We should have known that Donald Trump’s disrespect for women would extend to Planet Earth. After all, Earth is governed by Mother Nature.
This week Donald Trump signed executive orders undermining the 2015 international agreement to curb carbon dioxide emissions that causes global warming. With the stroke of his pen, denial of climate change and of scientific evidence became the official policy of the United States. As an initial step the federal agency that is supposed to provide environmental protection will stop enforcing requirements that prevent coal-fueled power plants from spewing carbon and other toxic waste into the atmosphere.
So far international reaction is mixed. The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported widespread upset in the European Union. A United Nations spokesperson condemned the decision. In Asia, China reaffirmed its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, but India, the world’s third-largest carbon dioxide polluter, looks poised to join Trump’s attack on Mother Nature.
The Financial Times, based in London, reports that even Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest producers of fossil fuels, is urging Trump to honor the 2015 Paris Climate Accords. With that agreement the United States and other industrial and industrializing nations agreed to limit their carbon footprints and take steps to roll back global warming.
Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and factories, gas-fueled vehicles, and fires used to clear land, helped make 2016 the hottest year ever recorded. It was the third record-breaking year in a row. Sixteen of the seventeen hottest years have all occurred between 2000 and today.
One dramatic sign of the impact of global warming and Mother Nature’s anger is the break up of the Antarctica ice shelf. In two months, a hundred mile long “crack” in the ice extended by almost twenty miles and in places it is two miles wide. When it breaks, and it will break, it will produce an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware.
Temperature change and icebergs in Antarctica may not seem like immediate threats. But other environmental problems will be much closer to home. If you voted for Donald Trump, you probably deserve what you are going to get. It just seems unfair to everyone else.
Severe Storms: A warming planet and warmer oceans will produce extreme weather. The day after Trump signed away our future, Texas, Oklahoma, and the Mississippi Valley were hit with record-breaking severe storms and giant hail.
Rising Oceans: Sea-levels have been rising for the past century along with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and they are now rising at an accelerated rate. In Florida, 2.4 million people in 1.3 million homes, live within four feet of the high tide line. Climate scientists predict that by 2030 most of these homes will be destroyed and millions of people will be displaced. In southern Florida, rising ocean levels are already pouring salt water into the aqua filters placing the water supply for millions of people in jeopardy.
Acid Rain: Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere produced by carbon-fueled power plants cause acid rain that harms plants, animals, buildings, and road. Even if there are no coal-fueled power plants near you, wind blows acid-laden clouds to new regions. Before 1990s restrictions, acid rain from coal-fueled power plants in Ohio was killing lakes in upstate New York, destroying recreational fishing in the Adirondack region. This will now likely happen again. Who knew Trump hated fish and fisherman, many who were Trump voters?
Earthquakes: Donald Trump supports hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to extract natural gas trapped deep underground. But according to the pro-business magazine Forbes, fracking was responsible for a major magnitude 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma in September 2016. Since fuel companies began large-scale fracking in Oklahoma in 2009, the number of magnitude 3+ earthquakes has increased from fewer than an average two a year to 903 in 2015. Donald Trump received 65% of the popular vote in Oklahoma in the 2016 Presidential election.
Air Pollution and Illness: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Donald Trump wants to defund and declaw defines air pollution as “any visible or invisible particle or gas found in the air that is not part of the natural composition of air.” Airborne particles produced by burning fossil fuels cause coughing, eye irritation, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, and is one of the causes of rising rates of asthma among children in the United States. Air pollution also exacerbates coronary artery disease, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis and may be responsible for triggering certain types of cancers. In his proposed federal budget, Donald Trump plans to cut the EPA budget by almost a third.
River on Fire: It must have seen like one of the biblical plagues. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, Ohio was on fire and it was not the first time. The burning oil slick was the result of from decades of industrial waste as industries used the river as an open sewer. Ohio narrowly voted for Donald trump in the election.
Forest Fires: As the Earth warms the number and the extent of forest fires in the United States increases. In 2007 Georgia, Utah, and Florida had their largest forest fires ever. In 2008 it was North Carolina. In 2011 Arizona and Texas had their worst forest fires in state history. In 2012 New Mexico had its largest forest fire ever and Oregon had its largest in 150 years. In 2013 Colorado had its largest forest fire ever and California had its third largest. In 2014 the State of Washington had its largest forest fire ever – until 2015. In 2015 the State of Kansas also had its largest forest fire ever.
The Once Great Lakes: The Great Lakes along the U.S.-Canadian border is the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world. Runoff from streets, lawns, and sewer drains carry toxins, chemicals, and silt into the lakes and buildup sediment. Lakes that once had stable ecosystems are being choked by plants and algae fed by spill-off lawns fertilizer. Lake Erie now suffers from annual algae blooms that deplete oxygen in the water and kill fish.
Poisoned Drinking Water: The U.S. had virtually no federal oversight over the quality of drinking-water before Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 that the EPA was authorized to set national safety standards. The Safe Drinking Water Act covers ninety-one contaminants, but there are tens of thousands of chemicals used in the U.S. that cause water pollution. Even with regulations and monitoring ten states, Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee report unsafe levels of lead in their water supply. In March 2016 the Obama administration pledged more than $5 billion to improve water accessibility and quality in the United States. What will the Trump administration do?
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View Mother Nature’s response to Donald Trump in a “rap” hosted on Youtube by Reeces Pieces.