The future is looking smoggy


Illustration by Yasmin Myers

Yasmin Myers

[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t’s no question that global warming has been circulating for political and social debate lately. On Jan. 25, 2018, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its plan to reverse environmental regulations, making it easier for companies and industrial plants to increase their emissions of pollutants like lead and other toxins.

Ventura High teacher, Jared McEntyre adds that, “[For students to make a change] buy less stuff and make sure the stuff you’re buying is environmentally friendly.” Photo by: Yasmin Myers
Many of these environmental protections were implemented during the Obama Administration to minimize environmental pollution and global warming. Among these rollbacks is the “Clean Power Plan” which intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generators by 32 percent by 2030, compared to the 2005 levels.

Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher, Jared McEntyre, shares his thoughts on the presidential rollbacks as he states, “Doing away with Obama’s Clean Energy Plan will allow for a lot more air pollutants to go into our atmosphere, causing the global temperature to warm, acid rain to increase, and anyone concerned with breathing to have trouble.” The Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the Clean Power Plan will reduce the pollutants that contribute to smog and soot by 25 percent, and that the reduction will lead to net climate and health benefits of an estimated $25 billion to $45 billion per year in 2030. A 2018 analysis from The JAMA Forum, a expert news group that provides insight and commentary regarding health and politics, reported that the Trump administration’s rollbacks and proposed reversals of environmental rules would “likely cost the lives of over 80,000 US residents per decade and lead to respiratory problems for more than 1 million people.”

Junior Riley Meagher expresses that,”[Current leaders] seem to not care that my generation will have to fix many of the issues created and ignored by the generations currently in office.” Photo by: Yasmin Myers
The Paris Climate Accord, once described by Former President Barack Obama as the “best chance to save the planet”, is a pact sponsored by the United Nations to bring the world’s countries together in the fight against climate change. The Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. In June 2017, Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement. Under the agreement, the earliest effective date of withdrawal for the U.S. is Nov. 2020, shortly before the end of Trump’s current term. Junior Riley Meagher emphasized that, “the best thing we can do is be conscious of where the products we are using come from, where they go when we are done with them, and what we are supporting by paying for these products.” For students who wish to get more involved in improving Ventura High’s carbon footprint, Meagher highly recommends joining the Greener World Action Team, a club here at VHS.