Why do we risk ruining what we have?

Growing up, I heard about global warming and the major cause was due to human beings and our industrious ways. I whole-heartedly believe that we have left a mark on our planet that cannot be extinguished.

As record level natural disasters linked with climate change have ravaged our cities and states, everything from hurricanes, tornadoes, to wildfires the likes of which we used to only see once a century are now seen every year.

There are people, however, who deny any of this is our fault, and that humans have had no adverse effect on the planet.

Even when we look at the millions of species of plants and animals that have gone extinct or are now endangered due to our deforesting, polluting of rivers, lakes and streams, they continue to deny it. There is no reason other than pure selfishness that we choose to ignore a problem to which we all contribute.

Some of the politicians and pundits keep saying the planet is just fine and we have done nothing to adversely shape the climate.

Despite all the evidence there are some who will ignore it as long as the right people pay them to, including the last two people placed in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and now ex-coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler. Both of the last two EPA administrators have denied humans caused climate change.

Wheeler has officially reversed many regulations on chemical dumping in rivers, on the safe disposal of nuclear waste and has backed certain members of this administration in saying power generating windmills cause cancer.

Here is my quandary, though. Even if you deny climate change, and believe that humans have had no effect on the planet, why would you want to risk the only planet we have?

Why pollute the air we breathe with carbon or the waters we drink with toxic waste? Why destroy the forests that provide our oxygen?

Why not try to change our ways?

The one answer to these questions, and the biggest one is, money … as long as money continues to pay those who deny climate change, we will continue on the path of leaving the planet worse off than we found it.

In the next couple decades here is what scientist say to expect around the globe: Hurricanes such as Katrina or Sandy once or twice a year, polar vortices like the one that covered the Midwest this last winter, and expect forest fires like the Camp Fire which decimated the city of Paradise, California, on a yearly to bi-yearly basis.

For the generations to come, if we don’t attempt to change course we will leave a future unfit for human survival, and it will be on the shoulders of the next generations to live with our mistake.