As difficult as it might be, put aside all the bigotry, the sexism, the hatred and the bile that has spewed out over these long months. Forget the comments of sexual harassment, the intolerance towards other races, religions and the disabled that one person in specific was elected on. Let go of the elite classism of both candidates and our anger towards them for it. Because we won’t have a planet left for any of that to matter.
World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky told Truth Out in a recent interview, “The winning candidate, now the president-elect, calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.”
Patagonia did a valid job of getting people to rethink this election in terms of voting “for the Planet.” In a campaign cycle where the number one issue concerning future generations was barely discussed, it was a sad sign of what is to come.
President elect Donald J. Drumpf does not believe in climate change. He does not believe in the Environmental Protection Agency — his choice to lead his transition team of the EPA is Myron Ebell, who is a staunch climate denier and who does not even hold a degree in science (the advocacy group he works for is financed in part by the coal industry).
Drumpf does not believe that fracking is bad for humans, drinking water or the Earth. He does not believe in federally protecting lands from development and conservation.
This is a person who responded to Fox’s Chris Wallace when asked, “Who’s going to protect the environment?” with “We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”
But we won’t be fine if we continue heading down the road we are. Global temperatures are continuing to rise. Sea levels are rising. Loss of land ice in Greenland and Antarctica are real things. These are all universal facts that even the Department of Defense and military experts can agree upon.
Following the historic presidency of Barack Obama, who protected more federal lands and marine ecosystems than any other president ever, we are left to wonder where our planet is now heading.
Will the hard-fought battle that is going on in North Dakota over the pipeline even matter? Will our unborn children and grandchildren know of the National Park Service? How many more species will we kill in the next 10, 20 and 50 years?
Whatever your feelings are on the outcome of the election, we need to do everything we can to make sure we have a planet for the future. Vehemently denying climate change as a hoax and threatening to go back on a great step forward with the Climate Paris Agreement (that 195 nations agreed upon) are not things we have time for as a human race. The independent research firm Lux Research estimates that by 2024, Drumpf’s proposed policies would increase U.S. carbon emissions by 16 percent.
We need to start conversations about the environment on a national-level, sign petitions, protest, stop eating meat or do whatever you can. Because the number one issue facing humans was barely a talking point during the election, but now it’s time to get down to business and make some changes for our planet. In this last election, we let the whole planet down, but hopefully we can find the fortitude to recognize we are better than that.
I will leave you with another quote from Noam Chomsky in that recent interview. And keep in mind that he started the discussion by bringing this up immediately, showing the magnitude of what has happened. Hopefully we can prove him wrong in this:
“It is hard to find words to capture the fact that humans are facing the most important question in their history — whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know — and are answering it by accelerating the race to disaster.”