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Day 346 – Nothing Like Oil Drilling In The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge To Spice Up Tax Legislation. Gee…Thanks For Further Decimating Our Environment, Mr. President.

Day 346 – Nothing Like Oil Drilling In The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge To Spice Up Tax Legislation. Gee…Thanks For Further Decimating Our Environment, Mr. President.

Photograph by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mr. President,

Hurray for you! Congress passed the biggest tax overhaul since the 1980s. You must feel like you finally accomplished something.

However, buried in an income tax bill is a measure that opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. How can this happen? Have you ever been to Alaska?

I wish everyone could go to Alaska and witness firsthand the pristine beauty there. The Arctic tundra is a fragile habitat that is home to many animals like caribou and polar bears, enormous bird populations and their nesting areas, and gorgeous landscapes. And you and Congress think that it is okay to send in huge machines, drill holes through delicate soil that sustains abundant life, and rip it all apart? I call it crazy, but I shouldn’t be surprised. Your record so far on the environment is abysmal.

Let’s see. You’ve pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, a strong signal of how YOU dismiss climate change. The Clean Power Plan is set for repeal. With deregulation you’ve made it easier to plunder Alaska’s Bristol Bay with mining and drilling, opening up many federal lands there to oil and gas drilling. And you’ve started in the Lower 48, too. The shrinking of Utah’s Bear’s Ears National Monument (shrunk to 15% of its original size) and Grand Staircase Escalante (shrunk by half its original size) are two prime examples of your attempts to despoil the natural areas of our country, and open them up to oil, gas, and mining. More money in the pockets of huge corporations. Less grandeur for the citizens of the U.S., less habitat for the indigenous wildlife. And let’s be clear here – yet another broken promise to Native Americans and the Navajo Nation.

Instead of opening up our federal lands to drilling and mining, why don’t we invest in renewable energy? Provide incentives to corporations to develop alternative energy sources that do not involve ripping apart the planet on which we live and depend, land that should be sacred to all of us. Solar and wind energy are renewable and vastly less disruptive to sensitive ecosystems. Your executive order “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” calls for promoting “clean and safe” development, while “avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production.” Hah! In other words it is okay to run roughshod over anything that gets in the way, including polar bear and bird habitats, sacred burial grounds and cliff dwellings.  How awful that corporations would be unfairly burdened by laws that would protect pristine environments.

Just because we can drill for oil in the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge, doesn’t mean we should. That you and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and the entire Congress would approve this bill is unconscionable. It can only be greed, pure and simple, with no thought for the legacy we leave our children.

The only accomplishments in this bill are the plunder of our natural resources and further decimation of the health of our planet, a blunder of untold magnitude for life on this Earth.

Get out of the way. Go visit these federal lands you plan to spoil. Leave them alone. Commit to doing something good for this nation that doesn’t involve making money and greedy corporations and you. Seek some beauty, and leave it for our children.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

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

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