Are we really trying to stop global warming?

Xiaolong Huang ’21

Global warming is the central issue of the twenty-first century. It is caused by an excess of greenhouse gas emission, which leads to a rise in temperature, resulting in extreme weather, the rise of sea levels, and severe reduction in crop yields. With global warming menacing human society, it seems Earth’s residents are not even trying to stop global warming and save the environment. Political differences and economic detriment have all contributed to the global lack of proper response to global warming. 

     The political differences inside the United States strengthen the opponents of global warming. A surge in political radicalism in the last few years has resulted in more political conflicts in the current two-party system, which has inevitably led to the scenario that one side blindly opposes whatever the other side proposed. Unfortunately, global warming has become involved in this series of political conflicts as a central issue. 

     The Democratic Party uses global warming to attract the votes of those concerned with the issue, which leads to strong opposition towards global warming from Republicans. Even though almost all formal scientists agree that the temperature is going to rise by two degrees, right-wing media downgrades global warming into a trick of clowns, convincing many Americans that global warming is not important at all. 

Statkraft hydropower plant in Norway – photo by Alireza Shakernia via Wikimedia Commons

     Possible damages to the economy also halted the progress on stopping global warming. In order to prevent the possible disastrous ramifications, the United Nations responded with the Paris Agreement of 2016, in which 171 nations agreed to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide. But this attempt has proven futile. The economy is closely related to carbon emission because any form of production will release carbon dioxide. Therefore, reducing emissions will greatly damage the economy, which inhibited the nations from taking action to contain global warming. As a result, carbon emissions surged after the agreement enacted, leading to an acceleration in rising temperatures. 

We must take quick actions to counter this menacing issue.

     We must take quick actions to counter this menacing issue. However, the political differences inside the United States and the damage to the economy of reducing greenhouse gas make effective actions to this crisis unfortunately distant.