From a media angle, one of the biggest pet peeves I have in terms of how reporters approach politicians on climate change is mainly through a belief angle: “Do you believe in global warming?” as if it is a religious doctrine rather than asking them, far more importantly, if they comprehended what global warming is.
In this sense, us writers and journalists and reporters have contributed to the idea that climate change is something that is debatable rather than something we need to globally focus on solving.
And now, thanks to President Donald Trump, the United States joins only Syria and Nicaragua as the sole countries on the planet who disagree with the Paris Agreements, a worldwide pact to focus on slowing the effects of global warming through limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted via human activity to the same levels that trees, soil, and oceans can absorb naturally.
So where do you stand personally? I mean this as a genuine question—and one in which I am directing toward myself as well because I am finding it intellectually challenging to chastise others on a more prominent stage for behaving deplorably without us doing our fair share.
If you’re a developer or policy maker that determines housing developments, are you assuring that we aim for more density within our cities in terms of housing? Is your planning direction aiming for the future rather than the compulsive now which appeals to NIMBYs and parking warriors and contributes to congestion and pollution?
As a traveler or commuter, are you using your car for individual trips less because you’re able to and not just because it is easier? Biking more? Transiting more? Flying less when possible?
If you’re a municipality, is your Public Work department improving and widening sidewalks and biking infrastructure that increase walkability and biking accessibility? Infrastructure create a sense of safety outside of the car?
If you’re a transit authority or voter, are you supporting dedicated bus lanes, improved light rails, and zero emission buses through your budgets and ballot initiatives?
As a taxpayer, are you supporting higher gas and carbon taxes? Are you fighting against the dissolution of the Environmental Protection Agency? Are you looking into budgets to assure that we focus on these things?
When it comes to eating, do you eat less meat, use less throw-away plates’n’cups, and pick up your trash before it drains into the ocean?
The fate of the world wrests not solely on our leaders forcing us to do things through agreements and policies. It heavily depends on our very own actions, day to every day. In the end, Trump’s actions do not dictate our own on the battleground. This is your planet just as much as it is anyone else’s—so act like it and protect it like it’s the only home we have. Because it is.
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