By Jingyi Li ’19
Wouldn’t you be frightened if the President of the United States didn’t believe in climate change? Donald Trump is a businessman, but he is also the president who has been critical of the concept of climate change. However, reliable evidence shows that climate change is happening everyday with every emission of carbon dioxide. Climate change is real, and its effects have become apparent.
A majority of the inhabitants of the world are dependent upon industrialization, which has caused increased levels of carbon dioxide emissions. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, there has been an increase of 406.94 parts per million of carbon dioxide emissions mainly due to the excess use of power plants.
Throughout the years as a result of the effects of climate change, a number of glaciers have in rapid declined. According to National Geographic’s article “The Big Thaw” the Glacier National Park was home to 150 glaciers, but since then the number has decreased to fewer than 30 glaciers. The important role that glaciers have on the environment is the ability to reflect the sun’s rays, which is known as albedo. Glaciers have a high albedo, therefore they reflect more energy than they absorb. With the limited number of glaciers in the world, it will not be very effective in reflecting the sun’s rays, therefore the global temperature will increase.
Climate change is a factor that will result in frequent and stronger hurricanes. According to the New York Times’s article “10 Hurricanes in 10 Weeks: With Ophelia, a 124-Year-Old Record is Matched” climate change leads to higher ocean temperatures, which will have an important role in intensifying a storm because as the temperature continues to rise it will cause the oceans’ temperature to rise too. The warmer waters will provide more fuel for hurricanes to grow.
President Trump’s action to appoint Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency raises suspicion about climate change. Pruitt has signed a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which was a Barack Obama administration policy that combats global warming by reducing carbon emissions from power plants. According to “How Scott Pruitt’s EPA is Erasing Obama’s Climate Change Legacy”, published by Chris Amico stated, that Pruitt’s actions to repeal the plan because the Obama administration has exceeded its executive authority in crafting the Clean Power Plan. Power plants are a major factor that increase the carbon dioxide emissions, which will increase the concentration of greenhouse gases. An increased concentration of greenhouse gases will lead to a stronger greenhouse effect, which will result in a warmer planet.
Trump has made clear that he is not a believer in global warming. In a tweet, he stated that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” This shows that Trump believes climate change is not factual, but instead it’s a fictional concept. In addition, Trump has tweeted that “Global warming is a total and very expensive hoax!” However, evidence from, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shows evidence that the global temperature has increased 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.
In an attempt to combat climate change, raising awareness and providing evidence that demonstrates climate change will be an important step to reduce global warming. By drastically reducing the burning of fossil fuels and replacing with solar-thermal powered plants it will reduce the sources of the greenhouse gases, which will lead to a decrease in greenhouse gases being trapped in the atmosphere. Another solution to combat climate change can be as easy as tweaking one’s diet, such as reducing the amount of meat consumed. The food system, mainly an animal-based food, contributes to 30 % of the total United States greenhouse gas emissions. In order for earth to be a thriving planet, we must accept and believe in the effects of climate change for a healthy and a habitable planet.