The Los Angeles Times on Sunday published a report detailing how climate change has sparked many of the world’s largest natural disasters, adding to a refugee crisis that the Times described as “the worst since World War II.”
Extreme weather conditions have largely impacted parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Times said, alleging that the changes have “destroyed food and water supplies, left communities destitute, strained national and international aid resources and fomented political instability.”
In Africa, herders and farmers are fighting as farmable land in the area continues to be diminished due to drought. Meanwhile, record amounts of rain have caused serious flood damage in Kerala, India, according to the Times.
Many from these regions have since fled the area to European countries and the U.S., exacerbating these countries’ population levels and the Trump Administration’s negative stance against refugees.
Before he was elected, President Donald Trump labeled climate change as a hoax and has refused to clarify his stance in years since; however, there’s no question his opinion played a role in the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change last year.
The Times reported that about 20 million people are uprooted every year due to environmental conditions — and only about 21,000 of them will most likely be accepted into the U.S., according to refugee trends on globalcitizen.org.
Democrats and Republicans have historically been at odds on climate change, from the matter of its existence to ways it can be stopped.
Prevention methods will always be up for debate, but its existence cannot.
It’s easy to say that climate change is not a problem when the summer’s record temperatures are only increasing in the U.S. by a couple of degrees each year, and the major problems are thousands of miles away from us.
This may not be the case for much longer.
The World Bank recently estimated that up to 140 million people could be displaced from their countries by 2050. Who’s to say that that couldn’t happen in the U.S.?
Climate change has over time become a hot-button issue used as an arguing point between the parties, when instead we should be working together to make a change.
Acknowledging that the U.S. is a large contributor to environmental issues means admitting that we are flawed, which is a difficult task for almost anyone. But the alternative — continuing to pollute and litter to the point that we destroy the world for future generations — is obscene.
For now, our issues are far less severe than other countries. But in order for us to turn climate change around, the U.S. must put its political agendas aside and start acting like the world leader that it should be.