What Happens When Science is Censored

News censorship under Donald Trump would prevent Americans from learning about many of the negative impacts of human activity on the environment. Trump administration rhetoric has reinforced concerns that Trump, a climate change skeptic, may seek to sideline scientific research showing that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, as well as the career staffers at the agencies that conduct much of this research. Recently, President Trump’s administration removed the climate page from the White House website. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a U.S. “federal government agency which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.” Without updates from a government site on climate change, Americans have no official record to understand how they are changing the world, assuming that information posted on government websites is factual and accurate.

Did you know humans are responsible for almost all of the increase in the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past 150 years? Furthermore, Americans comprise 5% of the world’s population, yet we generate 30% of the world’s pollution. Carbon dioxide emission has risen to 2.4 billion pounds per second, and some of this pollution is evident in smog found in populated cities, such as New York.

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas that is warming the Earth. The extra carbon dioxide increases the greenhouse effect; when more heat is trapped by the atmosphere,the planet becomes warmer than it would naturally be. When the ice caps, made of fresh water, melt, it changes the salinity of the ocean, the currents, and the conditions for survival for myriad species. These gases trapped in our environment not only suffocate human beings, but also destroy the homes of animals such as polar bears. Animals such as the polar bear lack shelter on ice, and they will also be unable to use the ice to catch food, making them more vulnerable to the harsh winter weather. Animals living on ice are endangered because of the rise in temperature caused by carbon dioxide. People say they care about unsheltered animals, yet most do not realize the consequences of their carbon contribution they are making everyday by polluting the air when starting their engines.

The average car emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon. The average car emits 6 tons of carbon per year. People do not realize how much gas they emit because it is not visible. In high traffic, cars are usually at a standstill but that doesn’t mean they’re not using gas. Research shows that cars use 0.8 gallons of gas while idling for an hour. That means they’re still emitting 16 pounds of carbon dioxide while idling. That’s 34 Big Macs!

The other main source of carbon emission are factories. They burn tons of coal, spewing thousands of liters of poisonous fumes into our blue skies. Last year, the world’s nations produced 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air by burning fossil fuels. Factories burn 71% of the total carbon dioxide. The trapped gases suffocate the poor creatures who live below. Not only is it bad for the environment, it is detrimental to one’s health. The air contains 0.04% of carbon dioxide, which may seem insignificant, but that amount can permanently damage respiratory functions. As an example, in New York, countless buildings pump dirty clouds of gas into the air but few people reflect and act to save the environment.

How would hiding valuable information help the environment?

Not only does applying a censorship on news impact the environment, it impacts the people such as environmental activist who want to help, yet lack the resources and information needed. One may argue that this event is occurring because Donald Trump, a former business man, views his job with more of an economic perspective. In many of his speeches, he focuses mainly on his ability to gain wealth for America, to make America “great again”. In his inauguration speech, it was noted that he did not speak of climate change at all, yet exclaimed his capabilities of making America “rich again”, is it possible that our president will sacrifice climate change prevention for the wealth of our nation?

Daniel Son
staff writer

The Ridgewood High Times is the high school newspaper for Ridgewood High School, NJ. It is a publication dedicated to excellence in journalism and students writing. Above all the High Times is a forum for student work, opinion, and press that proudly serves the RHS community and student body.
Website: www.rhshightimes.com

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