Paris Protests Spark Climate Change Debate in U.S.

Sophie Kirkegaard, Editor in Chief

For the fourth week in a row, France has erupted in protests, following frustration in regards to rising living costs, fuel taxes, and discontent with President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership. Lead by the“gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) movement, protestors have primarily gathered in Paris, where they have set fire to cars, destroyed barricades, and smashed windows.  In response to these violent protests, Paris was put into lockdown, with the Eiffel Tower, major museums, and metro stations being closed.

Almost 4,000 miles away, these protests have sparked debate in regards to a similar situation that could erupt in the U.S., as Democrats are deciding whether to enact a carbon tax as part of their environment improvement plan. This tax would greatly risk enraging low and middle income voters, due to its contribution to a raising cost of living, possibly resulting in protests that are similar to those in France. The proposed carbon tax, supported by climate change activists, has the capability of pushing companies and consumers towards a more eco-friendly economy by making conventional and pollutant practices more expensive. However, as protests in France continue to unfold, it is probable that if the tax is enacted, protesters in the U.S. will follow suit.