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Totally freaked out is the best way I can explain how I'm feeling right now knowing Donald Trump has won the presidency. Yes, the billionaire television personality who denies climate change, has ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has promised to "renegotiate" the Paris agreement and completely dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be the next President of the United States!
My email inbox is stuffed full with reactions from the environmental community and Twitter is on fire. Here are some of those reactions:
"Our hearts go out today to the millions of people who voted against bigotry and hate and now have to accept the fact that the man who ridiculed and threatened them for months is the President-elect of the United States," Greenpeace USA's Executive Director Annie Leonard shared. "Fear may have won this election, but bravery, hope and perseverance will overcome.
"Trump's election is a disaster, but we must channel our anger and fear into hope and resolve," said May Boeve, 350 Action's executive director. "Our work becomes much harder now, but it's not impossible, and we refuse to give up. Together, we will put everything on the line to protect the progress we've made and continue to push for bold action. We refuse to leave the future of our climate in Trump's hands. Now is the time to take a deep breath and fight like never before."
Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann sums it up perfectly:
Gary Wockner, a Colorado-based environmental activist and former Democratic Party campaign manager, blames the Democratic Party for Trump's win.
"This election is a sharp and dramatic repudiation of mainstream Democratic and environmental politics, which supported every anti-environmental whim of Hillary Clinton and aggressively undermined the candidacy of Bernie Sanders," Wockner said. "We now have a historic wakeup call and opportunity to recapture American environmentalism as the voice of the people, not of corporate Democratic Party power."
As far as the Paris agreement goes, Jean Su of the Center for Biological Diversity said, "The Paris agreement was signed and ratified not by a president, but by the United States itself. One man alone, especially in the twenty-first century, should not strip the globe of the climate progress that it has made and should continue to make. As a matter of international law, and as a matter of human survival, the nations of the world can, must and will hold the United States to its climate commitments. And it's incumbent upon U.S. communities to unite and push forth progressive climate policies on a state and local level, where federal policy does not reign."
And, as Friends o the Earth puts it, "We will have to harness our new energy, join together and use every strategy possible to fight against hate and greed and environmental destruction. While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and planet depends on it."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.