The environment doesn't discriminate, people do that. This planet gives to all of us regardless of what we look like, what we believe, or where we come from. The planet is kind - let's be more like the planet!
There has been a backlash against the environment and the protective measures that many have fought so hard to achieve. I've heard some say that reducing waste and pollution has nothing to do with politics, but I see that it absolutely does! The person that just got elected as President of the United States doesn't believe in science. He denies that climate change is happening, and that it is caused by human activity (pollution)! He thinks climate change is a "Chinese Hoax." He appointed Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic, as an EPA Administrator. That is political. This is a call to action to change our consumer habits and keep on fighting to preserve the planet that we all share. Regardless of how each of us voted, we all have the power to reduce our impact on this kind planet!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done a number of great things to help protect our planet. Let's hope they can continue to do so. Here are some highlights (pretend you're listening to an epic violin solo while reading this).
The Clean Air Act of 1970, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972, DDT Ban in 1972, Clean Water Act of 1977, Ocean Dumping Act of 1972, Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977, Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, Asbestos Testing in Schools 1982, Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984, Wetlands Protection of 1986, Right to Know Laws for Chemical Safety of 1986, Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1987, Sewage Ocean Dumping Ban of 1988, Ban of Daminozide Pesticide on Food in 1989, Toxic Waste Control in 1990, National Environmental Education Act of 1990, First Refinery Regulation in 1995, Leaded Gasoline phased out in 1996, Lead Paint Requirements of 1996, Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, EPA's Water Sense Program is created in 2006, Stimulus Plan 2009, Nations First Greenhouse Gas Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks and Buses 2010, First National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants 2011, Obama Administration Finalizes Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standards in 2012 , Comprehensive Plan for Climate Change in 2013, and much more.
WHAT WE CAN DO
- Vote with our dollar! Make consumer decisions that keep money in the hands of local business and people.
- Speak out! We can't normalize what's happening. We have to continue to speak up and organize against the tyranny of hate.
- Where are we banking? What is our money being used for? Is it in alignment with our values? I bank with my local Credit Union, and the money stays here in our community.
- Many of us are outraged by a Trump presidency and that the conditions existed to let this come about. We must channel our emotions and ORGANIZE! Midterm elections will be upon us in less than two years - we have a chance to do some good here.
- Eat local. Support our local organic farmers who take care of the planet by not using toxic pesticides and herbicides to grow our food. Eating locally reduces our carbon footprint and energy use. It makes for cleaner air and water too.
- Be diligent about refusing plastic, especially single-use plastics. We must reduce our dependency on fossil fuels today! Constant vigilance!
- Walk and bike more! Now that I commute to school, it's imperative that I reduce fossil fuel use even more.
- Pick a cause and get involved. Whether it's volunteering or donating to an Environmental Organization (Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, NRDC, & Ocean Conservancy are but a few) fighting for reproductive rights, helping prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline, or getting involved in your local government by calling your officials, voting, etc., take action. There are so many issues that need our support right now.
- It's our responsibility to learn about Climate Change so that we can become active stakeholders in this issue and do something about it. "Before the Flood," "Cowspiracy," "Forks Over Knives," and "Food Inc" are credible and informative documentaries to help get the fire going.
- Take care of ourselves and each other and be kind. Being kind for example, doesn't mean we have to remain passive and accept racist beliefs and/or actions around us or in any part of public policy! We must be assertive and stand up for each other.
Climate Change waits for no one. We must continue to think globally and act locally. I vow to use my privilege to protect anyone (people & the planet) who is being discriminated against or threatened by the conditions of our political situation. I will not be silent. Together, we shall overcome!