How Climate Change Will Change the 2020 Election



“Victory is the only option, because without victory there is no survival,” Governor Jay Inslee stated in a recent interview for NBC news. He is a unique candidate for the 2020 presidential election because his campaign prioritizes climate change. He believes that if the government does not take action to hold businesses and citizens accountable, climate change will ultimately threaten human life.

Scientific data proves that global warming is caused by humans because of the mass destruction of forests, the burning of fossil fuels, and the excess of waste due to our consumerist economy. Due to an increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the average temperature of Earth has steadily risen to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution, only around 100 years ago. Although the planet is warming, this also means that patterns in weather are permanently changed and there are more extreme accounts of weather, such as hurricanes, coastal flooding, and heat waves. This trajectory is predicted to keep climbing and at an even faster rate, meaning climate change will not reverse itself and it is up to the human race to save our planet.

This issue has never been a highly discussed topic for politicians, primarily because some Americans are uneducated on the topic and it does not directly affect people now, making it less urgent. Campaigns focused on subjects such as health care, education, and taxes, are more important to citizens because it directly affects them. The reality is that in the future, climate change will be the priority for most Americans because their lives will be threatened, but climate change can only be prevented, not fixed once it is a problem. In recent years, it has however, been considered a political issue, because government funding and power is necessary to prevent further climate change.

President Trump does not see a need to take measures for climate change and has been fairly vocal about his disbelief and incomprehension of what global warming is exactly. In 2012 he tweeted “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He claims that scientists too have a “political agenda,” insinuating that their research is bias and unreliable. Climate scientist at Texas Tech University, Katharine Hayhoe says: “A thermometer isn’t Democrat or Republican. It doesn’t give us a different answer depending on how we vote.” Scientific research cannot be manipulated because it is based on data and facts. Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement (a crucial part of taking action towards climate change organized by the United Nations), which may influence other countries to also decrease their spending on climate change. Trump’s reasoning for withdrawal is that the plan will cost America too much money and will put people out of jobs, but our country will end up spending far more money on repair and aid for Americans in the future, if precautions are not made now.

Despite opposition to climate change, it is a timely issue that affects everyone, no matter their political party, state, religion, or race. It is most likely to appeal to young voters because they may be more educated on the topic and may be more concerned with the future because it could affect their children and grandchildren. However, for the majority of Americans, they must be educated on climate change for a campaign to be successful. Unfortunately Jay Inslee, a presidential candidate whose campaign is climate based, is not an official candidate as of right now, because he did not win the most recent primary. His campaign also lacks support from most Republicans. He is fighting for a tax on carbon emissions by businesses, which would also influence consumers to use clean energy. This attempt was led by a group called Carbon WA, whose campaign was named Initiative 732. Inslee and his allies developed a variety of “labor unions, environmentalists, racial justice groups, faith organizations and businesses to promote it [clean energy].” Industry groups such as oil companies, spend millions of dollars to defeat climate campaigns because they threaten their businesses.

As the next presidential election approaches, it is important that citizens educate themselves on climate change issues and consider all related campaigns. No doubt, this will be an important topic to consider because it will affect all Americans in the future and significant action must be taken soon.