Candidates lack urgency toward climate change

Trump and Clinton need to succinctly address their environmental policies.

Tim Seeberger, Writer

The current presidential candidates seem to care little about the environmental change. Climate change plagues this Earth with a multitude of problems that transcend all other issues. War and the global economy are small comparisons to an issue that encompasses the world. The environment affects every other issue because it serves as a macrocosm that envelopes everything. Both Clinton and Trump, though, barely address this issue.

Little Regard for the Environment

In the current presidential election, any discussion of the environment lacks talking time by both candidates. In the first debate, both candidates only discussed the environment for a combined 82 seconds. Due in part to the questions asked and the Trump and Clinton’s evasion methods, the candidates together spoke about climate change for less than three minutes out of 90 minutes of debating.

Each candidate also evaded answering questions about the environment. In the second debate, only one question vaguely addressing climate change was presented. Trump spoke about utilizing clean coal, but then went on a tangent about how he will restore jobs by stealing them back from China. Clinton used generalized terms to speak about her plans to help the environment, thus shying away from her unfavorable views such as her past support of fracking.

Conflicting actions

Breaking down each candidate’s environmental policies requires little work thanks to their superficial nature.

On the forefront, Clinton expresses her support for action on climate change and desires to create a better future for the children of America. She does not plan on reversing any policies set in motion by president Obama thus far on the matter.

Her past actions as secretary of state, though, do not back her promises. Clinton recently expressed her support to end fracking, but also stated her explicit past support for the drilling in a new WikiLeaks email dump. She also received a $1 million donation from oil and gas companies that gave extensive donations to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton also suspiciously changed her views on the Keystone XL pipeline in the same email dump. On top of it all, she told activists to “get a life” in a particular email. Although she speaks a greener rhetoric, her words drip with hypocrisy and she cares more about money than Mother Earth.

A blatant disbelief

Trump, on the other hand, does not believe in climate change at all. He fully endorses the idea that China and scientists made up global warming to gain profit. His words suggest he wants to affect some factors of climate change – clean air, access to clean water and keeping public land federally owned. Ultimately though, he sides with the GOP belief that climate change does not exist. He also seeks to undo all efforts made in the Paris climate talks.

In the grand of scheme of all topics addressed in the election, the environment by far receives the lowest attention. Global warming continues to affect the world and will affect the world over time. Candidates can no longer stand by and say nothing about the issue. Students need to research and understand Trump and Clinton’s environmental policies because both have yet to clearly define them. A global crisis affecting the world so drastically does not deserve unwarranted silence.

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