Action on the Federal Level: When is the Climate Crisis going to be Taken Seriously?

by Faith Bugenhagen
December 30th, 2021

The month of December is usually marked with festivities as individuals gear up for the holiday season, however the beginning of this December saw tragedy.

Through Dec. 7-11 the United States bore witness to devastating natural disasters that hit the Pacific Northwest region and the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

A cluster of earthquakes that were off the coast of Oregon hit in the early morning hours on Dec. 8, their aftershocks still felt the following day on Dec. 9. These clusters, although offshore and not serving an immediate threat to those who live in Oregon, occurred on a fault line known as the Blanco Fracture Zone.

This fault is referred to as a ‘transform fault,’ and falls under the same category as the infamous San Andreas Fault, thought to be the one that will cause the “Big One,” or the catastrophic earthquake that scientists have been studying for years.

These earthquakes, like mentioned above, were happening 250 miles offshore, meaning that they didn’t cause any imminent damage to those located nearby. Although scientists ruled out that they could even serve as precursors to the big one, they did note the irregularity in strength and in the number of the quakes that came into the coastal region that morning.

The two biggest earthquakes from the cluster were registered at magnitudes of 5.8 and 5.5 on the Richter scale.

Different from the earthquakes in Oregon, the tornadoes that struck Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, resulted in disastrous, deadly conditions for those who live in those respective states.

In Kentucky the death toll is still counting, as it is reported that there have been around 70 deaths from the twisters. In Tennessee, at least four people were killed from the strip of storms that struck. The state of Illinois gained national attention after six people were killed in an Amazon workhouse amidst the storms.

The death from this stormforce only continues to grow as resources of government agencies file into the affected areas to keep searching through rubble and provide aid to those impacted.

President Biden has called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist those impacted and has started a relief fund that will help with fiscal support.

But, at the Federal level is assistance towards similar natural disasters really being taken seriously?

In Nov. 2021 President Biden stated that the U.S. was committed to cut emissions that would cause short-term temperature warming and end international financing of fossil fuel energy.

Despite this commitment to such small action, little action has not been taken. Federal legislation is often all talk when it comes to the consideration of the human condition and its impact on the crisis we are all living amongst.

If real action was taken on a federal level, tragedy could be resolved, or at least softened when it struck. People wouldn’t have to be scared of what is to come, they could be prepared.