U.S. Breaks with Other Nations on Fighting Climate Change

Alexis Incandela, Reporter

Recently, there has been an increase in global warming across the planet, believed to be caused by human activity. The effects of global warming include melting ice caps, extreme weather, and the spread of disease. With the ice caps melting, polar bears and other animals lose a habitat which will lead to the extinction of some species and disrupt the food chain. As the temperatures increase, it will not only affect plants and animals it will have catastrophic effects on the human population. As temperature rises it will allow more bacteria and fungus to spread to new areas increasing the risk for diseases. Scientists have been keeping a close eye on global warming and have concluded that if changes are not made, effects will be irreversible. However, the current United States administration, does not seem to be taking it as seriously as other countries. 

Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, has been recognized for her efforts in leading protests and spreading awareness about climate change. The seventeen-year-old was just nominated for a Noble Peace Prize. Thunberg has warned politicians , advising them to take action as soon as possible. 

Many countries such as Kenya have listened to the warnings and made changesOne of the biggest problems in global warming is the amount of garbage that is polluting the waters. Kenya imposed one of the strictest plastic bag bans, which could  lead to four-years in prison or up to $40,000 in fines if violated.  

The President of the United States has bowed out of the Paris Agreement, which works to reduce climate change. In addition, the Trump administration has weakened the punishment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 to companies and organizations that unintentionally kill birds while working. If a bird dies from an oil spill or from illegal pesticide, there will be no monetary penalty. 

“The protection of migratory birds is important, and the statute should be applied as intended: to protect against intentional killing of birds, not to criminalize a broad range of commercial activities causing a significant chilling effect on industry and commerce nationwide, including mining,” says Rich Nolan, president and CEO of the National Mining Association.  

As of today, more countries are recognizing the importance of stopping climate change. It remains to been seen whether more countries will lead with a positive impact on the environment or follow the United States’ example. Efforts individuals can take to reduce climate change, include reducing production of waste, plant trees, and recycle.