‘Armageddon in slow motion’ is coming

Maya Amjadi/News Editor

You can deny that you’re an environmentalist but you cannot deny the fact that you need oxygen to survive. Global warming is a real and urgent matter. The planet as we know it will not be around for much longer. Recurring evidence supporting the phenomenon has been accepted by so many scientists that even leading gas companies including BP and Shell acknowledged global warming by pulling out of the Global Climate Coalition (which lobbied against the publication of global warming), knowing that it would hurt their image. Being unable to recognize global warming as reality at this point is shameful.

Politicians can’t agree to do anything beneficial as the fate of our planet nears disaster. President Obama has failed to tighten legislation regulating air pollution, smog and carbon dioxide emissions. However, the Republican candidates’ energy plans are horrifying compared to Obama’s shortcomings. Although global warming is the biggest problem we face, none of the Republican presidential candidates have energy plans that outline ways to reduce emissions or stop the drilling. In fact, they state the opposite. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney intends to get rid of the Clean Air Act and loosen environmental policies so that coal and oil companies will have less regulations. Presidential candidate Ron Paul intends to remove restrictions on drilling, make it easier to use coal and nuclear energy and calls for an immediate 30 percent reduction in discretionary spending for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His plan states that he wants to eventually eliminate the EPA for good.

These views will make it impossible to establish a cleaner and greener environment. Although drilling options may create an immediate abundance of jobs, they do not benefit the future of our nation or the world. Green energy is more expensive but 230,000 lives are predicted to be saved from the Clean Air Act by 2020. We need to focus on our planet and stop the growing pollutant patterns.

The United States considers itself a strong and developed leading county, yet we cower at the mention of “reducing green house emissions.” We are losing our lead as a country because we have taken insufficient steps to stop the emissions, while we remain neck-and-neck with China for the position of largest polluter in the world. In 2001, President Bush opposed the Kyoto Protocol (which required all industrialized nations to reduce overall emissions by 5.2 percent from the 1990 levels for 2008 through 2012). Our nation was blinded by its competitive nature when Bush reasoned that India and China were unaffected by the Kyoto Protocol and would increase their emissions. Ignoring the basic statistics, he did not address that the United States accounted for a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions while only accounting for 4 percent of the population. On a per capita basis, the total carbon dioxide emissions of a single citizen from the United States is 19 times that of an Indian’s.

We cannot escape the daunting truth. Global warming is not an abstract issue for the future, and it’s not just killing polar bears. Over 641 Americans died in natural disasters in 2011 alone. In fact, 2011 set a record for the most billion-dollar disasters recorded in history. These are caused by climate change due to global warming.

Some scientists have concluded that we are past the point of no return and cannot undo the damage we have done. I still have hope that we can stop global warming, but we had better get a move on before more natural disasters prove these scientists right.

Class of 2014

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