Can We Really Trump This Issue of Global Warming?

We all know that Trump believes global warming to be a hoax, but do people support his opinion? I truly don’t believe that Trump supporters believe the pressing issue is fake, however, they will remain loyal to their “beloved” President and thus support whatever he says. Yesterday, March 26th, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA for short, released a statement saying that the Trump Administration has decided to sign a new Executive Order which will repeal President Obama’s efforts to prevent further climate change effects; The Clean Power Plan. Does this man truly not think climate change is a real thing? Does he want our environment to deteriorate?

The Clean Power Plan was proposed in 2014 and was announced by President Obama, himself, in 2015. This plan strives to strengthen the trend of clean energy by setting standards for power plants and goals for states to cut their carbon dioxide pollution. The plan would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 percent within twenty-five years relative to 2005 levels. The plan is focused on reducing emissions from coal-burning power plants, as well as increasing the use of renewable energy, and energy conservation. It has been proven that the epidemic of global warming is primarily caused by pollution; whether it be in the air, water, or city/suburb environments. Obama’s Clean Power Plan would reduce pollution that is caused by factories, eliminating majority of the air pollution throughout the nation. So why take this away?

I am not the only person who thinks this is ridiculous, as you could probably assume. People in government, who work for our President, have decided to rebel against his actions. Seventeen Republicans in Congress signed a resolution in which they will seek for more “economically viable” ways to curve global warming. It amazes me that people of the same party, who supported Trump during his campaign, are now realizing that his policies are completely ignorant. Each of these seventeen Republicans seem to represent parts of the country that is affected most by climate change. These Republicans have begun to contact U.S. energy companies in an effort to receive their input on the situation and how to resolve it. Science has undoubtedly proven that human activity, such as the burning of oil, coal, and gas, is the main cause of climate change today. The pollution that occurs each day from people all over the country is the leading cause of human activity that affects the environment negatively. Majority of Republicans do not believe the idea that humans are causing climate change, hence why they follow behind Trump’s idea that it is all a hoax.

We pollute the air and water every day and do not even realize it. Simple tasks that we complete throughout our daily routines are the leading factors in climate change- things that we do not even think about, we just do it. Driving a car is the number one every day cause of pollution. Cars produce significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other pollution. In 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air. Clearly, “normal people” like us cannot convince Trump to hold back on repealing the Obama Administration’s policies, but we can convince those around us to change up our daily routines in order to make them more environmentally friendly.

For starters, if everyone began walking or riding a bike more, we can reduce the amount of air pollution caused by cars daily. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but your overall level of health will improve and you will save money on parking and gasoline. If your destination is too far to walk, try to carpool or take public transportation as much as possible. Doing so will reduce the amount of people on the roads. Say that you and four friends have to drive to school. Instead of all five of you taking five separate cars, you can all carpool, which reduces the amount of  carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides released into our air.

Another simple, at home task you can complete is saving water. Although you may not think it affects anything, keeping the water running while brushing your teeth is harmful, as the amount of water wasted builds up. Turn it off! Another way is to use water conserving products, such as a Brita Filter or a Watersense Label. Running a dishwasher with a full load instead of half will save water over time, as you do not need to constantly be wasting the water by multiple dishwashing cycles. If you need to water your grass or flowers, try to cut back on the amount you use. Only water when needed, and do it during the coolest part of the day; early morning is best.

There are so many opportunities for regular people like us to make a difference with this changing climate. We do not need a hot-headed, ignorant man telling us that “Global Warming was a concept created for and by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”. No, seriously, he said that.

If we all work together and start using these tips, plus more, to help our environment, we can prevent the spread of global warming. You may find more tips at the link down below!

Tips to reduce climate change:


Also if you want a laugh:

The Impact of Industry on the Environment

I must admit, all Americans do benefit from the growing industry in our country, whether it be advancements in mass media production, commercial opportunities, energy plants, or even as simple as a new mall that was just built. Industry plays a crucial role in each individual’s lives, a role in which we cannot go a single day without using a device or buying something in which was manufactured through a big corporate industry. Although industry does seem to have a positive correlation with our every day lives, there is an extremely negative impact of the growing industry on the environment.

To start off, one of the most known epidemics occurring today is air pollution. Air pollution is one of the main factors as to what is causing Global Warming, and it is due to factories and the growing industry in America that is bringing about such pollution. The use of factories released pollutants into the air, such as nitrogen oxides and organic solvents. Most of this air pollution we cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power our vehicles. These pollutants not only harm public health, but also harm the environment, bringing about climate change, the greenhouse effect, and the ozone hole. Not only is pollution caused by factories, but also from every day activities such as driving cars and trucks. Most cars have a typical combustion engine that burns fuel for energy, which results in the production of a wide variety of harmful chemicals like carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. Additionally, they require several liquids to run that are toxic to people, animals and plants.

Factories are not only harmful to the environment because they bring about tons of air pollution daily, but they also cause land pollution. The most simple way that these factories cause land pollution is simply by being build. Large acres of perfectly good land is destroyed in order to build either a mall, factory, or some other upscale building. These factories that contain hazardous materials inside sometimes have leaks in which the fuel and energy stored in the factories seep through into the ground under the building, bringing about land contamination. Referring back to my very first Civic Issues Blog, one of the oppositions to the pipelines that Trump wants to revive for oil transportation was the fact that those pipes brought about mass amounts of land pollution to the places they ran underneath. Not only are those pipes harming the environment for which they are around, but also the communities that have been established above ground. If one of the pipelines was to burst, the ground would be completely infected with harmful oil, bringing about soil contamination. Soil contamination is caused by direct exposure to the pollutant, leakage of toxic gases into buildings, and groundwater pollution. The exposure to these toxic liquids could potentially make the soil or ground unsuitable to be used due to the industrial waste that would thus begin lingering on the surface of the land.

Most people would not think of radiation as harming the environment. We tend to think that radiation is only present when receiving an x-ray or even, positively, from the sun. However, the improper disposal of toxic wastes into the ground causes radiation to play a huge part in the demolition of the environment. Some forms of radiation are found in the natural environment and others are due to modern technology. The damage it causes depends on the level of radiation and the resiliency of the organism. Radiation causes molecules to lose electrons thus destroying it. Killing certain enzymes in the body can simply make you sick. This is why, when receiving Chemo Therapy, cancer patients tend to get very sick from the treatment. In regards to the environment, radiation may result in weakening of seeds and frequent mutations, thus killing plants and the soil in the vicinity of the exposure. High doses of radiation from factories are a leading cause in the continued killing of the environment.

Chernobyl ^ (Radiation disaster in Russia)

There are multiple human-made causes of the demolition of the environment. Industry is the number one cause in why our environment is slowly becoming “less green”. Although industry is important for economic growth, it brings about substantial harm to nature and even to ourselves.


Causes and Effects of Soil Pollution

Deliberation Nation Reflection

There were multiple different topics for each group’s deliberations. However, I decided to go to a deliberation that was on the same topic my group had chose; Sexual Assault on Campus. The reason for attending a similar deliberation was due to the fact that I already had knowledge on the topic from the research I had done for our deliberation, that I felt I could really engage in conversation and even give out facts if needed. Another reason was to be able to compare this group’s deliberation to my own.

I attended “Take Back Our Campus: How Can We Prevent Sexual Assault at Penn State?” on March 2nd. To start off, the difference in presentation stood out the most. Instead of in a formal looking room, their deliberation took place in Webster’s Book Store where there is a small coffee shop and the audience was a lot closer together. This group decided that instead of just speaking at the audience, we would break up in to small groups, with a member from this deliberation helping out and talking to each group. I felt this was a lot more personal and gave everyone the chance to give their input and opinions. It seemed less scary to speak your thoughts to a small group in a very informal setting, as opposed to speaking in front of a room full of people who are just staring at you. I feel that this form of deliberation helped the audience to be more engaged and truly understand what the subject of the matter was.

Their first approach focuses on alcohol, something that my group touched upon but never truly got in to detail. They asked us questions such as whether we thought alcohol was the biggest contributing factor in sexual assault, one that everyone agreed to. We then talked about ways that we could prevent the consumption of alcohol leading to assault. Our group came up with the ideas of the buddy system and never leaving our friends alone for even a second. My group’s deliberation spoke about alcohol maybe for a brief second, but we never went in depth with how alcohol causes sexual assault, which I felt was a very relatable and engaging topic for their deliberation.

The next approach was about things we can to do take better precautions. My deliberation group did not really engage in conversation of what we can do specifically on campus to stop assault, we mostly spoke about what we currently do and how people feel about these precautions. My group at this deliberation came up with some very creative ideas. Our biggest and most safe idea was allowing Safe Walk to adopt golf carts, that way the wait for a “walker” would not be as long and having someone following behind you every step would not be as creepy. We also thought about setting up more blue lights, as there are barely any on campus. This approach was possibly my favorite because everyone opened up more about their feelings towards our campus policy on sexual assault and how we feel Penn State is not doing enough to fix the problem.

The third approach focused on just exactly what Penn State was doing and how their rules affected the students. I feel that this really tied each approach together. Although my deliberation group did the same topic, we took an entirely different approach than this group. I feel we each correctly touched upon the topic, but in different ways that truly engaged the audience. Personally, this topic is extremely important to me and I want to be able to do whatever I can, along with my peers, to lower the rate and eventually prevent sexual assault on campus.

Mother Nature’s Resilience and Our Duty to Her

If you read my last post, you may have learned, or already knew, that Trump feels as though Global Warming is a hoax. That our changing climate is nothing to be alarmed by and, to not use as much profanity as our President has, is just a bunch of “bull****” and “f****ed” up. He issued a handful of executive orders that brought back pipeline projects in which had been terminated by our previous president, Barack Obama. These projects not only were a hazard to the land they ran under, but also interfered with the communities whom had occupied that land. On the bright side, Station Obama will continue to monitor and conduct research on the pressing issue of climate change, no matter what Trump’s views are. Despite Trump’s skepticism towards this epidemic and lack of assistance to save our land, Mother Nature has seem to taken it upon herself to fix whatever damage is being done to the ecosystem.

The oceanic world seems to be fighting back against, not only, the change in climate, but also with any harm that polluted areas may have brought. “There are instances where sensitive ecosystems have shown remarkable resilience after climatic events. You can think of them as ‘bright spots’: They demonstrate that there are conditions under which ecosystems can persist even with major climate disturbances,” said Jennifer O’Leary, a marine conservation biologist with California Polytechnic State University and leader of the study. Eighty percent of researchers who had witnessed climatic disturbances also reported noting instances of resilience. For example, a western Australian reef lost 90 percent of its live coral after a bleaching event. But 12 years later, it had restored itself to 44 percent of its normal size. maintaining and promoting connectivity among habitats and protecting pristine or remnant populations of habitat-forming species — such as coral and kelp — can dramatically foster recovery after extreme climatic events,” said Giulio De Leo, with Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, who also worked on the study.

^ That is a Western Australian reef.

The issue of climate change is still extremely prevalent within today’s society. These findings do not suggest that we, as a whole, may do whatever we want to Mother Nature, and eventually, she would just “fix” herself. These studies did not show instant reparations. In fact, most of this compensation on nature occurred years, or even decades, after the initial detrimental incidents took place. The risks are much greater over the long run than over the next few decades, but the emissions that create those risks are happening now. There are multiple effects climate change will have on our environment, not beginning right this instant, but the more time that passes, the more these effects will begin to show. Some things that may occur are the rainfall will be heavier in many parts of the world, the number of hurricanes may fall, BUT,  ones that do occur will draw energy from a hotter ocean surface, and therefore may be more intense, and one last effect is that we would begin to see an increase in flooding around the world.

These findings show that we must be more careful with our ecosystem, and start respecting the environment more, if we want to even begin to prevent the issue of a changing climate. It could all start with a simple task; such as picking up a piece of garbage that was just thrown on the ground in a park. Things like littering are what lead to oceanic pollution. Dumping trash into an ocean or lake only does harm to the animals and plants which reside in them.

There are multiple ways in which we, as individuals, may begin to prevent climate change from spreading even more. Things as simple as; buying food and other products with reusable or recyclable packaging instead of those in non-recyclable packaging; Walking instead of driving; Recycling your home’s waste newsprint, cardboard, glass and metal; Insulate your home, clean your air conditioning filters and install energy efficient shower heads; and most importantly, Purchase a fuel-efficient car to replace your most frequently used automobile, are all things that could lead to a brighter future and even brighter ecosystem.

Although Mother Nature does seem to be fighting back, we need to fight even harder so that she does not have to. It should be our job to save our environments, we should not leave it to our ecosystem to fix itself, especially because of the amount of time it would take to do so. We may not be able to do much, but we can spark a change, especially if our President cannot be bothered to do so.


(^Yes, that is a link^: NY Times James Yang; Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change)


Global Warming: Real or Not In the Eyes of Trump?

Wow, aren’t we lucky to have the type of President who cares so deeply about pressing civic issues?! Extreme sarcasm intended.

If you follow the news or even politics itself, you probably have heard that the Trump Administration instructed the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to remove their page dedicated to Climate Change on the website, as there are incentives to put an end to previous President, Barack Obama’s climate change efforts. In December of 2015, The Paris Agreement was signed in to office in order to halt the changing climate. This agreement brought together all nations in an effort to tackle the issue of a rising climate by cutting greenhouse emissions as soon as they could. However, if a country wishes to pull out of this agreement after its ratification, they must wait four years. In order to work his way around this, Trump has hired Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a man who led fourteen lawsuits against the EPA. However, this plan does not come as a surprise to Americans as, during his entire campaign, Trump proved to have much disbelief in the concept of Global Warming. (Just as the tweets above state.) Although Trump has not officially taken the United States out of the Paris Agreement, he seems to be set on doing so, worrying many Americans.

On Tuesday, January 24, President Trump signed two executive orders in which the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines would be revived. These projects were halted under the Obama administration due to pressing concerns from climate change activists. The Army Corps had begun to look for alternate routes for the Dakota Access pipeline, one in which would not endanger nearby water supplies and sacred ground near the Standing Rock Sioux. However, once signing the executive order, Trump ordered the Army Corps to “hurry it up” and “take all actions necessary and appropriate” to get this pipeline installed, even if it meant not finding alternate routes and continuing on the original.

The Keystone XL also brought about skepticism for climate change activists, as it crossed national borders into Canada. Ex-President Obama argued that if this pipeline was put in place, it would strengthen Canada’s oil production, thus undercutting America’s global leadership in the climate change issue. However, the concerns that the Obama administration had on the pipeline did not seem to phase Trump. His executive order called for the State Department to “take all actions necessary and appropriate to facilitate its expeditious review” and gave them a deadline of 60 days for the final decision.

A third executive order was signed, giving a deadline of 180 days to the Secretary of Commerce to upgrade the pipelines within the United States “using materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” In addition, Trump also signed two more executive orders which requested to speed up environmental reviews of infrastructure projects.

It has been predicted that, if within the next four years, something is not done in order to prevent Global Warming, there will be a huge increase in the temperature. This increase would bring about even more detrimental effects to the Earth, in addition to the effects that have already, and continue to occur. Great deals of opposition to Trump’s executive orders have arisen. Opposition not only from climate change activists, but from scientists around the world. In fact, a Science March on Washington, which was inspired from the Women’s March on Washington that occurred a day after Trump’s inauguration. A march on this specific issue would help to gain attention from the public eye and help others to realize that this is an issue that not only affects our environment but ourselves as well. The EPA wasn’t the only government agency which was banned, but the Department of Agriculture as well, and even scientists, themselves, are being stripped of their ability to share their findings and also receiving less and less funding.

There is some good news to come out of all of this, though. Station Obama, which is a climate monitoring location, in a bay just off of the Antarctica Peninsula, will continue to monitor and conduct research on the pressing topic. Scientists will soon be returning to this site for a five week research cruise in the Southern Ocean, in which they will collect research on how climate change is affecting the Arctic, whether it be the melting of mass quantities of ice or fully changing ecosystems. Although Trump has completely different view on this subject, climate change is something that we cannot overlook, and we certainly cannot stop Global Warming by simply not talking about it.