Thursday, November 10, 2016

What now?

I'm in my 50s and this election was not my first rodeo.  I've voted for Republicans and Democrats.  My first professional job was at U.S. EPA under the Reagan/Watt administration.  I've cheered environmental protection made by local and Federal government officials regardless of party.  I've written about privately-owned companies and private citizens doing "green stuff".I've encouraged students to use science to guide their environmental behavior.   I've worked with people of many different backgrounds and opinions to protect the environment, including environmental scientists, hunters, vegans, business owners, military personnel, religious leaders, and civil servants.  The ability to discuss different opinions and support compromise is one of the things that makes this country great.

But this time it's different.

I now have to figure out a way to continue to work toward environmental goals without compromising my principles.  I can find common ground with the new administration in fighting for the disenfranchised.  Oftentimes, the people who are most negatively affected by environmental damage are the poor and voiceless.  A transition to clean fuel must also include support for workers who will change careers into the new clean energy economy.

But there are two very important ways that I will not support the new administration.  First off, our President-elect and Vice President-elect have very plainly stated that they wish to increase oil and gas production and stop any progress on slowing climate change.  This short-sighted goal means disaster for our planet.  I will vigorously oppose any action toward this goal.

Second, there's no way around it -- our new President-elect is a racist.  I hope that, as I am working to find areas of compromise, it is always clear that I in no way agree with his racist view of the country I love.

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