Letter to the editor: The federal budget

Posted:  Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 7:45am
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Of all the impacts that will result from Mr. Trump's budget, environmental protection will take the greatest hit. He plans to slash the EPA by a third—the biggest cut to any federal agency or department. And important provisions of the Clean Air and Water Acts will be relaxed or even removed. Why aren't we up in arms about all this, as we'll all be affected, especially those of us in lower income and urban areas?

While we may not all identify with "me too,” immigration or Black Lives Matter or other clearly people related issues, they are probably easier to understand than whatever is threatening our environment. Mr. Trump and those he has chosen to destroy the agencies they now lead-- they know it's not always immediately obvious that drinking water can contain dangerous amounts of lead, that industrial and transportation air pollution significantly increase asthma rates, that warming oceans are contributing to super tides and floods and have anything to do with warming oceans. (Heck—if it's snowing, doesn't that prove that global warming is a farce?) And most of us will never see either the Arctic or Antarctic ice sheets so how are we to know what scientists are saying is accurate, especially since science is bogus in the first place and the scientific information once available on federal websites has been removed? And as long as it's not in our backyards, why should we care?

Media know this and too often cover the news in short sound bytes—there's no time to explain the carbon cycle. Besides, nowadays many media sources are funded by corporations with notorious polluting histories. Science can be complicated, and people can get ticked off when someone with scientific background attempts to explain it. Short of an asteroid hitting the Earth, there's often no smoking gun when it comes to environmental destruction. The death of a natural resource can be subtle. Coral reefs die off. (So what?) 100-year floods begin coming at five year or even three year intervals. (So, prove that climate change has been a factor!) Droughts become commonplace. (So? It's just water.) The base of the food chain is threatened. (Who gives a care about amoebas?) The list is miles long as those of you who want to connect the dots can attest. But this president doesn't want us to connect the dots. His claim to be pro-life is hypocrisy.

Beyond paying for a wall we don't need, and for military parades, we need to get our money's worth from this Administration. We need a fully funded and professionally maintained EPA as well as every other agency or department that safeguards us.

Beverly Roxby lives in Belfast.