A hot topic amongst the Democratic contenders for president for 2020 is, of course, Persons such as , an environmental activist on climate change, have become household names. Protests and climate change strikes are making the news on a regular basis. Clearly, climate change is one hot topic, but what plans do presidential candidates have for the future? What will they do about climate change? 

Climate Change Challenge: Where to Live 

Some of the climate change plans discussed have been incredibly detailed, outlining ways to switch to clean and how to/where to invest in different technology while making sure those who might lose their work in the fossil fuel industry are not left behind. But there is one particular challenge relevant to climate change that some are unwilling to tackle – the fact that people are being displaced due to climate change related events such as wildfires and severe flooding. Of course, relocating people is expensive, but when it comes to the harsh reality of climate change, it is becoming deemed a necessity.  

moderator at the December and chief political correspondent at Politico, asked about climate change related relocation. He mentioned that scientists claim that even if there is carbon footprint reduction all the way to zero in the United States by 2050, damage will have already occurred. Places in America will become unlivable because of climate change. Alberta asked if candidates would back a new federal program to fund relocating American families so they could get away from areas that might become unlivable. Some dodged the question, if you will, such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who mentioned that the issue is if we are going to save the planet for our children and their future children.  

: Tackling Climate Change Destruction 

One candidate decided to tackle this climate change question head on. Andrew Yang stated that it was obvious we should relocate Americans away from places impacted by climate change. He discussed that this was already being done and that part of his plan calls to move people to higher ground. Yang’s climate change plan calls for billions in loans, grants and subsidies – $40 billion, to be precise – to relocate those in areas most vulnerable to climate change.  

Some are calling Yang’s approach “bleak” as it implies he has accepted that climate change is happening and that we have to deal with its impact. On the other hand, some are more focused on climate change action having optimistic possibilities.  

It is important to think about the fact that wildfires and coastal flooding are, unfortunately, things that are happening, so we need homes and businesses away from vulnerable areas.  

Take Louisiana and the area of Isle de Jean Charles – people have been forced to move away because of the rising sea level. While the government has been helping, there doesn’t seem to be much in place of a synchronized practical strategy – rather, the aid is more in the form of emergency provisions.  

Having plans in place does not mean that there should be less of an effort to fight climate change. We can still work together to take action against climate change in the form of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and taking steps to “go green.”   

A huge portion of the population in the United States is in a coastal county – 40 percent, to be exact. This would mean that sea-level rise resulting from climate change would impact millions of people. Lives and jobs will face serious changes due to wildfires, heatwaves, and drought. The next president will have to consider whether or not people should be relocated or if they should rebuild.  

It is a given that telling people where they can and can’t live is a major challenge, but it is something that must be addressed by candidates as Americans will be looking to them for guidance.  

According to some, Andrew Yang gave the only honest and realistic answer regarding climate change. Regardless of one’s stance, it is frightening to think about the damage already occurring across the United States. Keep following climate change news to stay in the know.  

Sources:  

https://time.com/5753060/debate-live-updates/ 

https://www.vox.com/2019/12/20/21030970/democratic-debate-andrew-yang-climate-change 

 

 

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