The beginning of the end for the EPA? There is a bill in congress, HR861, that states: A BILL To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. It couldn’t be more clear.
I sure hope the current administration has a plan for the environment—besides opening it back up to uncontrolled pollution that benefits sellers of fossil fuels and other big business— that reaches out to the next seven generations.
I hope you will forgive my dive into current politics. I’ve been trying hard to restrain myself from pushing my views onto my friends and family. Of all the issues that people are expressing an opinion about now, the only one with real far-reaching consequences (besides nuclear holocaust, which I won’t go into) is the environment. I truly believe that the total disregard of the environment by the current administration could push the world beyond the tipping point (if we’re not already there). Even China recognizes the problem and is taking pretty drastic measures to phase out coal in favor of solar.
Global warming is real. It is caused by a number of factors, but a major one we should have control over is how much carbon we Americans pump into the atmosphere using fossil fuels to power our cars, heat our homes and businesses, transport our food, etc. We don’t. The oil companies running our country have kept us technologically in the 20th century. We should be way further ahead with clean technologies by now, but their money is guiding our government to allow them to squeeze every last dollar they can from their oil (even when they aren’t actually occupying positions, like, say, Vice President Cheney–talk about big oil).
There are lots of issues of National Security that will arise:
– Global warming is causing a rise in ocean levels due to the melting of polar ice (which is happening much faster than even the least optimistic models predicted), which, in turn, will cause flooding of most of America’s largest cities–Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans. Miami is already dealing with regular flooding, and is building seawalls. And let’s not forget New Orleans. Flooding will interfere with commerce and transportation, and will put a huge burden on the economy as more and more cities spend money building higher seawalls, and even dikes (yeah, like Holland), to keep the ocean out of the cities. And that doesn’t even talk about the rest of the smaller communities that line our coasts–around 40% of the population lives within 50 miles of the ocean.
– Global warming causes climate change, which leads to extremes in weather–more frequent severe storms, and extremes in temperatures and amounts of rainfall and snowfall. We will have more flooding (destroying crops, causing property damage, killing people, disrupting commerce and transportation, and costing the government lots of money), and more droughts as snow packs diminish (causing food and water shortages, and driving up prices for consumers).
– If you disregard the huge monetary costs to America, we will also be dealing with a much less stable world. Whole populations will be displaced due to rising sea levels, flooding, and starvation due to drought. There will be more wars. There will be a lot more need for us to contribute to the well-being of people in other countries. Both of these will cost us money.
I guess the point of all this is, our dependence on cheap oil is false economy. We are not paying the ‘true cost’ (an economic model that seeks to include the cost of negative externalities into the pricing of goods and services). It’s going to cost us (and the generations that follow) a lot of money and grief, if we don’t move right now to clean up the mess we’ve been causing for the last one hundred and fifty years. The other consequence, of course, is the real possibility that the atmosphere heats up to a point where we can’t survive at all—none of us—and this is not a far-fetched idea. It could really happen.
If you care about what’s being done to the EPA, contact your representatives, both locally and in congress—phone calls, email, snail mail, going to town meetings. It is up to all of us to make sure we don’t leave a dystopian future world for our descendants, two hundred years from now.
Copyright ©2014-17 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.