Friday, June 2, 2017

Earth Has a Sad

The orange man who is occupying the White House has decided the continued health of planet earth doesn't matter. Unfettered greed is what really counts -- being able to pollute, deplete resources, besmirch the planet in the name of profit, those are the things that matter to him.  No limits. That there may not be a habitable planet for his grandchildren doesn't matter. He lives in the eternal now of immediate gratification. What does it matter what happens to those left behind after he dies? The bounty of earth is here for his pleasure and that of his billionaire friends. Nothing must get in the way of unbridled growth and unfettered profits.

I chose the image above from Google Images because it illustrates our two possibilities. The one on the left is what we get with careful stewardship of the earth in cooperation with the other countries of the world. On the right, we get what Trump has chosen: industrial waste, pollution, unbridled growth, death of the planet, poisoned water and unbreathable air. Not at all surprising that the 22 senators who signed a letter supporting his decision to pull out are all well funded by the oil and coal industry. His rejection of the Paris environmental agreement places us with only two other countries on the face of the earth -- Syria and Nicaragua. Sad company, indeed.

The US is being labeled a "Rogue Nation" as a result. Our standing in the world community has hit rock bottom. Europe wants nothing to do with us, for good reasons. While the US president used to be thought of as "the leader of the free world," that is no longer the case. We have stepped down from world leadership and stepped in something very nasty on the way down.

That Trump is not capable of governing even the country he heads is quite obvious. His self-stated "big brain" proves to be a perfect match for his "tiny hands." The job is too complex, too difficult, too  demanding for him. He retreats into a sulk, tries to manipulate what can't be manipulated, imagines a world far different from reality and tweets nonsense in an attempt to distract.

His Russian buddies may have helped him achieve the office, but they can't help him now that he is in it and finding that the shoes of his predecessors are far too big for his little boy feet to fill. The realities of how he achieved the office are rapidly catching up with him and the consequences may be dire.

Meanwhile, we are left with his awful decision to step back from the agreed on limits to pollution and observing environmental caution. As has apparently happened with some of his other bad decisions,  people and entities outside the executive branch are stepping up to correct the errors of his ways. States and cities are subscribing to the Paris agreement on their own, bypassing his potentially deadly decision, just as the courts have overridden his Muslim travel ban  and congress rejected his "health care"initiative and budget demands. Michael Bloomberg has promised to contribute the $15 million our pulling out of the agreement would remove from their budget. The system of checks and balances, which he clearly does not understand, is working, despite his attempts to override it. The people are standing up to his petty actions and making things work in spite of him.

As former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, environmental regulations do not slow or stop job growth or manufacturing growth or profit. California has the most stringent environmental laws of any state yet has the highest employment, best economy by far and best growth rate of any state in the union. Trump's excuses for despoiling the earth do not stand the hard test of reality, as is true with so many of his claims. But reality is not one of the things he deals with well at all, much to our detriment as a nation.

Photo credit: Google Images

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