You’d be hard-pressed to find a non-controversial topic surrounding Donald Trump, however, an often under discussed issue is the environment. Trump has pushed to roll back several Obama-era environmental policies, and has repeatedly made statements that make it clear that our planet is at the bottom of his priority list. Regardless of your opinion on his other policies, this cannot be argued. The Trump administration hates the planet. Not convinced? Keep reading.
The Paris Agreement, ratified in 2016 by 194 countries and the European Union, “brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.” It’s goals are to keep global temperature rise low and to become better prepared to deal with effects of climate change. In 2017, the Trump admin gave official notice that the US was backing out of the agreement because according to Trump, he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Luckily, a clause in the agreement delays the US’s official exit until November of 2020. TL;DR: VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.
‘45 has shown time and time again that he couldn’t care less about the biodiversity of our planet. This is made crystal clear by his stance on trophy hunting and importing animal trophies. For a more in-depth look into the to-and-fro of this policy, check out this article. He has also set his sights on the Endangered Species Act, which protects threatened plants and animals (as well as their habitats). The Trump Admin claims that the act has not been successful at all since its installation in 1973. However, Derek Goldman of the Endangered Species Coalition says, “they define success as delisting,” and only 3% of species have been removed from the endangered list. However, according to Goldman, 99% of those threatened species have been saved from extinction. Trump wants to give the act a massive makeover, consequently putting thousands of species at risk for further endangerment and extinction.
Donald Trump Jr. posing with a kill on one of his many hunting trips.
Much of Trump’s campaigning revolved around him being an advocate for the “hard-working American,” with promises to revive the coal industry, and bring back jobs for miners. He plans to exploit the Defense Production Act of 1950 to “win the war on coal.” This act originally gave Harry Truman permission to “prioritize national defense over civilian needs.” A mass increase in coal burning could have catastrophic effects on our planet, but Trump clearly doesn’t care.
Nothing that has been discussed above will be fixed overnight. To make a change in Trump’s environmental policies (or lack thereof), we all need to speak as one voice. And the best way that voice can be heard is at the polls. If you enjoy hiking in mountains with clean air, if you love traveling and seeing all the incredible creatures that make this planet so beautiful, if you care about the world we live in, go vote.
Register to vote in Utah here.