The Next Four Years Must Bring the Environment Back to a Priority

Next Four Years in Photos: What We Want Addressed

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The Next Four Years Must Bring the Environment Back to a Priority

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Flooding overtakes a car during Mississippi flooding in 2008. Addressing environmental problems must …

What one issue should the nation address in the next four years? Yahoo News asked Americans to pinpoint something that affects them or their communities -- alongside a photo that visualizes that issue.

COMMENTARY | As Obama starts his second term as president of the United States, the next four years offer numerous issues that are staring the United States in the face. Gun control, the economy, and the environment have all been creating upheaval. These three things need to be dealt with, for the safety and well-being of all.

Of the three, and many more, the environment has taken a back seat. Yet, it is the one that can do the most harm, affecting every person on the planet, if not protected. People often mistakenly believe that the economy must come before the environment, yet a safe and protected environment is a boon to the economy.

Natural disasters are costing a fortune, natural resources will soon be depleted, and areas that employ and support families are being destroyed. It is time for the government to give the environment priority.

The area of the Midwest that I live in was afflicted by major flooding of the Mississippi River in 2008, causing tremendous loss and damage over a widespread area. In 2012, the drought brought the river to levels so low that barge traffic is still impeded today, causing losses to local communities in international trade and business, and more.

Yet, these are merely two examples of a nationwide dilemma. The United States must address its environmental issues, and soon.

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