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Your president doesn’t care about the environment

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In a time where climate change is the most serious threat to the world, America’s leader doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it.

Graphic by Maxwell Bryn

Graphic by Maxwell Bryn

Donald Trump is outspoken about many topics, from immigration, to economics, to health care– he does not hesitate to fire out often unwarranted opinions on any subject under the sun. Amidst a plethora of opinions, one thing Trump keeps relatively quiet on is the environment. Since his infamous tweet stating, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” America’s president has slowly and stealthily shown the public that he does not care to understand what is going on in the environment, rejecting climate change with a vengeance and blaming China for “creating” it. It is quite obvious that President Trump has a terrible grasp on the impending horrors denying climate change will bring upon his country.

Here are some ways Donald Trump has shown us that he doesn’t care about the environment.

Removing information about climate change from the White House website.

Immediately following Trump’s inauguration, the entire section of the White House website regarding climate change was taken down. This section was filled with information about climate change, graphs displaying ways to generate renewable energy and other useful research. The Obama administration’s 2013 Climate Action Report, information about the UN meeting on climate change, and facts pertaining to greenhouse gases were deleted. President Trump went so far as to committing to eliminating policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Trump, in contrast to President Obama, fails to recognize that climate change is one of the biggest threats to our world. America as a global leader needs to be taking steps to stop it. Shameful.

Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change,” according to the United Nations website. Prior to Trump’s presidency, Obama committed to this agreement and promised to lower American emissions by 2025.  He also promised to donate $3 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, which Trump’s administration no longer desires to fund. The reasoning? Trump states that withdrawing is “in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate,” also adding that America, “will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth.” So basically, America is willing to step down on an issue that President Obama thought to be ‘the biggest threat the planet currently faces’ in order to benefit financially.

Practically defunding the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Donald Trump created a budget proposal for 2018– and it will cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Science and Technology’s budget nearly in half. He is making budget cuts left and right which are all a function of an overall budget reduction of about 30 percent. The EPA’s budget would drop to $5.7 billion– its lowest in 40 years according to The New York Times. Trump also aims to unravel efforts put in place by the Obama administration that sought to combat climate change; one of the most important of these being the Clean Power Plan which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from American electric plants.

Greatly reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

In a what is said to be highly illegal move, President Trump overstepped his bounds and performed the largest elimination of protected land in U.S. history. Combined, 2 million acres were slashed from these monuments, some of them containing Indian tribes for whom the land was sacred. This move was supported by Republicans in Utah and a few governors and senators who argued that the protected areas were unnecessarily vast and limited the potential for economic growth.

If anything displays where Donald Trump’s loyalties are, it should be this. He blatantly put money before the protection of American people, conservation of American land, and respect for American heritage. ”

This move disgusted citizens and corporations alike, a prominent and outspoken force being Patagonia who changed their website with a chilling statement: “The President Stole Your Land.”

Failing to protect Native American people, their land and their water in order to commence building the       Dakota Access Pipeline.

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was stalled last December when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to lay the final stretch of the $3.8 billion pipeline under Lake Oahe, a sacred water source for the Standing Rock Sioux, according to Huffpost. This halt was issued by President Obama but later undone by the Trump administration. Many people saw this as an attack on both clean water sources and the Native American people, which it very much was. It is now extremely critical for the U.S. to minimize its use of fossil fuels and prevent future hazards such as oil leaking into major rivers and endangering the drinking water needed by so many communities. Trump enforcing more major pipeline infrastructure is a blatant rejection of creating clean energy sources that America needs. By reversing most of President Obama’s pushes towards clean energy, it is clear that Trump cares more about what is easiest for him and most beneficial for the economy rather than what is environmentally sound and will last America far into the future.

Your Turn : What do you think President Trump should be doing to better protect the environment? Do you believe he is doing enough? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Your president doesn’t care about the environment