Who Cares about the EPA?

Answer: Not Matt Gaetz.

I’m unsure if it’s just me getting older and smarter or the recent elections but I’m increasingly drawing connections between science, politics and global order. I’m currently taking a class called, The Political Economy of Globalization, and we discuss the environment at least once during each class period as both past and present actions taken by politicians to improve their economies have had detrimental effects on the environment. Recently we began talking about Republican Senator Matt Gaetz who has proposed a bill that would eliminate the EPA by the end of 2018. He will likely be supported by Scott Pruitt who is the new director of the EPA and prior to his appointment filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA. In one of my classes, we recently discussed how the recent election has led to a decline in many people’s physical, mental and emotional health. To be honest, I feel similarly. It is so discouraging to read news about old men (excuse me) who are attempting to abolish institutions that are necessary to the future of this country especially because they will most likely be dead before the consequences of their actions take full effect. Gaetz cited extreme regulations as the reason for abolishing the EPA and claimed that small businesses can not afford the costs associated with these regulations. The article on his actions ends with the quote ‘”To better protect the environment we should abolish the EPA and downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection,” Gaetz said in a Facebook post Friday.”‘ Which honestly just makes no sense. How is eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency going to benefit the environment, that’s literally counter productive. I guess this blog is more of a vent piece but to connect it back to a recent reading I did for a science class, it’s frustrating to watch history repeat itself. The Sixth Extinction focuses on various different species which went into extinction because of human actions. Yet, the difference is that back then they didn’t know what they were doing and right now politicians know what they’re doing and if they don’t then maybe they shouldn’t be politicians in the first place because clearly they didn’t pay attention in school. I’m frustrated because I spend each science class learning about different discoveries and theories made by scientists and yet it feels like all of this knowledge is being thrown out the window. I’m frustrated because I’m about to graduate and pursue a career in a country whose politicians values are the complete opposite of mine. We have politicians filibustering, citizens protesting and companies complaining about Trump’s policies and political appointees and yet he is still winning and getting things passed. Where is the voice of the people? Why should the next generation have no say in environmental policies when we are the ones who will have to live with the consequences? What will the world look like in 20 years if we eliminate the EPA and will my future children have a healthy life to look forward to?

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