Happy Earth Day? I pose this as a question because decades after the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, our home has never been in as much peril from the ravages of conservative-enabled corporate greed as it is now.
Tragically, “conservatism” used to mean “conservation.” Now it is synonymous with environmental destruction. The great conservationist Teddy Roosevelt, who saw first hand the devastation caused by the westward expansion, would not recognize Republicans of today. Today, it seems as if Republican regard “strength” to mean “never learn from past mistakes” – especially if the result is to weaken democracy and concentrate more money at the top.
Back to the “Good Ol’ Days” of the Cuyahoga “Freedumb” Fire
I often call Republicans “greed-centered ghouls,” but truly, they are “ghosts” of times best left in the dung heap of history. Times like when “America the beautiful” was so polluted, the Cuyahoga River went up in flames.
“…after so many years, it becomes difficult to really understand and feel the rampant water (and air) pollution of the industrial era that led to the Cuyahoga fire.
Unless you were there.
Richard Ellers was there.
And Ellers felt the Cuyahoga River pollution — literally.
“Back in the ’60s … I went on a news excursion on the river downtown to show how bad the pollution was,” Ellers recalled recently. “I remember we could see a layer of crud on the water but didn’t appreciate its thickness until the photog on the trip, Marv Greene, said, ‘Richard, dip your hand in there and pull it out.’ ”
Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
1973, Harshaw Chemical Company dumps waste into the Cuyahoga River
Just as corporate greed created the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that gave birth to the Labor Movement, the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire helped spur the environmental movement, which led to the creation of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies were created with overwhelming bipartisan support, leading to overwhelming bipartisan legislation, such as the Clean Water Act and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. It used to be universally understood that sustaining, and maintaining “America the beautiful” was one of the primary roles of government. That is until the filthy, archaic, fossil fuel industry started to work against the interests of the planet to sustain their bottom line.
The Environmental Protection Agency was created out of the necessity to ensure the planet remains inhabitable. Though it’s seems as if Trump, his billionaire pals and their Republican co-conspirators are such “innovators” that they can’t make a buck unless given the “freedumb” to turn “America the beautiful” into a toilet for their poisonous corporate waste, so they’ve packed government with climate change-deniers like former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and… well… just about everyone in this disgraceful Republican government.
Of course, the disingenuous excuse Republicans give for turning the Earth into their toilet and ending life on Earth as we know is, “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Though, “jobs, jobs, jobs” have nothing to do with it. In fact, reality tells us that environmental standards and regulations actually spur innovation and create “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Using math, the Environmental Defense Fund consistently counters disingenuous Republican assertions.
The EDA reports, “Policies to reduce emissions, like a cap-and-trade program, will lead to job creation…
The fact that climate policy will create jobs in some sectors is an important point in itself—simply because there have been such strong and exaggerated claims by opponents of climate policy that it will be a “job killer.” Like any major policy, comprehensive climate legislation would increase employment in some areas even as it decreased employment in others.
And jobs increases might well come in sectors where you wouldn’t expect that to happen. [For Example] …the labor needed to retrofit buildings to make them more energy efficient, and the 250 tons of steel needed to make a wind turbine.”
Bluntly, Trump, his billionaire parasite pals and their Republican co-conspirators are not only liars… they’re lazy. It’s so much easier for them to dump their trash into the environment we all share, than to make the extra effort to dispose of their waste like responsible citizens who value country and community.
One would think that people proclaiming to be “patriots” would do all they can to protect the “purple mountains majesty” and the “fruited plains” they supposedly love. Not Republicans. They act like swaggering pimps, eyeing Mother Earth like she’s some human trafficked slave they’re beating into submission until she brings daddy home some profit. In this – and every – scenario, Mother Earth will have the last laugh. Far from being the prey, she’s waiting for the tipping point where she’ll show no mercy to all who’ve done her wrong – sort of like Pam Grier in the 1973 Blaxploitation film, “Coffy.” Unfortunately, it will be all of us – not just Republicans – caught in the crossfire.
Trump appointing Scott Pruitt to run the EPA – an agency he sued over 14 times – is just one of the many, many Republican assaults on the only planet we have. Pruitt is also a vociferous denier of the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary contributor to climate change. From undermining science, to increasing carbon emissions, to allowing more waste into the air we breathe and water we drink, The Huffington Post compiled a list of the terrible things the Trump administration has done so far to harm the environment.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Right now, you can Mitigate Environmental Damage – AND help The RDT Independent Liberal Media Remain Free of Corporate Influence.
I was both tickled and heartened to see that EPA s0-called “Administrator” Pruitt was greeted with shouts of “you’re a monster,” at an Earth Day panel in Dallas. This is a scene that must be repeated everywhere these Republican monsters dare frequent. There are no “safe spaces” in fascism, and there should be no safe spaces for the fascists. BUT, in addition to marching, rallying, showing up at town halls and remaining engaged with our local representatives, there some practical things we can do to help reduce carbon emissions. For instance, making sure our energy comes from renewable sources by signing up for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
RDT has partnered with Arcadia Power to help push this initiative. This may seem like a “shameless plug,” but it’s not. We here at RDT truly believe in Arcadia Power, and would not be pushing it if we didn’t. Right now, the RDT community can take an effective stance in the fight against climate change. We can all reduce our carbon footprint in minutes.
You don’t have to have a wind turbine in your back yard, or install solar panels on your roof to get all your power from renewable sources- immediately. The EPA (pre-Pruitt) created this video to explain how Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) work.
RECs are something that can help make a difference today.
It only takes 3 minutes to tell your power company that you want to receive your power from renewable sources. By doing this, you will support clean vs. dirty energy and help sustain the renewable energy industry. Imagine! If we all signed up and switched to renewable sources, we would leave dirty energy power plants in history’s dust bin – where they belong.
There really is no down side to this. You will support RDT independent liberal media, help reduce carbon emissions, support renewable energy, and get a discount on your next power bill.
Arcadia gives any American the choice to support clean energy right through their monthly utility bill, for free. That’s right. It doesn’t cost anything extra to sign up for Arcadia and support wind farms each month. That’s why we’re so psyched to help promote Arcadia to the RDT community.
In addition to switching to Arcadia Power, the EPA website has “25 easy steps you can take at Home, School, the Office, and On the Road to protect the climate, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, and save money.” Frankly, I’m surprised Pruitt hasn’t ordered it taken down. It just goes to show that the good people at the EPA are passionate about conservation and making sure the planet is inhabitable. They are just as much under assault as the rest of us.
PURCHASE GREEN ELECTRICITY
Voluntary buy-in to EPA-certified green power has soared with 41% annual growth rates since 2004, and one in four utilites now offering the green power upgrade option. If you haven’t joined yet, it’s a simple and effective way to green your home’s power. Source: University of California at Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network
PURCHASE AN ELECTRIC OR HYBRID VEHICLE
Americans are choosing greener vehicles–the average fuel efficiency of cars on the road in the U.S. has gone up steadily for the past 10 years. Don’t get left behind in a gas guzzler! Source: University of California at Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network
EAT A LOW CARBON DIET
A third of all food emissions in the United States come from red meat and dairy products, while chicken and vegetables have up to ten times smaller footprints per serving, so small diet switches can make a BIG difference. Source: University of California at Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network.
TELECOMMUTE TO WORK
Not every job is suited for telecommuting, but if you can work from home the environmental and quality-of-life perks are quite compelling! Source: University of California at Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network.
LIMIT YOUR — USE OF FOSSIL FUELS
Every day you make choices about how to get to work, what temperature to set your thermostat, what products you buy, and a range of other things big and small. Many of these decisions have an impact on your “carbon footprint” – how much fossil fuel consumption, and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, result from your choices.
A wealth of information is available on low-carbon choices you can make. Biking to work instead of walking. Using more efficient light bulbs in your home. Unplugging electric devices when not in use. These actions and many others reduce your carbon footprint and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that promote climate change.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR OVERALL IMPACT
The fact is that every choice we make impacts the environment in some way, and increases the chances that climate change effects will impact us negatively. Share your tips for leading a sustainable lifestyle on Facebook, and read more everyday tips on how to change the world!”
While the death cult known as the Republican Party has its greed-centered fingers around the neck of power, it is the duty of every American to resist. Make no mistake. Damage will be done. We must tirelessly work to regain control and undo Republican damage. I sincerely hope it won’t be too late. We are all doing what we can. As I always say, “we stick together, we win.”
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