In many ways, elected officials and other major decision-makers of all political persuasions have done a terrible job looking out for the environment and the animals and plants which live in it. As a long-time supporter of numerous ecological and nature advocacy groups this topic is very personal to me and it definitely influences who I support (or not) on election day. To me, the actions and failures to act by most officeholders and other major decision-makers in and out of government with regard to environmental issues is at least morally bankrupt, if not criminally negligent.
Since many politicians are or pretend to be Christian, their concern, or lack thereof about nature and the environment is most likely derived from the Biblical passage from Genesis 1, Verse 26 paraphrased as God gave humanity “Dominion over the fish in the sea” over the birds “in the air” and over all the earth…” For some reason, ‘conservative’ and so-called ‘Born Again’ types oft seem to interpret this Biblical passage as a justification to allow or condone the over-exploitation, pollution, poisoning, and sometimes even the permanent destruction of Wildlife habitats , the nation’s finite supply of natural resources, and of wildlife (both animals and plants). Too many pols seem to believe or act or fail to act that if an animal, plant or other species is or becomes threatened, endangered or destined for almost imminent extinction; then if their actions or failures to act hastens that demise, then it is “God’s will”.
Also, by their actions or failures to act, polluters, manufacturers of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Real Estate developers (TRUMP) oft get away with destroying habitats and/or ecosystems ; and they also can pollute, poison or contaminate the air, land, water(s), lifeforms, plus human populations within range of where business and/or industry show poor or even illegally responsible stewardship of the natural environs.
Unfortunately, Environmental Issues are more complicated than meets the eye. Decision-makers, both elected and appointed (both in and out of government) have to negotiate with, compromise or accommodate both Business and Industry, plus take into account the effects of policy change(s) on jobs, workers, etc. Also, they must also do all that they can to try to prevent NIMBYs (Not In My Backyard) types from scuttling any progress in protecting the land, air, water(s) and community or municipality from poor or bad ecological decisions or actions.
In my opinion, it is also disgraceful how politicians and other major decision-makers often sell (practically give away) mineral rights on publicly owned land to business or industry, damn the environmental consequences. Have you seen a penny from these sales? (which technically belong to We the People). Neither have I. If Congress and other officeholders or appointed decision-makers were held legally responsible for their poor decisions and short-term thinking on the environment, animal habitats and ecosystems, and on Nature and wildlife (plants & animals, etc.) and on irresponsible stewardship of the planet, then their collective actions from top to bottom would undoubtably be criminal.
Too many elected and appointed officials tend to put the whims of Big Business and Industry ahead of the world’s environment and the life within. Politicians tend to accept massive donations (Legal Bribes) from Big Oil, the Koch brothers (involved in both petroleum and chemicals) and others who contaminate the planet in one way or the other. Also, officeholders/decision-makers in and out of government tend to overlook when a corporation or industry pollutes, destroys major or minor ecosystems; or poisons the land, air, water(s), wildlife (animals & plants) and human populations of this nation or wherever their chemicals or poisons reach (such as the Cayahuga River fire(s), the Fossil Fuel industry’s role in climate change, the possible role of pesticides on the widespread death of honeybees, plus the marketing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food supply before the effects of these new lifeforms on our health are known or understood).
Around the time when I was a kid, I remember when one could safely swim, recreate , fish or ingest edible aquatic life in just about any water way in this nation. Now, you have to worry or be concerned about acid rain due to air pollution, plus chemicals and other substances deliberately or ‘accidentally’ dumped where fish and other aquatic life have to survive. In certain of our lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans etc. eating fish, shellfish and other aquatic life tainted with PCBs, mercury, and/or a bunch of chemicals or poisons both known and unknown can make one sick or worse. Also, you shouldn’t have to worry about the health of your children who, for instance, may play on grass treated with lawn chemicals or that of those on a golf course or sports field.
Government officials or appointed decision-makers who do not believe in human-caused Global Warming or Climate Change are highly unlikely to do much (if anything) to prevent those with asthma, COPD, emphysema, etc. as well as the young or healthy among us to be exposed to or forced to breathe in ( an industrial equivalent of Second-Hand Smoke/Pollution!) Chemicals, Fossil Fuel exhaust, or similar pollutants or poisons. Also, those in construction, Real Estate development (TRUMP!), etc. are highly unlikely to show any concern or qualms about destroying the habitat(s) and homes of wildlife (both animals & Plants etc.) and/or ecosystems in order to profit off of urban or suburban sprawl. To them, habitat and wildlife destruction are an acceptable cost of doing business, and I’m sure very few of these businesspeople lose a moment’s sleep over the ecological devastation caused by their decisions.
These days, being ‘Green’ or ecologically concerned is a fairly popular trend. Unfortunately, too many businessmen and women and corporations in this nation and internationally only care about the green of greenbacks. In other words, they put greed ahead of being ecologically responsible.
I have read several novels about ‘terraforming’ other planets (changing a planet’s atmosphere so that humans can survive on Mars or elsewhere without a spacesuit. In my view, if Global Warming and Climate Change are real (and I’m certain they are) then perhaps we are knowingly or unknowingly undergoing an experiment in which we are doing the reverse of ‘Terraforming’. In other words, perhaps we are making our planet inhospitable to life, perhaps even our own.
In my opinion, there is a false contradiction between jobs, even well-paying jobs, and good ecological stewardship of this nation’s environment, nature, wildlife, and the health of the planet. Yes, jobs are important, and in this society it is expensive to live. Almost everything you do here costs money, and often quite a bit of cash. That being said, I would argue that clean breathable air, water(s) you can safely swim, drink, cook with, recreate, and even ingest edible aquatic life out of without getting really sick or needing to worry about getting cancer or another disease some time down the road. To me, it is also important to be able to avoid the fumes or other exposure to pesticides, herbicides and lawn chemicals, not to mention the exhaust of Industrial pollutants and of what I like to call ‘Infernal Combustion Engines’. If we changed to a Green Economy, many of these problems would likely diminish or disappear.
Overpopulation, both here and abroad, also has an enormous bad effect on Habitat Destruction, and the scarcity of certain animals and plants; which sometimes could result in a collapse of certain ecosystems (basically how most or every animal and plant rely on each other for a well-balanced diversity of life).
Lastly, reclaiming the term ‘Ecoterrorist’: Businesspeople, Industry and politicians hostile to a relatively pristine, unpolluted environment often dismiss those who are concerned about ecology or nature as kooks or even ‘Ecoterrorists’, but in my view the true ‘Ecoterrorism’ is actually committed by any business, industry or government decision which knowingly or negligently pollute, poison or destroy the land, air water(s) or wildlife habitats or ecosystems. Likewise by any officeholder or other major or minor decision-maker whose actions or inactions enable business(es), corporations, industry or other bad actors to taint, poison or destroy habitats, the natural world, or the wildlife of this nation or the rest of the planet.