How the climate change crisis will manifest in the United States

Colette Lewin, Contributing Writer

A recent report issued by the U.S. government listed various warnings and consequences of climate change, highlighting the impact climate change will have on our nation’s overall health and economy. This new report contradicts President Donald Trump’s position on climate change. In fact, over Thanksgiving, Trump tweeted “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” after having one of the coldest Thanksgivings in the past century. However, climate change is very much real, and humans will suffer the consequences of the increasing global temperature.

The expenses of climate change will cost the government billions of dollars. With the increase of temperature, many labor hours will be reduced due to working conditions being too hot. In addition, farmers will have trouble growing their crops with droughts and floods. It is predicted that farms in the Midwest could produce less than 75 percent of the corn they are currently producing and also lose 25 percent of their soybean production. The dairy industry is already experiencing the consequences of climate change. In 2010, the heat stress cost the dairy industry 1.2 billion dollars. These trends are only seen to increase as the Trump Administration has no plans to reduce gas emissions or turn to more eco-friendly resources.

Climate change has already affected human health. Increased temperatures could lead to more deaths. The Midwest temperatures has increased the most in the United States and will experience 2,000 premature deaths by 2090. Further, common health conditions such as asthma and allergies worsen due to climate change and the worsening air quality.  

In addition to health and economic consequences, an increase of natural disasters are also of concern. Climate change will cause even longer and more destructive wildfires than those that are currently ravaging California, destroying people’s homes and families. In addition, Chicago, a city famous for its cold weather, is predicted to exhibit a climate resembling that of Las Vegas.

While no specific resolutions were indicated in the report, the report did note that if the United States really dedicates itself to reducing fossil fuels, many lives will be saved and billions of dollars can be made. While Trump believes he is helping the economy by ignoring climate change and exiting the Paris Agreement on climate change, he will be costing the country many dollars and lives in the near future. Trump fails to recognize climate change as a global threat, as well as an economical and health threat.

So what is the plan? How can we as a country and as a community at the University do our job in helping the environment rather than hurting it? What can you do as an individual? Climate change is a global concern that everyone must take part in solving. Whether it be that you recycle your soda can or you volunteer at a community garden, doing your part in protecting the Earth is imperative. There is no plan B. So if Trump will not implement legislation to protect the environment and our lives, we must take the responsibility on for ourselves.

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