It is unfathomable that many of the nation's millennials have so far displayed only lukewarm support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
No age group eligible to vote this November has more to lose if Donald Trump is elected and his regressive environmental policies are put into place. Clinton is the only electable candidate diametrically opposed to Trump's abandonment of climate change remediation, a default which would invariably diminish millennials' quality of life.
Indeed, this 18 to 34 age group would be on the front line in exposure to climate change's adverse consequences. They would have to deal not just with the serious health impacts to themselves from Trump's climate change denial and weakening of health-based pollution regulations. Time wasted from inaction under Trump would also leave millennials caught between responsibility for their children and aging parents. Both these cohorts' physical state would be especially vulnerable to record-breaking heat waves and increased contamination of air and water.
Scientists say we have a narrow window of opportunity to avoid climate change's worst disruptive effects. Time lost even under a single Trump Administration term could not be made up. The result: millennials would be in the thick of it by 2030 when they would be in the pivotal middle age stage of their adult life. Scientists' ominous warning derives from our need to be well into a gradual phase-out of carbon-emitting fossil fuels by the end of the next decade or face irreversible climatic catastrophe. It is a warning that runs counter to Trump's ill-advised proposal to redouble oil and coal extraction.
Trump has proposed a host of environmental policies that pose grim tidings for millennials. He would cancel President Obama's regulation of coal-fired power plants and withdraw us from the Paris international climate change accord. New tougher standards for ozone pollution would be nullified. The ensuing air pollution is projected to cause a dramatic increase in asthma and other respiratory diseases. Furthermore, intensified climate instability would lead to international political instability, fueled by food shortages and mass migration from developing countries.
Repeal of Obama's Clean Water rule that would protect 60 percent of the nation's streams supplying drinking water to one-third of our population is also on Trump's agenda in deference to developers. Remember that there are a heck of a lot of millennials among the one-third of Americans potentially impacted by diminished water quality.
In addition to covering the landscape with oil rigs, Trump advocates elimination of government subsidies for development of clean, renewable energy. He would curtail playing favorites with this vital cog in the grand design for assuring our planet remains livable.
Finally, Trump appears receptive to stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its enforcement authority and reducing it essentially to a toothless research entity. That would leave our restless millennials at the not so tender mercies of a number of states with dismal regulatory resumes.
Voting for a Third Party instead of Clinton or sitting out the election altogether benefit Trump. For the sake of their health and that of the planet, millennials need to get their head screwed on straight before Election Day.