The government continues to fail in Climate Change

Lillian Ardis

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) was passed into law last month. The Act is expected to reduce GHG (GreenHouse Gas) emissions to approximately 40%, compared to 2005-levels, by 2030. The White House claims that this law will improve public health, and reduce pollution. However, the bill is highly flawed and can dampen the response to climate change by doing the opposite of what it claims to do.

The White House claims that “The Inflation Reduction Act could curb climate damages by up to 1.9 trillion.” Yet this seems highly unlikely; for the Senate to pass the bill they had to gain the support of Joe Manchin. Due to negotiations with Manchin, the bill allows the government to still invest in fossil fuels. Allowing for the fossil fuel industry to continue for decades, especially Hydraulic Fracturing. 

These fossil fuel investments provide more harm than benefits for marginalized communities. Including low-income people, indigenous, and people of color. These communities are likely to live with pollution and currently have less access to clean energy.

The IRA is a product of drawn-out congress negotiations that finally led to the bill’s passage. Without compromise and these lengthy conditions, there would be no bill. Hydraulic Fracturing has the potential to increase across the gulf coast; consequently, public health would be put in danger. Air pollution already causes widespread health issues in the status quo; the bill would only increase this. 

The public can no longer depend on drawn-out congress negotiations to improve our communities. There are multiple ways students can begin to take action against the climate crisis. 

First, we should be educating ourselves on the issue. Knowing is half the battle, so truly knowing the effect of climate change can go a long way. It allows you to be more conscious about your actions, allowing you to make more informed decisions. 

You also should attempt to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s more simple than you would assume. Making sure the lights are off if you are the last to leave the classroom, taking shorter showers, and consuming less meat and dairy products are steps you can take to reduce your footprint. 

In reality, the government continues to fail at its poor attempts to alleviate the climate crisis. Though as students we can start to take steps against climate change to alleviate its impacts.