Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball can’t overcome No. 14 Minnesota in 69-51 loss -

November 24, 2017

UMass women’s basketball falls to North Dakota 82-52 -

November 22, 2017

Home-and-home with Quinnipiac up next for UMass hockey -

November 22, 2017

Carl Pierre’s breakout performance helps UMass men’s basketball over Western Carolina -

November 22, 2017

Pipkins’ double-double leads UMass men’s basketball over Western Carolina -

November 21, 2017

Luwane Pipkins leads the UMass men’s basketball shooting show in 101-76 win over Niagara -

November 19, 2017

UMass to face tough test with Niagara backcourt -

November 19, 2017

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

Climate change should usher in America’s finest hour

(Ian Dick/Flickr)

When was America at its best? It’s tough to say. However, many people probably agree that the answer is not the present day. Check out the news and you can see why: poverty, bigotry, subpar education, job loss. We can all think of problems that need solving. Considering the various issues people would like to see fixed, climate change is the one that arguably affects the most people. Climate change is a crisis facing not only the United States, but the entire planet. Try to think of someone who can avoid the effects of a changing ecosystem. Most people, and in fact most species, will be harmed by the ever-increasing global temperature. It’s easy to be discouraged, given how insurmountable the problem feels, but a strong fight against climate change can turn a grave threat into a catalyst for a better country.

Look no further than unemployment. Many Americans have seen their manufacturing jobs disappear. To put it simply, the United States doesn’t hire as many manufacturing workers as it used to. According to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of manufacturing jobs has decreased by about seven million since 1979, with the current number of employees standing at a little over 12 million jobs as of March 2017. If the United States continues to invest in manufacturing clean technology, such as solar panels, some of those manufacturing jobs could reappear.

Renewable energy is producing jobs 20 times quicker than the U.S. economy as a whole, according to the World Economic Forum. Jobs created from producing green technology could boost the economy, and while a movement away from energy production from fossil fuels would hurt those in the industry, the opportunity for modern, long-lasting energy solutions would outweigh short-term costs of changing our energy system. Resources like oil, coal and natural gas are run by companies that have every incentive to increase energy, yet the National Academies of Science estimates that we have at least 25 years of petroleum left based on our current use and supply in the United States. At some point, by intervention or necessity, we will have to fully explore the limits of alternative energy and make use of solar, wind, geothermal, and energy efficiency. The Great Lakes, for example, could provide up to 54 gigawatts of energy in wind power. Overall, national energy use could reduce by 20 percent by the year 2020 with comprehensive energy efficiency plans.

It’s a question of quality of life as well. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed an analogy for climate change by asking people to choose one of two rooms to stay in for an hour: one with a gasoline-fueled car running and one with an electric car. Regardless of one’s beliefs about climate change, Schwarzenegger predicts people would choose the latter door: “Door number one is a fatal choice. Who would ever want to breathe those fumes?”

Intense pollution, disregarding the discussion of climate as a whole, will have a dramatic impact on the health of our society and future generations. 30 years of research have displayed correlations between pollution and the rise of asthma and even cancer. This is exacerbated by observed seasonal changes which can intensify allergies and illness. Plus, do we really want to glamorize a future of hot, smoggy cities? To create a cleaner atmosphere, we should be encouraged by electric cars and other means of reducing emissions to make our cities more livable. Even the simple act of planting more trees can go a long way to suck up carbon emissions and keep our air clean.

Public health is inextricably linked with infrastructure development, too. With a green revolution, revamping and reconstructing our buildings to promote better ventilation and more natural sunlight in workplaces to replace artificial lighting has shown to reduce absenteeism and raise a “positive effect” on employee productivity according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information. Reducing automobile dependency (and thus energy consumption) by promoting mixed residential and commercial areas will provide small business growth opportunities and also make spaces more pedestrian-oriented and people more healthy.

America faces a situation that threatens the livelihoods of millions of people in this country, but also gives a great opportunity to build a country that treats its residents and its ecosystem well. There are advances to be made in public health, the economy, technology and energy use; we just need to pursue them. As a country, we can do better than we have been doing. Our finest hour will come when we not only tackle the issue of climate change headfirst, but also use that issue as a springboard to a healthier, more prosperous and more efficient future. The challenge, and the opportunity, is in front of us.

Joe Frank and James Mazarakis are Collegian columnists and can be reached at and

4 Responses to “Climate change should usher in America’s finest hour”
  1. David Hunt 1990 says:

    Climate change? What have you got against plants?

  2. David Hunt 1990 says:

    One other thing. Don’t conflate particulate contamination – which IS a problem – with CO2, which is plant food and – historically – has been far, far higher throughout earth’s history.

    Those open-minded people who are interested in learning more should read the following sites for a week – just to see what the “other side” is saying.


    CO2 is .004% of the atmosphere and 97% of it comes from natural sources, primarily oceans.
    Its effect on warming is logarithmic, with less and less added effect per quantum. Only shoulder
    radiation is left after 280 ppm (pre-Industrial Revolution). And finally, anyone who thinks they
    can predict what the climate will do is, to be charitable, unwise.


    Correction, I meant .04%, not .004% CO2 concentration in atmosphere, if it matters to anyone.

Leave A Comment