Environmental problems should be a priority

Opinion Editor Marin Klein expresses the importance of taking immediate actions to counter climate change and other environmental issues.

Divakshi Palkar

Opinion Editor Marin Klein expresses the importance of taking immediate actions to counter climate change and other environmental issues.

Marin Klein, Opinion Editor

Over the past couple of weeks, the U.S has been facing large-scale climate obstacles. The cold snap with below-freezing temperatures, that left at least 58 dead in Texas in a few weeks has been capturing the countries attention. This is our wake-up call to the changing climate which needs to be taken more seriously.

President Biden has proved commitment to the environment in his first few days in office, but we need to get even more serious. The government currently has a $15.4 billion budget for the Space Force and further space exploration. NASA’s most recent Mars rover, Perseverance, cost $2.7 billion. The EPA’s budget from the last fiscal year was only around $9 billion. How can we spend so much money to explore other planets when we don’t put money into protecting and conserving the planet we have now? The $2.7 billion spent to send a rover to Mars could have been used toward renewable energy or conservation projects. Instead, we used it to look at a planet that would not support the human population. Earth is, as of now, the only planet humans can live on and we need to put more effort into protecting it. 

In recent years the environment has become a heavily politicized topic. Leaders in our country called climate change a hoax and decided to ignore the rising issues. In the past couple of weeks, this crisis in Texas has shown the government that we can not keep politicizing environmental activism. Big companies in various industries from oil to food production donate to the government so they can continue their practices, and the government still supports them through subsidization. This cannot continue any further. The government should separate itself and focus on the good of the country and the world.

There are many people in our government working to fix our environmental problems. President Biden has shown his support to the environment by re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, revoking permits for the Keystone Pipeline, and banning new oil and gas leases. These are all significant actions our new president has taken, but we need more focus and money put into helping restore our planet. 

What can we do? Even if we can’t directly fix the politicization of the environment in the government there are things we can do at home and in our community to help our environment. As the weather gets warmer we can choose walking or biking over driving. We can buy our produce locally and strive to buy more organic products. If you’re buying a car, try to look for more fuel-efficient, hybrid or electric cars. Algonquin is taking environmentally friendly steps through the installation of solar panels, but there is a lot we can do to contribute to the environment. The government needs to see the environment as a top priority and start working to slow down the effects of climate change. No matter our political beliefs, we all live on the same planet and we should have the common goal of protecting it.

Do you think the environment should be considered a high priority by the US?

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