The federal government needs to provide a package for stronger climate change infrastructure

Advait Nair, Contributing Writer

Since the late 19th century, increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has sparked a rapid increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature, part of the phenomena of global warming.  In fact, in the last century, the earth’s average surface temperature has risen by about 1° F.  Despite this, the government has failed to supply enough money to strengthen the climate change-prevention infrastructure in many states, especially Texas and California.  

The Trump administration did little to express the threat that climate change poses, and only 60% of Americans view global warming as a significant.  However, this is destined to change, as 2020 and 2021 have brought clear warning signals as to what is to come, including wildfires that have swept through California and snowstorms that have buried Texas.  Time and time again, it is clear that the US government is deeply unprepared for this ongoing and rapidly worsening climate crisis.

“I believe that it is extremely important that people be aware of the effects of climate change and the impact it will have on our future.  I believe that the government needs to create policies and supply funding, showing that they are willing to take a step towards change in order to let everyone know how real climate change is,” said freshman Ezra Loewy.

Generally, most Americans think of Texas as a state of warm weather and barbecues.  However, this has not been the case in 2021, as every single county in Texas is under a state of emergency due to a deep freeze and snowstorms.

“Every part of the state will face freezing conditions over the coming days, and I urge all Texans to remain vigilant against the extremely harsh weather that is coming,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference.

Although the bulk of the cold weather has passed, Texas is still feeling the effects, as there have been continued water and electricity failures.

The amount of snow that piled up in Texas was completely unprecedented, reaching 10 to 20  inches in some areas.  To make matters worse,, Texas Senator Ted Cruz decided to take a family vacation to Mexico when the people in the state needed him the most. 

Despite the snow being the worst Texas has ever seen, researchers worry that snow is soon to become the new normal for Texas winters.  This extremely visible effect of climate change should force America to unite over this issue.  Furthermore, Texas’s infrastructure is vastly unprepared to handle ten or more inches of snow, since it is something that the state has rarely needed to worry about.  

There is no better time for both the state and federal governments to allot funding for climate change in areas that are not prepared for it.  These snowstorms should no longer be seen as a one in a million occurrence, but rather as an indicator for what is to come if nothing is done to reverse greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Texas is known for being one of the hottest states in America, and these massive snow storms show that climate change is extremely impactful,” said freshman Jai Dhillon.

California showed another aspect of climate change in 2020 when wildfires spread throughout the state.  Climate change exacerbates the chances of wildfires astronomically, as droughts dry out vegetation, which fuels the fires even more.  The wildfires illustrated that California is not adequately prepared for climate change, as thousands of people were left with blackouts for days or even weeks.

“Thousands of people are losing electricity, and it is likely that kids are going to be impacted by that.  They won’t be able to receive online education.  It also creates problems for people working, so proper infrastructure needs to be built,” said freshman Zayd Pattie.

The events in Texas and California have left families in shambles and without proper relief.  The government needs to step up now before more devastating events occur.  The electricity and water problems clearly show the lackluster performance of the government and how bipartisan action is absolutely crucial to fight global warming.  Legislation or a federal funding , for upgrades to power grids, is necessary to do this.  

Renewable energy is also a field that could help tackle climate change, as it would not only reduce emissions, but also would provide the country with a second option when dealing with blackouts caused by wildfires, snowstorms, and potentially hurricanes.  However, it all starts with accepting that climate change is real and working to improve infrastructure.