(This is a political post. If you don’t want to read it, please enjoy my other posts!)
I’m holed up in my house these afternoons here in Boise, trying to avoid the 100+ degree temperatures that are wilting and crisping up the leaves of my perennials.
I’ve got a lot of drought-tolerant plants but fortunately my Shasta Daisies, Fleabane, Agastache and Gaillardia are hanging in there.
I know that one summer doesn’t provide evidence of climate change. I don’t base my belief in the science of global warming on snapshots in time. I look to experts on that. This from NASA:
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.
Like a lot of people who accept climate change science, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Scott Pruitt, EPA’s administrator, resigned.
Pruitt’s appointment was all about undoing the science-based rational regulations that previous presidents had implemented to protect people and the environment from pollutants and the effects of carbon emissions on the environment. Pruitt's tenure had the effect of taking giant steps backward.
Among Pruitt's actions:
Mother Nature would like to breathe a sigh of relief, but the agency’s acting chief, Andrew Wheeler, may not be any better. A former coal lobbyist, he's a skeptic when it comes to climate change science. He's not paying attention to 97% of actively publishing climate scientists who agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. Gee, he's smarter than they are, I guess.
He could undo U.S. efforts toward clean-energy research and implementation. Fortunately, however, a bipartisan legislative body, the Senate Committee on Appropriations pushed back against massive funding cuts to clean energy projects and proposed a FY18 budget $4 billion higher than Trump’s Department of Energy budget. By a vote of 38 to 1, the committee defended federal government action in all phases of clean energy development.
I’m almost always a glass-half-full kind of person. I try to stay optimistic about everything from my garden disasters to growing older. So all I can hope for now is that we’re not:
How about you? Are you trying to stay optimistic about the future of the EPA?
PBS article on EPA under Pruitt
Vox.com article on EPA under Pruitt
Scientific American article about Pruitt's resignation
The Conversation article on what's next for the EPA