A Utah high schooler on climate change: Carbon tax, climate deal | Opinion

The Antelope Island marina is dried up as the Great Salt Lake experiences record low water levels on Friday, July 22, 2022. Climate change needs policy action from our leaders and representatives.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

On July 17, Salt Lake City met the record for the highest summer temperature in recorded history, and by the time you read this that record may very well be broken.

We’re heading into the depth of a scorching summer with a worrying lack of clarity: Today, 99% of Utah is under either extreme or severe drought levels, with eight of the last 10 years being classified as drought years. We’ve become so desensitized to statistics like these in Utah and the West that heat waves and droughts barely register as policy issues, slipping under the radar of a rapidly metastasizing climate disaster. Eastern Utah has reported a temperature change over the last century triple that of the global temperature increase.

As a high school student, my generation is facing a steep collapse in livability. 

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The uniquely gorgeous landscape that fosters our state’s draw, both economically and for new Utahns, is under sustained threat from the unmitigated onset of climate change. While most of our policymakers now thankfully believe that climate change is a legitimate threat and needs a solution, they have been largely unable to respond successfully, and changes in government can seem singularly hopeless. 

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And as hard as it is to stomach, individual action is not enough. While solar panels and electric cars are important in many ways,  the impact they have on global warming is minuscule. Climate scientist Michael Mann brings up the long history of industry-based deflection campaigns on carbon emissions, offloading the responsibility for action on the environment to voters instead of politicians.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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