The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Regression in environmental policies affects everyone

March 23, 2017

In a time when climate change is a serious threat to the planet and countries around the world need stricter environmental policies, President Trump and his administration proposed a $2.6 billion cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s already sparse budget.

This budget cut would lead to the reduction of 3,200 employees from the EPA, elimination of climate change research, prevention programs across the country and the Clean Power Plan. Trump and Co. believe investing money in such programs would be a waste of money (CNN).

How is investing in climate change research a waste of money? Would it be so bad to cut down on pollution? What if we found a solution to restoring the damage that we’ve caused?

Instead of moving forward on environmental policies and regulations, the United States is about to take one huge step back. The lack of progression on environmental policies is shameful. We know so much more than we did 20 years ago and we’re more conscious about the consequences of our actions.

Climate change has nothing to do with political parties. Forget if you’re a registered democrat, republican or not affiliated with any party and think about the planet and what’s become of it.

Climate change is no joke and it’s up to the younger generations to debunk the myth that climate change isn’t real.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, sea level and global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover and ocean acidification are evidence that climate change is occurring at a dangerous rate.

Climate change arose due to careless human activity. Mankind is burning through their natural resources and adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. There will come a point where the damage caused will be irreversible.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement between many countries to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees. Its main goal is to unify the countries in the battle against climate change, but the United States stance on the agreement is currently unknown.

If the United States withdraws from the agreement, reducing the damage of climate change will be tough. For there to be true improvement, every country has to work together.

Without the Paris Agreement and funding for the Clean Power Plan, the world would never see improvement.

It may not seem like a big deal because living in a 1st world country prevents us from experiencing hardships. Imagine not being able to drink fresh water because of contamination or drought conditions. Imagine not being able to eat because your food won’t grow due to extreme weather conditions.

Climate change not only affects materials consumed by humans, but also makes humans prone to illnesses and interferes with plant and animal habitats.

As far as we know, there’s only one planet with living organisms.  We’re burning our planet to the ground and have spent decades neglecting the consequences our actions have on the environment. You’d think that people, especially people in powerful positions, would take all measures to ensure the protection of the Earth and the safety of its people.

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