White House should work to combat climate change

By Shivani Gosai

2/7/18

One of the most globally pressing issues is the current state of the Earths climate. Increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere are causing our planet to see the warmest years on record.

Consequences of our changing climate can be seen through increases in global temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Scientists at NASA have predicted that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities.

This means we need to take action, and our government should be playing a central role in this situation.

Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has made it clear since before his inauguration that he does not believe in the severity of global warming. On multiple occasions Trump has swept the threat of climate change under the rug.

On Jan. 30, The American Meteorological Society sent a letter to the president hoping to help educate him.

The letter was sent after an interview with Piers Morgan aired where President Trump made inaccurate and dangerous claims about the state of our planets climate.

“There is a wealth of comprehensive and accurate information on climate change available to you and your staff within government agencies, as well as from experts in academic institutions and other organizations. The American Meteorological Society stands ready to provide assistance in connecting Executive Branch staff with that knowledge and expertise to ensure that you and your staff are working with credible and scientifically validated information as you navigate the many difficult policy areas impacted by the Earth’s changing climate,” the letter read.

I strongly urge the Trump administration to reconsider what they can be doing to slow down the affects of global warming. As climate change worsens, so does the frequency of severe weather events such as wildfires and hurricanes. Coastal communities have been devastated by hurricanes such as Maria and Harvey — we should not be subjecting our country to any further destruction.

Trump is risking our safety by pulling out of the Paris Agreement, a worldwide agreement between nearly 200 countries to curb global carbon emissions and contain global warming.

This is especially dangerous considering the United States emits some of the highest rates of carbon dioxide next to China and India, according to the United Nation Statistics Division.

I hope that Pittsburgh can be a inspiration for the Trump Administration. Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted on June 1, 2017, “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

According to Wired, renewable energy has created an estimated 13,000 jobs in Pittsburgh, and the city is continuing to grow with green development as one of the largest technology advanced cities in the country.

If you’re looking to learn more about our environmental safety, Duquesne has hosted the Integrity of Creation conference for the past three years in an effort to engage in civil discourse regarding the protection of our planet based in science, law and ethics. Over the past three years, various scientific contributions and religious perspectives have discussed ecological interdependence, the water crisis and global warming. The 2018 conference date has not yet been announced.

If you’re looking to advocate for the environment at Duquesne, Evergreen is a student organization that hosts a variety of clean-ups and educational events on campus. They collaborate with Uptown Partners of Pittsburgh to work to keep the neighborhood green.

To combat climate change we have to work together, in our communities as well as globally. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a storm as destructive as Hurricane Harvey was a once-in-every-100 years event, but that will surely turn into a once-in-every-16 years event. To prevent this and other natural disasters, let’s all work to be more efficient for a sustainable planet for every living being.

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