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Earth Day: We Must Do More Than Plant a Tree

By Stacie Pearman

Planet Earth is rolling her eyes. As preparations begin to celebrate Earth Day, seedlings were being prepared to be transferred to the Earth in a celebration of all we are promising to do to save our planet.

And, Mother Earth sighs and rolls her eyes.

Who can blame her? Year after year humans who use and abuse her commit to “doing better”, create catchy slogans to plaster on T-shirts and finally – perhaps the greatest offense of all- the electoral college tips in favor of Donald Trump.

Insert eye roll.

Are there bandages large enough to cover the hideous, gaping wounds inflicted by the Trump administration on our planet? We are learning that the wounds are so severe, that bandages may not do the trick anymore.

While there is plenty of blame to go around, the Trump Administration has taken a seriously homicidal stance against our planet. On February 26,2017, a list of words required to be stricken from all communications was delivered by the Trump Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Words like “climate change” were replaced with “weather extremes” in an effort to dampen the seriousness of the effects man is having on our climate.

Don’t Look to the EPA for Help

On March 9, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, declared that carbon dioxide does not contribute to global warming, despite his agency’s 2009 study to the contrary.

May 12, 2017, the EPA proudly announced it will withdraw mining restrictions on the Alaskan headway, setting the stage for a severe depletion of native salmon upon which wildlife and Alaskan citizens heavily depend.

Who could forget the abandonment of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017 with only Syria walking away at our side?

A big apology to the 25 endangered species the Trump Administration denied protection for on October 4, 2017.

Apologies also to those seeking information to make informed decisions, as the EPA website was scrubbed of valuable facts regarding climate change and ways humans could take action to help.

These are just some offenses in one snapshot of the Trump Administration in 2017 alone. Then, of course, there was last year’s declaration that our coastal waters would be open to seismic testing and offshore drilling – except, of course, Florida. Is it a coincidence that Mar-a-Lago is located there?

Isn’t it starting to look like planting a tree or two on Earth Day is a little weak?

Meanwhile, in South Carolina

Maybe it would be an easier pill to swallow if we focused just on our beautiful state of South Carolina. You know, start small.

At meetings of South Carolina citizens up and down the coast, school age children and teenagers are trying to talk sense to the adults responsible for legislation that would affect coastal drilling in our state. Kids. Kids trying to talk sense to adults. Let that sink in.

These children are concerned that South Carolina lawmakers will support offshore drilling, which will have a negative impact on our home environment, not to mention our tourist economy. The children are afraid the adults don’t care about the mess they will leave behind for the next generation and the irreversible damage being done because, after all, the adults will be deceased and it just won’t matter then, will it?

Four Conservative Republicans in South Carolina’s House of Representatives, including Rep. Bill Chumley (SC-35), sponsored a bill to prevent state or local governments from taking action to “deter, prohibit or otherwise impede” construction that would be necessary for companies to start drilling for oil on or near the South Carolina Coast. The Republican Representative from Greenville, Mike Burns (SC-17), wants everyone to back the bill because, hey, we could make some money!

Sorry Planet Earth, we have bills to pay! Why not throw in some seismic testing for good measure? Yeah, they did that, too.  Thankfully, the South Carolina Senate voted 40-4, just this week, to oppose the bill. A temporary reprieve to be sure. Guess they were listening to the kids, at least a little.

So, friends, an apology is empty without action to back up the sincerity of those offering it. South Carolina Democrats must seek common ground with Republicans and Independents to join forces to save the planet. Otherwise, Earth Day festivities and gestures are empty apologies to the only planet we have. There are no do overs.

Take a Stand, Horry County. Take a Stand.


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