Catastrophic Global Warming: President Trump, Just Stop It

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Wildfires. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Flooding. The consequences of climate change and global warming are nigh. It’s impossible to claim that only in a few decades this will be a real problem. It’s a real problem right now. We are killing ourselves.

Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be up 2.7 percent this year, according to studies by the Global Carbon Project, and oil and natural gas demand has steadily increased. On November 25, thirteen federal agencies issued a consensus report that assessed the past and future effects of climate change on the economy, public safety, and the environment. 

How much will climate change cost? $141 billion in heat-related deaths, $118 billion due to sea level rise, and $32 billion from infrastructural damage by 2100. International trade will be disrupted, manufacturing will fall, prices will spike. Livestock will die, agricultural productivity will drop, crop yields will plummet. In short, according to this report released by the Trump administration, climate change will be extremely expensive, costing both money and lives. When asked about the report, the President of the United States said, “I don’t believe it.”

The willful and reckless denial of scientific fact by the leader of this nation is not only embarrassing; it is negligent. The President has a responsibility to defend and protect the welfare of his people. Denial of climate change blatantly rejects such duty. 

There is an impending global crisis threatening the human race and modern civilization, and Donald Trump is uniquely positioned to be able to stop or at least delay such a catastrophe. And he has done nothing. There are very few people in this country who can, as individuals, actually make a difference. The climate change crisis must be solved by state action. No amount of banning plastic water bottles or composting food waste will stave off this disaster.

Those responsible for climate change are a concentrated group of powerful people. More than 70% of world greenhouse gas emissions have been produced by just 100 energy companies, according to the Carbon Majors Report (2017). A handful of actors are largely responsible for causing this crisis, and a handful of actors have the power to avert it. Men and women like the President, Members of Congress, and government leaders in industrial nations simply need to work together in a genuine effort to rein in fossil fuels and save the planet from impending doom. It is possible, and would not even be all that difficult. There are myriad potential solutions, such as a carbon tax and robust investment in the research and development of low-cost sustainable energy (nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro power). These measures have been heavily researched and would require only the political will of Trump and his congressional allies. At risk of violating copyright law: just do it. How much more information do leaders need?

There is overwhelming consensus that global warming is a serious danger, that it is happening right now, and that it is caused by humanity. Nothing explains denial and inaction besides gross and willful negligence. It is time for the people in power to start doing their jobs and protecting the general welfare, but it has been that time for years. People like Mr. Trump, those who “don’t believe it,” better start believing, or we’ll all soon reap what their ignorance has sown: global catastrophe.