Donald Trump has ruthlessly pushed policies that accelerate climate change and devastate the environment.
As political turmoil escalates ahead of Election Day, ecological havoc has spread as well.
Natural disasters are effecting millions from California all the way to the Gulf Coast as Donald Trump has failed to address these ongoing calamities while continuing to push policies that aggravate their human cost.
In California, where Trump had previously refused to provide wildfire disaster relief, fires continue to rage. This week alone 90,000 people were put on evacuation standby in Orange County as the skies filled with smoke from the Silverado Fire.
Despite reversing his stance on providing California disaster aide after pressure from senior politicians in the state, Trump has maintained that the fires are caused by a lack of logging and forest management, rather than climate change and unchecked development into fire-prone areas.
This week, the Trump administration stripped environmental protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska — one of North America's largest carbon sinks. The move will allow logging companies to build logging roads and chop down trees in the temperate rainforest. That will likely lead to the forest capturing less carbon through the air and the soil, as well as poisoning the waterways that are essential for Alaska's native salmon population.
And, in a last-ditch bid for farmers' votes, Trump removed grey wolves from the endangered species list this week. The move would allow hunters and cattle ranchers to kill America's 6,000 grey wolves, which have only just started to rebound from near-extinction.
As Trump and his cabinet continue waging war on the environment, some 1.5 million people in Hurricane Zeta's path were left without power as of Thursday, including 100,000 people in New Orleans alone. Last year, Trump made headlines for suggesting that the United States could use nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from making landfall.
Trump has repeatedly failed to offer any serious solutions to the increasingly severe storms that have battered the country's Southern coast. Andrew Wheeler, the head of Trump's Environmental Protection Agency, is a former coal lobbyist who has worked tirelessly to roll back environmental protections, which has allowed energy barons to drive up profits at the cost of Americans' health and safety.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, by contrast, has made climate change and environmental protection a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. Biden's campaign has proposed a $2 trillion dollar climate plan to curb the devastating effects of climate change. Under Biden's plan, the United States will be on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Climate change is "the number one issue facing humanity," Biden said at last week's presidential debate. "And it’s the number one issue for me."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.