UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 21, 2024

Trump threat to Utah, U.S. environment

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   The well-being of our planet now hangs in the balance with President-elect Donald Trump, who will take office in January.
   We can’t exactly say what Trump is going to do about climate change since he has yet to take office. But we are dealing with a man who has continually called climate change a “hoax” and has vowed to dismantle the Paris Climate Agreement, where 197 countries made a pact to take measures to cut down carbon emissions.
   According to an article in The New York Times titled “Donald Trump could put climate change on course for ‘danger zone,'” Trump can’t legally block other countries from performing their duties from the Paris agreement, and he can’t completely erase Obama’s climate action plan, but he can weaken the enforcements to which this plan is followed. Some parts of Obama’s plan include cutting carbon pollution from power plants, promoting American leadership in renewable energy, and increasing fuel economy standards. But once Trump becomes President, he can choose not to follow the Paris agreement for the U.S.
   I don’t want to think about the reality our generation or the generation after us will face if this agreement is not followed in the U.S., but there is hope.
   I just want to say “thank you” to a president who has continually fought for climate change while in office. But, sadly, President Barack Obama is leaving office, and the U.S. is going to have to deal with what Trump decides to do with the effects of climate change.
   It’s sad to say, once Obama leaves office, that I’ll be more impressed with what famous people like Ian Somerhalder or Leonardo DiCaprio do for climate change than our own President will do. We will need people like them and ourselves to continue fighting climate change, instead of just relying on the government.
   When it comes to Utah, the ownership of public land has been a long, debating battle. According to an article published in the Spectrum titled “Trump win raises hope, worries about Utah’s public land,” many environmentalists fear what it would mean for Utah’s land if it’s no longer owned by the federal government, and two-thirds of Utah land is owned by the federal government. It’s possible that if the state owned more land, more commercial land could be built on land that is protected.
   Trump has also spoken in favor of having former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on his Cabinet. Palin is known to approve the use of fracking and offshore oil drilling. Having her on Trump’s Cabinet would also mean trouble for the environment. 
   Besides fighting the government for reforms on protecting the environment, there are practices you could be doing locally like recycling, volunteering for highway cleanups, buying products that don’t have as many harsh chemicals in them, and walking or biking shorter distances than driving. 
   For example, at Dixie State University, the Sustainability Club is doing a competition for the month of November to see which housing complex can reduce their water usage.
   This may seem like such a small thing to do for your environment, but if communities and universities did things like this across the nation, it can make a difference overall.
   Please don’t take defeat or stop fighting when it comes to climate change just because of who is going to be taking over as President of the U.S. We can still make a difference.