Newton: Give climate change the respect it deserves


Sydney Newton
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Last year, President Obama said that “no challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a change in climate.” The United States and China make up 40 percent of global emissions in the world. It would only make sense that leaders in these two countries would be at the front of the race to fight global warming. Unfortunately, this is not totally the case.

In a statement released by the White House in early March, “the presidents [U.S. and China] recognize that the Paris Agreement marks a global commitment to tackling climate change and a strong signal of the need for a swift transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.”

And on April 22, 172 global leaders, including Obama, signed the Paris Agreement. This is a landmark deal in the fight against global warming, but with the election coming in November, there is no assurance that the next president will keep the momentum going.

We are still having debates regarding the importance of global climate change. It’s difficult when serious figures in today’s society continue to devalue its importance and try to disregard the subject. When influential people are trying to ignore global climate change, it makes it harder to get people to take it seriously.

The GOP candidates that were (or are) running for president all have different opinions about global warming, but none of them admit to the significance of it or agree to make plans to do something about it.

During a recent foreign-policy speech, Donald Trump said, “Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.” Saying things such as this insinuates that we have to worry about one issue and not others.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has said in a recent speech, “We Democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat. And it requires an aggressive response that can make America the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century.”

I don’t think global climate change should be considered an issue that both parties automatically have to disagree on. The argument usually begins when individuals contend that other issues are more important but fail to say that climate change is important. I think this is the problem. We get nothing done when we continue to argue over which issues are more important; this just leads to a standstill.

Instead, we should acknowledge that issues can be of equal importance, and we do not have to ignore key factors, like global warming. Global climate change is an issue that’s not only extremely important in our country but in the entire world too.

Arguably, it is hard to keep everything equally important, but if our current president can understand the significance of climate change and treat it with the respect it deserves, we should be able to expect the same with any future president.

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