Should the U.S. declare a climate emergency? | The Tylt

Should the U.S. declare a climate emergency?

Young people went on a "climate strike" to protest the climate emergency and to call on policymakers to directly and immediately address climate change. New research shows more cities and land will be lost to rising oceans by 2050 than previously thought. Declaring an emergency would call attention and focus efforts to stop climate change. However, some experts caution that declaring an emergency is a poor communications strategy that could lead to inaction instead.

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Should the U.S. declare a climate emergency?
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Declaring a climate emergency would be the first step in taking the radical steps we collectively need to take to avert disaster. The massive wildfires and storms we've recently seen a taste of things to come. The response to these harbingers of climate change has been chilling — the San Francisco Bay Area has been hit by power shutoffs as infrastructure struggles to deal with the new reality. If one of the most prosperous places in the world is struggling, how else will the world fare? The climate emergency demands action. We can't keep on doing what we've been doing and expect things to turn out okay. 

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Jane Fonda explains why she's leading protests to urge action on climate change.

We must all face the harsh reality that our planet is rapidly approaching an irreversible tipping point, beyond which the unraveling of our ecosystems will be beyond our control. Scientists have made clear that we now have less than 11 years to reduce fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions roughly by half, and 20 years after that to cut them to net zero, to stabilize the rise in temperatures by the end of the century and meet the goal of the Paris agreement on climate change.
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Some caution against declaring a climate emergency because it's purely a symbolic action that could provide cover for political inaction and, at worst, make climate change an even more partisan issue. Instead of fighting for a climate emergency, that effort would be better spent fighting for specific policies we can take right now, and finding bipartisan support for it. Making climate change into even more a political issue would make things worse.

It's not about climate change denialism—there absolutely is a climate emergency. Instead, it's about the most effective strategy to stop climate change and how you communicate that to the public.

Here's how Climate Change Communication Research Hub Director David Holmes made the argument against declaring a climate emergency:

1) Without bipartisan support, which is likely to be the case, it will further entrench the politicisation of climate change in Australia. Australians are already divided on anthropogenic climate change, and are increasingly afflicted by issue fatigue. This is precisely because climate change is thrashed about as a political issue (which turns on opinion) rather than a matter of physics (which turns on facts).
2) If such a conscience vote fails in parliament, it will marginalise any well-intentioned instigators as a partisan minority.
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6) By far the most overwhelming problem with such a declaration is that politicians are the least trusted sources of information on climate change.
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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the U.S. declare a climate emergency?
A festive crown for the winner
#DeclareAClimateEmergency
#ActionOverStatements