I have always believed that anybody can achieve the American dream of success and ultimately happiness, as long as they work hard and take advantage of every opportunity to further themselves. That is why many people go to college or technical schools after all. However, the American dream is truly only possible when the government continues to protect everyone's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If those rights were being thoroughly protected, the government wouldn't make the news as much as it does. In particular, the American government has frequently been in the news due to its stance on climate change and what that implies for the future of our country as well as the world.

Climate change is truly one of the most important topics of the present day. NASA has reported that roughly 97% of all currently active climate scientists agree that climate change is real, global temperatures are increasing, and that it is extremely likely due to human activities. Due to the way the scientific method is conducted and the amount of effort it takes to be published, this is an overwhelming consensus. We can already see its effects today the polar ice caps continue to melt and droughts have become more intense. These issues have been linked to human activities like operating coal-fired power plants because they produce greenhouse gases, which trap the heat of the sun.

This is such a big deal because our actions now will determine how severe the impacts of climate change will get and by how many degrees the global average temperature will change. The EPA projects that by 2100, the global average temperature could rise between 3 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit. For reference, this is nerve-wracking because a 10-degree change that occurred 250 million years ago, is thought to be the cause of an extinction that wiped out 90% of life on the planet.

That said, the actions of the United States have not reflected the urgency of the situation and have in fact demonstrated other values. The United States takes lots of pride in being the land of opportunity and values being the best in as many things possible. We keep pushing for growth, trying to bring jobs back to the United States and are promoting industries that boomed in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of these industries are the culprits to climate change. In order for the United States to do its part in protecting the planet, the government needs to be willing to pull back and reform its energy infrastructure, among many other things.

Future generations of Americans have just as much right to life and happiness as we do now. We need to do our part to try to ensure that they can fulfill the American dream. If many people are struggling to produce food, protect their homes against the weather as well as the rising sea level, how can they easily achieve the American dream? If we have the capability to express our desires to protect our future and explain why actions need to be taken to policymakers, we need to act upon this. Otherwise, the government will remain unwilling to act, threatening Americans and people across the world as global efforts are the only way to truly help this planet.