Letter to the editor: Environmentalism in the age of Trump


As an American who cares about the environment and solving the global problem of climate change, Trump’s inauguration and subsequent environmental actions have been jarring to say the least.

At the very core, caring about the environment and ensuring a healthy planet for everyone should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, Trump’s decision to appoint Scott Pruitt to the head of the EPA as both an avid EPA-opponent and a man who “does not agree” that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, proves that caring about the planet is more partisan than ever.

Trump’s proposed budget would cut nearly one-third of the EPA’s current budget, along with defunding NASA’s climate research programs. Trump has also already started rollbacks on the Clean Power Plan, which attempts to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants.

Knowing all of this, the ozone layer doesn’t look like it’s going to be improving any time soon. Because we can no longer count on our administration to listen to science and facts, we must stand up as individual citizens and commit to making the environment a priority in our everyday lives.

One of the most influential choices we can make on behalf of the environment is to reduce our animal-product intake, including meat, dairy and eggs. Scientists estimate that one hamburger requires the same amount of water as two months’ worth of showers and releases the same amount of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere as a 20-mile drive in a small car (Cowspiracy). The animal agriculture industry is responsible for emitting more greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere than every car, truck, bus, train and plane combined (Cowspiracy).

Doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and for those opposed to Trump’s anti-environment actions, replacing chicken with chickpeas a few nights a week may be a great place to start.