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Earth Day, A Green New Deal & Donald Trump

April 29, 2019

Since taking office on January 20, 2017, President Donald J. Trump has done a remarkable job of disregarding, refusing to abide by, and otherwise totally rendering asunder a great number of treaties and other bilateral and multilateral agreements between the USA and other national governments which came into existence before he was elected to his current office. Some of the more visible of these include the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, the Iran nuclear deal with the five permanent UN Security Council members, Germany and Iran, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the US and the USSR  (now Russia) and the Paris Climate agreement dealing with global climate change.

When it comes to climate change, President Trump has done everything he can to exacerbate the crisis while claiming loudly and clearly that the whole issue is nothing but a hoax. Back in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated to emphasize ways in which we could enhance the condition of the planet by curbing human behaviors that cause pollution and endanger the health and well-being of humans and other lifeforms alike. Air, water and land pollution of all kinds threatened us all in the long run and exposure to high doses of toxic materials were literally becoming hazardous to humans living in close proximity to poisons produced by human activities.

Toxic waste sites were discovered in places where any number of industrial endeavors were producing goods and services that provided benefits to consumers and profits to those making them (wages for workers and salaries for corporate executives as well as investment income for stockholders).  Often, poisonous byproducts of these processes were not understood to be part of any calculation of the true cost of making and consuming them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  was created to reduce toxic wastes entering water air and land. Legislation was enacted to regulate emissions of substances harmful to people and wildlife. Manufacturing processes, transportation, mining,  agriculture and virtually every large scale human activity were examined to determine how they affected the environment over time. Polluters were held to account with a goal of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

As he did with his claim of massive voter fraud plaguing the American electoral system, President formed a group of scientists to refute the voluminous scientific studies (backed by the vast majority of members of the international scientific community) which were used to draft the protocols designed to forestall and prevent the devastating effects of global climate change which has been building momentum over the years due to human activity which radically alters temperatures and weather patterns over time. His voter fraud group quickly dissolved when it became apparent it would not succeed in making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to voter fraud in our elections. We have yet to see any convincing evidence of mainstream scientific fraud when it comes to climate science, either.

President Trump has gone out of his way to basically destroy the ability of the EPA to serve the purpose it was created for. He has appointed leadership to people hellbent on reducing and eliminating regulations seen to be depriving private industry of profits that could be increased enormously if no heed were paid to deleterious impacts of their activities on people directly affected by their pollution. One major trend has been to rapidly expand fossil fuel  extraction on land and in the seas – including highly controversial opening up of public lands and coastal areas to oil and gas drilling, along with hydraulic fracturing to extract even more fossil fuels with increased toxic waste.

Increasing production of fossil fuels as well as their use worldwide will obviously also increase the environmental damage they cause, including even more production of greenhouse gasses contributing to global climate change. Wealthy people like our President and those people who benefited the most from his much-ballyhooed tax cuts may think the can buy their way out of the most severe aspects of climate change. Maybe they think when push comes to shove, they can use his space force to colonize Mars or some other planet and leave the rest of us to try to survive on this one once they’ve maximized their personal profits at our expense. His speeches, tweets and cabinet appointments dealing with such matters demonstrate a profoundly short-term approach which definitely places the welfare of the vast majority of humanity and life in general at great risk. He simply does not show even the slightest interest in the future of the people he is supposedly leading, let alone of humanity as a whole. We deserve better than another year and a half of his autocratic rule, let alone another four year term. Are we better off now than we were before he took office? I doubt most of us can answer that in the affirmative.

The Green New Deal offers a forward-looking alternative to the Trump plan – one which, if carried out with the enthusiasm that Trump’s vision of our future is taking shape, can lead to real improvement in the health and welfare of humanity and life on earth in general. The naysayers will say we can’t afford to do it. I say we can’t afford not to.

Suggested Further Reading:

Critics of the Green New Deal dismissed it as a campaign ploy. AOC just showed them it’s for real

‘This Is What Hope Feels Like’: Green New Deal Resolution Hailed as ‘Watershed Moment’ for New Era of Climate Action

A Green New Deal Is the First Step Toward an Eco-Revolution

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Is a Product of Youth Uprising

WATCH: This Viral Video of Ocasio-Cortez Explaining “Fundamentally Broken” US Democracy Has Been Viewed More Than 16 Million Times

A Response to Sen. Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – Nuclear power has a large carbon footprint

‘Now Is the Time to Be Bold and Unapologetic’: Progressives Building ‘Unprecedented Political Coalition’ Around Green New Deal

‘Bring It On’: Green New Deal Champions Welcome McConnell’s Cynical Ploy for Up-or-Down Vote

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on the Green New Deal

Youth Climate Leaders Launch Campaign to Make McConnell Regret ‘Shameless’ Green New Deal Ploy

The Green New Deal Is Indeed a Big Deal

Climate Change Is Scary—Not the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal Can Work – Here’s How

The Green New Deal Must Transform the Economy

The Green New Deal Is Not a Choice

Chris Hedges: Extinction Rebellion, Part 2

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