Make a Difference While You Still Can


Alexandra Godfrey, Staff Writer

Climate change is a highly controversial subject around the world that influences political decisions, affects the economy and social aspects of all countries. Climate control is necessary to forge on in developing a successful world outside of environmental issues. Climate change is detrimental to species, endangered or otherwise, which results in disastrous weather conditions, endangering natural features and crops. The U.S. government must take action in addressing climate change, before it is too late.

Opponents of action against climate change often claim that climate change is nothing new, that is is simply a part of nature. However, I ask you, then: why have weather conditions been more drastic recently than ever before? In the past, there may have been a wetter winter one year, or a drier summer, but it was never a pattern. Now, it is not just one warmer winter, now, there is continuous unconventional weather patterns. Often times, the difference between weather and climate is misunderstood. Some people believe that when it is winter, they “‘need global warming’” (Doc. F), when they really desire warmer weather. In Document F, a NASA website is quoted, explaining that “‘weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.’” In order for people to understand what is happening, the government must take action to help counteract climate change. If the government does not act now, it may leave people still confusing weather with climate, leading to more uneducated statements about “warming the globe”. If people do not understand what is going on around them they are more likely to make the wrong decisions; if they cannot comprehend what scientists are imparting then they may not become a part of the changes needed to help protect the climate.

Other opponents argue that environmental laws will threaten jobs and raise prices, as well as taxes, (Doc. C and Doc. D). Preventing tax increases by avoiding addressing climate change now is in no way beneficial, nor in the best interest of our nation. This is because people must look at the long term incentive of addressing climate change now and compare it with the long term of avoiding addressing it now. Long-term, if climate change is addressed and resolved now, to the best of America’s ability, there will be a safer climate. By hitting climate change head-on, the government could be preventing future large storms by disrupting how the atmosphere has been ‘behaving’ over the last few years. If the U.S. continues to ignore the issue at hand, it will not matter what the tax prices were, because they will increase substantially at the end of the day. Some of tax dollars are placed into a disaster fund, which is used to help pay for damages during big storms and other natural disasters. The higher risk for a storm, the more money the government will place into this fund, and with the amount, as well as power behind, storms increasing substantially over the last few years due to climate change that fund is bound to be taking more tax dollars. This means that if the U.S. does not act now taxes will increase anyway for citizens, to pay for this damage fund. With that in mind, why not prevent disasters, and pay greater taxes, now, rather than deal with the disasters, and pay for the damages, later? Avoiding discussing a solution for climate change means avoiding doing everything possible to prevent major storms, as well as protect lives. Climate change decisions cannot be made based on fear of prices being raised, because having another natural disaster will be much more detrimental to American citizens’ pockets. 

Climate change is detrimental to species, endangered or otherwise, and this includes humans. As the ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and countries experience major droughts, species become more at risk for extinction, (Doc. A). In recent years, the ice caps have been melting rapidly, greatly affecting the polar bear population. These species have lived in their regions for years, upon years, and have grown accustomed to their normal climate. As the climate begins to change, they struggle to stay afloat in their environment. Polar bears are on a higher level on the food chain, meaning that if they were to become extinct there would be an influx in the food. Polar bears generally eat fish, a lot of fish, to maintain their body weight. If polar bears were no longer present to eat the fish, the population would soar, resulting in the fish’s food source becoming depleted. A change like an extinction of a species greatly alters the environment around that species. To prevent this the government must act now. Almost unanimously, it has been agreed, “that the Earth’s climate is warming and that”… “stem[s] largely from human activities,” (Doc. A). Since climate change is caused by certain human actions if the government were to condemn those actions the country would be half-way there in attacking climate change. This first step of government action could be extremely beneficial in altering the path that America is heading down. By taking action the government will help protect the species endangered due to climate change. It must be recognized that global warming, climate change, or whatever you may call it, it is an issue, and the government must act now to save and salvage what we have left. 

Disastrous weather conditions and the endangerment of natural features, as well as crops, is a direct result of climate change. In the last few years, weather conditions have drastically changed. It has been shown by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), “that annual global temperatures have exceeded the 20th-century average every year since 1977” (Doc. A). The increase of temperature can result in more rainfall versus snowfall in areas with colder climates. If there is more rain than snow it is easier/quicker evaporation of the precipitation. With less moisture on the ground in the spring there is more likely to be droughts in the hot weeks of summer. Droughts and increased temperatures can result in problems for farmers who are trying to maintain their crops. If farms are struggling to produce crops there will be a lack of fresh produce. This will result in higher prices for such produce. This also means that people who cannot afford overpriced goods will struggle to purchase produce during the season, therefore lacking proper nutrition. This will not just harm the consumers, but also the producers who are struggling to get food on their own table because they cannot sell as much produce as they like or lack enough to put some aside for himself, or their own family. In order to protect our community from further price increases, to help those in need be able to afford proper nutrients, and help farms struggling with crop production, the government must act on the issue of climate change. 

Therefore, the U.S. must act, if not to reverse, then to prevent further damage caused by climate change. Climate control is necessary to develop a successful country outside of simply environmental issues. Climate change is detrimental to species, endangered or otherwise and results in disastrous weather conditions, which endangers natural features and crops. The government must protect its population; the farmers, consumers and taxpayers, and the other species. The U.S. government must take action in addressing climate change, before it is too late to do so.