Op-ed Winners

Action Before Influence

As the second largest producer of CO2 emissions, behind only China, the U.S. has an undisputable responsibility to both change their course of action and set the standard for others in terms of reducing its carbon footprint. Adding to this responsibility, the U.S. unequivocally has a great deal of global influence, and it would be irresponsible not to leverage this sway for the improvement of society and saving our future generations.

Climate change, regardless of what some politicians and science deniers have to say, is here to stay. Given our immense contribution to this ongoing phenomenon, as well as our international influence, we first need to make an example of ourselves before we begin to transition into serving as a global arbiter over the topics of climate change and renewable energy. We can do this by instituting tax cuts and incentives on renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric. Furthermore we need to put in place a firm and well monitored carbon tax to dissuade companies from environmentally damaging processes while at the same time making more sustainable mediums more affordable. Lastly, the government needs to support and create broader climate change actions similar to the Green New Deal, which addresses climate change with concrete examples that will continuously work to lower our carbon emissions. Only once the U.S. faces its own actions and internal practices can we look to influence other nations and create substantial long term global progress.

Climate change seems to have taken a backseat in public perception thanks to other issues such as the global pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Even with these international tragedies, we cannot stand idle on the issue of climate change. That is why it is more important than ever for the U.S. to become a main advocate for sustainable climate practices and new sources of renewable energy lest we continue to let these pressing issues manifest and grow until they present themselves as the number one threat to society and are too overgrown to manage.

Addressing climate change is a cost that pays for itself. If mankind continues to let greenhouse gas emission run rampant and not change our actions, rebuilding and cleaning up after the many severe effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, wildfires, droughts, and other natural disasters, will prove to be even more costly than dealing with problems now. If we do nothing for too long, there will be no earth to clean up and mankind will destroy itself.

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