I have to cheat on you though, and I want to tell you why. 11/9 changed me from who I was when I started this blog. I began this journey as encouraging you to be environmentalish and allowed myself and us all to believe that was the pathway to progress. Do one thing. Make it a habit. Rinse, repeat. That the drumbeat of progress on environment and climate would be steady at the national level - we had just made AMAZING gains - and you and I together just had to make small changes to our dailies to get there. I was wrong. I was heartbreakingly and painfully wrong. In the wake of President Trump winning people have accused me of hubris, of thinking I'm "better than", of not listening. They have said I only care about what happened in this election because my job depends on it. They have laughed in victory at my Facebook posts of the grief cycle I'm going through after pouring myself into 15 years of environmental work. They have attacked me personally for decrying the hate crime spike after this election. They have called me a racist for defending minorities against that hate (no really, I quote: "the definition of a bigot").
Who am I then? I am an optimist. I am hopeful. I believe in the importance of active listening, of going deeper than soundbites. I look for the inspirational. I love to laugh about things that should make us all weep (not kidding). When I think about what I do every day when I get up and go to work, I think about whether I'm having an impact. Whether I'm making a difference. I worked hard to learn my craft. I practice what I preach. I am a builder. I am a Catholic. I reach across the aisle. And those people who want to bring me down? Haters gonna hate. Says a whole lot more about them than me. And besides, I've long ago decide to be myself anyway. And sounds like I'm in good company....PREACH AMBER, PREACH!
[Read more after the break]
On climate, Trump's position is ugly. It's fucking ugly. It's BIGLY FUGLY:
- There’s no way around it: What he’s planning to do looks like an absolute disaster for the planet (and the people on it)
- Trump's tweets on climate over the years range from the stupid to the circumstantial to the conspiracy: the name change to climate change from global warming shows it doesn't work, the temperature is freezing and so "we need GLOBAL WARMING", the people working on it are frauds and cons, it's bullshit and it's a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Seriously, read them. Read them all. Get horrified by them, we will all need to be outraged going forward.
- The person leading his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency is a rabid climate change denier who enjoys being a contrarian on the science.
- The person leading his transition team for the Department of the Interior which oversees national parks and wildlife refuges, along with decisions about offshore drilling, fracking regulations and protections for endangered species is an oil executive. Or dare to dream, there's a rumor or "drill baby, drill" Sarah Palin too.
- His platform on environmental issues was non-existent, with no specific policies.
- Trump has also hinted he wants to downsize the EPA. “What they do is a disgrace,” he has said. He now has the power to rewrite or scale back other regulations on mercury pollution, on ground-level ozone, on coal ash, and more.
- Trump has said he wants to repeal all federal spending on clean energy, including R&D for wind, solar, nuclear power, and electric vehicles. This would require Congress, but it’s not impossible.
- He is looking at ways to "quick withdraw" from the four year process of the Paris Agreement that went into force November 4th and has over 100 nations representing 76% of global emissions (the U.S. is 18%).
Have the picture in your head of this coming disaster? We cannot afford to slide back even an inch. Our livelihoods and well-being on this planet cannot take further delay. So if it's not seeped into your bones yet, if you want to live in denial of Trumpland eco-edition, re-read the above until you are sufficiently horrified. Do not set up camp in denial land, we need you.
OK. Now what do we do?
We decide to be angelic troublemakers. BIGLY STYLE. We have the first amendment protection to freedom of expression and protest and we must use it. Telling ourselves that his extremist rhetoric will die down now that he's in office is lying to ourselves. That's what the moderate Germans said about Herr Hitler in 1922. SERIOUSLY I AM NOT KIDDING.
Donald Trump is so tone deaf to his trampling of American citizen's rights and freedoms in this election that he needs to be resisted. At every turn. This is the guy who appointed an alt-right, white nationalist who had charges for domestic violence to be the chief strategist in the White House. He's ignoring criticism over this choice from both sides of the aisle. WTF.
There is no chance he will back down on climate, or give into common sense, not when so many of his supporters don't think the science is real. Not when we have other things to decry like people's fear over being deported, the rash of hate crime, the attempted breakup of LGBT families.
So we must begin the resistance. We must be the change we want to see in the world. We must resist this injustice at ever turn. Mockingjay style.
I want you to know that I'm alive. That I'm in an America that is shredding our values with hate speech and burning the rights of minority citizens at the hands of the tyrannical majority.
If you think for one second that the capitol under Trump and his cronies will ever treat us fairly, you are lying to yourselves. Because we know who they are and what they do. THIS is what they do. And we must fight back.
I have a message for President-elect Trump. You can demean us, and grope us, and unleash the most indecent hate on us. But do you see that? Fire is catching, and if we burn, you....WILL FIGHT US FOR EVERY INCH.
But here's some comfort for you. For us all. For the Republicans and conservatives and independents who voted for Trump and are surprised by this outpouring of expression and protest, and for the Democrats and liberals and progressives who are clinically depressed, alarmed, and rallying to the cause: our republic has faced this before. The tyranny of the majority was used to uphold slavery for decades after our revolutionary formation. We overturned it not because a majority of the white male landholders (aka Americans who could vote) came into common sense. We overturned it because a small minority of abolitionists demanded justice and sacrificed and rooted out this moral cancer. I've been enjoying re-reading Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, written in 1849 in the pre-Civil War era and extremely relevant to today (pls ignore the gendered pronouns and never forget...ladies didn't get the vote until 1920. #imstillwithher #suffragettewhite #strongertogether #pantsuitnationforlife)
Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary, and does not consist wholly with anything which was. It not only divides States and churches, it divides families; ay, it divides the individual, separating the diabolical in him from the divine.
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. IT makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage it's citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?
The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual. There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as the higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor.
Let's do this thing.