The issue of climate change goes down under

There are no charts or figures needed to draw attention to the Australian wildfire. Photos of kangaroos with a background ablaze made their way across social media.
The cause of Australia’s wildfires is strikingly similar to those that happened in California recently. They were caused by an elevated temperature and dry heat index, rising to a cataclysmic level. These temperatures can be traced to the issue of climate change as more heat trapped by the ozone layer is pushed toward the poles, and when the temperature begins to descend, high pressure ridges are formed, further exacerbating the environment in which wildfires thrive.
As water vapor becomes less available in the atmosphere, the wildfire season begins to lengthen with no way to be put out naturally. An issue that was once gradual and practically invisible is beginning to show its face and people are not happy. However, wealthy people are still reluctant to make lifestle changes. Instead, they continue to donate money to try and water down an ongoing crisis..
A little over 10 years ago, the issue of climate change was equal in the eyes on both Republicans and Democrats – both acknowledged that there was an issue but did not do much about it. As climate change becomes more detrimental to the lives of citizens around the world, it raises the question of what can be done at this point?
In a 2018 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” Weekend Update host Colin Jost said, “We don’t really worry about climate change because it’s too overwhelming and we’re already in too deep. It’s like if you owe your bookie $1,000, you’re like ‘OK, I’ve got to pay this dude back.’ But if you owe your bookie $1 million, you’re like, ‘I guess I’m just going to die.’”
Climate change is becoming a largely Democratic topic in America, but other places also struggle with gaining power on the climate change front. In 2014, Australia’s Liberal Party (equivalent to American conservatives) became the first country to repeal a carbon tax.
With the topic of climate change dangerously going down under, ironically and physically, there is a limited amount of action that can be taken.
A possible action that comes into play is one suggested by Robert Koehane, a political scientist who suggested that a “Green New Deal” be put in place. This would emphasize a large climate-industrial complex, addressing the climate change issue while creating jobs and being politically sustainable. By focusing on economics and the job market, Republicans might be more likely to agree with the change and America could break through the political impasse we are faced with.
Even though it may seem unlikely, being informed seems to be the first step in addressing climate change. Hopefully, if nothing happens in the near future, the events that are taking place, although devastating, may be creating a generation of activists due to the traumatic experiences they have been through, in Australia especially. With the presidential election coming up, keep in mind the imminent issues that are proving to be more than just a one-time accident.

CHLOE FORBES
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