Debate Topic! Global Warming and the Environment

By: Nicholas Guinn and Emily Sparks

October 11, 2016; 10:54 am

With all that is going on in the world, we often forget about the environment. Clean air, clean water, and having a prosperous environment are much more important than we make them out to be. With the presidential election coming sooner than later, the environment is one topic that is being talked about by the two most popular candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In this article, we will be talking about what the candidates think, and why we should be talking about it.

The history of environmentalism is an important topic, by understanding the history of the movement, we can understand how the candidates’ views compare. Dating back to the 1950s, the environment was not an important political issue. However, pesticides, a substance used to kill insects and other organisms, were invented at this time. DDT was very popular, as they would use it to kill off big numbers of insects. Instead, it killed much more than they thought and it threatened water pollution as well as other animals, despite the intended use of killing insects.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published a book, Silent Springs, that talked about the effects of DDT and how it was destroying the environment. Although it was very controversial, it was a very popular book and it ended up being the leading factor to banning some pesticides in the United States.

This book was very important to environmentalism because it was the first time that it became a political topic in the US. Also, it was the first time that someone showed that we had to protect our environment. While in an interview that would be shown in a CBS documentary, Carson gave a great quote, stating “Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature. But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself?”.

Fast forward to the 2016 election, where the two top candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, explain what is going on around the nation and what they are going to do about it. Donald Trump has a very strong opinion  on the subject. He does not believe in climate change, and he claims that global warming is a myth. Clinton, on the other hand, believes we need to take action against global warming and find alternate energy to save our environment, like using wind and solar power to subsidize. Trump goes as far to say that the environment itself is a hoax. In a tweet, he stated, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” As Hillary Clinton focuses on protecting the environment and change what we are doing to save it, Trump thinks that we should keep things how they are now.  Clinton wants change, Trump wants to protect business.

Overall, Donald Trump believes giving up a little bit of environment is okay, as long as it does not hurt business. When asked what he thinks of offshore drilling and keeping coal as an energy source, Donald Trump says that keeping these things will keep jobs. Finding new sources would take away jobs, and he believes that would be disastrous.

When he was also questioned about who will protect the environment once he cuts the Environmental Protection Agency, he states “We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy business”.

Hillary Clinton wants change in the environment. She wants to find alternative energy sources, stop offshore drilling, and begin the fight against climate change. It would cost a lot of money, but she believes it will be worth it in the long run. “The stakes for our children’s health and the future of our planet have never been higher.” Clinton said in an interview.

In order to see what others think, we asked a few teachers about their thoughts on these issues. When asked about global warming, Mr. Adam Lyons, a teacher and coach at North, stated, “Global warming is affecting our lives immensely.” He continued to say, “finding a new way to get energy would be great. To get the focus away from fossil fuels”. When asked about Trump’s idea of “no environment”, Lyons said “Trump is a republican. Republicans would rather focus on keeping drilling, so they say whatever they can to make it sound good”. We also asked Ronald Wilmont, an environmental science student, does not like the ideas of Trump. “Donald’s statement is just ridiculous, what does it mean that there is no environment? That makes no sense”. The public mostly does not agree with Trump, they mostly want change.

The way that our lives are set up today do not revolve around the environment as much as they used to. However, it is still important. The way the future president thinks about our environment is very relevant to our lives. As voting is coming to the states soon, this topic will be one of the ones that shapes the results.


For further reading on these topics:

Fact: Trump Claimed Climate Change Is a Hoax Created by China.POLITICO. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

@nrdc. “The Story of Silent Spring.” NRDC. N.p., 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 05 Oct. 2016.



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