Trump’s Pyrrhic Victory

I despise politics. Always have. Can’t stand talking about it. The power trips, the lies, the manipulation. But if you happen to be someone who cares when good things come under attack by those in public office you’ll sometimes find that you are forced to comment and take sides. And so I will.

It didn’t take long. Donald Trump is living up to his campaign promises to damage environmental protection for the benefit of Big Business in the United States. During his campaign, in reply to a question about how he plans to get the money to cut taxes, he said this, “Department of Environmental Protection. We are going to get rid of it in almost every form. We’re going to have little tidbits left, but we’re going to take a tremendous amount out.”

At another point he stated in response to this question posed during his campaign, “Who’s going to protect the environment?”

“They — we’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses”.

Recently he’s also stated that environmental regulations, you now, those hard won laws meant to protect the earth, and thereby us humans, from pollution and wanton destruction, are “out of control“.

Trump’s advisor Myron Ebell (see also here) a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, (which receives funding from several oil companies including Exxon/Mobil to deny climate change), has stated that “the environmental movement is, in my view, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.”

To read their version of facts regarding conservationism in the U.S. one would think that environmentalists are one of the worst forms of life to walk the planet. Course their “facts” tend to be a bit skewed. See also this investigative video. Still more here and here.

So what kinds of things could we expect were we to just go ahead and remove those regulations protecting nature and public health? Lets see:

The elimination of the endangered species act. Clean water/air acts gutted. Any conservation of land or wildlife is solely at the discretion of the individual landowners. Wholesale deforestation of woodlands, unbridled strip mining, dumping of toxic wastes becomes common. A rise in air pollution as slip-shod industries are erected willy-nilly and auto emissions laws are removed. Unrestricted development and use of pesticides and herbicides. End of federal labeling laws on food ingredients. All restrictions on genetic experimentation swept aside. An immediate halt on the development of alternative energies (only oil, gas, nuclear and coal are allowed). Abandonment of local growth control ordinances. The National Park system is abolished as all parks and Wilderness areas are auctioned off to the highest bidders. EPA, FDA, and Interior departments gone.

The lack of uniform safety regulations for airplanes, trains and other means of transport, hospitals, public and private buildings, nuclear power plants, household appliances, etc. etc. lead to many disasters. Government attorneys, which now protect the public’s interest from corporate fraud, go the way of the Dodo. In a David vs Goliath scenario, the onus for proof of safety is now on the shoulders of the individual which may or (more than likely) may not have the wherewithal to combat large corporations. Safety becomes an after-the-fact proposition (after needless suffering and death), dependant on winning lawsuits, since front-end regulations disappear. (Borrowed from If Conservatives Had Their Way. Read the rest for an eye opener).

It’s interesting that now that they have the power, these dubious freedom lovers have started upon just this path. One of the first orders of business for the folks in the new administration was the reversal of the Stream Protection Rule, a reg that protected rivers from the toxic tailings of coal mining operations.

What is all this evil being perpetrated by conservation groups of which Ebell speaks? Browse the following lists of accomplishments of the various better known non-governmental organizations – really, just organized groups of concerned citizens – and you’ll see a long history of not only preserving public lands both for people and other species, but also battling polluters, fighting climate change, promoting clean alternative energies etc. In short, fighting the ensure that the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat are safer.

Sierra Club

The Nature Conservancy

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Friends of the Earth

Ocean Conservancy

Environmental Defense Fund

World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund).

Surfrider Foundation.

Earthjustice

Pretty grim isn’t it?

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