Thursday, 16 July 2020

Canadian Outrage re New American Rules that Put Polluters in Charge of Environmental Protection

Canadian Outrage re New American Rules that Put Polluters in Charge of Environmental Protection  

We have been telling ourselves the wrong story. Mankind is not entitled to dominion over the earth and all its living beings. Mankind has a responsibility to care for the earth and all of its living beings as if they were his own mother and his own children.

I am a Canadian and deeply disturbed by a recent announcement (July 15/20) by the Trump administration that essentially “guts” environmental protective laws set in place by elected officials over a period of 50 years.  In fact, an earlier executive order (June 4/20) by President Trump seemed to brazenly introduce “emergency authority” to federal agencies to “skirt rules and environmental protections.” 

What kind of dictatorial mind has the hand to decimate our earth’s finite natural resources in public trust for all humanity for personal gain?  

As a northern neighbor to the USA I have no right to comment on American politics or governance, but as an inhabitant of the planet Earth and a steward of nature, I must add my voice when Mother Nature cannot speak for herself.

It was 50 years ago (Jan. 1,1970) when the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted as a kind of Bill of Rights to monitor federal actions as evaluated against peoples’ rights to prevent pollution in their backyards. NEPA enshrines peoples' most fundamental democratic rights and values into federal decision-making based on scientific reviews.  

Don’t you think that all communities should have opportunities for equal public participation to evaluate environmental studies that would impact their families' lives and livelihoods? 

Don’t you think we have the right to preserve our community integrity, protect endangered species and balance our public, not private, ecosystems? At a special time in our history when social justice matters, we must not allow free-agent polluters to control our environmental agencies and the health of our communities.   

On one side, the hands of citizens mandate respect to balance natural resources including climate-related impacts.  On the other side, the hands of corporations with some of the worst pollution industries want to eliminate any inclusive red tape so they can boost their personal profits. Which side do you trust to safeguard the air you breath or the water you drink from your faucets?  

“This is no time to put the public’s health further at risk and steamroll community input. The Administration should be focused on healing a suffering nation rather than gutting environmental protections and giving a free pass to polluters.” 

Jamie Williams, President, The Wilderness Society


One recent example where a lax Trump polluter-friendly rule may help to develop is a copper sulfide-ore mine in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota, thereby polluting the water shed in a world famous fishing wilderness.   

Other quick examples where the rights of NEPA provided fair and transparent pathways to sound decision-making about federal actions that affected local communities are: 

  • how to turn contaminated land into a safe place to work and live
  • stop the logging of centuries old trees without community input
  • prevent loss of wetlands by avoiding construction of massive 4 lane highway
  • cancel plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which would have carried fracked gas across the Appalachian Trail and through 600 miles of forest and farmlands
  • advocate for removing four dams on the lower Snake River to restore wild salmon runs
  • plus more actions like drilling in Alaska, toxic algae blooms in Florida, leaking coal ash ponds in Illinois and monitoring oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

As a Canadian, a teacher and author about Nature’s Cyclical Truths and Ecological Successions, I can only cry my outrage and hope that justice will prevail and democracy will flourish along with Nature's amazing biosphere.  

Certainly everyone is encouraged to learn more about the work and commitment of two invaluable American organizations:

1. The Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. With more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 111 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of  shared national lands.   

2. Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit public interest environmental law organization. They wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change.

Thank goodness, there are other elected government officials and expert legal teams and laws to protect Nature's rights that defend the rights of all people in a healthy environment. Clean air, clean water, and balanced ecosystems are NOT negotiable ... they must NOT be buried under unilateral Corporate Greed and Corruption without democratic voices. 

Questions and comments are always welcome to help understand the Big Picture...Please leave a message and best time to call back: 1 833 471 4661

Annemarie Berukoff hometown in beautiful British Columbia


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