The day that the world changed: Maintain Funding for the EPA
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Imagine waking up one morning. There are no birds chirping. You know it is morning because your alarm clock says it is, but you can’t see the sun because the air is thick with debris and smog. You walk outside and there are no trees. You take a deep breath and feel a burning in your lungs. You are thirsty after sleep, but you ran out of bottled water and you don’t have time to boil some before leaving to go to work. You are hungry and crave an apple, but the last orchard was cut down several years ago to make room for “progress”. You have gotten used to your favorite produce disappearing because its growth is no longer viable on Earth. You miss the companionship of animals, but it has become foolish to keep one as a pet, since the food sources have become so scarce. Several of your immediate family members have died of cancer. Your daughter is home sick for months with chronic nose bleeds, headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and no one seems to be able to help her. They say she is having what looks like effects from toxins, but there is nowhere to go to protect her from continued exposure. Your neighbor’s children were born premature with birth defects, and they have insurmountable medical bills. You reflect that sullen expression has fallen on most strangers you meet. You begin to long for the respite nature used to provide you. In the midst of your morning, you realize you have begun coughing, and you wonder how long it will be until your fate is shown to you. I close my eyes and remember the exact moment when I still had a choice in the matter of working to preserve the health of the planet which sustains me.
The current White House administration has proposed a budget which would immediately defund the EPA by 31%, with the intention of complete de-funding by the year 2018. As a living being existing on this Earth, this proposal has shaken me to my very core. With this bill, we are in truth speaking about removing the protection of the very environment which sustains us humans as well as all other living beings - without which, we would cease to survive. This is a grave and serious decision our lawmakers have in their hands. They will vote on whether it is important to protect the health and lives of 319 million Americans and 7.125 billion humans worldwide, along with countless and innumerable wildlife and vegetation. They will vote to create or destroy. They will vote to keep our air clean to breathe and our water safe to drink, or not... They will vote to protect our animal and plant food sources. They will be voting on how many trees will be available to create the oxygen which we require to breathe. They will vote on legislation which has the power to wipe entire species of life off the map, or to protect them for the appreciation, study, and enjoyment, of future generations. They will vote on the premise that all legislation be science based, or based on here say or opinion. They will vote on the fate of our quality of life and if the wonder, respite, and beauty of nature will be a part of that any longer. Their vote will be setting the tone of what is acceptable behavior regarding how we view and treat the natural world around us.
It can be argued that human beings are the most highly evolved and intelligent life forms on this planet. This gives us a certain amount of power, but with great power comes even greater responsibility. We are responsible for supporting each other and ALL of the living beings we are sharing this planet with. Each and every living being has the right to continue doing so. We are all a part of a food chain, and using the resources around us for basic sustainment is natural, but legislation moving in the direction of greed, amusement, or even curiosity is an extremely dangerous slope to begin sliding down. An example of this is the brand new law stating that mother and baby bears and wolves can be hunted in their dens during denning season, the animals may be killed using heat sensors and aircraft, and barbaric snare traps would once again become legal. This is a disturbing first step in a slow motion devolution of our morals as human beings. The day that our greed and ego have become so large, that killing baby animals in their denning season is something that we feel is now acceptable, is a sad and incredibly disappointing turn for us as a species. The day when we refuse to feel in our hearts how similar a baby or mother bear or wolf is to a baby or mother human is disgraceful.
Spokespersons from the White House have stated that “the EPA is not a priority of the current administration”. I am honestly compelled to wonder where these people plan to live when their home planet is no longer viable? This may, at first read, seem like a reaching argument. The entire planet exists in a balance. There is a threshold where the damage we have done to the earth, its ecosystems, and its natural balance, become irreversible. Major examples of damage include gross deforestation, continued reliance on fossil fuel, ceasing the cleanup of watershed areas, oceans, and the Great Lakes, and leaving our National Parks unprotected. There is a threshold at which there is no turning back and no second chances, leaving us living the detached, empty, unhealthy, unhappy life mentioned above, a threshold where the damage cannot be undone. We are at a critical turning point in our relationship with our environment and this threshold. It may seem as though we can chip away at funding for things like the EPA to make way for things other people want to prioritize, but sooner rather than later, the chipping away is going to catch up with us. Responsible hunters understand and respect that you cannot exhaust the supply of a certain animal, or there will be none left for food. The Lion King showed us of the dangers of exhausting the food supply with greed and sport killings. Under this regime, the lions were starving. Responsible farmers know that you cannot reap more from the land than it is able to provide. The Giving Tree and the Lorax taught us that we can take until there is no more to be given, and then there is simply no more left.
The catch is, absolutely no one knows the exact threshold at which the damage which has been done due to greed or otherwise, becomes irreversible. Are you personally willing to be a part of passing a bill that gambles with yours and billions of other humans and living beings lives? It is a grave and solemn question, the same one the person above asked him or herself. The good news is, you can realize it now, while you still have time to prevent the dark, tragic and devastating consequences described above. There is still time. Humanity has its flaws, but it also has incredible strength, power, and creativity when it comes together with unified vision and intention. We can turn this situation around for the better. We can do anything with collective vision and support. Let us come together, open our hearts and minds, and turn our sights, time, and talent into working together to keep our natural environment lush, beautiful, and vital for the sustainment and health of ourselves, our babies, their babies, and all living beings. One strong voice, one healthy planet.
By signing this petition, I implore Congress to maintain the complete funding of the Environmental Protection Agency. I stand for stronger verbiage in the laws that the funding of the EPA remains protected and never subjected to the priorities of any administration, so as to maintain the rights and integrity of all humans and living beings for future generations. I stand for science. I stand for scientific, evidence based policy. I stand for the rights of humans and all living things including clean air, clean water, uncontaminated food, health, and life itself. I stand for accountable and responsible ways of using the resources available to us on Earth and peacefully co existing with all other living things. Political issues, debates, arguments, wars, policies, partisanship, laws – none of this matters if we do not have a planet to debate these issues on. To quote the March for Science, “There is no Planet B.”
We have a chance to avoid a mistake in human history which could eliminate us from our very own planet. What did you choose in the exact moment when you still had a choice in the matter of working to preserve the health of the planet which sustains you?
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