Select Page
Day 438 – Letter to the Media, Congress and Citizens: In the Flurry of Whiplash Inducing News, Don’t Forget About the Environment.

Day 438 – Letter to the Media, Congress and Citizens: In the Flurry of Whiplash Inducing News, Don’t Forget About the Environment.

Image from PBS

Dear media, Congress, and fellow citizens,

Last week I received an email from the White House, signed by Donald Trump, thanking me for a letter I sent on energy and environmental policy.  His letter stated: “My Administration is strongly committed to environmental protection, including keeping our air and water clean and being good stewards of our environment.  This requires all of us to do our part, and I want to thank you for your commitment to preserving our environment for future generations.”

I’m sure most of you are responding to this statement as I did: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

This statement was made in spite of the following facts:

  • The president has announced plans to eviscerate Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by more than two million acres (the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined) and hand it over to oil and mining companies.
  • Republicans in Congress have introduced legislation that would codify Trump’s illegal actions into law and eviscerate the Antiquities Act of 1906. Congress intentionally did not give the president the power to remove national monument protections once established.
  • One bill removes crucial protections for imperiled wildlife and fragile coastal habitats. Another hands control of the Utah Red Rock are over to local authorities.  Another threatens the entire National Wildlife Refuge system.
  • Secretary Zinke has recommended President Trump reduce protections for additional monuments (Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and California; Gold Butte in Nevada; Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico) to allow mining, logging, and drilling.
  • Provisions hidden in the tax bill opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to big oil companies.
  • Zinke’s interior department is agreeing to a secret “land swap” that gives away a portion of Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to a corporation and supports a bill that would sell 6,000 acres of public land in Arizona.
  • The administration has plans for a toxic uranium mine in lands surrounding the Grand Canyon.

These facts do not demonstrate a commitment to environmental protection.  So ….

To the media:  Given all these assaults on the planet and our well-being, why are there not daily headlines in the newspapers and televised news telling the public the crisis the planet, and we, are in from the intentions and policies of this administration?

To Congress:  When will you begin doing your job to protect the planet and citizens from the outrages of this administration?  Your priorities should be safeguarding the environment and democracy.

To my fellow citizens:  What are you doing to protect the environment from these assaults?  Who will you vote for that might help us remove this embarrassing and dangerous administration?

I am one of those people who never remembers punch lines, let alone jokes, but these days I often remember an old Pogo cartoon line:  “I have met the enemy, and it is us.”  This is where we seem to be right now.  Let’s work together to change this scenario.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

Day 391 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Are You Feeling the Love From Donny T? Yes? No? Bleh?

Day 391 – Letter to Fellow Americans: Are You Feeling the Love From Donny T? Yes? No? Bleh?

Image from Across the Margin

Dear fellow Americans,

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We wonder how many of you are feeling the love from President Trump? In honor of the day, we made a list (nowhere near complete) of those who might be feeling it and those who are probably not.

Feeling the love

Oil and gas companies:  got a nice permit to drill in the Alaskan Wilderness Refuge and approval to drill offshore along both coasts (although some states are challenging it)

Florida: got an exemption from the off shore drilling approval because the Republican governor asked for it and Trump has urged him to run for Senate next year

Scott Pruitt: Secretary of the EPA spends a great deal of our money on his always first class flights, some on charter or military planes, mostly to tout Trump’s gutting of the EPA; a few examples: $1,641 DC to NY City; $36,068 from NYC to Rome, Italy; $40,000 for a trip to Morocco to increase exports of natural gas, which does not even fall within EPA mission

The Very Rich: under the new tax code, the very rich (those who earn one million or more) will see their taxes for 2019 cut by 80%

The Wall: still in the running for the $18 billion estimate it will cost to build it

Neo Nazis: empowered by Trump’s comment that there are good people among their ranks

ICEImmigration and Customs Enforcement: arresting and deporting immigrants at twice the rate of the previous administration

Ex Sheriff Arpaio: pardoned by Trump for his conviction of criminal contempt, and running for Senate

Vladimir Putin: since Trump has said that he believes Putin’s denials about meddling in our 2016 election, in spite of all the evidence that proves it, and has avoided putting the sanctions against Russia into place that Congress required him to do last summer, Putin can and will continue to undermine our democracy

Not feeling the love

Native American tribes: including the Hopi, Navajo, Ute, and Zuni who call the Bears Ears Monument sacred and who are seeing the lands which contain ancient artifacts and  burial grounds diminished by 85%

Rob Porter’s ex wives: who claim that he assaulted them and have compelling evidence to prove it and were dismissed by Trump who defends and praises his close aide Porter as a fine man who says he is innocent

States and cities: told they will be assuming the major financial burden for Trump’s $1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan even as they struggle to meet their own budget needs

Jorge Garcia: Michigan husband and father of two who lived in this country for 30 law abiding, hard working years but was deported to Mexico because he came here at age 10, one year before he could qualify for DACA

Medicaid and Food Stamp: facing deep funding cuts from Trump and his allies, diminishing programs designed to help the poor, disabled, and elderly

Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, Torrey Smith: Philadelphia Eagles players who will not attend a traditional  meeting in the White House to honor the teams’ Super Bowl victory because Long says Trump is sexist and racist and because, as Jenkins says, there are more effective ways to advance the social justice work that representatives from all NFL teams are supporting than to attend a photo op with this president

Transgender members of the military: banned by Trump from serving their country (ban has been put on hold by members of the judiciary)

Believers in climate change (a.k.a. believers in science): as a candidate Trump said climate change is a hoax; as president he has indicated that it is not real- as in “why would we be getting so much cold weather if there is global warming”

The Truth, the Constitution, our democracy: all under attack by this president

So, on this Valentine’s Day, 2018, may we all have someone who loves us, may we exhibit individual acts of kindness and grace, and may we continue to RESIST Donald Trump and his allies.

Sincerely,

Trudy J Schulze, Joseph R Schulze

And Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 371 – Thanks For Bringing Us Closer to Doomsday, Mr. President. Great Start to Your Second Year.

Day 371 – Thanks For Bringing Us Closer to Doomsday, Mr. President. Great Start to Your Second Year.

Image from BBC

Mr. President,

I don’t know how much play this is going to get over on Fox News, but this morning, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pushed the so-called Doomsday Clock forward thirty seconds.

Thirty seconds.

Thirty seconds closer to midnight.

Thirty seconds closer to global catastrophe, to the possible destruction of nearly all that we love.

Now, of course, we’re not literally thirty seconds closer to Armageddon — the clock serves as a metaphor for incredible danger humanity faces at this point in our history, principally from nuclear weapons and climate change.

You know who was president of the last true superpower over the last year?  You.

This means, Mr. President, that you — yes, you — helped push us closer to this symbolic midnight, toward what could be our end.

We are thirty metaphorical seconds closer to ruin than we were before you took office.

So much winning.

Your belligerent Tweets, your childish need to respond to every perceived slight, and your constant undermining of science and journalism have, in part, left us only two tiny minutes from the potential end of civilization.

This is not the direction we want to be going. This is not good.

I’m no expert, but I can’t see how driving humanity closer to probable extinction is, like, smart.  And keep your trigger finger off your phone for a second: I’m not calling you stupid.  I’m confident you could, like, find your way to the SATs if someone, like, spoke slowly and drew a really detailed map for you.  But here’s what you need to understand: the clock striking midnight, in this case, doesn’t mean that you finally got rid of all of those people from “shithole countries.”  It doesn’t mean that you figured out a sneaky way to keep brown people from immigrating to the U.S.  It means all of us are doomed, from the most privileged to the least.  Even the Norwegians.  Even porn stars.  Even you.

You’re not the cause of climate change, but your policies and decisions are erasing any gains we might have made in the last decade toward mitigation or long-term reversal.  You didn’t invent nuclear weapons (no matter how, like, high your IQ is), but your actions are leading the world toward greater proliferation and danger.  You’re not the first to doubt science or question the integrity of journalists, but your daily whining about “fake news” makes it far more difficult for citizens to put their trust in reputable sources of information.

It’s not solely your fault, in other words, that an imminently respected team of scientists, security experts, writers, and scholars believe that we’re closer to catastrophe than any time since 1953.

But you are partially to blame.

Two minutes, Mr. President.  What’s your next move?  More Tweets about how you’re a “really stable genius?”  More laughable attempts to show North Korea that you’re A Big Boy with a Big Button that Actually Works?

I’d much prefer that you took some action that convinced us that you care even a little bit about the future of humanity.

As the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists points out, “This is a dangerous time, but the danger is of our own making.”  And if we can make the danger, we can unmake it.

Even though you garnered fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, the rules of the electoral college decreed you president.  You have three more years to move the clock back, to push us away from destruction rather than toward it.

I’d start now, if I were, like, you.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

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

 

Pin It on Pinterest