Save The Environmental Protection Agency; It's Important.

Save The Environmental Protection Agency; It's Important.

Protect human health and the environment.
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Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency has been put in danger of major neglect. A freshman Republican in Congress has revealed a bill to abolish the EPA altogether because the EPA has apparently "exceeded their original mission" and "violated the sovereignty of the states." This past week, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the new head of the EPA under the Trump Administration. Not only are these actions dangerous for the environment, but they are dangerous for human health and the ultimate future of the planet we live on. It shows a lack of understanding for what the EPA does.

The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency is a Federal government agency that was created to protect human health and the environment. They ensure that Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work. They enforce laws that protect human health and the environment, and work to make sure the public has accurate scientific information regarding the environment and specific problems like climate change. They are instrumental in making sure U.S. Policy-making does not put humankind and our environment in danger, and work with other nations to protect the global environment.

The EPA actively develops and enforces regulations, gives grants to environmental programs, studies environmental issues, teaches people about the environment, and publishes information related to human health and the environment.

The presence and work of the EPA is especially important when global Carbon Dioxide levels are still increasing rapidly, sea levels are rising, and global climate changes are harming farming practices across the globe. Climate change "skeptics" are putting the EPA at risk because they don't "believe" that humans are contributing to the warming global temperatures. Scott Pruitt is among the disbelievers, stating that climate change is a "religious belief." Despite the substantial scientific evidence that humankind is causing the rapid rates of climate change, it is more convenient for many industries to release toxic gases into the air, let industrial discharge out into rivers, and cause more harm to the environment. The EPA regulates many of these actions, and deregulation not only poses a threat to the immediate environment, but could cause harm to human health across the country.

The EPA has a long history of victories for the environment and human health. Here's a list of just some of their accomplishments and programs since their inception:

o Monitored radiation levels around Three Mile Island after the reactor meltdown in 1979

o Sponsored the first Earth Day, now one of the largest days of grassroots community service

o Banned the use of DDT in agriculture because of its hazard to human health

o Aided in the completion of a comprehensive plan to combat climate change

o Assessed the conditions of drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities after Hurricane Sandy in 2012

o Set a Carbon Pollution standard for power plants, to reduce air pollution

o Helped decrease mercury poisoning by setting mercury standards on power plants

o Aided in the emergency response to the BP Oil Spill in 2010

o Contributed money to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, addressing the toxic smoke that comes from inadequate indoor stoves and helped people in third world countries own cleaner stoves

o Major research on climate change, resulting in a Nobel Peace Prize for 30 EPA workers

o Contributed money to environmental education in public schools

In Massachusetts alone, further damages to the environment can be prevented if the EPA remains an active part of the government. Filling wetlands have destroyed about 1/3 of New England’s coastal wetlands since the early 1800’s. Many of these areas are now protected by the EPA, and deregulation would give industries a chance to fill in more wetlands, destroying a vital ecosystem that absorbs water, organic material, and acts as a buffer.

Warming waters have led to a decline in cod and lobster populations South of Cape Cod. The loss of wetlands has decreased the bass and clam populations; all of which are key to the Massachusetts economy. Storm damage in the 21st century could cost Boston $5-100 billion dollars, depending on the response to rising sea levels. The EPA contributes significantly to research in climate and has the power to regulate carbon emissions and foster relationships with other nations to reduce the rate at which the global average temperatures are rising.

The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulate the discharge of pollutants and ensure our water is safe to drink, and our output of greenhouse gases is reduced to slow the effects of climate change. Without the EPA, the protection of the environment would fall to the hands of local and state governments, causing massive deregulation, in some cases allowing different industries to pollute the environment in hazardous ways.

The EPA's mission is to protect our world, and losing it would be detrimental in numerous ways. For the future of our country and generations to come, we need to protect the EPA, prevent the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines from being built, and head towards a future of renewable, sustainable energy. We cannot allow climate change deniers to run our Environmental Protection Agency, and we cannot stop standing up for our land.

Cover Image Credit: PBS

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

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I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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