OPINION: Trump’s Lack of Environmental Policy Could Prove Disastrous

by Emily Lewis

In a world that is changing both economically and environmentally, it is clear to see which issue our current administration tends to favor. Since President Trump comes from an entrepreneurial background, many of his decisions in the past two years support growing business at the expense of the environment. With the changing climate a threat on the horizon, our lawmakers need to focus on limiting the effects of climate change, instead of calling it “fake news.”

If nothing changes in the next few decades, our entire world faces massive consequences that will affect nearly everyone on the planet. From rising oceans causing relocation struggles to natural resources reaching depletion, the world will not be the same for long. Many of these effects can be halted or at least limited through legislation and actions to make the U.S. greener and more energy-efficient. Then we can remove many threats our future faces.

With our current administration, though, not much will be done. These are the key years of change, yet we stand still, letting opportunities for improvement bypass us. Already the effects of climate change are being seen. From the massive hurricanes throwing themselves ashore to the wildfires devouring California, the changes are proving catastrophic. Yet, our lawmakers stand still or even walk backwards.

In the time since Trump was elected, 46 environmental rules and regulations have been overturned, with 30 rollbacks currently in the process. In a time where we should be strengthening our environmental policies, Trump rolls them back. Why? Because environmental regulations stand in the way of businesses making a profit.

Through these rollbacks, Trump is offering corporations short-term solutions to growing profits. Some regulations being removed previously required businesses to report methane emissions and follow guidelines to keep pollutants out of the atmosphere. Removing these regulations allows businesses to focus on more profits at the expense of the environment.

All of these profit-driven rollbacks will have serious long-term effects on both the environment and economy. Since our president has shown that environmental consequences don’t scare him, maybe the idea of a plummeting U.S. economy will. Based on current climate projections, in the next century natural resources will become exhausted, and with it, the economy will suffer. Not only will the United States be dealing with raging wildfires, devastating droughts and extreme tropical storms, our economy will soon sink as well.

So why isn’t the U.S. government paying attention to climate change more? There are two reasons. Current climate projections show that the poorest regions of the world will be affected the most. Our lawmakers are some of the richest people in the country. While changing climate begins affecting lower and middle class Americans, politicians will be able to protect themselves from serious damage through their money and connections. Climate change simply isn’t that major of a threat to our lawmakers, despite it being disastrous to the rest of the country.

Not only are they rich, but our lawmakers are mostly of older generations. Most likely, climate change doesn’t scare them because they won’t be around long enough to see it. In short, climate change will not affect our politicians as much as it will the future generations of everyday Americans.

The administration needs to recognize rolling back environmental regulations won’t solve anything in the long run. Stop eliminating environmental regulations and offer the future of America a chance to thrive. If not, our Earth will suffer along with the precious economy.

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