The moment that Trump assumes the presidency is fast approaching, and the demagogic political neophyte has left us no reason to believe he’ll be a champion of the environment.
He’s appointed Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State – a chilling indication of Trump’s international priorities in the coming years. He has called climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese, and has gone as low as to harass Scottish politicians over a wind farm that he feels “sullies” the beauty of the adjacent golf course bearing his name.
But, with his final days in office, Barack Obama has sought to safeguard the environment through several crucial moves. By halting the North Dakota Access pipeline, Obama not only prevented the destruction of indigenous people’s sacred land and drinking water, but also emboldened a growing protest movement that will be an invaluable bulwark against the Trump Administration’s anti-science agenda.
Just this week, Obama also designated two new national monuments in an effort to protect sensitive areas at the center of an ongoing battle concerning land use in the West. In Utah, Obama has declared a 1.3 million acre plot the Bears Ears national monument, and has deemed 30,000 acres the Gold Butte national monument on the outskirts of Las Vegas in Nevada.
This is a setback for Republican and dirty energy interests who wish to exploit natural resources instead of investing the necessary time and money into alternative energy sources that possess greater long-term feasibility for our planet. As temperatures warm and ocean levels rise, every little bit of environmental protection is essential in order to compel the private sector to develop meaningful solutions to the collectively shared problems meaning the earth.