US CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY: NOT JUST A LIBERAL ISSUE
In the Trump era, climate change policy is happening at the state level. Liberal-leaning states such as California and New York are looking to implement stronger laws that create a top down push for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Conservative and Republican-leaning states have been averse to these aggressive policies, but Alaska might change that. Permafrost and protective ice have historically shielded Alaska's coastal towns from harsh waves. They are now threatened with rising temperatures, and at least 31 towns face displacement.
Alaska will have to navigate a huge paradox: 85% of of its revenue comes from oil, while oil production and the associated land use effects are some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. They submitted a proposal for 50% renewable energy by 2025, but still must grapple with the fact that the investment for clean energy will come from oil profit.
In addition to shores melting, fish production will also be affected by rising temperatures. This will affect the livelihoods of thousands of citizens who depend on fisheries to survive. Alaska, despite its reliance on the fossil fuel industry, needs to take steps towards a sustainable future. If not for the climate, for the people of Alaska.