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Denying climate change does not fix the planet

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A substantial snow storm referred to as a “Bomb Cyclone” hit the eastern coast of the United States this January, causing students to rejoice at the idea of having a snow day. This also prompted President Trump to tweet that because it was cold, we could use some of that “good old Global Warming,” clearly mocking those who believe in the facts and the existence of climate change.

Many do not understand the difference between climate and weather. Climate refers to the long term, pervasive conditions of an area. Weather, on the other hand, is the local, ever changing state of the atmosphere depending on the time and place (USA Today). Just because it might be chilly when you walk outside, according to climate scientists across the world, the Earth is warming. 2017 was the second hottest year on record since 1880, with the hottest being 2016, after the El Niño heightened the planet’s temperature to record levels.

97 percent of climate scientists assert that climate change is real, but 56 percent of Republicans in Congress deny the facts of human-caused climate change, claiming that the planet has its own natural cycle. (Think Progress). According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, sea levels are rising due to the glaciers melting and the global temperature is at record levels. So why do people deny the data? Psychologists argue that it is human nature to want to be correct, and in turn we often avoid information that does not correspond to our personal beliefs. In 2014, climate change denial hit a six-year high, with a majority of Americans repudiating the notion of human involvement in climate change, arguing that the planet has a fluctuating natural cycle. Another ‘logical’ belief of deniers is that news reports and research are false, ignoring the statistics under the premise of “fake news.”

So how do we fix this? How can one reverse years worth of destruction to our planet, as well as convince deniers that it is real? There are ways to improve the planet, such as reducing the use of plastic and not supporting corporations that release extreme amounts of pollution into the atmosphere and dump toxic waste into our oceans. Transportation is an enormous problem as well, being the second leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (Scientific American). Many Americans are uninformed about the matter of climate change or are in denial because they do not see a clear way to fix the problem. In order to help our planet, we need to be the ones to educate deniers and correct any misinformation.

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Denying climate change does not fix the planet