The Hottest Issue of the 21st Century

Ashley Kim, Editor-in-Chief

 One of the most frequently debated topics in today’s politics is the climate crisis; it is also a major element of the 2020 presidential elections. This is for good reason: scientists agree that humans are at least partly, if not mostly, responsible for climbing temperatures and the myriad of complications that come with it.  The current debate on climate change is unique because what politicians decide now will resound in the lives of younger generations. Consequently, it’s not a surprise that teenagers and students have taken to many avenues to make sure their voices are heard.

   “The issue is very much urgent,” Monique Love (11) remarked. Love is a board member of West’s environmental club.  “Humans will be affected and [are] being affected profusely since it causes sea level [rise], stronger and more common natural disasters…It will be an apocalyptic state.”

   Democratic candidates for the 2020 election have taken different approaches to solve the crisis, but they are unified in agreement that climate change is a pertinent issue, not only in the next four years but for decades to come. As Democratic candidate, Pete Buttigieg put it, “This is the hardest thing we will have done in my life as a country.”

   Still, despite a push from Democrats to address climate change, it remains a controversial issue in the world of politics.  Some Republicans, like Joe Walsh, a 2020 Republican candidate, have expressed an urgency for climate change. “The Republican Party has to acknowledge it’s a problem.  This president [Trump] won’t,” Walsh commented. 

   While some Republicans have become more open to acknowledging climate change as an important issue, still others remain skeptical.

   “America has failed the environment, because we miss the point of global warming again and again,” Lindsey Kim (12) said, as a member of speech and debate.  “It’s not just about Democrats or Republicans, even though environmentalism is commonly presented as a “liberal” issue. It’s an issue that affects every part of the nation, its coasts, its ecosystems, and its species, especially the ones in our oceans as they acidify.”

   Climate change is a multifaceted issue with many possible solutions, outcomes, and disasters. As the 2020 elections approach, it’s beginning to gain even more traction as a major aspect of campaigns and debates.  The election is another chance for voices to be heard; another means through which the public can speak up.