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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Columns

Climate change inaction boils down to ignorant politics


With the rise of ultra-partisan politics, it has become increasingly hard to distinguish fact from reality.

We live in the age of spin, yet we must be wary that our understanding and need for science is non-negotiable.

Notable scientists in several fields of study have declared their disdain for President Donald Trump and his administration’s grasp on reality. Neil Degrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking have both criticized the empty rhetoric of this administration, such as “Make America Great Again” and “America First,” which solidifies xenophobic and isolationist viewpoints in the discourse.

Tyson explains his opposition to the administration’s plans to cut science funding in a series of tweets, “President Donald Trump’s first proposed budget could make America ‘weak,’ ‘sick’ and ‘stupid.’ The fastest way to Make America Weak Again: Cut science funds to our agencies that support it.” 

This administration’s lack of response to the seriousness of climate change along with defunding federal science programs creates dissonance between the desire to progress the country and the lack of understanding of science.

The President’s perceived opposition to action against climate change — something created by the Chinese” — seems to suggest his inaction comes from ignorance. Science, although not immediately economically beneficial, creates a population of informed and diverse people.

In an interview with ITV, Dr. Hawking explains, “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent. It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for [Trump’s] second term.”

Any argument that justifies action that opposes measures combating the warming climate either displays willful ignorance of reality or moral subversion for profit. There can be nothing to justify inaction against this serious problem.

Economics must, for once, take a backseat to the habitability of our planet. Science must reinforce political opinion, economic gain and social customs.

Our leaders, now more than ever, must be critically evaluated if they display willful ignorance of scientific facts. We cannot hope to create a better world, regardless of economic, political or social views if we do not agree upon objective reality. Our collective understanding of science must advance if we hope to improve our condition.

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

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