[COMMENTARY] Let’s Not Forget the Environmental & Climate Crises
It’s easy to lose track of the colossal damage Trump is doing to environmental protections and the impending devastation of climate change. But we can’t.
Photo by Alexandros Michailidis via Shutterstock.
Trump Is Ripping Away Decades of Protections
Coronavirus. “Unsmart restart” plans for schools that are really “minimize illness and death” plans. Anonymous federal agents in U.S. cities. Open defiance of the judiciary as the latest aggression in a national staging for dictatorship.
With everything going on, it’s easy to lose track of the colossal damage Trump is doing to environmental protections and the impending devastation of climate change.
But we can’t.
When he was elected in 2016, Trump set out to dismantle every environmental protection ever put in place over decades, especially if a rule, regulation, or law gave off even the faintest scent of hindering higher profits for his cronies.
As the New York Times reports, Trump’s administration is on pace to “Reverse 100 Environmental Rules.” As of July 15, 2020, he’d managed to change 68 of them.
Thanks to Trump, our water is less clean and safe, the air we breathe is more polluted and more dangerous, climate-changing gasses are being spewed into the atmosphere. The reversals he’s orchestrated are causing more healthcare problems.
Those are just the biggest headlines. I won’t go through the entire litany because, as a reader of IV Words or follower on Twitter or Facebook, you’re already aware of the damage Trump is doing and the ongoing danger he poses for us and our planet. For specifics, check out these sources (be prepared to be outraged if you aren’t already):
- New York Times
- Harvard Environmental & Energy Law Program
- Yale Climate Connections
- Environmental Integrity Project
I’m writing about these despicable environmental rollbacks now because we have to keep this ball up in the air with all the others. Keep pushing back against Trump’s draconian and self-enriching environmental policies. Keep fighting against rule changes that will exacerbate or accelerate the climate crisis. Keep bringing it up, over and over again, so it stays on the collective radar.
If we’re really lucky, and if the Trump/Barr team doesn’t cancel the election altogether, things will change in January 2021. As a nation, we’ll have an opportunity to re-reverse some of the damage that’s been done and re-engineer policies so our pandemic recovery is more sustainable, renewable, and just for all U.S. citizens. It’s what the European Union is doing right now; we need to follow its lead.
And don’t just keep this fight in mind; get involved.
- Educate yourself about where we’re headed and what a sustainable alternative could look like. “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis” by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac is a great place to start.
- Follow organizations like Covering Climate Now to stay on top of what’s happening around the world.
- Join a local, state, regional or national environmental, conservation, or sustainability group. For someone like me, living on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, that means groups like the Citizens Local Energy Action Network, the Dakota Resource Council, and Red River Valley Climate Action.
- If you can’t join ’em, fund ’em – make a donation if you can, even if it’s a small one.
- Support environmentally-friendly candidates up and down the ballot.
- Contact your members of the U.S. House and Senate.
- Contact your state legislators and governor.
- Write letters to the editor.
- Talk to people about the problem and the issues whenever possible.
- Or, like me, start a blog.
Whatever you do, don’t let Trump’s daily antics, distractions, and idiocies lure all of your attention away from the crucial work we need to do together to protect the environment and address the climate crisis. It’s not hyperbole to say we’re fighting for a viable future for all species, including homo sapiens.
About: Martin C. Fredricks IV
Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV is a husband, father of three, proud Fargo (N.D.), small business owner, reader, writer, and progressive. He’s also the founder of the IV Words Blog (ivwords.com) Finally, he’s ginger; ergo the “Red.” Living blue in a deeply red state is tough, but somehow, day by day, he gets by. To read more by Fredricks, visit his blog – IV Words. Martin is also a regular contributor to DemCast.