Environmental ScaresJordan Mabe | February 25, 2019
With all the environmental scares that have gone on recently, you would think we would eventually slow down and come to a solution about all the pollution we’re pouring into the atmosphere. Concern about the environment is good. In fact, as a Christian who is called to be a good steward of the earth, I am 100 percent behind finding good, renewable energy and cleaning our oceans.
But I am against environmental panic.
California’s now-infamous plastic straw restriction has gone into effect in 2019. I have written before about how ridiculous and misguided this legislation is, which I still stand by. But it points to a bigger issue that seems to have taken over America. We now have a mentality that we are the ones killing the planet. We are quickly adopting solar energy and cutting back on the plastic we use. The number of Americans who are concerned over climate change outnumber those who aren’t five to one.
The only problem is that America is not the problem.
It is true that America only comes second to China in the amount of carbon pollution we produce. America is quite a large, industrial country. It should come as no surprise that we cause quite a bit of the carbon pollution. A CBS article with the title “U.S. Polluting Ocean with Trash at Alarming Rate” correctly states that we dump 750,000 pounds of trash in the ocean annually. 750,000 pounds sounds like quite a lot, and it is. But the article itself plays with emotion to skewer facts.
The misleading part is that everyone thinks we’re doing nothing about it.
The Paris climate agreement has done absolutely nothing to help the environment. India promised to increase their pollution, not reduce it. The U.S. has reduced its carbon footprint more than any other country. Since 2005, we’ve reduced carbon emissions by 758 million metric tons. Ten rivers account for 93 percent of the ocean pollution in the world, and none of those rivers are in America.
And despite all this, some people are concerned from the pollution that comes from listening to music. Not from plastic, physical copies. But concern over the amount of electricity we use to stream music. Does this seem coherent to you? Because it seems asinine to me. As Americans when it comes to pollution, we tend to miss the forest for the trees.
I am not saying we should not care about the environment, it just might be better to get our facts straight.