(Photo Credit Danielle Cruz)
Written by Danielle Cruz Edited and Abiola Fraser
In election 2016, climate change has become an issue that Americans can no longer ignore. As a result, many are demanding that Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, begin to advocate that they will take more action than their predecessors and raise awareness of this rising issue.
Cheryl Adams, a York College Biology professor, says, “I don’t think people are overreacting to climate change…if anything people are not paying enough attention to this issue.
In fact climate change has become such a recurring issue. In the past year, America has experienced eight events of climate change causing environmental disasters scientist say are supposed to occur only every five hundred years.
Our Presidential Candidates share contrasting views on the climate change issue. Clinton affirms the seriousness of climate change, while Trump dismisses the claims entirely.
“Hillary has always been proactive in regards to issues of climate change,” saysJeffrey Maguire, a 21-year-old Modell’s Sporting Goods Sales Associate.
Clinton, in various interviews and press conferences, has advocated her support in combating climate change, and raising awareness of it as an issue that must be addressed actively by Americans, stating that it is an “urgent threat” to the future of America.
“I’m really looking forward to her plans on making the nation run on clean energy,” says Maguire.
On the contrary, Trump sees climate change as an overreaction to minor changes in the weather. In various tweets and interviews, Trump has repeatedly stated that he does not think that climate change is an issue, calling it a “hoax” and “a very expensive form of tax.”
According to CNN, Trump once sent out a tweet saying, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Although Trump stated that he was only joking about climate change being created by the Chinese later that day. Despite scientific claims and facts on climate change, he still refuses to acknowledge it as a threat.
In a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Institute of Physics Science, stated that over ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that climate change is an issue caused by human misuse and disregard of Earth’s resources.Many other scientific journals have also proven that over the years, global temperature has risen and will continue to rise if climate change agreements are not actively discussed by world leaders.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel of scientist from all over the world who assess the science behind climate change, has stated that “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”
Professor Michael Sharpe, a York College Political Science professor, states that “ Climate change is a real issue… with the melting of the polar ice caps in the Arctic and rising sea levels, it is pretty visible what is happening.”
Clinton has mentioned that should she be elected president she would work to create climate change laws and praised the steps enacted by the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Paris Climate Agreement is a global climate deal signed by one-hundred and ninety-five countries in December of 2015. The deal committed the countries that signed it to work and limit the temperature increase with plans to utilize solar and wind energy.
While America has yet to reach the plan’s goals, Trump has publicly disagreed with it stating that he will “cancel” the agreement if he were to become president.
Adams believes that his reluctance to acknowledge climate change is business driven. “Passing climate change acts can affect people’s profit; Trump is probably thinking of how it can and will negatively impact his businesses and investments.”
Jessica Savchuk, a nursing major, agrees with Adams stating that “some people rather remain ignorant rather than face the facts that (they) messed up and (climate change) is an issue that needs to be fixed.”
While many voters think that climate change is a topic that should be discussed at length by each candidate, some voters, especially supporters of Trump, think that climate change is not something worth debating.
Brendan Joseph, a 32 yr old security guard states, “Trump has better stuff to focus on right now. Our top priority is getting terrorists out of our nation… Hillary talks about the issue of climate change, but that’s just to get the sympathy of the voters.”
Some voters, however, worry that she will try to pass climate change laws but will not be successful in making prominent and lasting changes.
“The fact of the matter is that when I was younger this was a topic still being discussed by politicians and nothing has happened, it is still a prominent issue,” says Adams.
“It is a gridlock,” says Sharpe “Republicans are in the majority now and that is one of the reasons they can not get these laws passed (now)… perhaps with the next election it will change but the republicans as of now have more elected officials.”