Trump v. Environment

Ethan Como and Benjamin Darisse

     Climate change has been an issue since the 1950s, due to human impact on the environment. Industrialization, rapid population growth, and developing countries all contribute to our current state. Mrs. LaFrance, the teacher of Environmental Science at Ipswich High School, gave a good explanation of the causes and effects of climate change. In her words, “Humans continue to take fossil fuels out of the ground and burn them; our greenhouse gas layer of the atmosphere will continue to thicken and hold more heat.  This will lead to more intense storms, droughts, heat waves, floods, disease outbreaks, and climate refugees.”

     While this reality gives a sense of doom, the events of recent years have been cause for hope. There have been many groups taking action to reduce carbon emissions. One of the most notable is the Paris Agreement. At a climate conference in 2015, 195 delegates agreed to the Paris Agreement, which set goals for all of the countries. A long term goal of the agreement is to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. The involved countries have been doing well to uphold the agreement. According to a Scientific American article, by John Upton, “the annual rates of emissions of the world’s main greenhouse gas may be stabilizing.” However, the progress that has been made to battle climate change is now in jeopardy.

     In the first week of being in office, President Trump signed two bills to continue working on the Keystone Pipeline and the Dakota Pipeline. The Keystone pipeline will run from Alberta, Canada, all the way to refineries in Illinois and Texas. The pipeline was commissioned in 2010 and is ran by the company TransCanada. The main controversy with the pipeline is that it will run through many territories of numerous tribes, such as the Ho-Chunk and the Panka Tribes.  The Keystone Pipeline has many negative effects on the environment, such as an increase in temperature by a minimum of 2 degrees. Also, the oil that would be shipped from Canada, would be oil sand; a type of oil that emits 17% more carbon dioxide into the air than regular crude oil minded in the U.S.  The percent of global greenhouse gas emissions would rise 0.4 percent by the year 2030.

     President Trump needs to realize that global warming is real, and is not just a “chinese hoax.” With global warming there comes sea level rise and super storms, capable of severely damaging parts of the U.S. He’s been in office for a couple of months, yet he’s already managed to make an absurd number of decisions that will detract from previous progress. It’s alarming to think what harm will come to the environment in the next four years. Billy Koshivas, a senior at Ipswich High School, is worried that, “The environment can be hurt beyond repair.” With Donald Trump as president, that’s a definite possibility.