Climate change has been a very heated topic in the U.S. for several years now. At first hailed as a hoax by many conservative politicians, climate change is now widely viewed as a very real and proven threat caused by humans. However, several states that face some of the worst effects of global warming are still either rejecting climate change entirely or very grudgingly beginning to make minor changes to better prepare for these effects.
Two States in Denial
Both North Carolina and Florida, two states that border the ocean, one of which is entirely surrounded by water, are known for their controversial and outdated views on climate change. North Carolina and Florida stand to receive some of the worst effects of climate change, such as increasing sea levels that could force many residents to abandon their homes.
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that supports the climate change theory, these states’ governments have taken elaborate steps to quiet environmentalists and scientific reports, and condemn the climate change theory as false.
As recently as 2012, North Carolina effectively outlawed climate change.
After receiving a report that detailed how sea levels along the coast would rise as much as 39 inches over a span of 100 years, the General Assembly outlawed any communities from passing new laws based on the information provided in the report.
The popular Comedy Central TV show, The Colbert Report, made North Carolina’s ruling national news when it ridiculed the state government’s decision on air. Due to the backlash North Carolina’s government received from this, the state finally accepted a new report in 2015 that laws could be based on, reversing the decision to essentially outlaw climate change. However, the new report shows less dire sea level increases since it only looks ahead about 30 years. Hardly a victory for passionate environmental residents in North Carolina hoping to see real changes being made.
Florida, on the other hand, is still actively in denial on the issue of climate change. According to scientists, Florida is one of, if not the most susceptible state in the country to the effects of climate change.
The Florida government, however, does not seem concerned given the fact that officials throughout the state’s government and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were banned from even mentioning the phrases “climate change,” “global warming,” and “sustainability” by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011. This law still seems to be in effect today. How can any promising changes be made when officials aren’t even allowed to mention the issue by name?
What You Can Do
Residents of states like North Carolina and Florida are left to their own devices to figure out how they can actively become more environmentally conscious. All hope is not lost, though. There are a variety of steps you can take if you reside in one of these problem states, or anywhere in the U.S. Here’s a list of ideas to help you, your family, and your community lessen the effects of climate change:
- Recycle, recycle, recycle: recycling and reusing materials is more important than ever as waste pollution is having a more damaging effect on the planet every day.
- Support green businesses: Be selective where you take your business. Try to support local businesses that work to be as energy-efficient and green as possible, like Air Treatment Inc. This local North Carolina HVAC company does their best to debunk home maintenance myths and raise the energy efficiency of every home, reduce carbon emissions, and keep indoor air quality up.
- Drive less, walk more: If you can, try to use your car as little as possible and instead take public transportation, walk, or carpool with friends.
- Bring your own bags: Single-use plastic bags are now being banned by entire cities, and even one state so far, due to their destructive and wasteful impact. If your city is still using them, be sure to bring reusable bags with you to the store and pass on the plastic.
Climate change is a very real threat. Although your state government may ignore the scientific evidence, don’t stop fighting to make your community as environmentally conscious and eco-friendly as possible.