President Trump has promised to “protect the American people.” His recent attempt to ban Muslims immigrants from seven countries was, he claimed, an example of this promise.
While debate rages about the President’s actions against immigrants, we may not notice that the President is swiftly eliminating other protections. The environmental “regulations” he is attacking are actually protections against air, water, and land pollution and damage from climate change. Increasingly fierce wildfires, record floods and droughts, hazardous chemicals released in air and water and produced in products all threaten the public, and far more people will be harmed if protections are erased or weakened.
The President claims bolstering fossil fuel extraction and use will lift the economy, but dealing with environmental disasters and health effects is enormously expensive, and as climate change causes even more havoc, the costs will rise. Choosing to back highly polluting fossil fuels (including fracked gas, which is not a “clean” fuel) rather than renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency, the President takes us down a dangerous road.
In terms of human suffering and financial risk, we cannot afford not to protect the environment we depend on. If President Trump is truly concerned with our health and safety, he must consider this.