Quantcast

Melania Trump's National Park Service Birthday Tweet Sparks Backlash

Politics
Melania Trump attends a Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention summit at the Health Resources and Service Administration Aug. 20 in Rockville, Maryland. Getty Images

Melania Trump celebrated the National Park Service's (NPS) 102nd birthday at a White House event on Saturday. In a tweet, she thanked NPS for its "commitment to this country!"

The Internet, however, was quick to point out her husband's efforts to roll back protections of our public lands in his push to open them up for mining, drilling and other exploitative operations.


"Your husband is dismantling protections for these lands and selling them off to the highest bidders as we speak. Your hypocrisy has no limits," a Twitter user replied to FLOTUS.

The Trump administration has made drastic cuts to the boundaries of national monuments and plans to open thousands of miles of coastline to offshore oil drilling.

Documents published by the New York Times in March revealed that gaining access to the oil, natural gas and uranium deposits in Bears Ears and coal reserves in Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah were key reasons behind their shrinkage.

Another user commented, "Your sentiment falls flat when you do everything to remove protections and funding FOR our national park services!"

Trump's fiscal 2019 budget proposed massive budget cuts to the National Park Service, including firing 1,835 employees at a time when park visits are at record highs.

The president's relationship with NPS got off to a rocky start on his first day. As one Twitter user asked the First Lady, "Are you talking about same Parks service that was punished for telling the truth about the inauguration crowd size?"

The comment referred to the department's retweet of a photo comparing the sizes of President Trump and President Obama's inaugural crowds. NPS was ordered to cease tweeting and was temporarily shut down.

Earlier this year, the majority of the park service's advisory panel abruptly quit in protest of the Trump administration's policies, which they say neglect science, climate change and environmental protections.

In May, NPS released a long-delayed report showing that all coastal parks will need to contend with both changing sea levels and the intensification of storms and associated storm surge, especially along the southeast coast, where it is facing more tropical storms and hurricanes. The report was held up for 10 months and finally released after several attempts at censorship.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also received plenty of criticism when he proposed nearly tripling vehicle entrance fees during peak season. He abandoned the plan after widespread public outcry.

The National Park Service was created on Aug. 25, 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act. If you haven't visited a park already, try Sept. 22 when admission costs will be waived for National Public Lands Day. Admission will also be free on Nov. 11 to mark Veterans Day.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pope Francis celebrates an opening Mass for the Amazon synod, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Massimo Valicchia / NurPhoto / Getty Images

by Justin Catanoso

Pope Francis, in an effort to reignite his influence as a global environmental leader, released an impassioned document Feb. 12 entitled Dear Amazon — a response to the historic Vatican meeting last autumn regarding the fate of the Amazon biome and its indigenous people.

Read More
A flooded motorhome dealership is seen following Storm Dennis on Feb. 18 at Symonds Yat, Herefordshire, England. Storm Dennis is the second named storm to bring extreme weather in a week and follows in the aftermath of Storm Ciara. Although water is residing in many places flood warnings are still in place. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Britain has been battered by back-to-back major storms in consecutive weekends, which flooded streets, submerged rail lines, and canceled flights. The most recent storm, Dennis, forced a group of young climate activists to cancel their first ever national conference, as CBS News reported.

Read More
Sponsored
A group of Fulani women and their daughters walk towards their houses in Hapandu village, Zinder Region, Niger on July 31, 2019. In the African Sahel the climate has long been inhospitable. But now rising temperatures have caused prolonged drought and unpredictable weather patterns, exacerbating food shortages, prompting migration and contributing to instability in countries already beset by crisis. LUIS TATO / AFP / Getty Images

At the 56th Munich Security Conference in Germany, world powers turned to international defense issues with a focus on "Westlessness" — the idea that Western countries are uncertain of their values and their strategic orientation. Officials also discussed the implications of the coronavirus outbreak, the Middle East and the Libya crisis.

Read More
Polar bears on Barter Island on the north slope of Alaska wait for the winter sea ice to arrive so they can leave to hunt seals, on Sept. 28, 2015. cheryl strahl / Flickr

The climate crisis wreaks havoc on animals and plants that have trouble adapting to global heating and extreme weather. Some of the most obvious examples are at the far reaches of the planet, as bees disappear from Canada, penguin populations plummet in the Antarctic, and now polar bears in the Arctic are struggling from sea ice loss, according to a new study, as CNN reported.

Read More

By Petros Kusmu, George Patrick Richard Benson

  • We can all take steps to reduce the environmental impact of our work-related travels.
  • Individual actions — like the six described here — can cumulatively help prompt more collective changes, but it helps to prioritize by impact.
  • As the saying goes: be the change you want to see in the world.
Read More