Make voices heard on climate change

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A result of natural causes or not, global climate change has become increasingly evident as years go by.

In NPR's program "Science Friday," Anthony Leiserowitz was interviewed about his survey of the public's perception of global climate change. His 2012 study found that 72 percent of Americans think climate change should be a very high to medium priority for the president and Congress.

These results indicate that support for fighting global warming crosses party lines, with 84 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans giving those responses.

Thus, global climate change appears to be a universal concern both parties must address. "On The Issues," a political website, outlines both parties' stances on global climate change and ways to combat the phenomenon.

According to the website, the Republican Party platform focuses on conservation because it is a conservative value in addition to the most economically feasible solutions. The platform relies heavily on the expectation that private landowners will take the initiative to be more environmentally friendly.

There is also a strong focus on ensuring that economic costs do not outweigh their benefits. This corresponds to the Republican desire to keep the government small and design appropriate short-term solutions for the long-term consequences of global climate change.

On the other hand, the Democratic Party emphasizes restoring existing habitats to rejuvenate natural cycles to lessen the effects of climate change. The Democratic platform dispels the notion that a healthy economy and healthy environment are conflicting ideas.

Instead, the Democrats see the well-being of the economy and of the environment as complementary, highlighting the small economic investments that lead to huge environmental benefits.

Scientists have been proposing solutions and potential remedies for global climate change for years. In "10 Solutions for Climate Change," David Biello (Scientific American, 2007) emphasizes the need for an active fight to reduce climate change, as opposed to simply taking steps to cease current contributing factors.

From foregoing fossil fuels to upgrading infrastructure to simply being efficient, Biello suggests the most effective way to combat global climate change is an offensive tactic, more in line with the Democratic platform than the Republican's.

Ultimately though, it is up to individual voters to make their voices heard and let the elected representatives know their expectations for fighting global climate change.

Carly Busch

Walla Walla

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