The government needs to take climate change seriously

The government needs to take climate change seriously

On Nov. 9, in the early hours of the morning, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th President of the United States. Due to the animosity of this election, certain topics were disregarded like global warming and the issue of climate change. As a country, we are reliant on energy every day of our lives.

What many fail to pay attention to is the catastrophic events to come 40 to 50 years from now when climate change will have affected billions of people across the globe.

As the world’s second largest energy consumer, it is our responsibility as a nation to make significant efforts to properly use energy in order to stop affecting our planet’s climate. It is therefore imperative to prevent fuel lobbies from funding members of the political spectrum to continue spreading the false idea that climate change linked to our actions is a hoax.

President-elect Trump, along with many Republican members of Congress, have largely been funded by lobbyists who aim to continue profiting from their involvement in large oil companies: “170 elected representatives in the 114th Congress have taken over $63.8 million from the fossil fuel industry that’s driving the carbon emissions which cause climate change,” Tiffany Germain wrote for Moyers and Company.

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Trump too chooses to ignore this reality: “Trump finally did say something real about climate change — that he would cut all federal spending on the issue in order to save $100 billion over two terms in office,” Kate Sheppard wrote for the Huffington Post.”

In the month of June alone, Trump had raised $63.5 million. $580,000 prevailed directly from people connected to the fossil fuel industry according to “Inside Climate News.” This proves that wealthy fuel lobbies are investing in Republicans in order to have them fight together to help this industry persist.

Such interest groups are run by individuals from private companies that rely solely on the exploitation and demand of natural resources to keep their multi-billion dollar empires up and running.

Interest groups are organized bodies comprised of people with particular motivations. They are able to influence politicians through economic means. Along with Trump who will become the next president, the newly appointed Senate and House of Representatives has also been won by a Republican majority. This means that if current funding policies stand, interests groups prevailing from the sector of natural resources will continue to lobby Republican Congress members in order for these delegates to keep denying the reality of global warming caused by human activity.

As a result of the funding they receive, Republicans will continue to foster an approach of denying the reality of climate change. They justify the exploitation of natural resources by stating that an expansion of the fuel industries will not only lead to profit for the U.S., but will also pave the path to millions of new jobs. This appeals to millions of Americans who want to see true economic growth again.

However, this tactic ignores the fact natural resources are limited and will one day no longer be available, making it a short-term solution towards economic growth. Meanwhile, the continued usage of these resources will perpetuate the issue of rising global temperatures.

As a nation, the U.S. ranks second in energy consumption slightly behind China meaning that our actions are highly responsible for climate change. Much stricter forms of regulation to limit lobbying from interest groups need to be enforced, particularly towards those involved in the energy sector.

Without such actions, the U.S. will not be able to start serious investments towards sustainable energy in order to find a long term solution to our country’s energy-dependence.

In order for our nation to start seriously tackling the issue of global warming, the federal government must recognize the amount of corruption originating from such interest groups funding members of Congress and create real policies to do what we can as a nation to fight the global rise of temperatures.

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