The science is clear on climate change: it’s real, and it’s happening. We need to realize there is no Plan B for our earth. If we don’t reverse the damage we’ve done, that’s it – future generations will suffer from lack of resources, the species who depend on specific climates will continue to face extinction, and they’ll have nowhere to go.
Because of failure to enact policies that would reduce the instances of major natural disasters caused by climate change, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Irma, we see infrastructure bearing the brunt of protecting Americans. The levies in New Orleans couldn’t handle the storm’s impact, and many areas of Katrina-impacted states have never fully recovered from a hurricane that happened almost 13 years ago. Last summer, we saw highways and roads in Houston completely flooded by Hurricane Harvey, and Texans trying to swim or boat their way to safety. Harvey is tied with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting as least $125 billion in damages.
In December 2017, heartbreaking National Geographic footage of a polar bear starving to death on Canada’s Baffin Island went viral. The heartwrenching footage showed the world first-hand the devastating and cruel effects of man-made climate change on creatures who cannot protect themselves from what we’re doing to them.
This has to stop before it’s too late.
Man created this crisis and man can resolve this issue. Part of what we are going to have to do is face the reality of the damage that has already been done and the natural results from increasing ocean temperatures. This means creating an infrastructure capable of handling more severe weather, investing in infrastructure that reduces greenhouse gas emission (reduce vehicle congestion, replace the airport radar system with a GPS system, and improve our power grid), place pressure on the current administration to cut back on policies that continue to damage the environment, pass trade requirements that are “green conscious”, and pass legislation that encourages the reduction of greenhouse gas emission.
We need comprehensive climate change legislation that takes a market-based approach by putting a price on carbon. We need to get return to our positions as a world leader in protecting the environment, we need to incentivize carbon capture, improve nuclear energy, and improve energy efficiency in power plants.