Climate change – or global warming – is real. We need only to ask the residents of the northeast of the country about the last two winters, or take a look at the drought currently affecting California to recognize weather phenomena that are a result of polluting human activity.
The weather on both coasts is just one indicator of this global occurrence, which is being carefully monitored by the scientific community. This is how we know that high-volume CO2 emissions are creating a greenhouse effect. Among other consequences, the heat increase is causing the record-breaking temperatures that melt polar ice, which gives way to a rise in sea levels.
The vast majority of scientists agree that reducing emissions is the priority. Then, contaminating gases must be stabilized. This would mean decreasing the use of carbon-based fuels and oil and developing clean alternatives such as solar power.
It is unfortunate to see that these efforts are being challenged by Congress. The House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce Committee is trying to block the Clean Power Plan put forward by the White House. More than 12 states, alongside the leading energy companies, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent it from regulating the emission of polluting gases. Florida’s government is recommending its scientists to refrain from establishing relationships between the possible rise in sea levels and global warming. For its part, Wisconsin – home of governor and prospective presidential candidate Rick Scott – has forbidden some government employees from speaking about global warming during business hours.
Denying climate change seems like a simple act of ignorance on the part of Republican politicians, who often say: “I am not a scientist.” However, the energy industry is the force behind the argument that not polluting is too costly. It should be noted that the Koch brothers – from the behemoth Koch Industries – give millions of dollars to scientists and politicians who refute climate change.
This is a worrisome outlook on this Earth Day. The false dichotomy between private sector and clean air is noxious. This public debate calls for more honesty and a vision that goes beyond reaping immediate benefits at the expense of the planet’s destruction.