Government is the driving force in creating change in world wide issues. No matter how you feel about the new president there is one thing we can all agree on, for the next four years he will be one of the biggest influencers on global policy. Many people who are passionate about the environmental movement are nervous about Trump being our voice at the table during this critical time in global preservation. With more industrialization comes more pollution and more damage to our world. Trump talked a big game during his campaign, but will he follow through?
It is no secret that Donald Trump does (did?) not believe in global warming, despite the fact it is scientifically proven. It is also scientifically proven that if we don’t start being more environmentally friendly future generations will be in trouble.
In his short time in office Trump has already done a number of concerning things for the environmental movement. First of all he wants to revive the coal industry. This is an issue because burning coal releases a number of toxins when it burns that are harmful to the environment. Coal is the greatest contributor to global warming and the worst of any energy sources because of its high emission of CO2. As of now we are number one in CO2 emissions closely followed by China. However to president Trump coal is just another industry with opportunity to grow the business that is America.
The coal industry has many other dangerous side effects. When coal is mined and burned it creates a liquid toxic waste that can contaminate water, including water that is used for public drinking. Another type of contamination comes in the form of acid rain. Acid rain is rain, snow or fog that is high
in nitric and sulfuric acid. This leads to water contamination that can also cause poison or death of fish as well as soil damage that affects anything that is grown in that area.
Oil drilling has a similar effect on the environments health. When oil is burned to form energy toxins including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide are produced, all of which have negative effects on the environment and human health. There are laws in place to reduce the impact oil has, but with Trump’s administration there will most likely be changes. This is nerve racking because it took a lot of effort to create such legislation in the first place and the progress could be reversed during the next four years.
Trump’s approach to the environment is practically a complete 180 from the White House under Obama. For instance he did away with the “harmful and unnecessary” action plan created under Obama. This was a website that explained climate change in the vernacular and initiatives to stop it. Now this website leads back to Trump’s main webpage. This will only lead to more confusion and lack of trust in the government’s transparency.
Trump has put a number of people who don’t believe in global warming in powerful positions within his cabinet, a lot of which have been involved in initiatives against the EPA in the past. Scott Pruitt who is now in charge of the EPA sued the agency 14 times in the past. He has also taken over $270,000 in campaign donations over the years from the oil industry. Rick Perry was appointed head of the energy department. This strikes me as odd because during Perry’s 2012 presidential run he publicly said that he wanted to eliminate the energy department as a whole. As a environmentally concerned citizen this worries me. These are not men who I have trust in pushing governmental action to preserve our environment.
Pruitt and Perry are both echos of president Trump’s ideology on the issue. Trump is a man who says whatever he needs to in order to get people on his side. We saw this during his campaign, and we are seeing it now that he has taken office. It is up to us as active citizens in a democracy to make our voices heard over the sound of big business.