The blob of tangerine that is currently acting as the 45th President of the United States in yet another controversial move pulled out of the Paris Agreement. The Accord de Paris is the most flexible international agreement till now to combat global warming, and countries will set their own targets under it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Only three countries are refusing to come under it. The world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases is now one of them.
This move by the USA is not so much based on economic or factual consideration as it is based on Trump’s inability to accept climate change as true. He sees it as a giant hoax, having tweeted about it on more than one occasion.
Climate change was indeed heavily contested, but way back in the 1980s. In fact, many fossil fuel industries had pumped millions into advertising, stating that any climate change that was taking place was natural, and humans had no hand in it. But improving technology and rising social consciousness turned the tide, and today 97% of world’s scientists agree that global warming is happening at least in part due to human activities- mainly the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc.) And this consensus is heavily backed by data- carbon content in the air has never been higher, seas are rising at an alarming rate while ice caps are melting, and every successive year is turning out to be hotter than the one before it.
Then how is it that the President of the most developed nation in the world denies it? Perhaps this is not even the question we should consider. Consider this instead- why do so many people still deny climate change?
Before you nod your head no, just take a look at the ultimate source of information- Facebook comment section pages. Under any post on global warming, you will definitely find swarms of idiots, aggressively denying scientists, data, and logic.
Many tow the line that Trump does, stating that global warming is nothing more than a giant conspiracy by ‘others’, meant to extract money and influence international politics. Other give the more dangerous reasoning, stating that humans cannot impact climate, and that all climate change is natural. Well, you might say, why does it matter? Let these idiots be. Unfortunately, we can’t. Apart from the urge they give people to pull out hairs, climate change deniers can have very destructive consequences.
Whether it be the negation of global warming or refusal to take responsibility for it, deniers stop the flow of data, resources and money towards efforts to contain climate change. And when these people are powerful like Trump, the effects can impact the entire world- as pulling out of the Paris deal likely will. This head in the sand approach ultimately harms Earth in the long run- every day and every moment that we waste debating the reality, the later it gets to save our Mother. It is already estimated that it will take nearly a 100 years to bring the Earth back to pre-industrial levels. Till then, everyone will continue to suffer.
Our selfishness is the very core of human nature. Even those who work to mitigate climate change do it for the survival of human species. How can we even begin to convince the deniers to work for the protection of plants and animals. A projected one million species may dispensary in the next fifty years due to human activities- one third of this will be due to the loss of habitat caused by climate change. As Elon Musk plans to take us to Mars, humans may as well leave behind a barren stone as their legacy.
Division of people on any issue- racism, sexism, war and peace, and climate change, is something inevitable and almost natural. But the danger levels on Earth have moved beyond this. We don’t have the time to argue, to rationalize or explain anymore. If we don’t unite and act now, the Earth may survive- life may not.