The needs of industry has always been protected over the needs of the planet in the United States. That is, until recently, when some of our country’s natural wonders have been designated as protected, showing a marked change in the way this country treats its environmental resources. This is why it is so troubling to see that the president has been getting away with repealing these environmental protections bit by bit, without much of a public backlash, by hiding behind larger issues that get more airtime on national news networks.

Recently, he repealed protections on the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, quoting COVID-related economic factors as the reason. The monument consists of 4,913 square miles off the coast of Cape Cod, and includes nine different ecosystems. These ecosystems had been decimated by over-fishing, but the local fish population had begun to return in just the four years since the protection was enacted. This repeal is the latest in a long pattern of environmental tyranny from the current administration, but it also represents an American ideal of favoring abstract economic numbers over the safety and wellbeing of its people and ecosystems.

I hope that my children and their children live in a world where the environment is recognized for how critically important it is, but as it stands now they won’t even have a world to live in if this pattern of abuse is not broken. The most important thing we can do is ensure that we are educating on the impact of these decisions, and also that we spread this education as far as possible. The only way to make sure that these protections remain in place, is to use our collective power to fight back against these repeals, and ensure that we save the Earth, even if our government fails to do so.

 

Peter Weiser

Waterville


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