Climate change is, in fact, settled science. Not only is our planet warming, but it is also largely caused by human activities. 15 of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001. Natural variations cannot account for the warming that has occurred.
Many skeptics as well as the overwhelming majority of the Republican party claim that climate change is natural (if happening at all), harmless, or even beneficial for us. Let’s be clear on this matter: Mother Nature can weather the deplorable effects of humanity. Humans, on the other hand, cannot. Skeptics claim in prehistoric times that carbon dioxide levels were over 1200 parts per million (ppm), compared to slightly over 400ppm currently. This factoid is true, albeit misleading. Temperatures were wildly different, the Earth looked nothing like it does now, and humans obviously were nowhere to be found. Humans cannot live in areas where temperatures stay above ~95 degrees Fahrenheit. Areas in Sub-Saharan Africa and locations along the equator will become inhospitable due to high temperature, lack of water/food, and sea level rise. Mass migrations and wars for resources aren’t out of the question if many of the predictions put forth by leading climate experts come true.
There’s a reason the Pentagon has positioned climate change as a leading national security threat.
For the sake of our planet, nature, and our survival as a species, we must act as swiftly as possible to minimize the effects we are having on our environment.
How can we do this locally?
We are sitting on essentially the equivalent of an oilfield worth of energy in the form of offshore wind, yet we are not harnessing this power. Long Island is situated in a location where the energy of the prevailing winds is capable of generating electricity for a large percentage of the northeastern United States. We need to develop offshore wind power. Developing offshore wind will also provide thousands of good paying jobs in green technology. We have a chance to become a hub of green energy – I will push hard to ensure Long Island is at the forefront of this movement.
We must push for a WWII-style mobilization of resources and action to combat climate change. Not only will this push provide a blueprint for the rest of the developed world, but will also provide millions of jobs in renewable energy, research, development, and other related fields. A lofty yet important goal would to have the United States become net zero-emissions by 2025 – this can be accomplished with such a mobilization along with an emphasis on carbon sequestration from the atmosphere and oceans.