It has become painfully clear that there is no reason to believe we will ever see responsible leadership from Trump and his Republican minions, however, Democrats give us reason to hope. Democratic presidential contenders and those who control the House of Representatives point to a brighter future.
The Trump administration’s de-regulatory orgy has systematically dismantled environmental protections and climate action. This government has not only abandoned the emissions reduction efforts contained in the Paris agreement, they are compromising the health of Americans by diminishing the country’s air and water quality.
This administration is also eradicating protections for wildlife and exacerbating the climate crisis with an insane energy agenda. It is not hyperbole to say that this administration is an environmental nightmare. Trump does not deserve all the credit. The GOP has a long history of eschewing science based policy and resisting environmental action. Republicans continue to oppose attempts to revive the Paris Climate agreement and in state houses they are either ignoring the subject or fighting responsible legislation.
To illustrate this opposition, Republican legislators in Oregon are refusing to report to work so that they can stop a climate change bill from passing. The state’s GOP senators are taking advantage of the 20 senator quorum requirement to thwart the will of the democratic majority.
However, this nightmare may be coming to an end, at least at the federal level. Lies have come to define Republican climate rhetoric and Trump’s pathological penchant for mendacity may have tipped the scales. There is evidence to suggest that the disinformation efforts of the GOP no longer resonate with voters the way they once did. The party is increasingly perceived as being “out of the mainstream.”
Americans are more supportive of climate and environmental action than they have been in almost two decades. People are responding to studies that call for urgent action and surveys suggest a growing number of Americans want action.
Democratic presidential candidates are prioritizing climate change and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s presidential bid is leading the charge by making climate action his central priority. The fact that his campaign raised $1 million in only three days suggests that there is an appetite for climate leadership from the federal government.
This has also been tested at the ballot box. Last November the Democrats succeeded in flipping the House due at least in part to environmental concerns and six governors won with platforms that promised 100 percent renewable energy. More than a dozen states now support carbon-free electricity including New Mexico, California, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. New York state just went even further and passed green new deal style legislation which is an idea that has been gaining ground at town-halls across the country.
Hope takes the form of an informed electorate and a government that will unite Americans and lead the nation towards a more viable future. Hope takes the form of change and that means anybody but the man who currently occupies the Oval Office.