Should We Protect the Environment?

The malignant narcissist in the White House wants to return to the era of air-and-water pollution that would kill you and shorten your lifespan.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This post is about pollution and the environment. Please don’t say it is unrelated to education or children. Many children have asthma or other illnesses that are caused or aggravated by pollution. This damages their health, their well-being, even their performance in school.

It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of protecting the environment was considered absurd or too expensive. Smoke came pouring out of chimneys and smokestacks. Cars burned low-grade fuel. People died of lung diseases.

Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has fought the agency in court to block enforcement of regulations. He received campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and represented their interests–not that of the public–when he was Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Trump’s new budget will slash spending for the EPA. Estimates for the cuts vary from 25-70%. What is left of the agency will be devoted to rolling back…

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9 responses to “Should We Protect the Environment?”

  1. Oh yes. Good ole FDR did put it into motion. What do you think happened to allow “the malignant narcissist” to reverse the hybrid? I mean, knowing just a little bit about what you know (I seriously respect your experiences, knowledge of history, insights and opinion, etc.), how did the great US of A get ourselves into this? Is there any hope to reverse? Or must we go forward with the monster? With hope?

    1. What happened is complex and the long road that led to the malignant narcissist in the White House started when Reagon moved into the White House. He was the president that ended the Fairness Doctrine that required the media to report on both sides of an issue and this gave birth to Alt Right hate radio talk shows like Limbaugh. He was the president who set the precedent for running huge deficits that led to the 20-trillion federal debt today. He was the president who cut taxes and spent more. He was the president who closed the hospitals for the mentally insane.

    2. I should have mentioned that the progressive movement didn’t start with FDR. It started with Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, but the social safety net programs like SS and Medicare came later.

      The Social Security Act was signed into law y FDR on August 14, 1935, and the program evolved through more legislation over the decades into what it is today.

      Medicare was signed into law in 1965 after a long struggle that started with Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 when he was running for president but the idea for a national health care program didn’t gain any momentum until it was pushed by President Harry S. Truman but his efforts failed. JFK also tried but failed. It was LBJ who signed Medicare into law. Today, Medicare continues to provide health care for those in need. By 2015, there were 55.5 million people receiving health coverage through a Medicare program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

      Food stamps through SNAP. This program had a long struggle against Alt-Right conservatives too. Today, 44-percent of food stamps users are children under age 18 and 10-percent goes to senior citizens. In 2015, the average SNAP client received a monthly benefit of $126.39, and the average household received $256.11 monthly. According to demographic data, 39.8% of SNAP participants are white, 25.5% are African-American, 10.9% are Hispanic, 2.4% are Asian, and 1% are Native Ameri

      Then there is Unemployment.

      Public unemployment insurance first appeared in Wisconsin in 1932 as part of an effort to provide relief to workers who were unemployed as a result of the 1929 financial collapse. Six other states followed suit before the first federal unemployment insurance program was created as part of the Social Security Act of 1935. By 1937, every state in the Union and the then-territories of Alaska and Hawaii had enacted their own unemployment insurance programs.

      Originally, the UI program lasted 16 weeks at the state level. Today, the UI program lasts 26 weeks in most states. However, there are many more restrictions.

      In most states, those who quit work, are fired, or refuse suitable work are disqualified from receiving benefits. All 50 states require people to find new employment in order to re-qualify for unemployment insurance.

  2. Oh Lloyd. I’ll comment on your site (in a response to Diane’s post). Of course we should protect the environment. As you know very well, we live in a government that is capitalistic. Which means all should fight for money, not health or preservation of what might be here after we are dead. Change is necessary and inevitable. But I am not willing to go through what you did many years ago thinking and believing it might make a difference when I don’t really know what is going on. Did you? I am not a “fighter”. Although I have not been in your boots, I know I am glad I didn’t have to be there. We can make the best choices now that we can. Education has so much to do with what we choose to fight for. In reality (what I perceive) we do not have the freedom you fought for to choose our fights (wars). We are at their mercies (of which they have none). They choose. I do not (nor will ever, despite my “rights” to own ways of killing). I wish you or others could convince me otherwise.

    1. I think Milton Friedman’s Greed is Good theory of capitalism, and Stalinist or Maoist Communism are all cancers for civilization.

      1. I agree with your reply. So you are not convinced either. Unless I do not understand your references in your context. Are you saying you fought to keep communism out of the US?

      2. No. When I joined the Marines and ended up in Vietnam, I wasn’t there to fight Communism. I wasn’t a political person then. I grew up in a family where no one voted and the one time I asked my dad why he said, “Why bother. They are all crooks.” Both my parents suffered and struggled to survive during the Great Depression. My dad also did not trust banks so he never saved money in a bank’s savings account. He did save money but he hid it at home. He saved enough that when he died, my mother lived off of his money for a year.

        It was in college where I started to get a political education, and in the beginning, I was a Republican until Reagan and then I switched parties. Eventually, I left the Democrats to become an independent voter.

        What I mean about communism and capitalism being cancers to civilization is based on what history teaches us: Stalin, Mao, etc. I also think pure socialism is a cancer. The best political system is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism with restraints and limits on both.

      3. I’m listening. Who restrains and limits the “hybrid”/

      4. The U.S. Constitution was already doing it – until the malignant narcissist in the White House came along. The U.S. has been a hybrid since FDR.

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