I have a friend and former building principal colleague who would correct me whenever I said the word, “worry”. For example, if I said I’m worried about how our neediest students will cope with the new state assessments, he would correct me with, “concerned, not worried.” I’d reply, “Ok, I am concerned about….”. He’d smile at my progress and we’d move on. Well, when it comes to Presidential politics, I am damn worried, freaking panicked, totally horrified, utterly fatigued, and completely depressed about a very possible Trump Presidency. And for all my good Republican friends out there, this is not a political statement. I vote, and have always done so, for the best candidate. Regardless of political party, I select candidates who represent my values, concerns, and beliefs. And on the very top of my list is climate change.
My big worry is the fact that Trump and the Republican platform threaten all the climate progress made in the past few years. A really nice article in Greentech Media spells out the horrors of such a Freddy Kruger style outcome–content pasted below.
This is Trump’s 100-day Energy Plan:
- “Rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.”
- “We’re going to save the coal industry, we’re going to save that coal industry, believe me, we’re going to save it, I love those people, these are great people — and they love that job.”
- “I’m going to ask TransCanada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.”
- “We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas.”
- “We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies.”
- “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.”
- “And stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”
And here are portions of the Republican Platform on energy:
- The platform calls coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource,” adding, “Those who mine it and their families should be protected from the Democratic Party’s radical anti-coal agenda.”
- A Republican administration “will build on those policies to find new ways to store electricity, a breakthrough of extraordinary import.”
- “We support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration and responsible production, even if these resources will not be immediately developed.”
- “Because we believe states can best promote economic growth while protecting the environment, Congress should give authority to state regulators to manage energy resources on federally controlled public lands within their respective borders.”
- “Keeping energy in the earth will keep jobs out of reach of those who need them most.”
- “The Democratic Party’s campaign to smother the U.S. energy industry takes many forms, but the permitting process may be its most damaging weapon. It takes an average of 30 days for states to permit an oil or gas well. It takes the federal government longer than seven months.”
- The Keystone Pipeline is described as “a symbol of everything wrong with the current Administration’s ideological approach. After years of delay, the President killed it to satisfy environmental extremists. We intend to finish that pipeline and others as part of our commitment to North American energy security.
- “The same Administration now requires the Department of Defense, operating with slashed budgets during a time of expanding conflict, to use its scarce resources to generate 25 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025. Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue.”
- “We support the development of all forms of energy that are marketable in a free economy without subsidies, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and hydropower.”
- “We respect the states’ proven ability to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing, methane emissions, and horizontal drilling.”
- “We encourage the cost-effective development of renewable energy sources — wind, solar, biomass, biofuel, geothermal, and tidal energy — by private capital.”
- “We support lifting restrictions to allow responsible development of nuclear energy, including research into alternative processes like thorium nuclear energy.”
- “We oppose any carbon tax.”
Folks, we know the climate is changing. We also know the worrisome risks of inaction, so there’s no need to reiterate the obvious. We know Bernie Sanders has effectively moved the Democratic Party more towards climate solutions, and that Hillary Clinton supports those climate change actions.
This isn’t about Hillary versus Trump. It isn’t about who lies more, who panders more, who looks better on-screen, or whatever else the media can drum up. This is about which candidate will address the biggest challenge our global society has ever experienced: climate change. This is about who will do best for my daughter’s generation and those yet to come. And judging by the Trump and Republican Party playbook, there is no question who will get my vote in November. Meanwhile, I’m very worried.