'We Are Facing a National and Planetary Crisis'.

AuthorSanders, Bernie
PositionColumn - Reprint

It is hard to keep track of the outrageous and destructive behavior of Donald Trump. However, the greatest long-term threat caused by his administration is that not only is it failing to take action to stop climate change, but it is actually taking steps to make the problem worse.

The tragic and undisputed truth is that the Trump Administration rejects science, ignores the reality of climate change, and pursues policies that are directly leading to more carbon emissions and a major exacerbation of the crisis. On behalf of its friends in the fossil fuel industry, the administration is doing exactly the opposite of what must be done.

In 2017, federal scientists announced that the string of the four warmest years on record across the globe continued. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2017, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) above the twentieth-century average. This was the third-highest temperature since 1880, behind 2016 (the warmest) and 2015 (the second warmest).

When I traveled to Florida in August 2018, I ran right into the horror of what climate change is doing. While I was there, the Florida media was full of stories about how the state was confronting a "toxic algae" crisis.

These toxic outbreaks, exacerbated by climate change, were destroying the state's beaches, threatening the tourism that fuels Florida's economy, and driving hundreds of residents into hospitals because of respiratory illnesses.

Further, the people who drove me around that day told me about roads in South Florida that were flooded, even at low tide, because the sea was rising. Scientists predict, in fact, that if we continue down the path we are on, much of coastal Florida, including Miami, will be underwater by the end of the century.

But it's not, of...

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