Letter to the Editor: A Measure of Civilization

“Conservation is a measure of civilization. If greed and bigotry are traits of barbarism, then general altruism and tolerance proclaim tremendous progress in the art of living.”

— Historian John Ely Briggs, published in 1931

If you agree with that quote, then it follows that Trump is dragging the nation deep into barbarism almost 90 years later. He has shown his utter disdain for people of color, immigrants, scientists, the LBGTQ movement and medical personnel. He has made bigotry and divisiveness his platform and considers anyone who exhibits altruism and tolerance to be a loser.

Trump’s disdain for conservation has largely flown under the radar simply because it doesn’t generate as much press coverage as his bigotry and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he easily qualifies as the most anti-environmental president in our country’s history. He has filled every environmental agency position with people who are directly opposed to the mission of that agency.

Andrew Wheeler, a lobbyist for Murray Energy, is head of Trump’s EPA. During his time with Murray Energy, the company paid millions in fines for contaminating waterways in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania with coal slurry and discharge, and for other health and safety violations. Wheeler is a climate-change denier and believes that all of the environmental regulations he should be enforcing are burdensome and unnecessary.

During his four years in office, Trump has gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; worked to fast-track mining, drilling and logging in our national forests; removed protection for almost half of the wetlands in the U.S. and millions of miles of streams; and taken the U.S. out of the fight to combat global climate change. 

Trump has promised his supporters that he will take environmental protection back to the level it was before the 1960s. That would mean eliminating the Federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. If you’re still supporting Trump and you have children, take a moment to think about the world that four more years of Trump would leave them.

Charles Frisk

Green Bay, Wisconsin