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California | Environment & Forest Defense

Breaking the Silence on Climate Change
by Doris Flores
Wednesday Dec 5th, 2012 10:42 AM
The lack of attention climate change receives and the dangers of climate change on the rise.
With the recent events of Hurricane Sandy, it has brought the issue of climate change to the surface again. Climate change has been on the table as a part of the many problems that America has to face and come to terms. We need to find ways to prevent the rapid changes to our climate by addressing the issue of climate change. When it first came into light in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, our government brushed off climate change, but with the increase of natural disasters growing nationwide, it’s a hard issue to avoid. Yet, every year our past and current presidents and political figures have done little to nothing to bring awareness of the dangers that climate change will cause and how to properly do our part to prevent it. As we continue to experience warmer temperatures, melting of the arctic ice, rise in sea level, and as nature becomes confuse as to what time of the season it is, shouldn’t we all pause to think about climate change and the effects we are experiencing?

One thing we all need to understand about climate change is that we all play a part of the effects that are to come and we all have the power to curb those changes to the normal speed than the rapid pace it’s been taking. Fred Pearce had published in New Scientist about the properties contributing to Global climate change. Pearce mentions the increase of carbon dioxide, which we burn through a fast pace now than before and continue to do so. As the emissions of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere, our government fails to initiate the steps to regulate greenhouse emissions. With mounting evidence from several scientist of climate change, levels of sea water are rising, warmer temperatures are becoming the norm, water vapor are more frequent, and storms are becoming more destructive and stronger.

Under the Bush Administration, one of the biggest national disasters occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi in 2005. Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 (highest level of destruction for a hurricane), left New Orleans in ruins and many people homeless and devastated from its destruction. While it is not definite that Hurricane Katrina was a direct relation to climate change, it did bring up the questions of its connection to climate change. After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush Administration should have placed some level of concern in regards to our climate and funds to research the cause and effects of climate change and what it would mean to us. Instead, the Bush Administration buried the issue of climate change under the rug and the corporate media followed, only covering the disaster in New Orleans and what the Bush Administration was doing to help those people in ruins. But has quickly as Hurricane Katrina came and went, so did the rising concern of climate change.

Now as the 2012 presidential debates have ended and the election for our next president completed (with the re-election of President Obama), we must examine the decision of our vote and how it will impact our climate. During the presidential debates, both candidates did little to speak about the goals or policies concerning our environment and climate change, but yet we did cast a vote in hopes that our choice will take climate change as a serious threat on our society like the war on terrorism. Urgency in this matter of climate change cannot be placed on hold for the next 2016 presidential race, if anything as voters and concerned citizens, we must bring climate change into the light by voicing our worries and putting pressure on our government to yield to our voices and listen. Global climate change is very real and a threat that we all need to take as serious as national security. David Atkins’ quote dedicated to ClimateSilence.org, depicts the silence shown in our presidential debates on climate change:

“A generation from now, historians will laugh at us for being more afraid of Iran than climate change.”

Will America continue to experience billion-dollar disasters before our government seriously assigns climate change with the driving force to preserver our world? If Hurricane Sandy is not another indicator for climate change or evidence enough to do more than speak about climate change, then I don’t know what else needs to occur to create more recognition to the issues surrounding our climate.