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Climate change perpetuates due to corruption

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Climate change perpetuates due to corruption

Worldwide, 2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record since thermometer-based observations began.

Worldwide, 2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record since thermometer-based observations began.

Photo courtesy of the Public Domain

Worldwide, 2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record since thermometer-based observations began.

Photo courtesy of the Public Domain

Photo courtesy of the Public Domain

Worldwide, 2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record since thermometer-based observations began.

By Sandhya Sivakumar, Columnist

A video has recently circulated of Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to a group of kids asking her to support the Green New Deal. Although the term and the concept have been floating around since the early 2000s, the Green New Deal garnered a new wave of interest in the wake of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s open support, and a resolution released by her and Senator Ed Markey in early February.

The resolution is far-reaching and revolutionary. It covers a surprisingly significant number of the problems our country faces today — not just climate change, but issues of social justice, socioeconomic mobility and wealth disparity.

Feinstein’s response when asked whether she would support this Green New Deal was condescending and smug. She argued it was too expensive, and went so far as to state it would never pass the Senate. She endorsed her own “responsible resolution” and remained steadfast in her disapproval in the face of desperate children rightly convinced it’s too late now for anything but drastic action.

As a New Yorker article published last week articulates, the moderate proposal Feinstein is in favor of might ruffle fewer feathers than the Green New Deal, but climate change isn’t playing a politics game. You can’t lobby Mother Nature.

The effects of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s temperature, specifically that carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere would increase global temperature, were first calculated in 1896. The issue of climate change was brought in front of Congress in 1988, as reported in the New York Times.

It’s terrifying that in 2019, 31 years after Dr. James Hansen of NASA told Congress it was 99 percent certain that climate change was a direct result of human activity, 31 years after numerous scientists warned Congress we needed an immediate, sharp reduction in fuel usage, we’re still struggling to take even moderate steps to ensure a future for humanity.

There’s no reason that literal children should be campaigning for policy change, and yet the incompetence of leaders elected to protect them demands it. Our whole generation is keenly aware of a rapidly shrinking future. Even if we manage to avoid nuclear annihilation, it is a grim certainty that our future will be darker than our present.

Our government is ruled by profit, working to serve the best interests of the highest bidder. Climate change isn’t the first time our leaders have failed us — from Big Tobacco to Big Sugar to Big Pharma, corporations are exploiting the law to extort Americans. The corruption in the deepest levels of our governing body is extremely evil and extremely legal.

As one of the students in the video puts it, the government should be for the people, by the people. Until our government is based on compassion and concern for the population whom it represents (which will be never), we can be certain of dark days ahead.

Sandhya is a sophomore in LAS.

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