I‘ve tried and I’ve tried again, but even then, words still cannot communicate the sadness, frustration, fury, nor angst I feel when faced with the fact that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.
I’ve thought about this sobering reality many nights, and through many nights of troubled, uneasy, contemplation, I’ve lost countless hours of sleep. The image of an America run by Trump is an image I cannot erase from my mind:
A slimy, opportunistic billionaire, fanning the flames of racism and disillusionment as a means of consolidating his power; a nationalist propagandist and racial ideologue as the Chief Strategist of the Oval Office; a climate change denier placed like a gag at the head of the EPA, deliberately choking the one organization that has the power to curb the impending overheating of the Planet; and an entirely red Congress that will accept many of the policies laid forth by the Oval Office with complacency, maybe even happiness.
In the month since Trump was elected, I’ve thought about what the environment will look like when I finally have kids, ten, twenty years down the road. Will there even be an environment? Will it be one worth living in?
Since long before I was born, in the late ’90s, climate change scientists have been steadily unifying around the alarming fact that Earth has barely a few decades before complete ecological catastrophe ensues, engulfing all living beings on the planet and commencing what will be, as termed by evolutionary biologists, the most recent mass extinction in our history. The last time such an extinction occurred, the dinosaurs were annihilated.
But that’s talking theoretically about the environment. That’s to say nothing of what will happen to the environment on the ground during a Trump Presidency: to the forests, wetlands, and wildlands which I have so cherished through my life.
I’ve grown up exploring the wild lands of Florida. When I was a kid, I liked nothing more than to lay forward on the prow of our bass boat and feel the cold air rush past as we went down the St. Johns River, a watery mirage of herons, gators, and cypresses slowly sliding past.