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Whenever an US presidential election comes around, many people believe see it as another opportunity to provide relief to current problems that have gone unaddressed in the country. The 2016 election may be a rather pivotal one. This is because, according to scientists, the next president of the United States may be the last president who can prevent climate change from wreaking havoc.
State Of Climate Change Today
Climate change is one of the most critical issues that are affecting everyone across the world today. The rising temperatures due to global warming have already started affecting weather patterns and climates. Scientists have realized that possible solutions and preventive measures need to be undertaken right now in order to save the world from climate change.
Of course, it does not mean that an ice age or climate change will happen overnight. Nonetheless, global warming has already begun to affect the world. The American West has started drying up, storms are becoming stranger, and coastal cities are beginning to get flooded. This has resulted in entire species becoming wiped out, and a rise in armed conflict. All of these have resulted with a rise of only 33.53 degrees Fahrenheit. If such a slight rise in temperature has such a major effect, one can only wonder what will happen when the temperature worsens.
According to scientists, emissions need to be cut by at least 70% by 2050 to prevent the global temperature from increasing ~34 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century. Once this threshold is crossed, the cycle of polar caps melting can no longer be stopped. In the cycle, greenhouse gases trapped inside the polar caps will be released which will heat up the Earth even more. This will cause the polar caps to melt faster, which in turn releases more gases. However, some scientists think that the trigger will come much sooner than 2050. According to some, it may occur by 2036.
What Changes Are Required?
The changes required for halting the ascent of climate change are epic in their magnitude. For starters, the dependency on fossil fuels needs to be completely removed. In other words, there has to be an absolute change in the way modern society functions. Everything from complex industrial systems, to utilities, to the energy system, must be rapidly changed by using renewable sources of energy instead of fossil fuels.
How Do the Politicians Stand?
Due to the immense importance of climate change, the 2016 presidential election will be one without any historical analogue. The results of the election can impact the ability to avoid a global catastrophe.
It is interesting to note that the two parties contesting the elections have a remarkably divided opinion on climate change. For Democrats, climate change brought about by man is a real problem. They wish to avoid it. However, each candidate has his or her own view on the best method to combat it. On the other hand, Republicans still labor under the belief that climate change is a hoax. Many of them still haven’t decided or voiced their opinions on how to best tackle this problem. With time quickly running out, it may be up to the people to make decisions that should no longer be in the hands of politicians.