An overlooked election tragedy: the planet

With the most recent presidential election of a carrot, many people were beyond frightened when thinking about this country’s four-year future. This fear is very justifiable, as said carrot hates on other carrots all the time. Additionally, this carrot doesn’t believe in what 99 percent of climate scientists have said over and over: climate change is very real and very scary. He seems to think some Chinese vegetables made the whole climate change thing up so that consumers would buy Chinese products instead of the carrots, which makes absolutely no sense at all. And yet, a shocking amount of people still voted for the carrot. Luckily, we go to UC Berkeley, where the majority of people do believe in climate change and want to do something about it.

One of the scariest parts about all of this is that President-elect Donald Trump wants to elect Myron Ebell to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This agency is the most important governmental agency in terms of environmental protection. Ironically, Myron Ebell also doesn’t believe in climate change, once wrote an article titled “Love Global Warming,” receives millions of dollars from coal companies and is overall a 0/10 human being. As long as he receives funding from the fossil fuel industry, Myron Ebell is sure to have nature at the bottom of his priorities.

This will be disastrous for not only the United States, but for the world. While many of Trump’s future policies have the potential to, hopefully, be overturned by future presidents, an increase in fossil fuel production is irreversible and could be the breaking point for our planet. There is, however, a petition that has been circulating around social media that opposes Ebell’s nomination. If you’re interested and want to sign the petition, you’ll feel like you’re in a virtual Sproul: a place with just as much social justice as regular Sproul, just with 100 percent fewer people you’re trying to avoid.

Many people simply don’t believe in climate change because they can’t see its effects, such as rising sea levels, in their everyday lives. Living in Berkeley is a little different since we’re in the midst of a historic drought right now. However, the effects of climate change for other parts of the country are sure to become much more apparent and drastic as time goes on. An increase in coal production, which Trump has promised many times, will harm our generation the most as we try to combat vicious storms and Florida’s disappearing coastlines while we grow up. It’s wildly unfair that the future problems for our generation are currently being caused by someone that won’t have to deal with the consequences.

While every social issue that was brought up during this election is immensely important, we need to have a healthy, working planet if we want to continue fighting for the things we’re most passionate about. If we have come so far as a species that we invented things like self-driving cars and the periodic table, then passing legislation to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gasses should be the easiest thing humans have ever done. Sadly, the world is very much run by money, and it becomes even more apparent when studies have found that climate change deniers are constantly paid by the fossil fuel industry.

Undeniably, it’s going to be a long, four-year fight to try and stop some of Trump’s energy policies. But as long as we show that environmental protection is what we as a people want most, then we make the fight for ourselves that much easier. If you want to become more involved, there are groups on campus such as Fossil Free Cal and STeam. We’re so lucky to live in a place as educated and involved as Berkeley, so make the most out of your time here.

Contact Emilia Malachowski at [email protected].