Oil Spill on the House Floor: By Peter Baghdadlian

Climate change has been a gripping and critical issue that many countries have attempted to address and resolve the matter for years now. The truth is, the United States has been conscious of the ongoing and ever growing issue of climate change for almost a century now. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the Bell Labs had conducted several experiments and collected data that assured that not only is the global climate changing, but also human actions may have a strong influence on the continuous climate change. The Bell Labs have concluded in their reports and science series that car emissions and factory pollutions have been the biggest contributors to the temperature change within the Earths atmosphere. The Bell Labs have constantly been providing the public with this information and data, hoping that it will spur change in people’s perspective on how we treat the environment. However, for decades and decades, the American government has failed to acknowledge that climate change is a commonly shared issue that has demanded our best efforts to resolve the issue of climate change. Why in such a developed country, that values education, knowledge, and change continuously and deliberately refuses to recognize climate change? Is it because of politicians conflicting issues? Is it perhaps influential companies and individuals that taint politician’s perspectives? Or is it because conflicting information provided by other research companies? The truth is more shocking than these reasons, because the truth to why the American government has failed to recognize climate change is a combination of all these reasons. One of the most powerful, both financially and socially influential, companies in the United States is the Koch Industries. This conglomerate has reached their arms in all different types of companies; ranging from fossil fuel companies to political think-tanks. Koch Industries directly finances Exon Mobile, Shell, Cato Institute, and the Heartland Institute along with many other Political Action Committees (PAC’s) (Before the Flood, Stevens). By owning one of the largest fossil fuel companies, as well as financing other fossil fuel companies, the Koch Industries has acquired the fiscal capabilities to lobby against fossil fuel reformation. In addition, the Koch Institutes has been able to infect political think-tanks that supply both the public and politicians with altered data (Before the Flood, Stevens). To completely ensure that the American government continue to fondly look upon fossil fuel companies, fossil fuel companies, especially the Koch brothers, have made campaign donations to various politicians. Many of the well-known politicians, who year after year receive donations for their campaigns, are like James Inhofe, the chair of the Senate, Paul Ryan the speaker of the House, and many other Senators and Congressmen who have received donations and continue to deny climate change (Personal Finances, oursecrets.org). Currently there are one hundred and thirty one congressmen and congresswomen who receive and accept donations from major fossil fuel companies and are conveniently climate change deniers. And in the Senate, thirty-eight members are climate change deniers and continue to receive financial support from these companies (Before the Flood, Stevens). As it is well known, for a bill on any topic to be passed in the House of Representatives and as well as the Senate it must be voted on and approved by at least the two thirds of the committee. So if we examine the number of Congressmen and Congresswomen and as well senators who receive annual donations have “Stonewalled” the development of environmental protection and preservation. Unfortunately this is how the American government operates; however this is not the end for environmental protection. To succeed as a country to address the issue of climate change, we must play “their game” with “their rules”. So the solution is very simple. We must firs educate our youth and students the dire situation of our current ecosystem. With the proper and uninfected information that we entrust our youth with, they will with out a doubt travel the righteous road to make serious changes in the way we treat our ecosystems. When people are equipped with the truth and adequate amount of information, they will value the improvements and changes they will make rather than the pieces of paper the year after loses value. For centuries our ecosystem has been stable and safe. But after the recent changes and innovations in machinery and fuel consumption, conglomerates like Koch Institutes and British Petroleum have turned their back on society, corrupted our political system and plunged the world into and environmental crisis. We might have avoided complete catastrophic disaster, but it has come at a great cost. But the people and institutions that continue to incentivize fossil fuel use are still in power and that needs to change. They will tell us that we need them to continue experiencing our current life style. They will spend billions of dollars to fight reforms and lobby against bills. The fight to change all of this will not be easy. But something’s are worth persevering for.

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