If there is a stack of dirty dishes in the sink and laundry piled halfway to the ceiling, will you wash the dishes and the clothes, or go sit down and read a book, hoping that the mess will go away? If you choose the latter, then please contact me, for I have a lovely bridge for sale … cheap! I’ll even throw in a book of fairy tales for free!
We in the U.S. have many worries these days. We have a madman at the helm who is steering our ship toward a huge iceberg. Our civil rights are being stripped, bigotry is on the rise, education is seriously deficient, income disparity is greater than at any other time, and the list goes on. But, frankly, none of those things hold a candle to the seriousness of one single issue: the environment.
Climate change is not going away on its own any more than your dishes and laundry are going to wash themselves, folks. Just this past weekend, many areas of the Midwest have seen devastating tornadoes, including several last night a mere 20 miles north of my own home. Remember last year’s wildfires in California, and right now, as I write this, there are two wildfires in Alberta, Canada, eating everything in their path. Remember the hurricanes, the floods, last summer’s excessive heat? And still, Don Trump and his minions not only fail to act, but take great pains to further the devastation.
The latest? As if it wasn’t enough that Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords, making us the only nation on the globe not onboard to address the crisis. It wasn’t enough that he has, by means of executive order thus bypassing democratic process, rolled back most every environmental regulation on the books. It wasn’t enough that he has tried everything in his power to stifle the development of renewable energy sources in his support of the coal and oil industries that are wrecking our environment in multiple ways. No, none of that was enough. Now, he is launching a new assault on our planet, on our health, on our very lives.
In the next few months, Trump plans to officially rescind what’s left of Obama-era regulations to curb emissions from tailpipes and power plants. But it doesn’t stop there. U.S. Geological Survey Director James Reilly — a former petroleum geologist appointed by Trump — has ordered his office to only study the effects of climate change up to 2040. Scientists say that would give a misleading picture because the biggest effects of current emissions will be felt after 2040. Models show that the planet will most likely warm at about the same rate through about 2050. From that point until the end of the century, however, the rate of warming differs significantly with an increase or decrease in carbon emissions.
And … remember the National Climate Assessment that was released last fall saying, “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities”? Since that didn’t fit in with Trump’s policy to support the fossil fuel industry, it will not be included in the National Climate Assessment or other scientific reports produced by the government.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking of the melting of glaciers in the Arctic at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland, said this …
“The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance. It houses 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil, 30 percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore. Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade [that could] potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days. Arctic sea lanes could become the 21st century Suez and Panama Canals.”
Think about that one for a minute …
Trump is said to be in the process of creating a scientific review panel with the intention of disputing the findings of climate scientists and discrediting the idea that climate change is a national security threat. The man he is considering to lead the panel is named William Happer. Let me tell you something about Mr. Happer. He does not believe humans are responsible for climate change. In fact, he once likened CO2, the greenhouse gas most responsible for warming temperatures, to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.” Say WHAT??? No, Mr. Happer, you are comparing apples to oranges.
Happer has received money from the ultra-wealthy Mercer family, one of the principal causes of which is to deny climate science. The Mercer family also supports Trump. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Trump and his wealthy donors, most of whom are benefitting greatly from Trump’s rollbacks and might actually see their profits reduced if proper regulations were in place, see no further than the tip of their nose. Their motto? Live for today and to hell with tomorrow. As long as they are raking in the dollars and enjoying their hedonistic lifestyles, it matters not to them whether our children and grandchildren can breathe the air or have food and water in 30-40 years. It matters not to them if every living thing on earth is gone by the end of this century, for they will have lived their lives. Just because we won’t be here to see it doesn’t mean we don’t have a responsibility to future generations!
For those of us who do care about the future of this planet, consider this:
- The U.S. is the second largest total emitter of carbon dioxide
- The U.S. is the largest per capita emitter of carbon dioxide
- The U.S. is the nation that is doing the least to reduce carbon emissions
A number of states are enacting their own regulations, as are some corporations, but without consistency, without support from the federal government, it simply is not enough. Not only is our ignorance and greed dooming our own nation, but the rest of the world as well. There will be a price to pay … probably sooner than we think.