Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What recent hurricanes have proven in relation to climate change

We need to take serious action in environmental policies

What recent hurricanes have proven in relation to climate change

First things first: Climate change is real! It has always astonished me how many people still believe climate change is a hoax fabricated by the government in an attempt to raise taxes and expand their power. As if the government created hurricanes -- which destroyed property, hurt the economies of the areas affected, and took lives -- all for the sole purpose of tricking people into thinking that the environment is in danger and needs to be taken care of.

Let’s be clear about how hurricanes are created. First, ocean waters get warmer. Then, during evaporation, more of the warm water rises and since there is so much water rising it mixes with high speeds of wind that are usually above bodies of water. This creates fast spinning twists of water and wind which we know as hurricanes.

Hurricanes are important to understand when discussing climate change because they are the direct effects of extreme changes in weather patterns. Texas, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica are examples of just how devastating these natural disasters can be. And simply put, no individual country is equipped, much less prepared, to handle the forthcoming effects of climate change. If this keeps happening, we need to understand that hurricanes will just get worse. So what should the government do?

The global community needs to put climate change first on policy agenda because if we can’t address it then climate change will lead to the end of humankind.

Leonardo DiCaprio running around the world addressing climate change isn’t enough. We need real policy and decisions made about how to mitigate climate change. It is too late to reverse the effects so all we can do now is move forward and make sure we don’t add to it. We must prepare for the worst effects.

After seeing the harmful effects of hurricanes, it is obvious that we need a government that can not only provide immediate relief but also be willing to take extreme measures to protect its people and make certain that this devastation won’t happen again. We need a government that will do something.

Innovations in technology and environmentally safe practices should be encouraged and rewarded. We need to set an example. There are companies already abiding by this environmentally conscious culture: IKEA, Nike, Dell as well as Apple,the most environmentally conscious technology company, according to Business Insider. People like Elon Musk and Angela Merkel should be rewarded for their pursuit to actively create a safer environment through technology and policy, respectively.

But the first step to solving this problem is recognizing that talking about climate change isn’t good enough; we need real change in the form of policy, lifestyle habits and scientific advancements.

Some policy changes could include taxing companies for a set amount of carbon emissions they emit during production. The idea is that government should encourage greener living by setting a monetary incentive for companies who should be environmentally conscious.

Even if the government can’t do a lot, people can always make a positive difference through their daily lifestyle. Stop leaving the water running, carpool whenever you can and unplug chargers when they're not in use. These are all little changes that can add up to make a big impact.

The point is, we as a community need to come together and start making significant changes to our lives for the future safety of the planet and humanity.

agupta@theeagleonline.com


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