OPINION:It’s now or never to fix climate change

The Trump Administration released the fourth National Climate Assessment,  on Nov. 23 and things are looking grim.

“Extreme weather and climate-related impacts on one system can result in increased risks or failures in other critical systems, including water resources, food production and distribution, energy and transportation, public health, international trade and national security,” the report said

Combined with the near-apocalyptic United Nations climate report from early October, it’s becoming clear climate change isn’t something the United States can afford to ignore any longer.

Even if our country is turning into a more nationalistic nation — one that cares far more about itself than its historical place and role as a world power — this rapid, catastrophic climate change is going to hit us incredibly hard. Even our own government’s report agrees. 

It feels like Trump has been campaigning for re-election since his inauguration day. Fixing climate change could be a major talking point for him and his “America First” agenda. 

He made a big show of withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement but has made no replacement plan. A new initiative designed to protect our natural land while creating jobs could be exactly what he needs to gain an edge in an election inside a country that regularly protests him, his actions, his policies and his executives. 

Trump campaigned hard on job creation and coal. While the U.N.’s report said that coal needed to be phased out of energy production as quickly as possible, it did say that stemming the damage we have done to the world would require a massive economic undertaking. 

For starters, we’d need to transition our coal-based power to things like wind and solar power, which would require improving our existing infrastructure and building new systems. Those things may be expensive, but they will create a massive influx of employment across the country. Trump then has the ability to point toward these improvements as something Republicans have been doing not just to maintain their control on their base, but for all Americans.

Trump said he wants to “Make America Great Again.” There’s no better way to do that than by making our country a moral leader again while we simultaneously improve our workforce to be capable of providing more modern sources of energy.

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