Christmas music has started its annual takeover of the radio airwaves. While driving around with my mom, I was able to catch a few songs, including the carol, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”
I agree; I am also dreaming of a white holiday season, however, soon “white Christmases” are going to be something we all just “used to know.” Temperatures are rising – the temperatures today are the hottest in the past 1,500 years. Our ozone is depleting. The polar ice-caps are melting. The United States has one of the biggest carbon footprints in the world, second only to China.
This past week, despite a meeting with Al Gore that provided a glimmer of hope, president-elect Donald Trump picked Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt fights for those who work with fossil fuels. He has engaged in lawsuits to protect oil and gas companies. When he ran for state legislature and many other offices, he was the puppet of large oil companies, who praised and loved him.
While I understand (although completely disagree with) the pro-business perspective of those who are against environmental regulations, I don’t understand their moral or logical perspective.
Firstly, climate change exists and is happening. Science proves that. Science is not something which one can choose to believe in – it just is. The fact that a ball will come down if thrown up is based on the laws of gravity, which is science. The fact that our planet is becoming warmer ten percent faster than ever before in history is based on studies by organizations such as NASA and is a fact. There are solid numbers found by American organizations, some even funded by the U.S. government – not the Chinese – saying that global warming is happening and climate change is occurring. Asking someone whether they believe in climate change is not the same as asking someone whether they believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Someone can believe in the Loch Ness Monster, and someone else can say that it is made up. That is not the case for climate change. It is real and it is happening. As the beings that destroyed that earth, humans have a moral imperative to fix and protect it.
It is appalling and disturbing that Donald Trump would choose Scott Pruitt as his head of the EPA (although, in hindsight, the pick isn’t so surprising). This is a man who seems like he couldn’t care less about the environment. He lives in the pockets of companies that destroy and pollute Earth like its their religion. If a person is severely ill with a disease that is curable, you don’t stop the medication and replace the doctor with a person who says, “No, it’s okay. Just go home. Keep smoking cigarettes, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, eating purely junk food, etc.” Any reasonable person would agree that that would make no sense. Just cure the person! Then why do we do exactly that to our planet? If we do not fix the Earth now, there will soon be no country to govern.
Even if one doesn’t believe in climate change or global warming, is it not still good to take care of our planet? We take care of bodies with medicine and proper hygiene; wearing coats in the winter and lighter clothing in the summer, even if we’re not sick. One doesn’t only start taking care of themselves when they’re sick. The same applies for the Earth. Taking the extra step to take care of the planet is worth it.
Scott Pruitt will destroy both the EPA and the environment. I hope the Americans who voted for Trump are ready for that. I also hope that those who dream of “white Christmases” like I do are willing to advocate for environmental regulations and protections.