• Ed Flattau

Environmental Villains

Who are the world’s leading anti-environmentalists?

· Sadly, our President is a leading candidate for this dubious title. He and his administration are seeking to significantly weaken the Nation’s major air and water pollution regulations at the behest of corporate interests. Here is a guy who denounces the aspirational Green New Deal legislation as baby talk and claims that the proximity of windmills causes cancer. Another specialty of Trump’s is to constantly state that he is a champion of clean water and air while isolating the country from the rest of the world by rejecting any membership in major international environmental treaties.

· Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is another candidate vying for the label of the world’s top anti-environmental activist. When it comes to climate change, Trump at least acknowledges the existence of global warming. He just denies human activity as a cause of climate change. Bolsonaro does not even concede the existence of climate change while his country is responsible for one-third of the annual deforestation of the Amazonian tropical forest dubbed “the lungs of the world.”

· Then there is the Exxon oil company which for decades has concealed its knowledge of the harmful impact of its industry’s carbon emissions on the environment. The company has finally admitted publicly to its withholding the findings of its research, but that may be too late for redemption.

· Indifferent coastal authorities preside over communities highly vulnerable to hurricanes. These officials introduce their own adverse environmental impacts by turning beaches into parking lots and are oblivious to the destruction of sand dunes and shoreline wetlands that act as barriers that moderate storm damage. This neglect is becoming less prevalent as many citizens of these communities experience the heavy damage inflicted by tempests and realize the value of enlisting what protection nature has to offer.

· The Roman Catholic Church has been beneficial for its advocacy of confronting climate change but has used its broad influence to raise objections to family planning, which, if successful, create serious population problems. Fortunately, many members of its flock accept going their own way in regard to the environment. Family planning falls in that category.

· The Walt Disney Company overruns surrounding undeveloped land causing huge increases in population density that result in environmental degradation. Nearby communities are transformed into traffic-plagued areas replacing quiet locales. Mickey Mouse may be an endearing companion for children but is no ally of the environment.

· Extreme right-wing communicators such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity dutifully convey Trump’s anti-environmental message to their millions of listeners. Even if Trump deviates from his hardline position under public pressure, these ultraconservative media personalities tend to persist with their anti-environmental rhetoric.

· Former President George W. Bush claimed during his tenure to be strengthening environmental regulations through backdoor negotiations. Meanwhile, he was rejecting the advice of government scientists leading to degradation of public lands by the fossil fuel industry. At the same time that was taking place, Bush was installing solar energy and other environmental improvements on his Texas ranch. What hypocrisy!

· Then there are the admirers of Nazi “love of nature” who view it as the basis for some partial redemption. Smelling the flowers does not exonerate such a vile, heartless movement from its history of atrocities.


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