Badlands National Park is not in defiance of the president, they are in support of the American People. They don’t work for him, they work for US. Climate change is a direct threat to our national resources, and the most severe threat facing our parks today. This is not a political issue, this is not Democrats vs. Republicans, this is data-backed endangerment of our open spaces and federal lands. If a building is deemed structurally unsound, you fix it, you don’t claim that scientists are lying to you about serious fatigue in the load-bearing members, or else it comes crashing down around you. Climate change is no different, nobody has ever tried to claim that forest fires are a myth invented by the Chinese.
In November of 2016, two teenage boys, one 17, the other 15, were playing with lit matches in the Great Smokey Mountains, and set a bush on fire. They then fled. The fire would become the deadliest wildfire in Tennessee history, with an official death toll of 14 people, and a total burn area of 17,000 acres. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were scorched, literally an entire mountain was engulfed in flames, 2,400 homes were destroyed and hundreds of people were injured. The two boys, both old enough to know what they were doing, have now had all charges against them dropped, because they, according to the defense, were only responsible for the bush fire itself, not the fact that the “freakish” weather caused the fire to spread and cause so much devastation to one of our national parks. Their identities will never be made public either since they were juveniles at the time of the blaze, they will never be held accountable for this disaster. Of course, no one wants to see the full hand of the law come down on top of these two so that they spend the rest of their lives behind bars, we know they didn’t intend to burn down entire towns and kill innocent people, but that should not free them of any and all responsibility, and their actions absolutely should have severe consequences. And for the defense to blame everyone except the boys, including park officials, fire fighters, and emergency managers, who ‘didn’t respond effectively’ is just incomprehensible. I just cannot wrap my head around this. Our legal/justice system is completely defunct at this point. We can’t convict arsonists, murderers, terrorists, and rapists, we are letting them walk with little or no punishment, and yet we are tossing people into prison for having herbs, car accidents, or not being able to pay fines? America is broken. It seems that every aspect of this nation needs to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.