March 16 The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, one of the most precious jewels of this planet, is being destroyed. Rapidly. The coral reef is a treasure of irreplaceable beauty; countless people have wept at the sight of it. It is the only living thing that can be seen from space. It is a resource of such magnitude that the lives of hundreds of millions of people will be catastrophically impacted by its destruction. The impact on complex ecosystems of maritime life around the reef is already devastating. A study released today by scientists in Australia concluded that decades of global warming, including of ocean temperatures, have triggered massive and accelerating bleaching – dying off – of the reef. The director of the study said “We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years. In the north, I saw hundreds of reefs – literally two-thirds of the reefs -were dying and are now dead”. As the New York Times reported, scientists “have no doubt as to the responsible party” – greenhouse gasses caused by massive burning of fossil fuels.
The very same day of the report’s release, Donald Trump went to Michigan to announce that he was cutting the meager regulations the Obama administration had put on car manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions. In short – Trump gave Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler a green light to produce gas guzzlers. And he gave a big middle finger to the people of this world, and the earth itself.
If carbon emissions somehow ended tomorrow it would still be an enormous challenge to stop, much less reverse, the damage that has been done to the earth’s environment. Trump isn’t even pretending to give a damn about that. He is dismantling the EPA, withdrawing funding for global environmental efforts, and ending U.S. participation in international agreements. In the name of humanity, for the sake of this planet, this fascist regime must be driven from power.