California Senator Kamala Harris brought focus to a story that isn’t getting much media attention, but that could devastate coastal areas in America. The Trump Administration is “reviewing” marine sanctuaries, and may shrink or eliminate them. It’s one more very bad sign from a president who seems intent on reversing anything Obama touched, even when it comes to something as irreplaceable as sanctuaries Obama created. Those marine sanctuaries are already under dire and observable threat due to climate change.
Kamala Harris’s Twitter thread:
“Something you’re not hearing in the news – this Administration is “reviewing” whether to shrink/eliminate some of our marine sanctuaries.”
Something you're not hearing in the news – this Administration is "reviewing" whether to shrink/eliminate some of our marine sanctuaries.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) August 7, 2017
The Washington Post reported on the sanctuaries in question: “Four of the marine monuments and sanctuaries were designated or expanded during the Bush administration. The rest were protected by the Obama administration.”
As you would expect with Trump, the sanctuaries could be opened to oil and gas exploitation, or as they would probably choose to say, “exploration.”
Harris goes on to point out:
“These sanctuaries are essential to the recreation and tourism that drive our coastal economies.”
“They encompass millions of acres of coral reefs, pristine beaches, and habitats for whales and other marine life.”
“Public comments are now being accepted through August 15. Please make your voice heard on this issue.”
To record your comment, you may go to the National Marine Sanctuary System page, or click on the link in the tweet from the Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education below.
— MARINE (@CSP_MARINE) July 27, 2017
This news is coming to light again thanks to Senator Harris, but this story coincides with news that scientists from 13 federal agencies fear that Donald Trump will suppress their findings on climate change. Instead, they have sent a draft to The New York Times.
The report’s findings are dire, with a projected global rise in temperature of 2 degrees Celsius over this century, and that’s even is humankind completely stopped creating greenhouse gases right now. Consider a rise of 2 degrees as if it were a rise in your own internal body temperature, and you begin to see the problem. For marine creatures, it would be the same thing.
Even if Trump and other climate change deniers don’t want you to read the report, the draft is ready for you to see now.
Meanwhile, previous Vice President and presidential candidate Al Gore has released a new film sequel on the topic of climate change. “An Inconvenient Sequel” showcases “the complete ignorance and scientific idiocy of actions taken by Donald Trump and his team of climate deniers,” according to a review by The Huffington Post.
Though Fox News has rallied against the film since turnout on opening day was not good, the film may still have a great impact. The first film won an Oscar for Best Documentary, and it is too early to say how many people will ultimately see the film, either in theaters or when it becomes available for home viewing.
In related news, yesterday, The Guardian reported that staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been instructed not to use the words for the elephant in the room, “Climate change.” Instead, “weather extremes” is the preferred euphemism.
With all of these combined attacks on science and the environment, it could create a sense of powerlessness and even despair. But as Gore states, “Despair can be paralyzing, but we’re seeing a tremendous amount of positive change.” There is so much that humanity can do to convert to clean energy, despite Donald Trump’s position of placing his head in the sand and drilling for Russian oil with his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
Watch the trailer for “An Inconvienient Sequel” below:
For an in-depth view that lets you see for yourself how advanced the climate change problem is for the oceans, not only in America, but across the globe, check out the Netflix documentary, “Chasing Coral.”
Watch the trailer below:
Featured image: Screenshot from Chasing Coral, YouTube