A Ticking Clock: Stop Ignoring the Climate Crisis


Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Protests across the world have been trying to bring awareness to the climate crisis. Yet, no good progress has been made by legislators.

In recent years, the climate crisis has progressed to an unprecedented level. Just recently, we’ve seen extreme flooding in coastal areas, freezes in Texas, and harsher warm seasons across America. This left multiple states and millions of citizens to deal with the repercussions, all while politicians deny the issue even occurring.

For the past three years, Texas has had a yearly freeze, prior to this state-wide weather conditions such as this were not nearly this frequent. Extreme winter weather is becoming more common in a state that is not equipped to handle the harshness of winter. Texas is not given the budget nor the resources to help its residents through these winters. However due to the recent ice storm that ravaged most of Texas, many finally believe that this is a change that needs to be made so that Texas is prepared for freezes in the future.

Following the 2021 winter storm Uri, Governor Greg Abbott approved 14 new laws in an effort to make Texas’s power grid able to adapt to the harshness of winter. Abbott has continued to urge Texans to be aware of the weather and to seek resources as needed.

“No one can guarantee that there won’t be a load shed event,” Abbott said at a press conference that was held once storm warnings were released for the majority of Texas, at the start of the 2022 freeze. “But what we will work and strive to achieve — and what we’re prepared to achieve — is that the power’s going to stay on across the entire state.”

Many other politicians criticize Abbott for not doing enough to help Texas, saying that what he’s doing isn’t preventing any disaster in Texas. They highlight this lack of progress by pointing out the continued shutdowns in response to more freezes that rocked Texas in the last two years.

“Abbott failed to prepare us for a completely preventable disaster, and then failed to make changes that would protect us from the next extreme weather event,” O’Rourke said. Beto O’Rourke is a former U.S. representative and political figure. O’Rourke also ran against Abbott in the 2022 midterm election and used Abbotts lack of change following the power grid shut down as part of his campaign against him.

It’s clear that climate change in America has become a political debate, focusing on what opposing political parties believe. Many are paying too much attention arguing about the reality we are facing rather than initiating change. These freezes don’t just start happening out of nowhere, they are the result of neglect and the blatant dismissal of the issue.The climate crisis can’t be ignored any longer, but governments aren’t adapting quickly enough to help their citizens. Still, they continue to belittle the idea of combating climate change.

The freeze in 2021 killed an estimated amount of 246-702 people. The power grid across Texas was being shut down, and over 347,000 people were without power. The freeze caused 195 billion dollars in damages. Pipes in homes across Texas were breaking and Texan’s water was being shut off. Millions were without heat. This energy crisis brought a lot of attention to how the Texas government is managing its energy grid, or in other words, isn’t handling the energy grid. Even though this event occurred and affected people across the state, after the initial scare, politicians moved away from the problem almost immediately, ignoring the problem and denying responsibility.

To no one’s surprise, another winter freeze hit Texas in early February. It left over 400,000 Texan’s without power, so much as 30% of Austin Energy users didn’t have power for multiple days. One would figure with the advances that Abbott promised to make on the powergrid, the number of people that experienced no power would go down. This wasn’t the case. Despite promises of change in 2021, we are still combating the same issues. This energy crisis is caused by a lack of management from Texas’s government, and a lack of action to combat these issues.

These arctic temperatures aren’t just hitting Texas this year, in December of 2022, an arctic blast was sent across most of the United States, ⅔ of the country were affected by this blast. This is something unseen, according to Bob Oravec, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.

“[The arctic blast was] a memorable, top-10 extreme cold event,” Oravec said. “[Shifted jet streams swept] the freeze across the country and making the storm conditions more intense.”

Areas such as Buffalo, New York, were covered in a thick blanket of snow while snow plows struggled to combat the storm. They have the proper winter precautions and equipment, but it still wasn’t enough. But it’s not just snow that’s hitting the United States.

Just in the past two months…

California has experienced severe flooding. The state had over 4 inches of rain pour down, with torrential winds that caused people to evacuate their homes, extreme damage to cars, homes, and around 20 deaths. These storms are only predicted to get worse, as sea levels rise and rainfall patterns shift, storms are more likely to create extreme damage to coastal cities. Organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, have voiced their concern over the effects of climate change on our environment.

“Coastal areas will see continued sea level rise throughout the 21st century,” the IPCC said. “[This contributes] to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century,”

People have had to evacuate their homes, live without power, and face extreme damage to their homes and belongings. Each time one of these events occurs a multitude of people die. The only way we can prevent damages from these storms is to start at the root of the issue. Protecting the public comes with protecting our planet, they go hand-in-hand, and we need to realize that we have to fund both of these issues. Prevention for the increasingly dangerous storms and climate, eventually will not be enough. It’s easy to go on and on with examples of climate change and the crisis that the world is facing right now but listening to the same regurgitated story gets tiring. We’re tired of hearing about climate change because there is almost nothing that is being done to prevent it.