Trump’s negligence of climate change is killing us


Wildfires continue to ravage the West coast devouring millions of acres of land and dozens of lives. According to the Atmosphere Monitoring Service “activity, this year has been tens to hundreds of times more intense than the 2003–2019 average in the U.S. in general, as well as in several affected states.”  Entire towns have been destroyed in the wake of the inferno including Talent, Oregon which now lies deserted and blanketed in fire retardant. The 79 active fires have destroyed more than 4.3 million acres of land, displaced thousands of individuals and claimed over 28 lives so far. The devastation is unprecedented and yet, the Trump administration took over three weeks to respond to the crisis. His seemingly reluctance to acknowledge the crisis is reminiscent of his attitude towards climate catastrophe, willful ignorance. 

On Sept. 11, weeks after the wildfires began to ravage the west coast, President Trump tweeted out his gratitude for the firefighters on the scene and cited his support. According to the tweet he has signed “37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work.” Yet before his tweet acknowledging the ongoing crisis, he spent several weeks attending rallies, golfing and visiting Louisiana after Hurricane Laura. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed his frustrations with Washington in CNN’s “State of the Union” “When we have firefighters dying on the line and Washington refuses to help states and refuses to help local governments that are the first responders to emergencies like this, it’s unconscionable.” Trump has used the wildfires as a reason to ridicule many of the democratic leaders in California. He told rally-goers in Minden, Nevada “It is about forest management, please remember the words, very simply, forest management, please remember, about forest management, and other things,his criticisms are drawn from the belief that government officials simply did not take care of the forest properly to prevent such a catastrophe. His statements reiterate a frightening reality, the most powerful man in the nation doesn’t believe in climate change.

Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the correlation between the increase in the intensity of wildfires and the ongoing climate change crisis represents a similar refrain he has held while in office, climate change is the agenda of political opponents. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “Research shows that changes in climate that create warmer, drier conditions, increased drought, and a longer fire season are boosting these increases in wildfire risk.” The growing force of these fires can cause irreparable environmental damage, a risk to public health and cost the government billions in damages and resources for aid. However, the increase in the intensity of wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters don’t come as a surprise to scientists. Our ongoing strain on finite resources and increased carbon footprint set our environment on a path of destruction and devastation. Yet despite the increasing severity of climate change the Trump administration has done nothing to lessen the U.S impact of carbon emissions and has even gone as far as to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords

The goal of the Paris Climate Accords is to get the Earth’s temperature back to preindustrial times and increase the use of renewable energy. To do this every country involved must pledge to reduce its carbon footprint. The U.S is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases meaning Trump’s decision to terminate the United State’s involvement represents a massive blow to the future climate change. 

The wildfires, although devastating, follow a trend of the rising intensity of natural disasters born from rapid change in environmental factors. Despite the devastation, the Trump administration has made clear their stance on climate change and continues to place the blame on a plethora of other unfounded accusations. 

Email Chloe at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Chloelindahl1

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