Politics are scary. A few weeks ago I was having dinner with friends, and one of them said “In polite conversation, there are three topics you need to steer clear of: sex, religion, and politics.” Good advice. However, with the upcoming national conventions this summer, and the election in November, it is becoming difficult to leave their names out of any conversation.

One topic of discussion is how each nominee will react to climate change. Recent global events, including the Paris Climate Talks and the release of UNICEF’s report on the effects of climate change on children, have brought to light the undeniable implications of climate change on the future of our planet.

Our potential nominees for President: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have differing views on climate change, as well as the actions that are necessary in order to protect our planet and its inhabitants.

Below is an abridged version of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s platforms in regard to climate change.

Does Climate Change Exist?

Donald Trump:

Donald Trump acknowledges “changing weather.” He does not, however, believe that climate change is caused by man, and has stated in an interview with the Washington Post that he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change” in March of 2016.

(Although in May 2016, he has been said to have acknowledged the existence of climate change after a recent attempt to protect his golf course from coastal erosion caused by rising sea levels.)

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton’s page on her website addresses climate change as “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time,” tying climate change directly to carbon emissions.

What they Hope to Achieve

Donald Trump:

Donald Trump has no proposed response to climate change. However, in a recent press release called “An America First Energy Plan,” he says that he wants to take proper regard for “rational environmental concerns,” prioritizing clean air and clean water.

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton’s goals concerning climate change are outlined on her page. They include cutting American fuel consumption by a third and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below what they were in 2005.

What Actions They Plan to Take

Donald Trump:

Donald Trump as of the moment has no plan to combat climate change, other than his plan to “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N global warming programs.”

Recently, Republican Kevin Cramer of ND, prepared a briefing for Trump that has not yet been released. The briefing will address Trump’s views on climate change and his plans. He has revealed that the Clean Power Plan is one of the government regulations that Trump might eliminate should he be elected President, according to the New York Times.  

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton’s plan to fight climate change is also explained on her website, and it includes investment in clean energy and launching a Clean Energy Challenge to further the Clean Power Plan announced by President Obama in 2015.

Whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States will decide the future of our country, as well as the future of our planet. Presidential decisions made with regard to the environment will exemplify how seriously the United States takes the future of the planet.

If you want to get more involved in your future, make sure you vote this November 8, because your voice counts.

If you want to get involved in protecting the planet from climate change, you can sign this petition to tell congress to invest in clean, renewable energy for the U.S.