The Environment Is Dying and We Just Made It Worse

In case you don’t know, President Trump has decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords. Even with the 3-year process ahead of us, people are now asking themselves (again): what is happening?

Here’s a bit of background: the Paris Climate Accords was created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has been used throughout multiple countries to attempt to reduce global warming. This deal has been signed by 195 UNFCCC members, and 147 of them have already ratified the agreement. Additionally, their main goal is to keep the current global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius– hopefully even further to 1.5 degrees.

Now back to reality.

Trump claims to “not want other countries and leaders to laugh at us anymore“, but that begs the question: wouldn’t GETTING OUT be worse? The current stances regarding the issue of global warming fluctuate around the entire world. If we look up statistics of countries that understand and/or are indifferent to the changing climate, many countries that emit the most emissions turn a blind eye against the potential impacts of global warming. 

It’s pretty ironic: the United States is the world’s largest carbon polluter (8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide) yet President Trump has reportedly claimed that the “United States will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth.” I don’t know what alternative facts he’s working off of, but if the current trend continues, we may find ourselves in a very big hole. Of nothing. Because there wouldn’t be an Earth.

Thankfully, however, there are some people in this world that don’t agree with the United States. The European Union has now rejected President Trump’s calls to renegotiate the Paris climate agreement and has taken steps to work with businesses and state governors instead. Even in the United States as well, Elon Musk has quit two of Trump’s business advisory councils – as he stated he would if the United States pulled out.

Although not all Republicans believe climate change is a hoax, our President does… or does he? At this point, no one knows. This past Friday, when asked about the President’s stance on climate change, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that “I have not had an opportunity to have that discussion.” Kellyanne Conway also stated “you should ask him that” when interviewers attempted to press about the President’s ideas regarding global warming. And now, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has now stated that “President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation” but nothing official has come from the President himself.

With this ambiguity at hand, all people can do is educate others. If you don’t believe in climate change, it’s probably time you should. Look up research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or simply look at the science. It’s there for a reason.

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Dana Chen is a teenager living in Orange County, California. She is very passionate about feminism, woman's rights, and gender equality. Dana is also the captain of her school's debate team and loves to debate, spend time with her family, and play the violin.

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