Save our science, save our planet.

Author:Hamilton, Meghan
Position:Up Front - Column
 
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2016 was the hottest year on record, 2015 and 2014 come in second and third, respectively, and 2017 seems like it'll fall right in line. Yes, the planet is heating up and some Americans still seem to be wondering why that really matters. Besides the fact that rising temperatures are changing the earth's climate, destroying ecosystems, disrupting agriculture, and contributing to the extinction of animal species, global warming puts us in danger, too. This is deeply concerning on its own, but the fact that the United States now has a leader who has no solution, doesn't care, and will unquestionably accelerate the damage is downright terrifying.

Simply put, President Donald Trump and most of his cabinet seem to have no problem putting profits ahead of action to mitigate the effects of climate change. Within the first week of Trump's presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency was told to remove climate change references from its website (an order that was later reversed, according to Science), the National Parks Service was seemingly punished for retweeting photos of Trumps inauguration turnout, and the USD As Agriculture Research Service was pressured to stop releasing scientific data to the public. (At the rate we're going, there are sure to be more dramatic turns by the time this is published.)

After the Industrial Revolution, we consumed resources as if they were never-ending. We trusted our politicians to steer us in the right direction, to keep in mind our best interests and the interests of our future. But now that many of us have become wise to the real-life dangers of non-renewable energy and overconsumption, we find ourselves at battle with those who have the most power to create change, many of whom are those same politicians who were too shortsighted to see, or accept, the dangers decades ago.

Acting on climate change is not an easy sell for many. It used to be that those who were dedicated to protecting the environment were just "tree-hugging hippies" or crazy, fear-mongering environmental scientists who were easily hushed by politicians and big business' gentle reassurances to ordinary citizens that they needn't relinquish the commodities and lifestyle they'd worked hard to afford. However, today the discussion on climate change is getting louder, as younger generations are refusing to allow the policies set by those who came before them to destroy their future.

Even scientists are becoming activists. A National Parks Service...

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