By Hannah Newberry
On Friday, a federal report was released to the public that acknowledged climate change as a ‘grave threat’. To the US, this has come at a particularly controversial time when those in government don’t necessarily advocate for a resolution regarding such a consistent global problem.
Trump’s denial of climate change has often been a worrying contention for the media and debates – surrounding himself with several well-known deniers and rejecting many international alliances, such as the Paris Agreement, has left little confidence from those who feel strongly about the part the environment has to play in world politics.
Rising sea levels are a huge concern when land is already being auctioned off to the highest bidder due to the surplus of human demand, and temperatures increasing at a drastic rate also provides worldwide concerns as to how this will affect weather patterns and human habitation. This has placed huge stresses on the administration to act instead of shield themselves from the consequences of climate change – as well as being an embarrassing ordeal for many politicians who prefer the approach of inaction.
‘The National Climate Assessment’ mainly addresses how long many prestigious researchers feel we have before climate change starts to incrementally affect our everyday lives. An eight feet increase in sea levels will only take little over a century and could engulf much important and industrialised land we rely on. Also, temperatures across the globe will continue to rise in a consistent pattern to be overseen annually.
This impacts several elements of life as we know it – such as the increase of forest fires (leading to lack of habitation for wild animals), rain patterns, the severity of natural disasters and the regions of dense human populations where temperature becomes a significant problem.
There is no immediate solution for these changes and it has been deemed a pre-emptive ‘super wicked problem’ by Richard J Lazarus due to the fact that the very authorities with resources to combat these problems are responsible for condoning or ignoring such dilemmas.
The situation that we are currently dealing with is unprecedented and so now is the best time to act if we want to ensure a future rid of worries about climate change. However, the huge environmental and social concern when the electorate opted for a figure who is nothing short of apathetic towards the immediate problems was staggering. In all modern society, our planet has never been warmer than it is today and the crisis continues.
The White House has unsurprisingly not placed this report on an immediate social platform to be addressed. While it is one of the most significant reports of this year and thoroughly well developed in addressing global crises, most appointed officials are inherently anti-environmentalist due to the administration and so seek to suppress the document to avoid controversy.
In the twenty-first century, it comes at a great cost when we turn our heads away from the effect this may have on future generations. While greater education, restrictions and decisions are needed, the President of the United States still deems climate change a ‘hoax’ after irrefutable proof. International attempts to reconcile and introduce the US as a strong power in the fight for climate regulations have flumped as Trump aims to disregard all prior commitments and instead endure the opinions of like-minded officials. Efforts from Britain, China and Australia can only be so optimistic when huge contributors refuse to participate in a potential historic milestone for environmental precedent.
No solutions were given in the report to address the problems of climate change, nor any forthright recommendations, but the main focus was implied to be lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This accelerates global temperatures at an alarming rate and in less than 90 years, a 5-degree rise from greenhouse gases alone could make living catastrophic in many vulnerable regions.
It’s a huge loss for the environment that politics has failed to protect the world around us. Burying heads in the sand is often easier than admitting that we as a population are complicit in these problems.
In order to combat climate change we need unanimity, fervour and a huge push for social awareness. The drastic failure of our current political inclinations is that any public body with these hopeful aims in America must do so without a leader.