This may be hard to believe but it was Republican Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon that led the way in starting land conservation, creating National Parks, launching the Environmental Protection Agency, cleaning our rivers, terrain, and air, and signing the Endangered Species Act.
Those enlightened Republican Administrations have given way to an Anti Science Reactionary Dark Age in the former Party of Lincoln where conservatives have been on close to a 40-year quest (since the New Conservatism of Ronald Reagan, the Presidential candidate that once said trees cause pollution, rose to prominence) to undo the pro-environmental legacy their own party sponsored.
The Administration of the 2016 Popular Vote Loser has, with accelerated zeal, proceeded to deconstruct as many regulations that protect the environment and ecosystem as possible. Citing these measures as necessary to lift the regulatory burden off American Businesses, this administration, with its antithesis picks for the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department have:
- Withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Sought to unprotect national parklands for commercial interests like mining.
- Alter the composition of The Clean Air Act (which is now in court).
- Announced its intention on August 12, 2019, to gut key provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This attempt to make the 46-year-old act (signed into law by Richard Nixon) more business-friendly, after its success in rescuing animals from extinction like the grizzly bear and bald eagle, will also face a court challenge.
At a time where the planet is undergoing adverse human-made climate change and close to a million species of wildlife is facing extinction, these anti-environmental and anti ecosystem measures are both ill-timed and ill-advised.
On this reactionary announcement from the Administration, Karen Schedler of Natural Teacher LLC commented that:
“I’m deeply saddened by the Administration’s plans to severely rollback protection for vulnerable species. With the gutting of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and now the Endangered Species Act – all passed during the administration of President Richard Nixon (a conservative Republican, I might add), I wonder if there is anything that’s off-limits to this president? I would hope the legacy we leave to future generations is sound stewardship for this planet that sustains us, rather than the eternal quest for immediate profits. My heart is truly broken over this recent announcement.”
Some of Arizona’s 2020 Democratic Congressional Candidates also offered comments on this Administrations desire to weaken the Endangered Species Act.
2020 Congressional Five Democratic Candidate Joan Greene
“I will sum up Andy Biggs’ support for destroying OUR public land, OUR environment and killing OUR wildlife in one hashtag – #FollowTheMoney
You only need to look at his FEC “donations” to see I am correct:
Oil and gas industry: $12,500
Energy & Natural Resources Sector: $22,250
Does not include ranchers and lobbyists.
Biggs does not represent AZ-05 voters, including the Republicans on this issue, but he does dance for the PACs.
I promise when I am elected I will protect our environment and only make honest votes.”
2020 Congressional District Six Democratic Candidate Anita Malik
“As we face a growing climate crisis, the administration’s priorities are to deny scientific consensus, exploit our public lands and weaken protections for endangered species to the benefit of oil and gas lobbyists. This move to weaken protections is irresponsible and has wide-ranging ramifications on our environment. It is reckless and must be challenged.”
2020 Congressional District Eight Democratic Candidate Michael Muscato
“The most endangered species on the planet these days is the rarely seen Courageous Republican Politician. The very same people denying climate change by disregarding science and fact are apparently now interested in killing off more species in exchange for their campaign donors to build parking lots and hotels. At what point do we as human beings put an end to these politicians careers? Are we going to wait until our water, air, soil, and food sources are all entirely destroyed?”
“The ESA was passed in 1973 with heavy bipartisan support. Even the now second most corrupt president in our history (Nixon) was smart enough to know the ESA was necessary. So why the change? Why are even more regulations and restrictions being rolled back? Simple…profit.”
“Our current leadership and extended network of pawns are strategically and surgically seizing all the resources and all the wealth at not only our expense but at the expense of our future. We must act now, we must act forcefully, and we must act together. We only get one life and one planet. We need to protect our environment, our land, our water, and our air. History books will one day tell our story…then again, maybe not at the rate we are going.”
Mr. Muscato’s last sentence is right on point.
So are the sentiments expressed by Candidates Greene and Malik.
If our nation’s leaders do not rethink their business-friendly priorities and shift to a pro-science agenda that builds on various local initiatives (see the film From Paris to Pittsburgh for guidance here) to forge a national Manhattan Project to address climate change, clean our environment, and protect endangered species (and our ecosystem), then living in this country, and possibly the planet, may become impossible.
Remember there is no Planet B to move to.
Now is the time to act.
If the current leadership in this country can not face this reality, then new leadership needs to be chosen that will.
Featured Image from CNN