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Leaders need to take action to fix climate change

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A recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA confirms that the last three years have been the hottest on record.

In an interview with NPR, Deke Arndt, the National Climate Extremes Committee Chair, explained, “The long-term warming is driven almost entirely by greenhouse gases. We’ve seen a warming trend related to greenhouse gases for four, five, six decades now.”

The evidence is clear. The climate is changing and greenhouse gases are warming the world. There are negative consequences for the future of the planet as sea levels rise and global temperatures affect food production.

Neither political party, whether in denial of or accepting global warming, has acted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, for the last 20 years U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have remained at or above 6 billion metric tons per year. This type of intergovernmental gridlock stems from the lack of acceptance on human impact upon the climate.  

The newly confirmed head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, acknowledged that “human activity plays ‘some’ role in the changing climate.” In his confirmation hearing, Scott Pruitt said the extent to which man can alleviate climate change is subject to more debate. He cited economic growth as his primary goal. 

Though economic arguments are cited to prevent dramatic changes to energy policies, the sea levels continue to rise. The devastating effects of climate change continue to plague the planet. As natural disasters and extreme weather patterns continue to increase, it seems that our leaders continue to put economic gain above taking care of the planet.

This inability to care for the planet indicates a moral flaw within the collective psyche of our leaders. How can something that is clearly true be the cause of such unanimous inaction?

While our leaders are, at least partially, a reflection of our own values, this type of inaction is forthcoming of the moral laxity of our time. Do we really care about our environment? Does it matter if our children live on an uninhabitable planet? While our words may or may not agree acknowledge the truth, our inaction has negatively impacted the planet and will continue to harm it for years to come.

As we individually play our part in reducing carbon emissions, we can only hope our own actions can affect our leadership enough to enact some meaningful change, regardless of political party. Lest we walk in the ways of our leaders, whose words differ from their deeds.

Opinion columnist Adib Shafipour is a biochemistry sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]


    • 99% of Scientists from all across the globe and not just NASA… agree that global warming is man made. Are all these scientists lying? What could they gain from that?

  • If we are burning up Abid … then please show me the wasteland caused by the last three years has caused.

    The Summer of 1980 was a real barn burner with 100 degree temps for months on end.

    We’ve had hot summers since, but the people know better … and quite frankly we are insulted by the tripe you wrote today.

    And you’ve only repeated known talking point, but to Abid the sky is falling. It’s stuff that fourth graders read about in Sierra Club pamphlets, and stupidly repeat it as truth.

    You offer no new evidence in your piece Abid. I know it is what you believe, but I’d garner you placed not one original thought on the page.

    I invite my fellow UH students to go outside … take a deep breath of fresh air. The sky is blue, not polluted. The planet will be here, and habitable long after we are gone.

    And let’s not forget, Obama politicized these agencies, so to blindly believing their results, it must be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Zayed, are you saying that 99% of scientists are lying about man made climate change? Are you saying that scientists from all across the globe in competing nations are lying about the effects global warming has on the planet? Are you seriously saying that the over 1,000,000 papers on climate change that have been peer reviewed and fact checked by scientists are all lying? Its not a political issue… It’s a moral issue.

      • RRS. Quit simply vomiting talking points, because you make yourself stupider by memorizing them, and insulting the intelligence of many by uttering them.

        You couldn’t get 99% of scientists to agree that the sky is blue.

        And let’s be honest, the climate change issue has been politicized beyond belief. Grants are not issued to scientists who will say that the planet has not warmed in the past 18 years, which is more in line with reality.

        Grants are issued to Progressive scientist yes men, who already have their conclusions of warming and devastation in mind.

        Have you ever heard of East Anglia? Where reports were doctored to show global warming, despite the evidence to prove otherwise.

        RSS, you are nothing but a drone, and your battery is waning.

        • Why do you try politicize everything? Not everything is a Progressive conspiracy. Yes I can link you the facts to global warming but I am sure you only trust Brietbart and Fox News. Global Warming is real, man made fossil fuels are causing it. Stop believing propaganda.

          • RRS … answer me this.

            How did Man get all those SUV’s and fossil fuels time traveled back to End … The Last Ice Age?

            Models are the only thing you got my polka dot friend … and who programs them? Left leaning political scientists.

            If weatherman can’t tell us if its gonna rain at this hour on this day, weeks from now. Then how can we possibly believe what those models tell us?

            The only way to determine if the planet is warming or cooling is by reviewing pass information.

            Models cannot know how volcanoes spewing ash particles into the atmosphere affect the planets temperatures.

            I’m reminded of Toba and Krakatoa … Toba erupted in 1815 causing the Year Without A Summer, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Krakatoa erupted in 1883, and affected the World’s weather patterns for years as documented by the Krakatoa Committee.

            RRS … to really understand a foe, you must put yourself in their shoes. Now which side makes more sense?

            Yours or Mine?

                • The last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago due to the tilt in the Earth orbital axis which effects how the light from the Sun reaches the Earth. A study of sediment cores collected from the deep ocean supports a new explanation for how glacier melting at the end of the ice ages led to the release of carbon dioxide from the ocean. So as the Earth got hotter due to this shifting tilt the frozen carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere, lending itself to a hotter and hotter planet. This is vastly different from the amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere ranging in the 400 parts per million. Charts of which can be found below and on numerous other websites. The climate usually alters every 100,000 from glacial periods to Cambrian periods( the period we are now). Should man keep creating an imbalance in the CO2 levels, like we are now, extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and more natural disasters will continue to happen. Rather than believe the propaganda espoused by politicians, I urge you to do research.



                • Science is not a matter of ideology or a matter of political preference. Science is evidence based and rigorously experimented and falsified. Democrats and Republicans have not helped alleviate this problem. The Democrats have provided nothing but lip service to fixing these issues. While most Republicans deny that it is even happening. Global Warming is real, man made fossil fuels are causing it. End of story.

                  • At least you got the Sun in your response.

                    As long as plants and trees breath in CO2 we’ll be OK.

                    I don’t buy one bit of your argument RRS.

                    Mount Pinatubo spewed more pollution into the atmosphere than man ever created …
                    … and we are still here.

                    I see the Earth as an Adult that can take care of itself. After all it was here before us.

                    Man has been here for only a second in Earth’s history, and your treat Earth as a child.

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