Climate change hasn’t had much attention this election cycle. Wednesday evening, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton took to the stage to talk about national security, military and veteran issues. What does any of that have to do with climate change? Well, a lot. Climate change is a threat to national security. Sea level rise, high intensity and frequent storms, droughts—we are already seeing and experiencing what climate change can do on a global scale and on a national scale. From wildfires in California and flooding in Louisiana, the nation needs a leader with a strong agenda to curb climate change and prepare for a changing world.
So Wednesday evening, organizations and individuals across the environmental and political arenas tweeted in support of asking candidates how they will #ActOnClimate as president. Though, this topic didn’t get the buzz organizations and individuals were looking for, it’s clear Trump and Clinton would handle climate change differently as president.
Trump has repeatedly said that climate change is a hoax, invented by the Chinese. Apparently “a lot of people [will] make a lot of money.” A Trump presidency will likely undo many of the regulations on coal emissions as well as pull the US out of the landmark Paris Agreement. On occasion he stated that he would cut funding for the Environmental Protection agency as well.
In stark contrast to Trump, Clinton has called climate change an urgent threat. Her official campaign platform includes several goals to combat climate change, including installing half a billion solar panels, cutting energy waste, and reducing oil consumption as a nation. Clinton also aims to continue President Obama’s pledge that by 2025, the U.S. will be emitting 30 percent less heat-trapping gases than in 2005.
Climate change policy is drastically needed in this generation and the next. We’ve lived through the hottest year on record and without sincere mitigation efforts from our leaders—and future leaders—climate change will seriously alter our planet and life as we know it.