasters that most of us haven’t even heard of like polar vortexes and frost quakes.
These aren’t just enigmatic, far from home problems that other people need to deal with. These problems are just outside our door. The air quality in Utah is “some of the worst air quality in the nation… listed at No. 7 among large metro areas in a new analysis”. This affects our lives, our futures and that of our children. Brigham Young University researchers concluded polluted air shaves between 1.1 and 3.5 years off the average Utahn’s life”. The recent earthquakes in Salt Lake City and Idaho are the first in 28 years, Utah’s snow levels affects our tourism economy with decreased attendance to our snow resorts and low water levels at Lake Powell and other places downstream. And that’s just Utah.
Offshore drilling and ocean debris affect sea life which decreases the tourism and food industries worldwide, pollution and deforestation not only endangers the indigenous, natural wildlife, it lowers the earth’s ability to naturally utilize CO2 (a resource which will deplete within 8.5 years at the current rate) and increases greenhouse gasses. And science says it’s getting worse.
None of this is new. We have known all of this information for decades, much of it has been in the hands of our leaders for over 50 years and they remain stationary and in some cases regress, deeming a lot of what we’re experiencing “fake news”. They feel, without taking action and without acknowledgment of the facts, what we’re experiencing is inevitable or doesn’t matter so “why bother trying?”. If people believe the earth is their stewardship, why not act? Why would they roll back regulations designed to keep us safe and healthy under the guise of “protecting our freedoms” instead of enacting laws and incentivizing change that would help move the world toward a healthier, longer-lasting future?
We are running out of time, but there is hope and we must act immediately.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge it’s real. It’s not up for debate, it’s not, “fake news”, we have to look at the science and the facts and recognize that CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL. We desperately need leaders who understand this and act on it instead of selfishly, heretically padding their wallets and forwarding their political agendas. We need leaders with an open mind, a clear course of action, and a willingness to listen.
It is true, fixing the environment will take time. Just because we can’t make immediate, drastic changes, as are outlined in the Paris Climate Accords, does not mean we should not support or seek to stimulate methods of forward-thinking. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations who will inherit the world we leave behind to stand strong and make a change. We have no time to abdicate our responsibilities of leadership simply because we think it’s “too much”. There must be aggressive short term solutions coupled with long term aspirational clean policies. We can set an example on the global stage as the leaders of clean, renewable energy sources by incentivizing healthy competition. This increases the likelihood of more businesses acting in the interest of keeping the earth clean and leads to better pricing and greater accessibility.
There is an ominous cloud of religiously fueled and antiquated thinking that, “the end is near, we’re too far gone, it doesn’t matter so why try?” That is not right. We have messed up, we are farther down the road than we’d like but it is not too late to change. We have an opportunity to make changes, not excuses, to the way we live our lives. We can make our environment healthier to support the dynamic tourism and recreational industries across the United States by protecting our wilderness areas.
We can no longer afford to act selfishly. The world at large needs us to change because this problem bleeds out and affects everyone. It is time to think of our neighbors, our families, our posterity. It is time to be brave, open our eyes, and take responsibility for what we’ve done to our home.
There are plenty already involved in righting these wrongs. Below is a list of the current petitions and policies I support based on the best science and data we have available:
Finally, I’ve included a very important video. This is Greta Thunberg, an incredible, young, Gen Z woman who understands and outlines the impacts our actions have on the world around us, specifically for her generation. Take the time to listen for yourself and join me in the fight for a greener world.