I’ve never been one for politics. I don’t like the divisions it instills, the animosity it provokes, or the assertive natures of the politically-savvy. However, I find myself wanting to care more and more about politicians’ stances as the years pass by, if only for my deep concern for the deteriorating state of the environment.
Humankind has been steadily destroying the earth for hundreds of years, and I’ve been realizing just how influential politicians are in determining the future of the natural world (which seems to be growing less and less natural by the day) that surrounds us. For example, the economy can only thrive and the government can only operate so much in a languishing environment such as the one we inhabit today.
According to nasa.gov, arctic sea ice now has a 13.4% rate of depreciation, due to the ever-rising global temperatures (an average of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in 1880). A major cause of climate change is deforestation, which has a rate that is equal to losing 20 football fields every minute.
The United States’ rate of deforestation is one that, if continued, will ensure that only a quarter of the forests standing today will be there in 70 years. So, someone arguing that climate change is a myth is quite possibly the most severe form of ignorance one could claim.
Donald Trump has seemed to make it his goal to hasten the downfall of the natural world. Trump has been quoted saying climate change (commonly referred to as “global warming”) is “nonsense” and an “expensive hoax”, and said that the EPA’s attempt to preserve the earth “is a disgrace”. His total disregard for the environment and his pledge to defund the EPA’s role in government is blasphemous, and unacceptable. Therefore, if a reader is even in the slightest bit leaning towards Trump, remember the environment, and think of the Earth that your children will be struggling to survive in and will be scrambling to save as it approaches the brink.
Our neighbor, Hillary Clinton, has vowed to keep the environment as one of her primary concerns: “As President, I’ll say no to drilling in the Arctic. I’ll stop the tax giveaways to big oil and gas companies. And I’ll make significant investments in clean energy. Our children’s health and future depend on it.” Could she have said it better? Hillary, unlike Mr. Trump, is the only hope for the preservation of the environment, and for us.
If my age didn’t inhibit me from voting in the 2016 election, I would vote Hillary if only for my concern about the environment. After acquainting myself more with the political scene for the past year, I’ve learned that Hillary has much more to offer than her pledges for the natural world. But we all know about healthcare, and immigration, and abortion rights. We, as citizens not of the United States but of the world, need to start educating ourselves about the current state of the natural world- need to step up, face the problems, and conquer them- and I believe that voting Hillary is one of the first steps in that equation.
Reilly is a junior at John Jay High School, who hates discussing politics and loves the environment and crossword puzzles.