Climate change conversation heats up with change in administration

Frankie Clarke

Over the past ten years the world’s climate has become turbulent and unpredictable. Summers have gotten hotter, winters have gotten colder and regions of the United States are drowning in amounts of rain they haven’t seen in years. Whether you believe in climate change or not, our Earth is changing quickly and we are at a pivotal point in human history where we can react to our changing environment in a way that won’t leave our planet dying in 40 years. However, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has left the citizens of the world wondering what’s in store for our Earth’s future.

Pruitt, a lovely man born and raised in Kentucky, was young and ambitious in state politics. He climbed the political ladder until he finally reached the position of Attorney General of Oklahoma. Many would look at his career and wonder where his experience with the environment came in, but fear not. Over the years Pruitt has gained valuable knowledge about the environment, especially regarding the EPA.

In fact, Scott Pruitt has filed fourteen lawsuits against the EPA, each regarding laws that prohibit the expansion of coal-burning power plants and regulate pollutant dumping into rivers and lakes, such as the Clean Water Act. These lawsuits are proof that Pruitt is not only unqualified for handling relations regarding the environment, but that he doesn’t even care about the very thing he is supposed to protect.

According to NASA, 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded worldwide. Other records are being broken around the world, ranging from longest downpour of rain to highest number of years without rain. Day by day we’re passing the “point of no return.” The “point of no return” refers to the period of time on Earth when climate change side effects will become irreversible. The point where the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will get too high or there won’t be any trees left to cut down. President Obama spent the last eight years to help reach us reach a better future, and President Trump, so far, has seemed to do all he can to reverse that work.

With the next four years looking long and uncertain, the real impact will come from the people. Trump can increase coal production, buy more oil and get rid of green energy taxes but in the end the real work is being done day to day. The conversation about walking more or using less water might seem dull and repetitive at this point but are necessary during these tumultuous times.

Start a new club at school, call your senator, get involved. Political parties aside, the Earth needs our help and an anti-environment administration shouldn’t get in the way of that. We as humans have the final say in how the environment looks in the future, so let’s make sure to make the right decision.