Climate Change: Not Just a Fair Weather Issue

Photo by: Bryn Fluharty

An article in this week’s New York Times talks about the current trend here in the US for people to ignore Climate Change (Global Warming). It seems ironic that a country that is so proud of innovation and being a forward-thinking society can ignore such a dire warning as Climate Change and do nothing about it. It is not one party or the other that has shifted focus. As the Republican Party refuses to accept the sound scientific facts behind Climate Change the Democrats are forced to focus their efforts on the economy and ignore Climate Change.

Our country and the world face daunting economic times. Every day the news on the jobless rate and the economy seem bleak at best. Contrary to the current conservative claim that taking action on Climate Change will put too many restrictions on job creation, Climate Change legislation works to protect people and create jobs that both help our economy and the environment. By enforcing regulations on polluters, we are not seeking to hinder economic development but ensure that economic development does not harm the planet or people.

In the past years and decades we have ignored financial regulations that would have avoided our current situation. Greed and ignorance permeated the financial system until finally it toppled and threw us into our current situation. Now we must deal with the short term issues of getting people back to work and helping the economy to rebound. We must also learn from our mistakes and change our current policies to ensure that this does not happen again.

Climate Change is like the financial market. For too many years we have allowed greed and ignorance to guide much of our environmental legislation. Now as the economic situation worsens we are not only not taking the lead in the world in implementing new regulations but are undermining many of our established policies. If we continue to ignore Climate Change in favor of other issues we will soon see an environmental collapse which may be even harder to rebound from than the recession.

Do not let Climate Change fade into the background. There are many ways to take action! Check out how we can help promote good policy, promote environmentally friendly living in your life and promote clean schools!

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Published: October 17, 2011