On Oct. 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change— the United Nations body for assessing science related to climate change— released a new report that outlines recommendations for policymakers and nations alike to address climate change. This new assessment found that carbon dioxide emissions need to fall to about 45 percent less than the levels in 2010 by the year 2030 and reaching “net zero” by 2050. This will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities,” according to the IPCC press release.
This report works as a guideline to help policymakers work to create plans to help with climate change in the future and present. The problem is that there are still many politicians that question the existence of climate change, and this report has become something they have tiptoed around. Take President Trump for instance, during the presidential race and up until recently, he claimed it was a hoax and believed that it didn’t exist at all. In a Oct. 15 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump seemed to change his tune, but only slightly.
According to his responses in the interview, he doesn’t deny climate change but believes the issues we are seeing now could be a climate cycle and claims that these scientists who speak about the threat of climate change have a political agenda. “I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this. I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage,” said Trump.
It’s great that he doesn’t outrightly deny climate change, but there is still a stigma surrounding climate change and with the severity of the problem is only getting worse we don’t have time to sit around and debate the basis of it, we need to make changes. Trump is still thinking with a business mindset and trying to make the best business decision but this can’t be decided this way. We won’t have a business or booming economy if top economic states like Miami is underwater, as one geologist reported to Business Insider, which could be possible with “between 10 and 30 feet of sea-level rise [estimated] by the end of the century”.
The mindset on climate change needs to be unified among all nations, we need to do something to protect all of us. It’s a politician’s job to think for themselves and the countries and states they represent, but this is different. This isn’t just a nation’s problem it’s a global one. There are not only industries at stake but lives. The more flooding, rising temperatures, increased storms and intensity, the higher the chances are of drastic effects and a hike in death tolls with every change in the climate.
Centuries ago we might have been able to say that what we are putting out into the atmosphere isn’t affecting climate change but with the recent changes in industry and technology that has changed. The Keeling curve, a graph that measures the level of carbon dioxide emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere, has shown a rapid increase in concentrations since the 1950s and ever since then, it has only gotten higher. We need to make changes and those changes start now, not after politicians decide if it’s real or not.