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Table of Contents
This article discusses the irony of how a $17 million dollar study on climate change was scrapped because of climate change. A team of scientists from the University of Manitoba were in the middle of an experiment, measuring how climate change is affecting the areas around the Hudson Bay. Unfortunately, due to the warmer temperatures in the Arctic, dangerous sea ice came down farther south than usual, preventing the crew from carrying out their experiment. It continues to discuss how the Arctic is being reduced in size from increasing temperatures and how this could possible cause more severe conditions such as the one that scrapped the experiment. Fortunately, the irony will not prevent the entire project.
It’s sad that it takes this sort of news to publish an article on climate change, rather than an actual study. However, the fact that the article as least brings to attention climate change is positive and some news is better than no news. At least climate change will garner something from this story. While the irony itself does provide a bit of a chuckle, I wish that the study was actually conducted and that we could interpret the data from the team. In addition to the current irony, it’s ironic how this story probably would gather more attention than the actual study itself from the general public. A joke is more likely to be read than fact, which for whatever reason is still debated as if it was an opinion in circles where the information matters, like congress.
This article is about the company Package Free and how its goal is to help people use products that can help move them closer to being trash and plastic free. The company’s goal is to become a zero – waster, which attempts to produce 0 pounds of trash per day (in comparison to the 4.4 pounds per day from the average American). This method is achieved by the combination of refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling, and rotting. The movement “Going Zero Waste” is credited to have started with Bea Johnson, who has been living trash free in a family of four since 2008. Her example shows that, while it may be difficult, going waste free is possible. While this idea has come up in politics, it never really has caught on. However, zero waste has now taken hold on social media. This movement highlights the failed goals of major cities like Oakland and San Francisco to go waste free, and reflects the willingness of people to attempt to help the planet. Ultimately, it’s up to the people whether the movement will take hold and be more than just a trend, and people are perfectly willing to make the sustainable choice if it is the easy choice.
I think that Package Free has a really neat business idea, and I admire that it is in Brooklyn, the heart of a city that struggles with sustainability. However, I find it difficult for this to be more than a trend. If politicians and cities have attempted to make this a reality and failed, how likely is it for the general public to make it a reality? While I would love for this to become true, it is just a drastic change from the lifestyle of the average American. Now, if people are really dedicated and Package Free can do this gradually, then maybe the movement has a chance. I hope zero waste can succeed and I look forward to trying it, especially if there is a community near me or a store like Package Free that can help me in maintaining a more sustainable lifestyle.
The article discusses how Scott Pruitt, the current administrator of the EPA, is repealing major Obama-era climate change regulation, yet the agency is considering to passing new rules to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. However, these new rules are not expected to be passed anytime soon. In fact, the EPA believes it could go several years before legislation passes that helps to fight against climate change. This is due to the stance of the Trump administration which is also repealing the Clean Power Plan. Additionally, the current administration believes the Obama administration was ‘making it up’ and ‘regulating to pick winners and losers’. However, many are encouraging the EPA to maintain some sort of regulation.
Personally, this infuriates me. The fact that the administrator of the EPA does not believe in climate change is bad enough, but for him to accuse the prior administration of lying and cheating out people? That is just too much, it would be hysterical if it was a Saturday Night Live skit, but unfortunately for the world, it is reality. As the head of such an important agency, you can not just deny facts and cover it up with vague and inaccurate accusations. It’s revolting from my perspective, and I imagine from many others. In addition, it portrays the U.S. as a laughing stock and begs serious questions of who will lead the world on important issues, such as climate change? Hopefully members of the EPA will understand the wrongs of the current administration and fix things before it becomes too late for us to do anything to save the planet.
This article talks about the Clean Power Plan and how the Trump administration is trying to repeal it. First, the Clean Power Plan was a key policy from the Obama administration that represented one of the strongest actions the U.S. has ever taken in the fight against climate change. However, it has never actually taken effect, and now Trump is trying to make sure it never does take effect. The point of the plan was to limit emissions from existing power plants in each state. It allows gave states the liberty to choose what energy to switch to, whether it be natural gas, wind, or solar. It was estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% over the course of 25 years. The plan also had another part in which new power plants would have to be regulated: made as efficiently as possible. The plan never went into effect as it was put in courts by industry representatives, claiming that it was way too far reaching. Now the Trump administration wishes to scrap the plan as they believe it has exceeded its legal authority. In addition, the administration does not believe in climate change.
I understand how businesses could be opposed to this and how it could be viewed as overreach from the government. However, to completely repeal it seems to be counterproductive. The U.S. needs to be involved on a global scale in the battle against climate change if things are going to improve. The world needs a leader, and that leader was the U.S. However, with the new administration changes, it seems the world is lacking a clear cut leader, for the moment, in this battle. The Clean Power Plan would have been a major victory in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, even if it was passed in a watered down version. So, I am frustrated that it is completely being repealed, as a compromise could have been acceptable by the business sector while still hugely benefiting the fight against climate change.
This article discusses how the shift from fossil fuels to green power is struggling in Germany, despite the massive financial backing for it. Germany has been focusing its political will and financial power on turning the country into an example of a world class effort to move from nonrenewable sources to renewable sources. Unfortunately, some have not benefitted from the changes, and are actually hurt by the switch. Additionally, the massive amounts of money Germany has poured in since 2000 has produced frustrating results. The nation has its emission levels still stuck at around its 2009 level. Now, the program is at a standstill and Chancellor Merkel needs to act decisively and quickly in order to continue the environmental policy. In addition, the Chancellor needs to address how electric bills have skyrocketed. Overall, the changes are positive in the switch of the type of energy, but some issues need to be figured out to further progress the plan.
I am proud of Germany’s bold attempt to switch to a completely green nation. Right now it may be causing some political conflict and other problems, but it is also producing cleaner energy. Yes, there are flaws in the plan like the massive increase in energy bills, but overall the plan has been helping the nation. I am a bit shocked as to how they are doing so well, given the power of their economy. In addition, it does the world good as Germany’s efforts to switch will provide a role model for other nations to follow suit. All in all, a few bugs need to be fixed in the plan, but the progress and the precedent set already are quite astonishing, and this is what the worlds need to increase its efforts in the fight against climate change.
This article recaps the crazy night in France, where Greenpeace activists broke into a nuclear plant to show how vulnerable the plant was to attacks. The group issued footage of several of its members getting inside the fence of the EDF’s Cattenom nuclear plant in northeast France. They launched several rounds of fireworks before local police arrived on the scene. The deputy of the French nuclear fleet said that the activists where within a few tens of meters of the nuclear installations. State controlled EDF claimed their reactors were able to withstand earthquakes, flooding, and terror attacks.
This article highlights why people have a concern with different types of energy still. This should never happen. No one, without authorization, should be able to get that far into the nuclear plant. The Greenpeace activists did the right thing, because they demonstrated how careful we have to be, not only with nuclear energy, but future energies that require dangerous or complicated technology. We need to ensure that out sources of energy are not only sustainable, but safe for the people as well. Hopefully this becomes a valuable learning experience for all of those involved, and leads to more safety measures when regarding this type of technology and energy.
This article discusses how Parish plans to ban all cars except for electric ones by 2030. This policy was implemented to speed up the country’s switch off of gas. This was also due to the fact that the city was obliged to impose temporary bans due to large increases in particle pollution in the air. In addition, the city wanted to remove all cars dependent on fossil fuels by the year 2040. The whole idea behind the policy is thinking long term and becoming greener. Another potential reason for why the decision was made was because of the Olympics coming to the city in the summer of 2024. This decision comes with other cities in the world considering similar moves.
It is good for the world battle on climate change for Paris to take this step towards being independent from fossil fuels. Yet again, it is another foreign place leading the way in the fight against climate change. Hopefully, this will inspire the U.S. to take more aggressive action or even China. If either of those two decides to pass environmentally friendly policies, like the gradual reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, then it will be a big win for the world. Those two nations are responsible for the most pollution in the world. All in all, congratulations to Paris and France for taking another step towards being independent of fossil fuels by passing such bold policy.
Overall, these articles address climate change in some way, shape, or form. Some directly address it with their main topic being legislation that is either being passed or repealed that will cause some effect on emissions or pollution. Others indirectly address it as their main topic, whether that be by using it to create an ironic joke, an unbelievable surprise, or by discussing the prospects of a new movement and how it can help reduce our energy usage. Unfortunately, all of them encounter problems with climate change: people will not shift to sustainable methods, economic problems, political problems, or the craziest, it doesn’t exist. While there is no consensus on how to deal with climate change, specifically with pollution from greenhouse gases, there seems to be so many reasons to either deny it or completely ignore it.
However, my counter to those nay – sayers would be what if it does exist? What will happen when our unsustainable way of life can no longer be supported by earth? I believe that if those people were to consider the other side they would at least be more willing to compromise and then there could be a better balance between sustainability, the financial sector, and politics. Unfortunately, people tend to sway to one extreme, the other, or have no side at all, which is disastrous for the reason that change becomes near impossible to implement, and when it finally is, the change is often too late.
On the brightside, these articles all give some sort of attention to climate change, and some attention is better than none. It would be an ideal world if these articles more seriously targeted climate change and their audience more seriously responded to that information. However, the reality is that type of directness either scares people away or causes them to ignore the information more often than not. So, spreading the word becomes a struggle of making sure some sort of information on climate change passes to the audience, but not so much that it drowns them to the point of abandoning the author’s side completely. In this case, any sort of public recognition becomes a victory.
Last but not least, the positive trends (though they have problems with them) are occurring overseas rather than in the U.S. This causes a serious problem, as the U.S. is supposed to act a as leader for the rest of the world in the sense of what course of action to take, on most problems. However, with the current administration, it seems that the position to lead the battle against climate change on a global scale is open for the taking. Whether that will be one of the European powers or China who takes over is unknown for now, but it is encouraging to see those next in line, like France and Germany to carry the torch while the U.S. figures out its own problems.
Hopefully in the end, the world can come to a consensus on climate change and disasters will be avoided. Unfortunately, the way things are, the future seems a bit up in the air. Maybe with some luck, the ship can be righted soon and we can move on to other alarming problems that arise.