A Bone to pick with the Environment

Jose Olvera, Staff Writer

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Issues such as terrorism and the economy are difficult obstacles that the United States faces on a daily basis.

They are talked about greatly and rightfully so, as these problems have factors that affect our livelihood and security. However, there is one problem that has not been fully addressed that continues to threaten the US: the environment.

During the last few years, the environment has become second priority. Some people think that we shouldn’t do anything at all, that specific problems such as global warming are a “Chinese hoax”. Others recognize the need for action but don’t do anything.

During this year’s presidential debates, the only time the environment was mentioned during the second debate was when undecided voter Kenneth Bone asked the candidates a question about their energy policy.

But why does it matter you may ask? To put it simply, if left unaddressed we will suffer not just environmental, but also social and economic consequences.

Agriculture is under constant threat by different environmental factors. For example, Erosion (the wearing away of fertile topsoil) is a natural process, but is also being accelerated to the point where nutrients cannot be restored. This is caused by human actions like overproduction and the use of pesticides.

Over time, this actually can end up converting once green pastures into literal deserts, a process called desertification. While you may be eating just fine now, that may not be possible later on. With so much waste occurring (40% of food in America doesn’t end up getting eaten) and rising population, there could very well be a shortage in the near future.

The good thing is that the US can change. However, the time when the US needs to become more efficient in terms of the environment is now in order to prevent any critical problems that will happen from our current course of action. However, this needs to be done gradually, as the US depends too greatly on fossil fuels and a drastic change would cause too much instability.

We need to push our government representatives to fight for the environment by implementing laws that will gradually move the US toward a greener state. The US will be environmentally friendly while also reaching our energy needs. And by doing so, the US will lead by example and promote other nations to follow similar actions.

The environment isn’t just a political issue that should be talked about between “hippies”, businessmen, Democrats and Republicans.

It is an issue that everyone must aim to correct because even if you don’t litter, everyone contributes to the condition of the environment. We can’t leave politicians to do all the work; we must also do our part by changing our habits. The US as a whole needs to do more about a problem that has been on our radar for decades but ultimately, is not being fully addressed by America and its citizens.