The Impacts of Bad Science Policy on Natural Disasters/Climate Change/Climate Refugees

Science is often thought of as a game of experimentation, correlation, and fact; yet somehow, science and scientific policy are referred to as ‘fake news’ in the mainstream media that we have become accustomed to under Trump’s presidency. When science is seen under these false pretenses, ‘bad scientific policy’ results.  This ‘bad science policy’ seems to bring forth the very chaos that is often depicted in the realm of science fiction.

No longer fiction, but fact; this chaos has become our everyday reality.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, destruction paved a path that many people are still recovering from. In addition, climate change intensified the effects of this year’s tropical storms and hurricanes, leading to displaced climate refugees and countless homes in ruin. Still, no substantial scientific policy is being implemented as politicians continually denounce the very existence of climate change altogether. Why is this our reality when there is a correlation that has been proven countless times: bad scientific policy leads to a deteriorating earth.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Carbon dioxide levels are at their highest in 650,000 years and yet no action is taking place. In fact, the United States is the only country that has not signed onto the Paris Climate Accord. It is evident that our climate demands action, but still, nothing substantial is done. And when action does take place, it is not enough. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chair of the House Science Committee, said in June, “The benefits of a changing climate are often ignored and under-researched…” He went on to say, “For instance, Arctic sea ice is decreasing. This development will create new commercial shipping lanes that provide faster, more convenient, and less costly routes between ports in Asia, Europe, and eastern North America. This will increase international trade and strengthen the world economy.” In addition, he suggested that increasing carbon dioxide levels promotes the process of photosynthesis. When the Chair of the House Science Committee iterates these (non-factual) words, it is no wonder that scientific policy is not being implemented.

As Floridians, we have felt the amplified effects of natural disasters first-hand with Irma’s destruction (and some are still feeling it). We no longer need Trump to sign onto the Paris Climate Accord. We all know that this will not happen. Yet, we can sign the accord ourselves, we can evoke change together and work towards mitigating the devastating effects of climate change. Maybe it takes a flooded golf course for a man in office to realize that climate change is wreaking havoc on the places we call home, but the climate will continually prove itself to be changing. We must change what we are doing and together, I believe that we can change the very fate of our earth.

Aeja Pinto

 

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