Opinion

We can’t protect our earth with Donald Trump in office

The forests of Humboldt County in northern California. (Photo: Ethan Daniels, via Shutterstock)

This week, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. For 50 years, environmental advocates and activists have utilized Earth Day to rally across the world to advocate for critical environmental protections. As we reflect back, so much has changed and improved in 50 years, but we still have so much work to do.

The biggest difference today is that we not only have data on the urgency of our climate crisis, but real life experience of the worst effects of climate change as seen through homes lost through wildfires, cities crushed by unprecedented flooding, severe air pollution that places entire communities at risk and a record number of droughts.

Most importantly, we now know that we have 10 years — until 2030 — to stop the most catastrophic impacts.

Families and communities are paying the price of having a president who refuses to believe in science and the advice of experts

In the past few weeks, communities, families and small businesses have been decimated by a global pandemic that, like the climate crisis, became worse as government officials ignored the clear science and, as a result, COVID-19 has had devastating impacts, especially in Black, Indigenous and Communities of color.

The November election was always important, but now we are truly at a crossroads that will impact what our country looks like for generations to come. As we look ahead another 50 years when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Earth Day, will we look back to 2020 as the defining year for science or will it be the year where we failed to turn the page?

Right now, families and communities are paying the price of having a president who refuses to believe in science and the advice of experts and has managed to prioritize the well-being of polluters and corporations over public health. This is all completely unprecedented. Who is in office matters, especially during times of crisis. We know that in order to institute long-term solutions and prevent future public health crises, we must elect candidates who believe in science.

Our country cannot sustain another four years of Trump’s reckless behavior.

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for a proven leader during times of crisis and clear vote for a brighter future for our planet. Joe Biden has the experience, compassion and leadership to help move our country forward. We need a president who will listen to science and who will prepare instead of react.

As the pandemic subsides, we will have a lot of work to do to rebuild America. Joe Biden helped lead recovery efforts under President Obama after the Great Recession. This led to unprecedented investments in clean energy and climate prevention.

Joe Biden has the experience we need to not just restore our economy – but build a better one. We need an economy that places real safety nets for families – guaranteed paid sick, disability and parental leave. We need a President who takes environmental justice seriously and prioritizes ensuring underserved communities have access to safe drinking water, clean air, health care and equitable jobs.

We will not defeat Donald Trump without all of us joining forces. While California favored Senator Bernie Sanders in the March Primary and the bold, justice-centered policies his campaign and organizers so powerfully pushed to the center of the debate, we have too much at stake to not build a strong coalition to defeat Donald Trump in November.

Before COVID-19, California voters faced a future of wildfires, mudslides, rolling blackouts, smog and the ever-present threat of more droughts. Truth is, we now face an even grimmer future.

Nationally, we need to marshal an unprecedented public health response while rebuilding our economy to be clean, green and equitable, and California has to bolster our global role as the catalyst and conscience of bold climate action. This is all on top of consistent attacks by the Trump Administration on the environmental protections we hold so dear.

November is going to be about the next 50 years for our planet. We have 4 years of Trump to show us what his vision of the future is. We cannot have the death and devastation to communities that will be caused by 4 more years of Trump. Joe Biden is an experienced leader who will get us out of the current crisis and lay the foundation for a progressive restoration of our country.

The next few months will be a test of what kind of future we want. Let’s come together to push forward and help make President Joe Biden a reality.

Ed’s Note: Mary Creasman is the chief executive officer of the California League of Conservation Voters

 


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