Why Climate Change Should Not Be Controversial

Due to the politicization of climate change, debates over its existence have become increasingly prevalent despite the fact that this issue should unite all nations, races, genders, religions, political parties, and sexualities. Our nation's divide should not be so severe that our planet's future is at risk because of stubborn politicians. In fact, Humankind has a decade to get carbon emissions under control before unavoidable drastic impact. The Trump Admini The United States, Syria, and Nicaragua are the only three countries abstaining from the United Nations' sanctioned Paris Agreement, and the United States is one of the world's leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists have presented data to support how humankind has adversely impacted the Earth's temperature, leading to structural damage in ice sheets, extreme temperatures, intensified weather patterns, glaciers, and permafrost layers. However, Donald Trump has been advocating that climate change scientists are manipulating and inventing information for years, and, because of this, the Republican Party has become indifferent on this issue. Many voters and politicians now share his belief that our Earth is not being harmed by carbon dioxide emissions and have not taken the necessary precautions to decrease their carbon imprints. 

Trump claims that the record low temperatures this winter prove that global warming is a hoax created to decrease the United States' manufacturing capabilities, disregarding how the top twenty warmest recorded years have occured since 1997, climate and weather are not the same, and extreme temperatures on both spectrums are a direct result of climate change.

Climate change is referred to as "global warming" because the average temperature of the Earth is rising. When carbon dioxide is released into the air, it acts as an absorber of heat radiation and behaves as a blanket over Earth's surface and causes the air temperature to naturally rise over a period of time. In the last century, the average global temperature has risen 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the term "global warming" does not imply that the season of winter will eventually dissapear. The Earth continues to rotate around the sun at the same relative speed and distance.

The dramatic decrease in temperature is caused by La Niña- characterized by lower temperatures in the equatorial pacific. La Niña periodically occurs in a cycle with El Niño, a pattern with the opposite impact. Global climate change increases the intensity of both effects. 

Freezing winters are not an indicator that we have "solved" climate change. They are a warning sign.

If US politicians continue to make fact a debatable topic, the issue will be ignored until it is too late. While Republicans reguarly dismiss the climate's relevance, Democrats have not been actively pushing for environmentally forward legislation because of the Republican majorities in Congress. 

Ice shelves and sheets, permafrost layers, and glaciers are rapidly melting because of the climate change crisis. Consequently, methane and greenhouse gases contained within the ice are being released into the atmosphere and the sea level is rising.

If melting continues to occur at a constant rate, sea level will rise and eventually flood coastlines. This is a valid concern worldwide, but, as college students in New Orleans, Tulane students should be aware that our city is already below sea level. Most roads are suspended above ground, and flooding is common.

Louisiana is a large contributor in greenhouse gas production and is ranked at the bottom of states taking precautions to become environmentally cautious. However, we have more to lose than the majority of the country. Climate change will raise temperatures, cause more frequent rainfall, increase exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses, and lead to future hurricanes.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is crafting the Green New Deal to promote renewable and zero-emission energy, the reduction of carbon emissions, investments in clean infrastructure, and normalization of eco-friendly farming practices. This deal would be a large step in the right direction for Earth's future, but it is being debated in Congress.

The current political climate is quickly endangering our country and world. Because Donald Trump has made it his mission to contradict Democrats and Barack Obama on every issue, congressional Republicans turn a blind eye on climate-friendly legislation.

It is necessary for all politicians to take immediate action in favor of our climate's wellbeing. Otherwise, effects will soon be both detrimental and irreversible. 

Although we are led by a presidential administration that seeks to silence climate change scientists, the effects are acknowledged by the majority of other developed nations. The United States must contribute to the Paris Agreement and other climate accords for real change to occur.