Elections have consequences

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Hey Millennials, do you care about the environment? If you do, it’s been roughly seven months since the Trump administration began its slow and methodical destruction of our planet. I’m thinking that many of you might be alarmed at this. I know I certainly am. So why am I addressing this issue with you? Because in the 2016 election, only 49% of you voted. That’s right, over half of all 18-35 year old eligible adults decided not to vote. Compare that to over 69% of baby boomers who did exercise their rights to vote and you can see the discrepancy. But 49% isn’t bad when you consider how many younger voters turned out for the 2014 mid-term elections: 22%.

The 2018 mid-terms are fast approaching. In less than six months we all have a chance to go to the polls and change the direction we are now heading. A 22% turnout will not do the trick. It’s common for there to be a massive drop in participation during non-presidential voting years, especially among younger voters. It’s clear that a majority of you identify more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, according to a recent Pew Research Poll.  But turning that advantage (27 points) into a massive turnout at the polls will not be easy. That’s why if you care about the environment….the air you breath…the water you drink…the National Parks you visit…If you care about all of those things, you must get out and vote! And you must know the facts about what this administration and the Republicans in Congress are doing as it relates to the environment.

The truth is, facts about what they’re actually doing are hard to come by. The daily drama and soap opera surrounding Trump keeps the mainstream media too busy to cover it all. Things get ‘lost’ in the daily barrage of lies, scandal, and misdeeds. The old adage, elections have consequences, has never been more true.

Facts matter

National Geographic has kept a running list of some of the major actions the Trump administration has taken as it pertains to the environment. I’ll summarize it here:

Cuts to a NASA climate monitoring program

EPA issuing controversial rule on science ‘transparency’

Threatened species protection rule under review

Rollback of car emissions standards

FEMA expelling “climate change” from strategic plan

EPA mulling shake-up to environmental research program

Trump proposes cuts to climate and clean energy programs

Trump mulling major cuts to clean energy research

EPA loosening regulations on toxic air pollution

Climate change web sites ‘censored’ under Trump

Trump drops climate change from list of national security threats

Trump unveils plan to dramatically downsize two National Monuments. 

Again, we’re talking only a summary. In the above link, National Geographic addresses each and every one of these issues in depth, with several more problematic Trump actions on the environment as well. Some are Executive Actions by Trump himself. Others are actions taken at the agency levels by his EPA chief and Interior Secretary. What all of these actions have in common though is the assault on our environment by individuals who think climate change is a farce. Trump himself has said climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, and most Republicans in Congress are clearly in the pockets of big corporations within the oil and gas industry. And it’s common knowledge as well that whatever regulation the Obama administration put in place, Trump will go out of his way to reverse it, whether it’s good for the country or not.

Hold them accountable

There’s only one thing we all can do to counteract the destructive actions taken by this administration: Vote. Yes, we currently have one political party in control of Congress and the presidency. This means of course that the committees responsible for holding the administration accountable are also controlled by that party. By exercising your right to vote, you can send a message that the status quo won’t do. Currently there are roughly 24 races in the House of Representatives that are deemed tossups. If these races are won by the Democrats, control of the House would flip, and thus the committees tasked with holding administration actions accountable on things such as the environment would flip as well. The same holds true for the Senate. Right now, Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, with 35 seats up for grabs, 26 of which are currently held by Democrats. In both cases, not voting is not the answer.

If you want more information about specific races around the country, the folks at demwritepress.com do a great job of highlighting which races are competitive, as well as where the candidates stand on the issues. If you’re not sure about the registration process in your state, you can check out politicalcharge.org. Both are excellent resources for all you need to know about the upcoming election.

So Millennials, I’m thinking many of you are like myself. You’re concerned about our planet. You would like to see more clean energy. You would like to see a green wave of innovation. These are important issues and the only thing we can do is make sure politicians are listening to us. We must hold them accountable. The Republican Party does not want you to participate. In fact, they want to make it harder for you to vote. Do not let them stand in the way. Go to the polls on November 6, 2018. Make your voice heard. The next Trump drama is just around the corner. He’s counting on all of us to be distracted. But we cannot let this happen. Remember, elections have consequences. After all, look who currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Enough said.

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