Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
Written by Heather Seely
Remember when Donald Trump infamously tweeted that "the concept of climate change was created by and for the Chinese?" The tweet originated in 2012 and became popular again several months ago. Back when people scoffed at the idea that this man — the climate denier who disputed global warming on the basis of snow in New York City— had a real chance of becoming the leader of the free world.
Well ladies and gentleman, let me introduce the 2016 United States of America President-elect, Donald John Trump, Sr; a figure of despair for not only women and immigrants, the LGBT community and people of colour, but also Mother Earth herself.
Mr.Trump's social media rants evoke his lack of understanding for the scientific basis of climate change while also demonstrating paranoia instead of a much needed sense of protection for the planet and its abundance of natural resources. The fact of the matter is that human activities are causing warming on a global scale and that having a man govern a population of almost 325 million people is a conflict of interest for the planet we love dearly.
Dollars over degrees
Considered to be "bad for business" by Donald Trump, the just ratified Paris Agreement (kind of like a global, law-abiding to-do list for keeping the change in warming under 2°), could be challenged by the businessman who has stated his intent to withdraw from the agreement. The the successful negotiation of the agreement included countries like Argentina, Brazil, Australia and China and also ambitiously promoted the United States' goal to, by 2025, reduce emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels. Not only could Trump make this agreement null and void, but it would also open up opportunities for dirty energy. Within his first few months in office, Mr. Trump intends to promote American job creation (and climate destruction) by ceasing the restrictions that have kept over fifty trillion dollars of oil, natural gas, shale, and coal in the ground. Not only that, but the real estate mogul has promised to assist in the progression of projects like the rightfully disputed Keystone Pipeline, what he considers to be "vital infrastructure." If you're reading this, and have at least a vague understanding of climate change, you know that words like 'oil' and 'coal' don't go with ones like 'reduce' and 'emissions,' and most certainly don't ensure the future vitality of this planet.
The United States of Republicans
It also appears that Donald Trump will be surrounded with like-minded people when it comes to the environment. The republican party has been well documented in the media for their general disbelief that humans are the cause behind climate change. With the GOP (Grand Old Party, aka republicans) now in control of the White House, the Senate, AND the House of Representatives, this ménage à trois of government power will allow for bare, if any, fracking regulations, a loss of authority for the EPA, and no chance for implementation of a much needed carbon-tax.
But what can we do?
So, the United States is like 15,000 kilometres away from Australia but that doesn't mean that the two countries are isolated. The obvious lack of government authority for policies and initiatives to decrease humanity's impact on the earth makes it that much more important that we, as individuals, as communities, as women do our part to make sure that the earth is habitable for generations to come. The voting doesn't end after the ballots are submitted; each dollar spent, each product or service avoided, each kilometer traveled by foot or bike, each attempt at backyard food-growing, each community building activity — these are the true elections. This is the type of power that can truly change the world.
Heather is currently working on her Master's degree, specialising in sustainable food systems. She's a voracious vegetable eater, she loves to watch things grow, forests are her happy place, and if she could, she would be barefoot 365 days a year. Keep up with here here @heatherelizabeth29
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