Injustice in the Ozone by N.K.

The recent presidential debates have touched on the issue of climate change quite a few times. I think there is a lot of social injustice involved in the impending ramifications of how we as a people have treated the earth.

Most of the world is not yet feeling big social consequences of climate change. Very small islands in the South Pacific are starting to disappear but for most of the world, the current effects of climate change are more inconvenient than tragic. Americans were affected by record snow in New England last year, are currently being affected by an ongoing severe drought in California, and something close to home, the state of Colorado was affected by the 2013 “500 year” flood. To the average person, these extreme circumstances seem like the effects of climate change. However, these conditions are minor compared to some scenarios that are predicted. One predicted catastrophe is a massive rise in sea levels. Some scientists theorize a worst-case scenario of a 200 foot rise in sea levels; this could threaten many coastal cities around the world, including New York and Tokyo.

Once these bigger environmental events start to occur, the rich countries will have many more options than the poor countries. Not everyone will be able to deal with the repercussions caused by the world as a whole neglecting the environment. If the coasts were to flood rich countries could react. People could be relocated, dams could be built, new housing could be developed; there would be ways to continue living. If fresh water ran low on a global scale, rich countries would be able to purchase water, or invest in new technologies for water purification; they would be able to afford alternatives. If the there was a shortage of oil, rich countries would create green alternatives like wind and solar energy; there would be other ways to create power. For poor countries, none of these solutions would be available, they would just have to live with the mess created.

This discrepancy is particularly unfair because it is the rich countries that are causing the change in the first place. Factories and drilling and other elements of industry contribute greatly to climate change, and the vast majority of pollution comes from wealthy countries. Poorer countries in the world will have to pay the cost for this when they are unable to cope with all the environmental changes. I see this as a social problem because it ultimately affects people’s basic human rights, like food and shelter. This is deplorable because the rich countries cause the problem and don’t suffer the consequences as deeply, but poor countries are less to blame and are put in grave circumstances.

This is truly unjust because it’s the rich countries are the ones causing a lot of the pollution in the first place. It is unfair that the people who caused the problem will be able to deal with it and the the people who might not even know it’s happening will be affected the most. Because the environmental consequences can be so dire, the externalities are not just economic, but are social too.

End The Cycle Through School by K.O.

These days college in America is outrageously  expensive. The people who end up going to college are the ones whose parents can afford to send them. It seems that the only people who can get into the good colleges have the money to spend to get there paying for classes such as ACT and SAT. America needs to change the cost of college and make it affordable for all. Doing this would increase the amount of students who would graduate high school and attend college. “There are lots of people out there with the desire to go to college…(saying it is too expensive)” says Jarratt Miller a college dropout.

A free college education would motivate more kids to graduate high school keeping them on a good path to success. In 2005, the Kalamazoo public schools in Kalamazoo, Michigan said that any student who had attended their schools since 9th grade could get a free or near free education to any of the public college in Michigan. The results from this showed that the average GPA increased .71 points and the days in detention and suspended dropped significantly. This showed that the student was much more motivated to graduate and get good grades if they knew that they would be able to go to college and get a further education.

There would also be a positive impact of the United States economy if America made college cheaper.  The US could save about  18.5 billion dollars in annual crime costs if  high school  graduation rate increased by only 5 percent (Moretti 27).  On average the murder and assault rate reduces by 30 percent for every year the person goes to school. So the crime rate would also be reduced meaning less would be in prison. It is also cheaper to send people to school than to prison. The United States spends around 12,643 dollars to educate one student for one year versus the annual cost of 28,323 dollars to house one inmate. Another thing is nearly 80 percent of inmates do not have a high school diplomas; if they had gotten them they would be much more likely to have a better life and not in prison.

Society would also have a great impact if college were cheaper. “The more people who go to college the less people are in poverty,” Maddison Mccambridge.   Society could save $209,000 in prison and other costs for every potential dropout who could be helped to complete high school. Also people without a high school diploma on average make 400,ooo dollars less in a lifetime than those who do graduate. The less people make the more people that need financial support. If there were less dropouts there would be more people who could get better jobs to support themselves. Also each class of high school dropouts costs the U.S. more than $200 billion in lost wages and tax revenues. This means that more people would need help with social support and money for food stamps. Society would have a greater impact and less poverty if more people could afford to go to college.

America should make college free to help the society, economy, and to motivate kids to graduate high school keeping them out of trouble. America would be a greater country with less people in poverty if this would happen. The economy would also rise and we would have to pay less for prison because, there would be less people in there. Overall, America would have more educated people and a better running country if we would just make college affordable for all.

 

Works Cited

Caplan-Bricker, Nora. “Some Cities Are Promising Free College to High School

Students. Does It Work?” New Republic. N.p., 21 Feb. 14. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

“Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment, New Alliance Report Finds.” Alliance

For Excellent Education Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment New

Alliance Report Finds Comments. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

“Dropping Out, Again: Why So Many College Students Never Graduate.” Interview by

Michael Rubenstein. NBC News. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 18 Nov. 2014.

Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Mccambridge, Madison. “College Costs.” Personal interview. 20 Apr. 2016.

Moretti, Enrico. “The Campaign for Educational Equity OLD » Teachers College.” The

Campaign for Educational Equity OLD » Teachers College. Columbia University, n.d. Print. 11 Mar. 2016.