Destruction of the Earth’s Beauty

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2003: Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1995), Montana, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

De Agostini/Getty Images

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2003: Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1995), Montana, United States of America. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Tiffany Chen

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So far, 2016 has been a very interesting year when it comes to the candidates running for the presidential election. What makes these candidates different from one another is because of their personal views on the economy, policies, law changes, and finally, the environment. There were two major presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton (Democratic) and Donald Trump (Republican). The two of them had very different views on the environment. Trump’s election will impact the environment significantly.

Hillary Clinton in the presidential debates seemed to already have a plan of some sort for America if she was elected president. She believes that global warming is a serious problem that humans are contributing to. With the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, increased severity of natural disasters, Clinton believes that more energy jobs should be created, so it can benefit the environment, the economy, and the people. Her plan was to tax industries who are releasing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in her statement in July of 2016. She supports the Paris Agreement, which will be in effect in 2020 where countries around the world will make an effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere. As for the toxic water conditions in Flint, Clinton also believed that the federal government should do something to regulate the quality of the water if the state government is going to continue to be useless on the issue. In addition to these beliefs, Clinton was known for inconsistent beliefs that contradicted her past beliefs. In 2014, Clinton supported fracking, which is a harmful method of getting access to gas. If the process is not done properly, carcinogens and harmful chemicals will most likely contaminate nearby groundwater. However as of 2016, Clinton has shifted her views and does not support fracking. In the ninth Democratic debate in April, Clinton stated “ …  I’ve set big goals. I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years…  but I know in order to get from where we are, where the world is still burning way too much coal, where the world is still too intimidated by countries and providers like Russia, we have got to make a very firm but decisive move in the direction of clean energy.” Overall, Clinton planed on reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce fracking in order to save the environment on top of creating new clean energy jobs.

Donald Trump has claimed several times that he does not believe in global warming, and it was simply a hoax created by the Chinese. In his speeches, Trump stated that the climate will change on a severe scale and it is simply normal. From Washington Post on September 26th, 2016, Trump shared his beliefs on global warming “I’m not a big believer in man made climate change. There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact … I would say that it goes up, it goes down, and I think it’s very much like this over the years.” Right after the statement, Trump goes on and about with how businesses need to be protected so profits are not lost. Environmental issues don’t really seem to be his concern does it? In terms of fracking, Trump supports it but there are exceptions depending on the voters. Trump believes that state laws should allow fracking if the people supports fracking in their area. Also, from a questionnaire on Scientific American, Trump appear to be aware of the problems that are going on in America, “Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population. Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels. We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.” Trump seems to be aware of the problems that America is dealing with, but there is not much of a plan that he shared with his supporters.

Nonetheless, climate change and global warming are starting to have impacts on some areas around the world. These places include The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Maldives that will probably be completely under the waters in the next 100 years, and Glacier National Park in Montana that are predicted to disappear in less than fifteen years due to the rapid decline in Glaciers. Something needs to be done. However, Trump will only consider moving his position on the environment if we pressure him from day one to protect the it. Wouldn’t it be nice if the environment could be “great again!”

Photo taken from:

  1. http://time.com/42294/amazing-places-visit-vanish/
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