Happy Earth Day
Now Vote Like You Really Care
It’s been 50 years since the Earth Day celebration officially started. It is great that we celebrate this day. Our planet Earth is beautiful and celebrating this day is a reminder.
However we need to do more than celebrate if we want to continue to enjoy it’s beauty. We also need to do more if we want to avoid disastrous consequences.
Science tells us that global warming is real and the results include rising sea levels, warming oceans, extreme weather events, ocean acidification, flooding, erosion of coastlines and heat waves to name a few. Ecosystems will be affected. Poor air quality, water resource issues, increase in water borne diseases and diseases transmitted by rodents and insects are all effects we are all ready witnessing.
Yet public policies that are detrimental to our planet are happening today even as we are busy fighting a global pandemic. That is why voting is one of the single most important things we can do to protect our planet. We can vote for politicians that support initiatives that fight climate change and for those of us who can, we can vote with our dollars in the products that we buy and lastly we can encourage others to do the same. Silence is as detrimental as ignorance and passivity.
In the last three years The United States has gone backwards. We have pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, repealed The Clean Water Act, increased drilling in the National Parks, increased offshore drilling of oil and gas and most recently new standards were issued to allow vehicle emission standards to increase by an additional billion tons of carbon dioxide. The EPA’s pollution control policies on chemicals known to cause serious harm were also rewritten and relaxed in favor of the chemical industry.
The US is not alone. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2017 5.2 trillion USD was spent globally on fossil fuel subsidies. In the US that was a 649 billion dollar increase from 2015. That is all tax payer money. It is free money for the fossil fuel companies and that is why they lobby so hard for it. Had nations reduced subsidies in a way to create efficient fossil fuel pricing in 2015, the IMF believes that it would have lowered carbon emissions by 28%.
So who is benefiting from fossil fuel company’s lobbying? According to Opensecrets.org out of the top 20 recipients, 18 republican politicians and 2 democrats received money. (Go to the site to find out which ones and how much money they received!)
What if…on this Earth Day we encourage our political leaders to put our tax dollars (subsidies) towards clean renewable energy innovation? What if we do more than celebrate? What if we take action to protect this beautiful earth and all of it’s inhabitants?