*Last week, along the southern border of America, refugees were separated and children were caged. Shock and outrage ricocheted around the world. Under the cover of chaos the Republicans pushed through two atrocious assaults on our mother, Nature.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which washed away President Barack Obama’s emphasis on ocean conservation and a plan to mitigate the climate in crisis.
Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Obama, Dr Jane Lubchenco said, “The policy reflects a shift from ‘use it without using it up’ to a very short-sighted and cavalier ‘use it aggressively and irresponsibly’.”
In so doing, Trump is impoverishing all sea life by increasing ocean acidity and decreasing ocean oxygen.
Shells of pteropods, or, free-swimming snails, are melting from elevated ocean acidity. The ocean is acidifying at an unprecedented rate because it has absorbed about 93 percent of the carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels, or, 560 billion tons of carbon dioxide, over the previous 258 years.
More seismic air gun surveys, or, pulses of 242 decibels every 10 seconds, non-stop, for weeks or months on end are lethal for all sea life, including all larvae in plush mats of phytoplankton.
Seismic air guns deafen cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). Trump’s avarice executive order has condemned the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales and the Southern Resident orcas to extinction. How utterly horrid!
Also last week, the Republican dominated House passed a 2018 Farm Bill that promotes obliterating endangered wildlife with pesticides.”
“House Republicans just put orcas, frogs and hundreds of other species on the fastrack to extinction. This is a stunning gift to the pesticide industry with staggeringly harmful implications for wildlife,” remarked Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
The man-made chemical toxicity on crop fields is insane. Farmers in America are killing themselves in appalling numbers. The suicide rate is five times higher than any other occupation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is furiously felling its northwest and southeastern ancient forests under a rapacious Republican directive. It’s accelerating at a terrifying pace. 2018 will be the largest timber harvest in 20 years. It’s adding to the frenetic global madness of massacring 104 football fields of ancient climate stabilizing trees every minute, 24/7/365.
With the loss of the trees, the warming soils bleed both carbon dioxide and methane into an overheated atmosphere. Globally, deforestation is now contributing the equivalent climate-harming greenhouse gases as the United States, the world’s second highest offender.
Additionally, the climate crisis is ravaging American urban trees. 180 million urban trees are dead. That’s exacerbating the already poor air quality that citizens are forced to endure.
Mature healthy urban trees are a sign of a nation’s wealth and wellbeing. They absorb both fossil fuel air pollution and combustion noise, warehouse carbon dioxide as wood, release oxygen, cast priceless shade, provide essential wildlife habitat and protect communities from storm-water flooding. Those treasured ancient ones also protect people from cancer.
Trump’s administration is doing everything possible to roll back air protection as levels of ground ozone from combustion engines are skyrocketing, while millions of urban trees are dead. It’s egregious and it’s worsening.
It’s a necessity to take the House away from the Republicans at the midterm elections. Vast areas on land and under the sea are dead from fossil fuel heat and man-made chemicals. What we do to Nature, we do to ourselves.
It’s a no-brainer; we must protect the pockets of living Nature by reducing fossil fuel emissions immediately, ending the $5.3 trillion fossil fuel subsidies now, and creating a zero-combustion global economy as soon as possible.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.