By Alison Rene’ Martin
Trump voters wanted better jobs and to shake up D.C. But did they foresee that Trump’s policies would exacerbate an already developing perfect storm of climate devastation, dooming not only Democrats and environmentalists, but also them?
Since Al Gore came to Boise in 2007 with his Inconvenient Truth presentation, warning Idahoans of what horrific climate events could happen, they have. His 2017 documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” highlights the current climate state after 10 years of not doing enough to combat climate change. To summarize, the Earth is rapidly becoming unlivable. Humans are causing it, and a recent report concludes that 2020 is a drop-dead date to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere, or it’s too late.
Trump says climate change is a hoax, and removed the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, our last, best hope for keeping the expected global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. If the Earth warms beyond that: climate catastrophe. Clearing the way for unfettered corporate greed, Trump has chosen agency heads intent on destroying the agencies they lead and the regulations enacted to protect our air and water. The Trump Administration is working quickly to allow corporations to drill, pollute, and destroy the Earth. Trump seeks to revive dirty coal, which was dying anyway. Add to the developing perfect climate storm the Koch Brothers, who fund climate denial to further line their own colossal pocketbooks. They back the Heartland Institute, which is the Idaho Republican Legislature’s go-to source for climate denial information in making state laws.
Trump is president, and we’re not. The Koch Brothers are billionaires, and we’re not. The Idaho Legislature is bent on denying climate change, and disregards the fallout for Idahoans. The Earth is dying, and we’re in line for extinction. What can we citizens do?
There are some actions we can take to help avert climate catastrophe, until we can solve the problem of billionaires and corporations controlling environmental policy and elect a more enlightened president and Idaho Legislature.
Here’s one: Change our diet. On August 8, Planetsave reported on a finding by Oregon State University and other researchers that if Americans substituted beans for beef, “the US could come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas emission goals” pledged under the Paris Climate Agreement. That’s something we all could do from home, and be healthier for it.
Here’s another: Solarize. Everyone who can afford to should do it now. What are we waiting for, post-Apocalypse? There are currently tax incentives on the books up to about 1/3 of the outlay, and some loans available.
There is much more we can do. But we can’t dilly-dally. If we don’t solve climate change, all the other challenges we face, both as a country and as individuals trying to make a living and raise our families, will evaporate. There are no jobs on a dead planet. And no people or families either. Act on climate now.