The environment is deteriorating. This is not merely a popular opinion; this is a fact. The environment is deteriorating, and this is in large part due to human interaction with the environment. We have made a mess. We have put our needs above every other living thing on this planet and we have exploited the land, air, and sea for natural resources. We have caused climate change, we have destroyed rivers and forests, we have driven animals to extinction, and now it is our time to fix what we have broken.
There are many ways to do this, however the most powerful and productive way of addressing this issue is through the government, which, as stated on the White House website, will “embrace the shale oil and gas revolution,” consequently diminishing the already poor state of our environmental protection regulations. Trump has already made it clear that the environment is not a priority. He has signed the Energy Independence executive order, revoking an Obama-era regulation called the Clean Power Plan, which sets guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions from electricity plants that run on fossil fuel. Additionally, Trump has ordered the EPA to review and likely roll back the Waters of the US act which protects small wetlands and streams from being drained by putting them under federal protection. Trump also plans on slashing almost one third of the EPA’s (one of the only government agencies that was designed to protect the environment) spending in his proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year in order to increase the defence budget by $54 billion. I strongly urge the members of our community to call our House Representative, Scott Tipton (202)-225-4761 and our senators, Michael Bennet (202) 224-5852 and Cory Gardner (202) 224-5941, and urge them to publicly fight the proposed budget cuts.
In addition to contacting our representatives, there are other ways to impact our environment. Take the time to create a composting garden, start recycling at your home or office, start biking or carpooling to work, consume less meat. There are hundreds of small changes that can make a huge difference if a large group of people commits to doing them. We have made a mess, and now it is time to clean it up. It starts with caring, and taking action.
Roaring Fork High School senior