I have been... fortunate... enough to have a week off from work, so I can wallow in the dread of Trump's presented policies and executive orders and estimate when the first nuclear bomb will hit, and where.
In solidarity with friends everywhere, especially back home where there have been marches and protests I couldn't be a part of... I do feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I'm in a fog in a nightmare where I can see what's happening and can't reach through the fog and affect anything. A thought that keeps plaguing me is wondering if this feeling will be dismissed by many as a typical reaction to a president with opposing political views.
Yesterday I happened to be at the Texas State Capitol with two out-of-state friends. We saw a huge group of Muslim visitors for Muslim Day at the Capitol. There was a fury of energy because the session is In. There was a man with a big beard and a shirt that had Texas outlined and exaggerated within the US and the words "I'm with Stupid" in Texas pointing to the rest of the country. Inside, we admired the architecture and the buzz, and found ourselves looking longingly at a photo of George Bush Jr. "Gosh, I almost wish he was president again," we all agreed.
Because even though I Don't agree with a lot of the things George Bush did or believes in, I was able to exercise my right as an American. I signed petitions, wrote letters, and listened to news. What's happening right now is not only a threat to my rights as an American, but my right as a steward of the Earth. And it is through that vein that I will be focusing my energies and efforts henceforth.
I was proud of the protests for the "Muslim-ban" and the people that stood up to it. But I couldn't help but see it, and the extensive news coverage of it, as a distraction from some equally tragic promises that Trump has signed in.
So here's a look at what I've seen, just in the last two days.
1) EPA pick Scott Pruitt is a nail in the coffin, not just for the environment but the future of our Nation. I strongly recommend Bill Moyer's commentary for a full picture.
2) Congress is looking to overturn the Stream Protection Rule that Obama set in place that urges mining companies to restore stream habitats to the way they were once they were done. The way it's written, there's plenty of potential for polluters to find loopholes, unfortunately. So why bother eliminating it. HOW DO PEOPLE NOT SEE THE VALUE OF STREAMS?
3) And perhaps the biggest horror is the legislation Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz proposing the US sell of 3.3 million acres of public land (read- public land, meaning they don't OWN it, WE do, we ALL do).
To me, this is life or death. This is greedy leaders in the Present pulling physical and aesthetic resources away from the Future. I can't even believe this is legal, much less accepted.
What truly worries me is how little people understand about the Environment. I spent 2 years studying the systems and interworkings of the environment and BARELY scratched the surface. Our Earth will not HEAL itself from the mass of wounds we are digging into it. We must act as stewards.
What gives me hope, is that Veterans will continue standing for local tribes, for families and for the future of our water, our Earth, our favorite hiking places.
What else can you do? Call your senators! Tell them to oppose Chaffetz's legislation. Do your best to keep your head above water and I will continue to collect what information I can about environmental policy.