The 17-year-old activist Greta Thunberg and U.S. President Donald Trump were both at Davos, Switzerland for a conference of business and government figures. The theme of this year’s forum was on how best to manage a world of increasing temperatures, rising seas, and catastrophic wildfires. President Trump disagreed with Greta’s statements claiming that they were in the way of his policies which were about economic prosperity for Americans. He stated past predictions about an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s were foolish and created unnecessary fear and doubt for the public. This is ironic since the United States is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in history. At the conference, President Trump spoke tidbits about environmental issues, in one of which he claimed that the United States had the cleanest air and drinking water on Earth. However, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University claimed that the Trump administration actually went through a plan that weakened regulations for clean water and that air pollution in America has increased since 2016.
But it is easy to ignore facts, which is what President Trump has been doing with environmental issues. In order to get President Trump and other world leaders to implement policies preventing climate change, we need to first get these leaders to care about climate change. People think climate change is a long way off – it is not happening at this very second. Since people believe that climate change is the future, they feel it is less important and not urgent to discuss at this very moment. But if these leaders could stop being narrow-minded, they would realize climate change is in fact happening now. With the floods in Jakarta and Australia’s bushfires, what more proof do you need, how many people need to suffer to get others to believe?
Since the United States is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in history, the following examples are ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. First is to reduce, reuse, recycle, by buying products with minimal packaging which helps reduce waste. And by recycling half of your waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. The second suggestion is to replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent light. The third example is to drive less when possible, try walking or biking to get to your destination. Lastly and the easiest example is to use the “off” switch to save electricity and reduce global warming. Turn off your lights when you leave a room, turn off the television/computer when you’re not using them, and turn off the water when you’re not using it like while brushing your teeth. And while all these examples are great for the environment, it is just as important to encourage others to conserve and help spread the word!
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