Many of us watched President Donald Trump give his State of the Union speech, which came after a delay due to the partial government shutdown. In his speech, Trump discussed many important and controversial topics, including military policy, border security, infrastructure improvements, and many others, all while calling for an end to the deep divide our country currently faces.
However, one critical issue that was not addressed by Trump was climate change, a concern many Americans see as one of the largest threats to our nation’s future.
While it was to be expected that President Trump would not mention climate change due to his well-documented denial of its very existence, this blatant disregard of mainstream science only grows more perilous as the weeks and months march on.
Since the 2018 State of the Union, Americans have experienced even more extreme weather events, including last year’s droughts that fueled deadly forest fires in California and the very recent polar vortex that gripped the Midwest. We’ve also seen two comprehensive reports stressing how urgent the problem has gotten – including one report from President Trump’s own administration. These warnings alone should serve as a clear sign that the time for denial and ignorance has long since passed.
As a student intern with climate advocacy group Defend Our Future, I urge you to call Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema and demand that they commit to taking action on this issue. The president’s speech sadly showed us that he refuses to acknowledge the very real effects of climate change, including health risks to our kids, economic risks to our communities, and environmental risks to our planet.
It is on us to make it a priority.