by Lorenzo Burgio
The beliefs and actions of the presidential administration regarding climate change are not aligning with those of the citizens.
Yale University recently performed a study that maps out how people view climate change throughout the country. The results show how opinions differ across regions, but overall there are more people who believe in climate change than those who do not.
The study revealed that seven out of 10 registered voters said the U.S. should remain a participant in the international agreement to limit climate change.
It was also found that two-thirds of registered voters want the U.S. to limit green house emissions, even if other countries are not.
Some other key findings were, 70 percent of Americans think global warming will hurt future generations, and 69 percent want stricter limits on carbon dioxide from coal plants.
The recent actions by President Donald Trump have not aligned with the stance of our country. According to the study, more Americans want to combat climate change than not.
Trump aims to increase mining jobs by lifting the Clean Power Plan put forth by Barack Obama in 2015, which requires states to limit the emission of carbon dioxide.
The argument against the Clean Power Plan is the same as when Trump repealed the Obama administration’s Stream Protection Rule, which allegedly left companies stagnant, unable to develop and losing jobs.
“Trump has already rolled back some Obama-era green regulations, including the Stream Protection Rule limiting coal mining waste dumping, and the Waters of the U.S. rule that expands the waterways under federal protection,” according to Reuters.
“An analysis found that the job impact would be minimal: repealing the rule [SPR] will only boost annual mining employment by 124 jobs,” said Vox.
The study showed that 75 percent of Americans want to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant and 82 percent of adults think more research should be conducted on renewable energy sources, but the presidential administration is doing the opposite by decreasing regulations.
Generating new jobs in areas where employment has decreased is something that needs to be taken seriously; but climate change must be considered as well. The efforts need to be used in a different industry, and not one that contributed to 24.5 percent of greenhouse emissions in 2012, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
However, an alternative approach needs to be taken because climate change should not fall victim when attempting to increase employment.
New jobs in renewable energy should be created in order to combat climate change and decrease employment.
“The renewable energy industry is more labor-intensive, this means that, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels,” said the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Solar and wind energy are accessible throughout the entire country, and are sources of energy that should be used.
With the beliefs of the presidential administration not aligning with the majority of the population’s, states will be playing an important roll. They need to fight against attempts to loosen regulations and begin to enforce their own.
Many states have reduced greenhouse gas emission by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency. This effort needs to be continued and strengthened to align with the population’s beliefs.