This Planet Earth

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Watching the solar #eclipse today made me think about this planet Earth, our place in the universe, and how we, as some of the inhabitants of this planet, have affected it.

#Earth is but a tiny dot in a vast universe. Imagine how everything came together here to give us all the ingredients necessary for life. The right atmosphere to breathe, the water to drink, the soil in which to grow our food. Imagine how it is so unlikely that this could have happened. It makes me think that we cannot possibly be alone. Somewhere out there, there must be other life, although maybe not life like us.

What have we, as intelligent human beings, done to our precious atmosphere, water, and soil? We have polluted it beyond measure, almost to the point where it is not useful to us anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970. If not for the EPA, I’m not quite sure where planet Earth would be at this point in time. Would it be able to sustain our life? I think it’s doubtful. But it was created and it began to study the concept of pollution.

The EPA determined that the smoke pouring from steel mills and other manufacturing companies was polluting the air. They had to install scrubbers. Sure, it cut into their profits in the short-term. In the long run, it helped save our atmosphere, keep us healthy, and the share price of these corporations did not suffer in the long run. The same is true of the water in which manufacturers and coal companies poured sludge. This is only one of hundreds of examples of how the EPA has protected our environment since 1970. Protecting our environment is protecting us, our health, and our long-term survival on this planet.

There is one irrefutable truth. The EPA doesn’t know what to protect us from without scientific research. That is the backbone of the organization. Unfortunately, our current President does not understand this or does not care. He has slashed scientific research and EPA programs in his 2018 budget by 31%, a steeper cut than for any other governmental organization. Around 3,200 jobs will be lost, just from the EPA, many of them highly trained and valuable scientists. Is this really wise?

I could list the other cuts the President is making to EPA programs that will impact our ability to live on this planet. The Paris Climate Agreement which addresses rising seas levels. An order to expand off-shore drilling. Then, we have such things as dropping the agreement to protect sea turtles and whales from fishing nets. Do we want to live on a planet when the caretakers don’t care about such things?

We have another solar #eclipse in 2024. Unless the EPA is given its money back to protect us from air pollution, we may not be able to see that one for the pollution in the air. It’s good we all enjoyed the 2017 #eclipse.

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