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Government inaction yields fiery results

September 17, 2019

The failure of legislative steps towards reducing and reversing the effects of climate change have led to disastrous impacts worldwide.

Photo courtesy / Lance Cheung

The failure of legislative steps towards reducing and reversing the effects of climate change have led to disastrous impacts worldwide.

The world is burning because of the government’s refusal to take action. Take the Amazon rain forest, where Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s vehement refusal to combat the fires burning in the Amazon is ruining the lives of many indigenous native groups who live off the land. The US government mirrors the same reluctance to drastically reduce consumption of nonrenewable energy.

Can reducing your meat intake in capitalist societies really help the Amazon? Or is this just like focusing on plastic straws: a small part out of the much bigger issue at play here, drawing us away from the real conflict? It does nothing to fight against multinational corporations abusing their power in many poor, developing countries.

Being a vegan, vegetarian, or eating organic doesn’t help climate change on the scale needed to effect real change. If eating greens is helping the planet immensely, then why is Florida building walls against the rising sea level? Why is the UK’s bird species decreasing so rapidly? Social media networks often convince the masses that eating meat or going green is good for the environment. It is on a smaller level, but these acts won’t stop climate change. The government cutting out coal, natural gas, and using renewable sources such as sunlight would be more effective.

The government can also rejoin the Paris Climate agreement that the Trump Administration had previously backed out of. Many states are already trying to fight climate change by forming their own alliances, such as America’s Pledge, headed by California’s former governor, Jerry Brown. States are doing more against climate change than the federal government is doing, which is a warning of how negligent the Trump Administration is. The federal government needs to also reinstate the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era plan that required states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their own energy consumption. In addition to repealing this plan, the Trump Administration has approved the rollbacks of safety regulations for oil and gas pipelines, making it easier than ever for oil and gas producers to drill on public lands.

The inattention that the Trump Administration puts into stopping climate change forces El Pasoans to sit back and wonder. Wouldn’t the “Sun City,” the moniker commonly used to refer to El Paso, be a resourceful place to start using renewable solar energy? El Paso’s weather fluctuates so frequently, from hail to intense heat to a warning of flooding in a period of just a few days. El Paso’s climate is slowly changing because of the disregard of our federal government. The death of our planet is killing El Pasoans slowly. The infamous El Paso shooter was motivated in part by “ecofascism” in his manifesto, claiming that non-Europeans were reproducing too much and causing the end of the planet. El Paso is more intricately affected by the government’s nonchalant attitude on climate change than one may think.

History shows us that the Earth regenerates after each catastrophe, each mass collective death, but this is the first man-made disaster. This, possibly, could be the end of humanity as we know it.

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