Proposed Cuts Jeopardize Fight to End Climate Change

Iain Milnes, founder and president of Power Knot, discusses the consequences of cutting budgets for climate change research.

We need to continue to research climate change and invest in ways to combat it so that we reduce the conditions that are already changing rapidly.

The Trump administration recently announced the proposal of significant cuts to funding earmarked for the environment, including the budgets for climate change, pollution clean-ups, and energy efficiency programs.1 Current plans would dismantle former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning power plants, along with defunding climate research and partnerships.1,2,3 Proposed budget reductions include a $2.6 billion cut for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2018, as well as a loss of $330 million in hazardous waste clean-up initiatives.1 Iain Milnes of Power Knot, along with other scientists, environmental advocates, and green entrepreneurs, is concerned that the proposed cuts would derail the United States’ role in addressing climate change.

Critics of the proposed budget cuts emphasize the impact climate change may have on people’s health and wellbeing.1,3 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause an estimated 250,000 deaths per year from malnutrition, infectious disease, and heat stress.4 Deadly heat waves, changes in precipitation, and natural disasters resulting from global warming will affect access to clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food, and safety and security.5 Because outcomes may be dire, the U.S. Department of Defense has identified climate change as a potentially destabilizing force.3

“We need to continue to research climate change and invest in ways to combat it so that we reduce the conditions that are already changing rapidly,” Milnes said. “Unfortunately, the already meager investment in climate research and observation is being threatened by the current administration. If the U.S. doesn’t lead, the global effort to reduce human impact on the environment may not succeed.”

With 2016 being the hottest year on record and extreme weather patterns becoming more and more prevalent, evidence is mounting that climate change is already a major problem on a global scale.6 In the United States, half of the population now identifies as “concerned believers”—people who accept climate science and are concerned about addressing it.2

Consensus within the scientific community overwhelmingly points to human activity as the cause of climate change: 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that human production of greenhouse gases is the main driver behind global…

Read the full article at the Original Source..

Back to Top