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Living in a State of Environmental Emergency

President Trump has officially declared a national emergency as a measure of obtaining funding for a wall to be built between Mexico and the United States. In recognition of this event, it may be imperative to take a look at another issue that has spread its devastating wings beyond the United States alone. Climate change has taken the world by storm, fire and fury, and it certainly has no plans of reversing the trends until humans take some action of their own. Although it isn’t entirely clear if this global crisis can be declared a national emergency, it should certainly be treated with urgency and allocated substantial resources.

Why Would We Consider It an Emergency?

Families have been devastated by fires, flooding and fear because of raging climate and environmental shifts, but it isn’t enough to give climate change a legitimate label as a threat to the population. When looking at the effects that these natural disasters can eventually cause, it might become easier to push for a national emergency label.

Agricultural production is incredibly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. A threat to food sources is certainly emergency enough to be hastily combated, but food isn’t the only life source at stake. With rising sea levels, a threat is posed to drinking water. Because of certain flooding patterns, water supplies in some areas could be exposed to saltwater intrusion. Without food, people die. Without water, people die. Famine could be a national emergency if climate change is not addressed by the country’s leader.

What Would It Look Like?

There is no certainty of the current legitimacy or potential outcome of declaring climate change as a national emergency, but there is no denying that measures need to be taken regardless of the title given. Upon the declaration of a national emergency, a president is then introduced to over 100 special provisions that can be used at his (or one day her) discretion. Here is a look at some of the ways that a national climate emergency could appear in the United States.

In order to combat the causes of climate change and impede the root of the issue from gaining any more traction, a national emergency could allow a president to temporarily cease oil drilling. Once oil drilling and the other catalysts and proponents of climate change have come to a stop, the president could then focus efforts on promoting the renewable energy industry in order to work at reversing its effects. Declaring a national emergency permits the president to extend guaranteed loans to industries that are considered to be critical during the time in which the emergency is declared.

Could a future president declare this overarching man-made, natural disaster a national emergency? Climate change has already been attached to a state of emergency declarations around the globe, so perhaps it could be given the attention and resources it needs by the people and commander-in-chief of the United States. Consider that this green initiative may be the only one left in keeping any green on the planet at all.

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Franki is a senior studying marketing with hopes of one day climbing the ranks of the copywriting and/or publication world. As a lover of movies, books and movie adaptations of books, she often has self-fueled mental debates on the latter. She prefers constant snacking over spread out meals and is no stranger to long conversations about both. When she isn't at her internships or on campus, you can probably find Franki playing video games or petting someone else's dog.
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