Why The Environment Needs To Be The #1 Issue, Why It's Not, And Who's Responsible
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Politics and Activism

Why The Environment Needs To Be The #1 Issue, Why It's Not, And Who's Responsible

Written by your stereotypical Republican.

Why The Environment Needs To Be The #1 Issue, Why It's Not, And Who's Responsible
Ozzie Saffa

Now, I will be completely honest and reveal that I voted for Donald Trump. I supported a lot of his economic policies that involved bringing jobs back to America and halt further jobs from being outsourced. But, one issue that I believe is the absolute most important, that seems to be on no one's agenda, is the environment.

I cannot fathom as to why people are so unconcerned with clean air and organizations that work to maintain it. So here are the facts; here is why we need to be worried and question the big wigs in Washington who are instituting ideas that don't make sense and convincing the American public that everything is OK, when everything is not OK.

Let's start with the people responsible. Back in December of 2016, Donald Trump announced that he would select Scott Pruitt to run the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Pruitt, whether people know it or not, is a climate-change denier and is an ally for the fossil fuel industry. Aside from this, he has vocally encouraged scientists who deny human-caused climate change to continue the debate, which could lead to the reversal of almost all of Obama's efforts and policies geared toward awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and the effect they are having on our environment.

Arctic Circle over 22 years

Trump chose such an awful candidate because of his anti-environmental views himself. Early in his campaign, he pledged to greatly shrink or eliminate the EPA altogether, commenting on its worthlessness. If Donald Trump's plans to eradicate the EPA or significantly limit its projects becomes reality, two-thirds of the agency's 15,000 workers (engineers, scientists and researchers) would become unemployed (so much for job growth), as well as an initial 10 percent cut in federal funding to the agency, which can presumably grow as time goes on. The man that is supposed to see through that these cuts happen is Scott Pruitt himself.

Scott Pruitt has sued the Environmental Protection Agency 13 times.

But of course, why wouldn't he? He received hundreds of thousands of dollars, $318,000 to be exact, in endorsements from the fossil fuel industry before his reelection campaign alone. Over the course of fundraising for the Republican Attorney Generals Association, he and his friends received around $1,165,000 from multiple oil and gas companies, including Exxon Mobil.

Let us talk about Exxon Mobil for a minute.

Exxon Mobil is one of the world's leaders in the gas and oil industry, but as all of us can probably guess, are huge climate-change deniers. In order to deceive the American public and ensure future financial stability, the corporation spent tens of millions of dollars hiring scientists and organizations that would publicly deny and misrepresent climate change and the effects that it is having on the environment. They even had the nerve to disclaim that the planet was facing climate "cooling."


The worst part about all the deception was that the gas and oil powerhouse had another sector of scientists researching climate change since the late 1970s that clearly proved the validity of our warming planet and that "the burning of fossil fuels was destabilizing Earth's climate and would likely cause catastrophic damage to the world's ecosystems as well as immense human suffering."

After marketing false information to the public, they decided to bank off of the warming planet by plotting their next drilling sites directly where the melting glaciers are in the Arctic. This information was released by the LA Times in 2015, yes, just two years ago.

Acidification of our oceans ruining oceanic plant life

Rex Tillerson became CEO of Exxon Mobil in 2006 and acknowledged, representing the company as a whole, that climate change was real. Progress right? Wrong. He later released statements that global temperatures have been halting, which they haven't, not by a long shot. But who is Rex Tillerson and why is he important? He is Donald Trump's choice for leader of the State Department. Great.

Why are people (business professionals) who have no legitimate concern about the environment able to make major decisions about the issues surrounding it? What are the issues surrounding the environment? Why should you even care?

The evidence lies within the findings of organizations like the EPA and NASA, who regularly research developments and report findings. The graph below comes straight from NASA's website and shows the amount of CO2 that has been in the air over different periods of time. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice that current levels of CO2 are clearly out of the norm.

CO2, or carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas released from the burning of fossil fuels that absorbs and re-emits heat. An unhealthy abundance of it causes Earth's overall atmosphere to warm quicker than it normally would.

Rising CO2 levels have caused rising sea levels (glaciers melting), rising global temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, declining Arctic sea ice, glacial retreat, extreme events (record low and record high temperatures), ocean acidification, and decreased snow cover. With all of these detrimental events happening, why don't we have someone working to help halt or reverse the damage that's already been done before it is too late?

Something needs to be done about the decisions being made in Washington regarding the environment. Instead of giving power to people who likely couldn't define what a fossil fuel is, we should be focusing our efforts on finding a candidate who will not only work to find cleaner energy sources, but push the institution of policies that put stronger restrictions on corporations who fail to properly recognize climate change and what it is doing to our mother Earth. Because after all, it's not just the polar bears who are suffering.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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