Wednesday marked another bit of bad news for the EPA: an annual report confirming that human activity contributes to climate change, calling attention to carbon dioxide emission levels and stating that we are headed for a catastrophic heatwave in the coming decades.
As with previous years, the report features plentiful forecasts about a world that is warmer than ever before. Anyone who has seen the effects of the ‘Pineapple Express’ or experienced the droughts and floods in the American West can all attest to the true threat of climate change.
To be clear, the EPA didn’t adequately summarize and fairly characterize climate change.
The report, “Communities in Climate Danger: Pathways to Weatherproofing” acknowledges that the ice caps will melt, but asserts that this will have no effect on weather. Of course, a planet warmed by just one degree Celsius does have an effect on weather. Remember 2005? Polar bears are dying.
For years, Trump administration officials have inaccurately stated that whether or not human activity contributes to climate change will not be settled. It is simply false to assert this. Climate scientists all agree: global warming is real, and human activity is causing it.
When something is real, we want to solve it. It is, after all, the issue of our generation.
In June, current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cited this same report in refusing to take steps towards reducing carbon emissions. Climate scientists and advocacy groups have accused the administration of having “no interest in the subject.”
This disregard for the truth is not only a direct assault on scientific research and public health. The administration is systematically undermining public trust in government. These stances will only make our nation weaker. If a warming planet warrants a Trump cabinet position, we have a problem.
NASA reported that we set a new temperature record this July. This, coming off of a year which finally showed the largest ever global decline in global sea levels. Scientists say that we are on track to continue to heat the Earth at alarming levels, with devastating results. This is why environmentalists worldwide take such great issue with President Trump’s dismantling of regulations that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The work we are doing isn’t anything to boast about. But just because it’s hard, and it’s boring, doesn’t mean it’s not important. And regardless of what policies the Trump administration pursues, we will do what’s right by our community. So as we begin a new budgeting process, let’s focus on what’s important to Americans.
Let’s not let more bad news sway us to give up on the planet. Let’s not walk away from the scientific community. As long as humans continue to push the planet through global warming, climate action must continue.
Samantha John is campaign manager for Protect Our Communities, a climate organization that advocates for renewable energy solutions across the nation.
If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.