Commentary

Will Donald Trump’s climate policy lead to the end of the world?

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For a party claiming to stand as “pro-family,” what kind of legacy and what kind or future are they really bequeathing to future generations? For a party that claims to promote political conservatism and “traditional values,” what is more traditional and valuable than conserving and thus sustaining the Earth’s resources responsibly and equitably.

While differing marginally on specific issues, many Republicans march in lock-step to the drummer of conservative political and corporate dogma centering on a market-driven approach to economic and social policy, including such tenets as reducing the size of the national government and granting more control to state and local governments; severely reducing or ending governmental regulation over the private sector; privatizing governmental services, industries, and institutions including education, health care, and social welfare; permanently incorporating across-the-board non-progressive marginal federal and state tax rates; and possibly most importantly, advancing market driven and unfettered “free market” economics.

But really, though, how “free” are we now as mining, oil, and lumber companies lobby to exploit the land, and as legislators grant corporations enormous tax breaks and subsidies?

How “free” will we be if conservative Republicans succeed in abolishing the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Protection Agency, the US Department of Education, the US Department of Commerce, and other governmental agencies?

How “free” will we be if conservative Republicans succeed in the US Congress with their threats to privatize our national parks, and to loosen environmental and consumer protections of all kinds?

In truth, the conservative Republican battle cry, seemingly coined by Sarah Palin, of “drill, baby drill,” unfortunately is what Trump is pushing, and ironically, as the Obama administration before him forwarded, resulting in significantly more domestic oil and gas, through “fracking,” production than under the George W. Bush administration.

This, however, is simply unsustainable since, in the words of President Obama in 2012:

“But you and I both know that with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil.”

How many more British Petroleum and Exxon Valdez oil spills, polluted and poisoned waterways and skies, dead lakes, clear cut forests, mine disasters, mutilated and scorched Earth, nuclear power plant accidents and meltdowns, toxic dumps and landfills, trash littered landscapes, extinct animal and plant species, encroachments on land masses by increasingly raising oceans and seas, and how many more unprecedented global climatic fluctuations will it take for the anti-science Republican party to put the health of the planet and by extension the health of all Earth’s inhabitants on the front burner, if you will, of policy priorities over the unquenchable lust for profits by corporate executives?

A non-regulated privatized so-called “free-market” economic system lacking in environmental protections for our air, our water, our climate, our land, and our animals is tantamount to a social system absent of civil and human rights protections for our people.

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