The planet itself.
I plan to watch, but it could be unbearable. The topic list excludes what we need to focus on most—planet repair. Instead, Trump will get a pass to sound off and turn attention away from the multitude of his own planet-trashing decisions, decisions so fundamental it is imperative to at least discuss them.
Are the American people for or against clean water? Air? Soil?
What are the current conditions of climate destruction?
It may surprise you, but the Republican Richard Nixon administration was nothing short of heroic on behalf of the environment, unequalled by any administration before or since. In fact, the 70s laid a foundation for fifty years of environmental protection.
In 1969, the National Environmental Policy Act became law. All federal agencies were required to produce an environmental impact statement on any possible negative affects of any and all governmental regulations.
In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration came into being and Congress passed the Clean Air Act.
In 1971, Earth Day was celebrated for the first time.
In 1972, the Clean Water Act became law.
In 1973, the Endangered Species Act. The accelerating sixth extinction would be much worse without it.
The Republican Donald Trump administration is moving in reverse, hacking away at every one of the environmental regulations listed above, plus the Migratory Bird Treaty.
After Nixon, the highly toxic insecticides that kill bees, butterflies, and farm workers were created and marketed. In Trump’s administration, there is no recognition of insects as a foundation genus and it steadfastly refuses to ban insecticides to save insects, or people for that matter.
The keystone plant of this planet is the tree, but Trump plans to open the world’s largest intact forest, the Tongass National Rainforest, to logging. In striking contrast, the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act’s impact statement proclaimed its wild status and singular importance.
Trump is already in the process of opening all the national parks and public lands, including the Arctic National Refuge, to highly polluting extractive industries. These lands belong to every American citizen. Should not the voice of the people, the owner of these lands, be heard in a presidential debate?
Should there not be national debate about imposing 3,000 additional fracking wells on the indigenous peoples of New Mexico? They already suffer a methane hot spot, polluted water and air, and the destruction of their many ancient and sacred places. Those places are not only sacred to the Navajo because of their spiritual tradition, but they should be sacred to all of us, because they are works of art.
Adding more methane releases by choice when the planet is suffering expanding methane holes in Siberia is tantamount to saying, “To hell with Earth”.
Perhaps hardest of all to believe is that the moderators have ignored the climate crisis, just as the west coast fights apocalyptic fires and the southeast is battered by a record-breaking hurricane season.
A sane debate would focus on the environmental positions of the candidates, but perhaps mainstream media would prefer not to embarrass the sitting president.
Remember, the greater evil, is not Trump, but the military-pharmaceutical-agricultural-financial-industrial complex that benefits from deregulation.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT THE LINK ABOVE TO PERSUADE CHRIS WALLACE TO ADD A CLIMATE SEGMENT TO THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE