The Struggle of Environmentalism in the Crippling Reign of a Troompa Loompa
Imagine that it is a sunny morning – fresh out of bed you make yourself a cup of joe, and as you wait for it to brew, you go on your beloved news channel or app only to see that once again there is turmoil in the world. It has become so commonplace to see the ridicule many have of the antics of one incompetent leader, that it should seem normal to see that protections surrounding the environment would be compromised. Alas, this week for me it was when scientists’ voices were squashed to not allow data to be reported. You see politics as a tricky game – you can only ever give so many words until you are compromised.
The American Environmental Protection Agency should not have the ability to stop scientists from speaking about data reports relating to climate change, but alas, this week it had. In the small state of Rhode Island, a conference was occurring relating to the changing climatic and aquatic conditions of New England’s largest estuary (essentially where a river tide meets a stream or smaller body of water). Scientists that receive government funding appear to be hung with a Trump administration noose, whereby if they wish to continue researching into a particular issue (in this case the Narragansett Bay Estuary) than it is time to seal those lips! It is time for environmental studies and science to get on board the Oompa Loompa train that climate change is a “hoax invented by China”. By having state controlled freedom of speech leads me to believe that the United States continues to sink into a rabbit hole but there will be no Wonderland awaiting it.
Freedom of speech seems to be this flexible concept in the reign of Trump whereby no one quite is able to exercise a fundamental freedom. The world allows the current American President to say whatever he desires, ranging from threats to a sadistic dictator to shaming a deceased veteran’s widow. However, scientific findings are simply data and facts – there is no political agenda hidden in between the lines. Experimentation particularly for environmental concerns such as water pollution and water quality degradation are simply findings of fact and nothing more. Scientists are in pursuit of the truth regarding many issues of life – water, wildlife, cancer, etc. It is violation of the tenets of freedom of speech (that the United States enjoys showcasing as one of their fundamental rights) to have American leaders advise scientists that they fund not to speak at conferences relating to their work. It is an intimidation strategy by those who control financial resources to threaten removing support that compromises voices. It is unjust and unconstitutional for the American Environmental Protection Agency to “advise” scientists not to deliver findings on climate change simply based on individual beliefs of its legitimacy.
Of course, a few people may refute my environmentalist heart by arguing that climate change is natural, and that there are academic recommendations at the end of a paper that would be emphasized at the conference. I concede that, yes, an emphasis on recommendations may be a part of a speech given, and that the Earth is a planet that has experienced climatic changes over billions of years. However, such concessions do not mean that humanity has not played a fundamental role in climate change’s premature onset, and that we have a global obligation to partake in non-partisan experiments to monitor natural resources.
What are concepts of Constitutional rights in a world where madmen rule? It appears to be hushed whispers behind closed doors with the loss of hope for four years, until a new ballot box is to be had. I truly hope that the United States does not lay its landscapes to waste in the pursuit of the Troompa Loompa version of “freedom of speech”.