In the modern world, emissions of CO2 and greenhouse gasses have become not only the norm but essential to our way of life. Rightfully so, fossil fuels provide efficient fuel at rather inexpensive prices. Humanity and our consumption of fossil fuels is similar to a smoking addiction. We assume that the risks don’t apply to us, and their addictive nature keeps drawing us back in. In a culture of optimism, it is no surprise that we have had little to no large steps towards building a greener energy output. We simply assume the worst won’t happen to us, and that the risk is worth the benefit.
A Privileged Stance on the Environment
The Fight For Fossil Fuels
A commonly held argument is that renewable energy sources are “Inefficient” and “Inconvenient”. Elon Musk’s Tesla renders these arguments useless. His innovation of the electric car has shown that it is very possible to make renewable energy efficient, convenient, and actually desirable. We are too stubborn in our belief that fossil fuels are the best method to reach the needs of humanity. If engineers of combustion fuel engines, oil refineries, or jet engines were instructed to spend just half of their hours on developing effective methods of sustainable power, we would see great leaps in innovation.
It isn’t that the methods don’t exist, its that we aren’t putting enough effort into uncovering them. Climate change is a very real and even scientifically proven effect of our use of greenhouse gasses, and at this point is inevitable. We have all heard the common argument that climate change is a left-wing hoax. If this was proven to be true, would it not make more sense to construct a hoax that would have a more negative response than the construction of renewable energy sources?
While that was the initial claim by many right-wing figures, they have ultimately come to the conclusion that there is nothing we can do at this point to prevent it, so we may as well carry on our regular use of fossil fuels. Why do conservatives continue to advocate against climate change despite the looming scientific evidence? Statistically, Republicans tend to make more money and are more satisfied with their salary than their Democratic counterparts.
Who Can Withstand the Effects of Climate Change?
In the case that climate change does take the world by storm, those on the right will be able to better afford the medicine or resources needed to maintain their health. Those who oppose reconstructing our energy forms are nearsighted in the sense that they are only taking their immediate lives into consideration and how it will benefit them.
However, they fail to take into consideration the long term consequences of climate change and the detrimental effects it will have on the next generations. The ignorance and selfishness poised by them towards the future populations is the very reason why moral values need to be taken into account for more decisions made by lawmakers.
The Disregard for Future Generations
With America being a very privileged country, the majority of citizens have experienced true environmental tragedy. This results in a culture of optimism regarding our environment; it may happen, but it will be somebody else’s problem. The progress of any species relies on adaptation, and humanity is failing to adapt to the demands of the world environment. We are in fact taking steps backward.
Recent executive decisions such as the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the Trump administration rolling back logistics of the Clean Water Act, a widely bipartisan endeavor, has erased the little that has been done to maintain the health of our environment. It’s time we take widespread action towards shifting to renewable energy sources and divert our labor towards the development of them.
As a member of the younger generation, I will experience the effects of climate change unfold in front of me and how it will change day to day life. The people making the current policy decisions will not be here to witness the effects of their actions or inactions. The change will only come from the younger generations, and we need it now.
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