Letter: Facing down the onslaught
Editor of the Reformer:
Many of us have been living in a state of horror since Donald Trump's candidacy started to look like reality. After the election disaster, citizens of the world who care about the environment have been overwhelmed by Trump and the Republicans' complete contempt for the nature of this planet.
Almost every day, we witness new assaults on our world. Republicans are becoming increasingly isolated globally in their refusal to accept the reality of climate change. Between the ever more solid scientific evidence of weather changes, the warmer and more unpredictable weather we witness ourselves every year, and the risks of rising water and terrible storms, it is clear we need to act now. Instead, we are seeing an almost uniform Republican belief in "alternative facts" about this critical matter, and what seems like an actual race to release ever more carbon into our atmosphere.
I was at the Grand Canyon National Park one year ago. A large section of the South Rim is closed off to foot traffic because of a stupid decision to allow uranium mining during the middle of the 20th century. Now, Trump and his pals want to open up our most pristine and sacred lands, including national parks, to mining of all sorts. This cannot be allowed, and yet the Republicans who control the federal government seem to think these mines are a grand idea. Some have even proposed selling off our national parks, something that would have been considered insane and unthinkable by every legislator of any belief only a few short years ago.
Trump wants to defund the EPA. Many of us have read about rivers that could be ignited with a match, or cities in the United States with air that was essentially unbreathable. So much has improved, no thanks to the corporations who polluted the air and water, and whom the Republicans want to trust to clean up after themselves.
The hits keep coming — they want to get rid of the ivory ban, legislate all kinds of hunting that has been limited for reasons of ecology and inhumane treatment of animals. Get rid of the energy star program, even though it saves money for consumers and costs the government nothing. Defund Amtrak — Republicans hate transit, especially it seems, trains.
Coal seems to be an obsession for Trump and his crew — attempting to march our country forward into the 19th century. As every other country with the resources is investing in ever-cheaper and better renewable energy, Trump wants to send our country down the expensive and foolish rat hole of depending on coal. Barack Obama's administration attempted to fund a "clean coal" demonstration project in Mississippi. They spent billions of dollars on a huge industrial facility that never produced any power. Meanwhile, the United States will be left in behind while the rest of the industrialized world moves ahead into a new world of sophisticated battery technology, solar, geothermal, and other new tech.
And then we have the pipelines. In spite of a huge and unprecedented organizing effort by environmentalists, Native Americans, ranchers and local citizens, the federal government under Trump is ramming these pipelines through. They are carrying dangerously fracked gas and oil products of the dirtiest, most destructive extraction in the shale fields of Alberta. The support of Americans and Canadians for the water protectors is sincere, passionate, and powerful- and it took brutal militarized forces to "win" this pipeline for the government.
On April 29, there will be climate marches all over the United States. Many Vermonters will be traveling on buses to Washington DC for the main march, but sister marches will occur in Montpelier, Keene, and Boston, to name a few. I dream of leaving my grandchildren a green and livable world, but I know that to do that will be the fight of a lifetime. Let's show those who think that money is more important than a livable future that we are speaking up and resisting.
Putney, April 13
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