As of late, climate change, once a fringe issue that only seemed relevant to environmentalists and scientists, has evolved to become a major issue that divides American society on scientific, religious and economic terms. Although there was no questions asked during the 2016 Presidential Debates about how candidates would tackle the issues, climate change has received significant political and geopolitical attention. Notable treaties signed to combat the rapid and radical change in our global environment and atmosphere include the Paris Climate Accords and the Kyoto Protocol. The Paris Climate Accords is signed by every recognized government in the world bar the United States, who opted out from the agreement after the Trump Administration — which is notorious for outright denying climate change and ending environmental regulations — decided to suspend the US participation in the agreement in 2017.

The decision to withdraw from the agreement came with sharp criticism and highlighted the divide climate change causes in American society. On the left wing, progressives and environmentalists pointed out how continuing to fuel the train of climate change wouldn’t only affect other species we share an environment with, but it would also be detrimental to human society and human habitats as a whole. Deregulation would lead to a higher risk of disease, polluted water and air, and would lead to the deaths of thousands, already adding on to the lengthy list of deaths caused by pollution. Progressives also pointed out how green energy methods such as wind and nuclear energy will create more jobs, produce more energy, keep the environment clean and increase living standards.

The right-wing replied with rather insignificant arguments that lack backbones, claiming increasing environmental regulations and moving away from fossil fuel energy would harm business, and therefore our economy. However, this argument is critically flawed as a transition to green energy would create more jobs for the US economy, and these jobs will be much safer, meaning less money spent on health-related issues and thus no lack of worker efficiency in the workplace. Plus, moving away from green energy harms the economy as it slows the progression of America’s largest growing industry. This shows the lack of critical thinking by right-wing “intellectuals” such as Ben Shapiro and Steven Crowder.

In this case, the left wing is absolutely right. Climate change is not an issue we can deny nor sweep under the rug. It’s the most serious issue the world has collectively faced together since World War 2. Coral bleaching and the death of the Great Barrier Reef, the record-breaking wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres of land, home and businesses in California, the warming of our planet and destruction of the arctic leading to rising ocean levels and numerous other environmental issues that we face today can be blamed on climate change. How could continuing using fossil fuels as our main energy source improve our economy when its the very reason why American coastal communities have to invest thousands into protection against rising sea levels? On top of this, rising temperatures will lead to rapid changes in local agriculture and will even render some regions on Earth unsuitable for human civilization, leading to a refugee crisis on a scale never before seen.

If it wasn’t obvious enough, climate change has the power to tear the fabrics of society apart and throw the world into chaos, and this could very well come true should the issue be further neglected by right-wing populists.

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, and there are indeed numerous ways to fight climate change and improve human civilization as we know it. Green energy is an excellent alternative to fossil fuels, as its safer, renewable and doesn’t pollute the local environment. In the United States, wind energy is in abundance, with underutilized and underdeveloped wind energy industries off the coast of New Jersey and in the Great Plains. The further development of these energy sources would lead to safer and cleaner energy for local residents and boost the local economies by adding thousands of jobs, while also maintaining the delicate balance of the environment.

In terms of transportation, there are many alternative methods to get us from one destination to the other. Leading the charge is electricity based cars. Electric cars produce no emissions and are therefore 100% eco-friendly, and on top of this electric cars are also easier to drive, as electric powered vehicles are highly responsive and have excellent torque. In theory, these cars would cut down on accidents due to quick and highly responsive mobility, while also totally eliminating fossil fuel emissions.

Climate change is a very serious issue that we must fight as a united species. Our society, our planet, our fellow organisms on Earth rely on it. Without effective reform to our preferred energy methods, climate change could tear apart human society, result in a mass extinction event and lead to total environmental and agricultural decline all across the planet. However, bringing upon reform will lead to an increase in living standards, energy availability and grow the global economy. History will negatively reflect on mankind should we choose to neglect this issue, and we must do all we can to ensure we end up on the right side of history.

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