Over the past four years, no significant environmental or social justice legislation has been passed in this country. All the while, social justice issues are raging in the streets. Stalled climate action and clean energy have remained on the back burner while fires consume the west, floods ravage the southeast, and drought consumes our agricultural land here in Iowa.
And yet this month, President Trump touts himself as: “Number one since Teddy Roosevelt. Who would have thought, Trump is the great environmentalist? I am, I am. I believe strongly in it.” While on the same day the UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the nations of the world must restructure their economies for a green future or humanity is “doomed.”
In the recent history of the United States, Congress has taken aggressive bipartisan action to address the most compelling needs of the time, and in doing so improving the quality of life for both Americans and the environment. These historic actions were achieved across party lines, in a time when the divide was not such a deep chasm. We are still benefiting today from laws such as these:
* In 1963 President Johnson signed the Clean Air Act.
* In 1964 President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.
* In 1970 President Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act.
* In 1972 President Nixon signed the Clean Water Act.
* In 1973 President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act.
Many of the most significant pieces of existing environmental and human rights legislation in the United States have been eroded, dismantled or altered by the current administration. If by November 3 there is no shake-up in the political landscape of Washington, D.C., the damage that has already been incurred not only as a result of this president, but also a legislative body that remains in a state of perpetual paralysis on climate and social justice, will only be amplified.
We have neither the time nor the luxury to wait on these issues. Another four years of this administration will set us on an irreversible and untenable trajectory in terms of the climate crisis, the impacts to our planet, and quality of life for all humans.
Today, we have a historic opportunity to use our voice through our vote. We can move away from the digressive acts of the current administration and return to a working democracy that respects the Constitution. We can once again have hope for our future, and that of our children and grandchildren.
The passage of bills such as The Climate Stewardship Act, Agricultural Resilience Act, The Protect America’s Children From Toxic Pesticides Act, The Farm System Reform Act and many others, can all be part of our future, if we elect the right officials.
Please take the time to learn about the candidates and the issues. Be informed, vote wisely, vote early, and in doing so sow the seeds now for a more productive future for all of us.