According to a new poll from State Impact PA and Franklin & Marshall, 40% of Pennsylvania respondents stated that they have been personally affected by climate change. See why here.
by Ryan Molloy
During a press conference in New York last Thursday, the president of the United Nations (Antonio Guterres) delivered strong words about what this nation’s biggest threat is. Many were expecting answers similar to nuclear attacks, civil war, etc. Although Guterres stated his belief that the biggest threat to humanity is climate change, Guterres then mentioned that the economic cost of climate related disaster has hit a staggering $320 billion. He expresses concern of how many more “alarm bells” need to go off before the issue is taken as seriously as it should be.
Focusing on emissions, Guterres is holding a United Nations Summit on Climate change next year, specifically targeting government leaders to strengthen their pledges that they have made to curb emissions under the Paris agreement before 2020. Although Trump has announced the United States’ departure from the Paris agreement, it does not end until 2020. With that being said, not only do government leaders need to do their part but business leaders and powerful investors also play crucial roles as well. Guterres believes that all around the world the role of government is becoming less and less relevant and the role of the economy and society is playing a larger role. American businesses and society has done a great job in enforcing the Paris Agreement. Unlike American businesses, the government is doing the exact opposite and completely withdrawing from the agreement. Guterres still holds out hope that he can get the Trump administration to stay with the Paris Agreement.
by Aubrey Dangelo
Widener University Political Science Major
This year, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D), announced plans to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards into school curriculums. The goal of NGSS is to align the scientific standards for all Kentucky schools, and eventually the entire country, as well as to incorporate lessons about climate change into their curriculums. On Wednesday, though, the state’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee rejected the plan in a 5-1 vote. The governor intends to continue with his agenda though. Not surprisingly, he is being criticized by conservative groups throughout the country. Some groups are the claiming that the NGSS policy does not reflect the will of the people of Kentucky, but the Governor is assuring the public that he will not submit to the right on this issue. On Wednesday, he stated that if the Kentucky legislature votes to reject the plan, he will veto their decision.
I think that this is a step in the right direction for not only the state of Kentucky, but also for the United States as a whole. Climate change is accelerating faster than in ever has in history, and this is no time to be denying the facts. How can we, as a country, take definitive action to reverse the affects of global warming when schools aren’t equipping students with the knowledge they will need to confront these issues? When 97% of scientists agree that global warming is happening and that human activity is its primary cause, we cannot go on acting like climate change is nothing more than a hypothesis. I sincerely hope that other governors will follow in Steve Beshear’s footsteps.