If you don’t value clean air and clean water, think industrial polluting is not a problem, or you scoff at the threat of a rapidly warming earth due to fossil fuel-generated carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere, you need read no further.
If, however, one of the reasons you go RVing is to enjoy the great outdoors in clean breathable air, to paddle pristine rivers, crystal clear lakes, and bays teeming with birds and wildlife, to hike through forests of old growth trees and by cascading waterfalls – and you don’t want to see increasing natural disasters threaten all areas of the country, then you need to remember the name Scott Pruitt.
The former Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt is known for advocating the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the governmental agency set up by a Republican president 47 years ago to protect our air, water, and other natural resources from polluters. Ironically, this is the very agency that Pruitt was picked by President Trump to lead.
The EPA’s work – which has always been based on science, a painstaking approach to finding out through serious studies, intelligent fact-finding, and peer review – to accumulate and assemble the most accurate policies and advice to offer the government on how to protect these natural resources through legislation and enforcement of applicable guidelines and rules.
But, as Christine Todd Whitman (former New Jersey Governor and former head of the EPA) wrote in an Opinion column in the New York Times yesterday (Sep. 8th), “As a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush to run the agency (from 2001 to 2003), I can hardly be written off as part of the liberal resistance to the new administration. But the evidence is abundant of the dangerous political turn of an agency that is supposed to be guided by science.”
Pruitt could not only destroy all that the EPA has accomplished, but could also severely endanger the health and well being of all Americans through his undermining of proven EPA policies that took years of hard work by the agency’s collaborative team of scientists, academics, and business leaders. It would be a catastrophe not only to Americans’ health, but also to the very lifestyle that we as RVers enjoy.
To accomplish his misguided mission, Pruitt has assembled a “Red Team” of “scientists” to accumulate evidence to support his anti-science campaign of confusing the public, publishing misleading information, and to accomplish his (and the administration’s) goals, among them the policy of dismissing climate change as a hoax.
This is what Ms. Whitman has to say about that: “Certainly, there are disputes in science. But on the question of climate change, the divide is stark. On one side is the overwhelming consensus of thousands of scientists at universities, research centers and the government who publish in peer-reviewed literature, are cited regularly by fellow scientists and are certain that humans are contributing to climate change.
“On the other side is a tiny minority of contrarians who publish very little by comparison, are rarely cited in the scientific literature and are often funded by fossil fuel interests, and whose books are published, most often, by special interest groups. That Mr. Pruitt seeks to use the power of the E.P.A. to elevate those who have already lost the argument is shameful, and the only outcome will be that the public will know less about the science of climate change than before.”
If we don’t educate ourselves to the real facts and opinions of respected professionals, it may be too late for all of us, as Harvey and Irma are clearly warning.
You can read Ms. Whitman’s entire column here.