“Today the EPA asked a federal court to delay an oral argument in a challenge involving a 2012 regulation limiting the amount of mercury, lead, and other airborne toxins emitted from power plants. Under President Trump, the EPA has asked judges to stay multiple rules adopted under the Obama administration that target power plants, including ones regulating carbon emissions and the release of toxic metals in plants’ wastewater, as well as one limiting ozone emissions generated by fossil-fuel burning. Why is this a problem? Power plants are the single biggest emitter of mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage, especially in young children. Over time, these emissions have built up in fish, whose elevated levels of mercury are absorbed by people who eat it. What difference would it make? At the time the regulation came out, the EPA estimated it would prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year when fully implemented. It projects that reducing these emissions would save between $37 billion and $90 billion in 2016 in annual health costs and lost workdays.”
The EPA’s decision to protect major corporations, like Dow Chemical, instead of the health of our children and grandchildren is unconscionable. The chemical the EPA head just approved, chlorpyrifos, is a pesticide that poisons farm workers, children and rural communities. No amount of it is safe in our food or drinking water. Trump’s EPA is arbitrarily reversing course on this chemical that is so dangerous the EPA had already decided it should be totally banned. The EPA should stand for sound science and environmental protection, not the protection of profits of massive corporations.
Recent federal analyses “have all projected an increase in heavy
downpours and sea-level rise in the United States as a result of climate
change.” Trump ignored them all, consistent with his own constant denials of
man-made climate change as a “hoax,” and his appointment of fellow climate-change
deniers like EPA head Scott Pruitt
to powerful government positions.
Under President Obama, the federal government instituted rules and standards to reduce flood risk. Trump scrapped them all, including
climate guidance in the National Environmental Policy Act, declaring:
“This over-regulated permitting process is a massive, self-inflicted wound
on our country — it’s disgraceful — denying our people much-needed
investments in their community.”
Now that Hurricane Harvey has inflicted much more massive wounds on our country and communities, some of Trump’s people may be starting to realize that perhaps blindly reversing every single thing that had the word “climate” in it or Barack Obama’s name on it wasn’t the most sensible strategy after all.
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.
The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
“The directive to undo the clean water initiative is expected to be
closely followed by another aimed at unraveling the Obama
administration’s ambitious plan to fight climate change by curbing power
plant emissions. … Trump vowed Tuesday that he would continue to undermine the Obama-era
environmental protections wherever he sees the opportunity, arguing they
have cost jobs.”
My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.
The lying asshole who put climate change skeptics/deniers in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and Department of the Interior;
repealed the Stream Protection Rule;
removed funding for the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Air Act, the
Green Climate Fund, and the EPA itself; revived the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines; and whose administration is rolling back regulations on methane emissions and vehicle pollution standards and is “reconsidering” the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards and the Clean Water Act
After decades of seeking to advance scientific understanding, reality suddenly shifts, and you are back in the cold darkness of ignorance. The ignorance starts with President Trump. It starts with untruths and alternative facts. The untruth that climate change is a “hoax” engineered by the Chinese. The alternative fact that “nobody really knows” the causes of climate change. These untruths and alternative facts are repeated again and again. They serve as talking points for other members of the administration. From the Environment Protection Agency administrator, who has spent his career fighting against climate change science, we learn the alternative fact that satellite data show “leveling off of warming” over the past two decades. The energy secretary tells us the fairy tale that climate change is due to “ocean waters, and this environment in which we live.” Ignorance trickles down from the president to members of his administration, eventually filtering into the public’s consciousness.
Getting out of this metaphorical darkness is going to be tough. The administration is powerful. It has access to media megaphones and to bully pulpits. It can abrogate international climate agreements. It can weaken national legislation designed to protect our air and water. It can challenge climate science and can tell us that more than three decades of scientific understanding and rigorous assessments are all worthless. It can question the integrity and motives of climate scientists. It can halt satellite missions and impair our ability to monitor Earth’s climate from space. It can shut down websites hosting real facts on the science of climate change. It can deny, delay, defund, distort, dismantle. It can fiddle while the planet burns.
I have to believe that even in this darkness, though, there is still a thin slit of blue sky. My optimism comes from a gut-level belief in the decency and intelligence of the people of this country. Most Americans have an investment in the future — in our children and grandchildren, and in the planet that is our only home. Most Americans care about these investments in the future; we want to protect them from harm. That is our prime directive. Most of us understand that to fulfill this directive, we can’t ignore the reality of a warming planet, rising seas, retreating snow and ice, and changes in the severity and frequency of droughts and floods. We can’t ignore the reality that human actions are part of the climate-change problem, and that human actions must be part of the solution to this problem. Ignoring reality is not a viable survival strategy.
Dark pokémon are notoriously difficult to rehome, despite being up to two times more likely to need rehoming than other types. Such pokémon have a greater risk of being abused, trained by criminals, abandoned, and used in illegal backstreet fights, thus often have to be removed from dangerous environments by protective agencies. However, following their rescue, most are reluctant to adopt them. Aside from worries about their history, dark types are still subject to superstition and stereotyping that makes them an unpopular pick with trainers.
The EPA was
just directed to freeze all grants. This means that grad students and
researchers funded on EPA funds are now without funds. All ongoing
studies are stopped. This happened in a moment with a memo, by executive
action, with zero input or oversight. It could happen to any Federal
institute, including the National Science Foundation, which funds
research at universities around the country – including the health
insurance and living stipends of many, many students.
Please, if you can safely raise your voice, raise it loudly. Call your
congresspeople, call the White House, write op-eds and articles and blog
posts. This is only Day 4. Please, stand up for science and the
environment. This is the emergency we were all worried about.
(Share widely. I did not write this. It was copied and pasted from a
scientist who wants to remain anonymous. The fear of retaliation is
Happy Earth Day! In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published, documenting the detrimental effects of the pesticide DDT on birds and bringing environmental concerns to the American public. The resulting outcry led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The bill — H.R. 1422 — co-sponsored by 21 other House Republicans (with nary a Democrat in sight) claims that industry experts are not given as much credence as independent academics or those working alongside environmental advocacy groups. This, by and large, is standard operating ethical practice, given that it is far too easy for so-called “industry experts” to manipulate data into benefiting their industry backers, who pay them. Besides, leading scientists, several environmental advocacy groups, and many health experts have banded together to write open letters about the dangers of the bill’s plans.