Let Them Eat Stock Portfolios

I typically condemn those who vote for one party or the other because of single-issue considerations–like gun control or abortion or immigration or renewable energy policy or prison reform or…

And I typically don’t overtly blog about politics as such, for or against either of the would-be parties that purport to represent our interests.

But if I was to be one to support a one-plank platform and should I ever become a blogger who opined about political choices in presidential election years, that one plank would be “the environment.”

I grieve that we have so corrupted that word that it immediately sends those to the right looking for a stick with which to throttle a tree-hugging hippie. I’ve written about this before, offering the notion that “you ARE the environment.

So, while not swooning over our current administration’s waffling stand for the environment, the GOP’s stated intentions with regard to said environment makes me heart-sick.

Here are the the intentional, blatant abolitions intended for most of the last 45 years of progress, made while I watched since the early 70s, towards protection of our air, water, soils, forest, atmosphere, oceans and national forest and parks. link from Grist,com

– Abolish the EPA as we know it.
– Expedite export terminals for liquefied natural gas.
– Oppose any carbon tax.
– Kill federal fracking regulations.
– Build the Keystone XL pipeline and more like it.
– Cancel the Clean Power Plan.
– Halt funding for the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
– Revoke the ability of the president to designate national monuments.
– Turn federal lands over to states.
– Forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide.
– Stop environmental regulatory agencies from settling lawsuits out of court.

If you want a single-issue to determine your vote, I suggest it be the ongoing health of the planet and our care for its finite and stressed resources, habitats, biomes, and vanishingly-diverse population of living things.

We are the environment. It’s resilience and health–not stockholder happiness and short-term profits–will sustain our children 45 years from now. Or not.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. The GOP’s current stance toward the environment is just heartbreakingly unbelievable. I just cannot comprehend why it would be so other than craven greed.

  2. If you are truly concerned about the environment, please research how the animal factory farming industry is affecting the environment. I am a vegan, so I am personally doing something very BIG about the future health of our environment. In other words, individuals can take responsibility. Waiting for the government will be the death of the planet.

  3. Grace, there are more issues with carnivory than factory farming. Especially with regard to beef, the water footprint for a pound of beef are staggering but invisible. The developing world wants to eat higher up the food chain like Americans have for a century. The price of that pound is high, but the environmental costs are higher over the long term. Agriculture in general needs a “moon shot” challenge of our best minds coming from our most altruistic and future-directed motives. I wonder if our species is capable of such an effort.

  4. It doesn’t matter what the say during their campaigning. None of them ever stick to it anyway. Voting based on anything said prior to the election is futile. The best bet is not to vote for the Republicratic in either of its manifestations. I’m not disagreeing with your concern though.