Unhappy Earth Day

By Kristen Johnson

It’s extremely difficult to say “Happy Earth Day” today because it feels more like “Here Comes Doomsday” under the current U.S. Administration. For reasons that are absolutely bizarre, Donald Trump and many prominent officials deny that climate change even exists. This stance is bizarre, terrifying, and uneducated……basically it encapsulates everything I already feel about the first several months of this terrifying Administration.

Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to climate change as a “hoax” which is obnoxious, incorrect, and alarming. Scott Pruitt, the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency, seems to think that humans don’t cause climate change. He has also questioned whether or not it is even the role of the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide (Washington Post).

The President recently rolled back Obama-era climate regulations, and he lifted the moratorium on coal mining on federal lands. He has also proposed huge budget cuts to the EPA (CNN).

In addition, the President has signaled that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty (Fortune). He also wants to repeal and replace clean water regulations. (Huffington Post).

The only spot of good news in this mess, as with women’s rights and other issues, is that people are mobilizing and fighting back – myself included. Scientists, engineers, and regular people are fighting the Administration in courts, through Congressional leaders, and (most importantly in my mind) through peaceful protest. The so-called March for Science will take place all over the world today. According to the organizing website, there are already 610 satellite marches in the works for today! See here for more information: https://www.marchforscience.com.

After 20 years of commitment to working with scientists, engineers, and researchers (mostly in higher education) it’s incredibly depressing to watch willfully ignorant people attempt to dismantle the future of the planet right before our eyes. However, my colleagues and friends are luckily refusing to take this nonsense sitting down. We will continue to fight, we will continue to peacefully protest, and we will continue to refuse to accept budget cuts and cutbacks of regulations that help fight climate change.

I will continue to lobby Congress, drive my electric vehicle, travel by bicycle whenever possible, and use earth-friendly cleaning and cosmetic products. I will also continue to reduce, reuse and recycle…..and, most importantly I will continue to educate those around me on the truths of science. Willful ignorance is completely unacceptable and I will not ignore it.

Continue to be the change the world needs today.

Psalm 24:1-2 (NRSV): The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

Serve all with love.

Photo courtesy of: stocksnap.io

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