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Day 295 – It is Literally Us Against the World, Mr. President, When It Comes to the Paris Agreement.

Day 295 – It is Literally Us Against the World, Mr. President, When It Comes to the Paris Agreement.

Image from Twitter – Sarah Silverman

Mr. President,

Syria has signed the Paris Climate Agreement, so now it is literally us against the world. Just one year ago, the USA was considered the leader of the free world. Now, not so much. I assume that being the only one to reject the Paris Agreement makes you feel proud of yourself, but it makes my blood pressure increase like sea level rise. C’mon, wouldn’t you rather have a seat at the kid’s table than not be invited to the party at all?

It seems easy to figure out why you don’t want the USA involved in this globally recognized agreement. It is not because America is paying more than our fair share. It is because (once again) you, your business associates, and your family are making a buck from industries that pollute our earth. Fossil fuels are your only friends as you have proven with your determination to drill, mine, and practically rape our country. You intend to squeeze every drop out of any marketable product of mother earth. That you intend to reduce the size of numerous national parks adds insult to injury because if there is one thing that helps filter CO2 from the air, it is trees. But that acreage is being wasted on hikers and campers seeking refuge in the woods, right? Both natural and cultural resources will be jeopardized but those things do not matter to you. If we can drill, harvest, and make a profit, who cares if we leave nothing to our future generations?

As one of the richest countries on earth, the USA prospers in part from manufacturing industries but also technology on a large scale. Put those things together and I will wager we could figure out how to make products without contributing to the demise of the environment. Even with less non-Americans allowed to come help in our technology based fields, I feel sure we could figure it out. Although our economy draws wealth from our natural resources also, we need to work to transition to use more sustainable and less damaging resources like solar, wind, and hydro power.

Richer countries that owe their wealth mainly to oil and natural gas have signed an intention to work towards reducing greenhouse emissions. They realize that their economy can stay healthy as they diversify into other power providing sources and use technology to their benefit.

What is the cost of not contributing to the Paris Agreement? Do we save a few dollars? Do we lose our reputation? If you are planning for our economy to run on fossil fuels forever, one day when the entire world has shifted to a safe and maintainable means of energy, we will be alone. And in the dark.

Don’t destroy America. Do the right thing for our people and our future. Rethink your intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and make the world a better place.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 288 – Let’s Talk About the Environment, Mr. President. And How You Are Destroying It and Failing to Protect It at the Same Time.

Day 288 – Let’s Talk About the Environment, Mr. President. And How You Are Destroying It and Failing to Protect It at the Same Time.

Image from LinkTV

Mr. President,

It’s been a hell of a week.  Leaving aside the indictments, and your apparent inability to be a figure of strength and empathy in the face of the attack in New York City, using it instead as an opportunity to blame those you perceive as your political opponents and grandstand about the supposed need for immigration reform, and ignoring, for the moment, the baffling sight of your Chief of Staff — your freaking Chief of Staff –  claiming that a “lack of compromise” caused the Civil War (a statement so vague as to be meaningless and yet so obviously intended to deceive as to be malicious), you, Donald J, have still managed to put us through an emotional, spiritual, and intellectual wringer.

Of course, in that respect, it’s pretty much like every other week in your janky-ass presidency.

But let’s talk today about the environment.

Just about a week ago, your administration recommended that entrance fees be raised significantly at a number of National Parks and, simultaneously, that the budget for the National Park Service be slashed.  Unsurprisingly, the higher fees won’t even cover a third of what you’re proposing to cut from the budget.  What is happening, then, is that at the same time that you’re attempting to restrict access to some of our country’s most awe-inspiring public property to those who can afford the higher cost of admission, you’re also trying to destroy those parks from within.

That’s a dick move, Mr. Trump.

What kind of a person – what kind of a leader –  kills the funding for the protection, promotion, and preservation of our country’s finest natural spaces and figures, “hey, while I’m at it, why don’t I make sure that in whatever handful of years our parks might continue to exist as public property, only the wealthy can visit them?”

I know that seems extreme, but it also seems exactly like the kind of thing a person who has always been rich, who has never wanted for anything, who has spent decades enjoying the sorts of exclusive perks of first-class life available only to the wealthy would do.

Meanwhile, today, the government released its National Climate Assessment (a report required by law, perhaps to your chagrin), a report that stated, unequivocally, that “there is no convincing alternative explanation” for the witnessed climate change of the last century than humans.  It warns that sea levels might rise by eight feet – eight goddamn feet! – in the next 80 years.

Your administration’s response?  Well, Rick Perry has said that the jury is still out.  [It’s not.]  And Raj Shah (a spokesman for the White House) insists that “the climate has changed and is always changing.”  [Yup, but that’s a whole lot like claiming that a lack of compromise caused the Civil War.  And it’s just as stupid.]

Meanwhile, your thoughts?  Apparently, you were barely aware of the report’s existence.

Good times.

This is not what I want from my country.  This is not what I want from my country’s leadership.  Sadly, at the moment, it’s what we’re getting.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 234 – No…Really. Climate Change is Not Fake News, Mr. President.

Day 234 – No…Really. Climate Change is Not Fake News, Mr. President.

Photograph from Raw Story

Dear Mr. President,

As I watch the hurricanes lined-up one after the other, each an extraordinary “100 year storm,” I wonder how much longer you will be able to ignore global climate change.  When will it dawn on your government that having “100 year” storms arriving within days of one another is, well, extraordinary?

Will your big business-oriented administration ever consider the potential costs of unregulated manufacturing, gas and oil production, and dangerous chemical plants to the relatively benign costs of cleaning up and protecting the environment?

Due to lack of regulation the west is ablaze with wild fires; millions of acres of forests and grasslands destroyed, oxygen- generating trees burned to the ground.  American citizens, your friends out west, are wearing masks in order to breathe.

Houston is under water.  Florida is currently totally engulfed in Hurricane Irma. Two “once in a lifetime” hurricanes are not far behind…four major storm disasters within six weeks?

Your administration’s idea of leadership in view of these horrific natural disasters is to cut the funding for FEMA, deregulate further the industries polluting the environment, and pulling out of the Paris Accord.

These outrageous policies are only in one of your agencies of government.  You have given stewardship for every key function to individuals who are not only ignorant of their responsibilities, but in some cases only want to destroy and dismantle their area of trust.

The CEO of the Nestle Company stated a while back that “water is not a right” and is given free rein to pump 400 gallons per minute of groundwater from the aquifer in Evert, Michigan to increase profits..  All the while in Flint, Michigan people are still drinking polluted and discolored water. Their children will pay the price for ingesting the iron and led that runs through it.

Our government has been purchased by corporations for private profit. Oil and gas lobbyists write our environmental laws, the people in charge of our education department include some convicted of education fraud and are led by a person who has never attended public school.  I could go through every part of your government and identify how you have turned our democracy into a kleptocracy…starting with you.

Republicans do not represent the American people, and our current politics only focus on enriching the rich, impoverishing the poor, and treating everyday Americans as a bunch of sheep to be sheered.

Please reconsider your future legacy – false praise today is fleeting.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 231 – You Know You Are Destroying Things for Your Kids and Grandkids Too, Right? Your Money Bubble Only Stretches So Far.

Day 231 – You Know You Are Destroying Things for Your Kids and Grandkids Too, Right? Your Money Bubble Only Stretches So Far.

Photograph by Fflav

Dear Mr. President,

In reviewing your Presidency, I realize you are a phenome – a man walking around without a heart, soulless, humorless, hate filled, self-absorbed, ignorant, delusional and a compulsive liar.  In your desire to be the biggest, flashiest, loudest, most profane you have revealed your essential nature exceedingly well.

You were the kid who pulled the wings off flies, fried ants with magnifying glasses, and cut the legs off living frogs. You were the teenager who drove out of your way to kill the squirrel running across the road and to crush the turtle headed for the pond. You were the young man dodging the draft, assaulting women, and scamming your business investors. You are known for your skill at financial bankruptcy. Now we know you are morally and spiritually bankrupt as well.  In any other situation, you might be institutionalized in a mental hospital or confined in prison. But, here we are.

The only things it appears you care about are your children. So, let’s go there.  Mr. President, your children require air to breath, food to eat, and water to drink.  Money will be able to buy these vital resources for a while, but when the air and water are totally fouled, and crops fail due to climate change, your children will starve, too.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, increasing earthquakes, tidal waves, and acid rain don’t discriminate.  There isn’t a little circle of private privilege that will save your children.  They will die, too. Nuclear and hydrogen bombs don’t stop mid-air because your children are in their path. They will vaporize, too.

All of your amazing, fabulous, expensive, glittering properties – they will crumble in the face of a hydrogen bomb, the earth shattering quakes caused by fracking, or the flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes already caused by climate change.  Your assault on the natural world will be felt by your grandchildren.

You actively seed and feed hatred and social chaos. As the saying goes, you will reap what you sow. Your hatred will rebound to you and yours ten-fold.  You consider American Nazis to be “good people.” (Do you know that your grandchildren are Jewish?) You destroy families with unbridled ICE raids tearing children from the arms of their parents. (Do you know that your party is supposedly “pro-family”?)  Your assault on democracy and on citizens goes on and on and on.

Mr. President, we plead with you to do one thing to protect your family, your properties, your wealth, and perhaps reduce your prison sentence for treason.  Please, resign. Quit. Walk away. Claim victory and enjoy the years you have left.  You’ve made the history books. You’ll be remembered.

You’ve destroyed the good achieved by President Obama. You’ve undercut international friendships and alliances. You’ve turbo-charged the destruction of the environment. You’ve terrified minorities and embolden thugs.  You’ve achieved your objectives.  Please, for the sake of humanity, resign.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 227 – Perhaps You and Scott Pruitt Could Share a Nice Salad of Chlorphyrifos-Treated Vegetables, Mr. President? No? Good Enough For Us, But Not For You? Huh.

Day 227 – Perhaps You and Scott Pruitt Could Share a Nice Salad of Chlorphyrifos-Treated Vegetables, Mr. President? No? Good Enough For Us, But Not For You? Huh.

Photograph by Earth Justice

Dear Mr. President,

You promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C.  You have not kept your promise.  Instead, you have increased the size of the swamp by pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement and filling the White House and government posts with oil and gas polluters.  You have surrounded yourself with climate change deniers and administrators who are in direct opposition to the very protections their positions demand of them.

For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Scott Pruitt, recently decided to avoid banning a dangerous pesticide, chlorpyrifos.  I find this outrageous.  Chlorpyrifos was outlawed 17 years ago for residential useIt is still sprayed on foods like corn, wheat, apples, strawberries, and citrus, in spite of the fact it causes damage to children’s developing brains and nervous systems.  Anyone living in agricultural communities can be affected by this toxic pesticide.  It is in their food, drinking water, and air, and in the soil around their homes, schools, playgrounds, and work places. Studies have demonstrated “a strong correlation to chronic illness associated with autoimmune disorders after exposure to chlorpyrifos” and that it can have a significant negative, long-term impact on nearby bodies of water.

Chlorpyrifos is only one of the many poisons foisted on U.S. and world citizens.  Herbicides, particularly glyphosate found in Roundup and other plant killing concoctions, created by Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Syngenta, etc., are probably carcinogenic. These pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals are not confined to the fields in which they are used.  They contaminate adjacent fields, soil, water, and the air we breathe.

If you really want to “drain the swamp,” I suggest you take on what’s really important, which is placing real, independent scientists in positions to help create policies that will change our current course.  The course we’re on is leading to the demise of the planet and its inhabitants.  Surely the devastation in Houston has made you rethink climate change.  Surely you’ve lived long enough to know that depleting the soil of nutrients and replacing them with chemicals and genetically modified plants does not nurture us.

Stop diddling with “health care” and twitter.  Stop catering to your “base” and become a president for all citizens.  Remove corporate lobbyists from government.  Stop the collusion of the EPA and the USDA with corporate interests in the pharmaceutical, agriculture, oil, and gas companies.  Our planet and its inhabitants are in crisis.  No one is immune to this crisis.  Do something to change what’s happening.  Drain the swamp of government officials whose primary concern is profit and power.  Without a planet, profit and power will be meaningless.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 226 – Climate Change is Real, Mr. President. Stop Listening To The Money-Grubbing Sycophants Who Tell You Otherwise.

Day 226 – Climate Change is Real, Mr. President. Stop Listening To The Money-Grubbing Sycophants Who Tell You Otherwise.

Photograph from the United Nations

Dear Mr. President,

I know you were kinda sorta joking when you suggested that maybe someday you would be immortalized on Mount Rushmore, but, here’s the thing: despite the rather pathetic nature of your presidency so far, there’s still a chance. Despite your failure to honor more than a trivial few of your campaign promises (Remember when you promised to help Flint? Remember when you promised to replace Obamacare with something better? Remember when you promised to build “a safe zone” for Syrian refugees? Remember when you promised that you wouldn’t take vacations?), you could still make yours a historically significant presidency. Like Abraham Lincoln, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, you’re in charge of a country in crisis, its very existence threatened.

Under Lincoln, our nation confronted the horror of slavery, fought a war to hold itself together, and began a long struggle to fulfill the promises laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Roosevelt inherited a country in the midst of a devastating economic depression brought on, in part, by incredible income inequality, and even while fighting to restore prosperity to the American people, joined the fight against the then totalitarian nightmares of Germany and Japan.

Today, we face not only the most excessive income inequality since the Great Depression, but also the existential threat of global climate change. While it would be ridiculous to claim that climate change somehow “caused” Hurricane Harvey, we can see in its fury and its destructive power a hint of our planet’s future if we fail to act: more and more frequent extreme weather events. More “500-year storms.” More flooding in some places. More drought in others.

This is a crisis, Mr. President. This is a threat not only to our nation’s existence, but that of every nation.

This is your opportunity. And it feels strange to say that, to frame this sort of potential environmental devastation as an “opportunity,” but that’s what it is: a chance to lead. A chance to truly “make American great again,” not by building a wall or by privatizing education or deregulating more industries, but by leading the world in the fight to confront and deal with climate change.

That’s why, even if it’s not a surprise in light of your decision to withdraw from the Paris accords, it’s so disappointing to read the White House memo describing your research and development budget priorities. Government funding of research is a clear way that a nation can signal what it values, what its priorities are as it moves into the future, and how it plans to grapple with the issues and problems it is facing and will face. Beyond a token of “renewable energy sources” in a section on “American Energy Dominance,” the memo shows no evidence that your administration is taking the threat of climate change seriously.

Yes, we need to promote and fund research to ensure our nation’s security and our people’s health, but we also must signal clearly and unequivocally our commitment to our planet’s future. We must promote and fund research that seeks to better understand climate change and to develop ways to mitigate its potentially devastating effects on our population and our economy.

What’s it going to be, Mr. Trump?

Wouldn’t it feel nice to be the hero, for once?

A legacy of deregulation, of an economically crippled nation, of misspelled tweets and of immature feuds with actors and news agencies will not land you in the pantheon of great presidents.

Your presidency isn’t even a year old yet, but we cannot afford for you to procrastinate any longer. We need a leader. We need someone with the courage and the wisdom to confront what we’re facing. And we need that person now.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

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