March 17, 2017 by Editorial Board
Donald Trump’s proposed budget plan for the forthcoming fiscal year will likely see cuts in various areas. One of these areas is the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the new budget plan, $2.6 billion of the EPA’s current $8.2 billion in funding will be cut.
That’s nearly a third.
Adjusting for inflation, if Trump were to go forward with this cut, the EPA’s budget would be at a 40-year low.
The funds cut from areas like the EPA are intended to go towards defense and immigration control. According to chief strategist Steve Bannon, the goal is to size down all federal programs that are not focused on defense, with the aim of “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Meanwhile, hot ocean water due to climate change continues to bleach the Great Barrier Reef. A new study by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health found that consequences of climate change, such as violent weather and choking air pollution, are making Americans sicker. The environment is suffering – and we’re suffering with it.
A small measure of hope can be found in the seventeen Republicans in Congress, who together on Wednesday signed a resolution to search for “economically viable” ways to prevent further exacerbation of global warming. It is reassuring to see that there are individuals willing to break party lines for the sake of the earth. But seventeen isn’t enough.
Often, people make decisions based on fear. In his campaign speeches, Trump told Americans to be afraid of attacks – and in voting for him, they told him they believed him. In 2017, Trump may be sticking a more than $50 billion band-aid over that deep-seated American fear. Maybe that’ll make some people feel better. But those of us who believe in science will still be afraid.
Global warming may not be as tangible as military conflict. There’s no one to declare as the enemy and no target to obliterate with nuclear warheads. Fighting climate change isn’t a romantic war, because we’ll never be able to win — but we could at least save what we have for the descendants that we’ll never know.
So, President Trump, go ahead and take nearly a third of the EPA’s funding just to add another drop in the bucket for the defense program. That way, when there’s no earth left for us to live on, at least we’ll have plenty of guns.