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The Politics of Climate Change in NYC by City Tech Blogger Sidney Montoya

The realities of climate change have been scarcely felt in New York City. As of yet, the only large climate-based weather system in recent memory was Superstorm Sandy in 2012. But, as climate change continues to affect the weather patterns of the continental United States, politicians’ denials grow harder to stomach. Every day ignorance trumps scientific expertise and the need for younger, more politically-active, and special interest-free leaders grows.

Although the idea of socialist democrats is reflexively abhorrent to many Americans, the ideas proposed by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are certainly more in tune with the evolving concerns of our present day than most Republicans would ever dare to consider. The nature of American politics has abandoned rational and reasoned debate amongst politicians and leaders. Not too long ago, scientific facts were held as truth and special interests, now, while they are still present, they are not as clear in our day-to-day. In fact, self-preservation of the centralized wealthy class has led to many norms which were integral to our American lifestyle to slowly erode.

In the interest of a better response to anthropogenic climate change not only do politicians need to change but also need to legitimize “both sides,” and simply work with the facts available to us. The global community cannot afford to ignore climate change, as can be seen from the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Carolinas during the 2018 hurricane season. As well as the wildfires of California and the droughts seen in the west coast long before that. Although we cannot blame anthropogenic climate change for these natural disasters occurring, the extremes with which their devastation was felt and their prolonged duration can be seen as a result of political dereliction of duty.

Through advancements in the monitoring of pollutants and contaminants being released by industries, I hope we may allow for watchdogs to hold irresponsible corporations accountable. If we could somehow shake the regular political sell-out and allow for public advocates to start up industries of a new kind, perhaps America can once again flourish.

In fact, our infrastructure is in desperate need of a considerable overhaul. Were we allowed to flourish and modernize with technological advances that are just as inherent in so many countries across the world then we could again be a leader and climate change can be mitigated. Perhaps we can foster awareness in our future leaders in the hopes that the darkness in America can be lifted.

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