Written by Miyo Fukuzawa, ESLLC 2016-2017
*Written on 1/17/2017
With Donald Trump’s inauguration creeping up on us this Friday, increasing anxiety about the future of our planet is quite understandable. Trump has, in the past, blatantly denied climate change and called it a hoax. Whether he still truly believes this or not is unclear to me, since he certainly has a record of inconsistent views and speaking without thinking. One can see with no doubt, however, that a booming economy, money, and power are his priorities for America, which puts environmental concerns in the background. Trump has spoken about withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a pact between several countries to reduce fossil fuels and therefore fight global warming. While it would take about 4 years for our country to fully withdraw from the agreement, Trump could easily ignore the U.S.’s involvement in it, and carry on with business, burning fossil fuels as he pleases.
It is dangerous to have a president whose campaign is run on the slogan “Make America Great Again”. This power-hungry and self-centered approach is dangerous for countries across the globe and the planet itself. It creates a narrow-minded view and a dismissal of any big picture issues, issues just like global warming. As the popular saying goes, “Money Rules the World”. I see this as a very true statement, but an even truer idea is that our planet rules us. If we do not have a healthy planet to live on, we will not be able to have money or economic growth. If we continue with Trump’s mindset, we will forget about the things that are truly important. Of course, there are many immediate concerns to be dealt with, but in the grand scheme of things, the future of our planet is most important to us all. There are ways that we can address our relatively short-term problems without destroying the planet.
While we personally may not feel the effects of climate change directly and seriously impacting our livelihoods, people across the globe are. Family farms are being destroyed, drought and flooding are putting people out of work and forcing them into poverty. That doesn’t sound like economic growth, and it’s only going to get worse, and sooner or later it’s going to affect even the richest Americans (cough cough Donald Trump). If one is at all concerned about their well- being and the human race, one needs to be concerned about our planet.