As the East Coast thaws from a winter "bomb cyclone" that killed people and literally froze entire cities from Florida to Maine, President Donald Trump announced plans to open up coastlines across the United States to oil drilling. This was after a tweet that suggested the record cold and snowfall proved he was right to pull out of the Paris Accord because "global warming" is a hoax. The fact that the tragic comedy of our modern political scape writes itself on a daily basis is no longer funny. Our world is at stake.
Trump's desire to drill all along the coastlines of the U.S. most certainly includes South Carolina. Hopefully, some local conservatives will start to care.
This is nothing more than another strategic move to continue empowering the top one percent with no concern for anyone else, let alone planet earth. However, the biggest problem are the Americans who enable Trump and continue to blindly follow this lemming off the cliff.
It is easy to justify a giant expansion of non-renewable, polluting energy sources if you completely ignore environmental science, as POTUS does. While there is some debate as to the amount of impact the burning of fossil fuels has, there can be no doubt that there is an impact. If you're not willing to suck on the tailpipe of a car, then you can't deny that burning fossil fuels has a negative impact on the world.
The easy strategy would be to show how this move could hamper the tourist industry along our coast and recall recent oil spills or compare it to the areas along the Louisiana and Texas coastlines that are ruined for visitation because of oil facilities. However, our only hope as a world community is to step outside of our selfishness and act, not because it has become personal, but because it is logical and ethical.
Increased oil drilling is central to the climate change and green energy debates. It's clear that we cannot depend on the leader of the United States to care about environmental concerns or have an inkling of knowledge on the matter. Instead, consider one of the geniuses of our day, Elon Musk; the man behind the Tesla automobile and the Space X program. Musk says the entire United States could have electricity sourced from solar power by utilizing a small corner of Nevada or Utah. The sun hits the earth with more energy in a single hour than all of humanity uses in a year. Musk adds that we would need only 100 square miles of land to power the entire country with the sun.
Furthermore, consider that solar energy accounted for 43 percent of energy jobs in the U.S. in 2016 versus fossil fuels which accounted for 22 percent, according to the Department of Energy. Furthermore, green energy is creating jobs at a rate that is 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Yet, the man who rode a platform of job creation wants to invest in more oil instead of solar.
Before moving on, let's address the counter-argument which states that it takes many more people to create the same amount of energy from solar than it does in the fossil fuel industry. That is technically true if you just look at the numbers and don't use logic. However, the majority of these solar jobs are in infrastructure. As the solar industry grows, things have to be built. However, these jobs will start to disappear once the industry matures and stabilizes as the fossil fuel industry has. The statistics will become more favorable and production more efficient as solar produces a much larger amount of energy and fewer people need to be employed. When infrastructure jobs decrease as the industry matures, maintenance, operations, and managerial jobs will increase.
At the end of the day, though, we have to start caring about the earth.
Deeper investment in fossil fuels instead of green energy is simply selfish and short-sighted. I wish this were just the result of POTUS having eaten paint chips as a kid. However, this is more about worshipping at the church of big oil and fleecing the people to make the rich even richer.
It is long past time for Republicans and general conservatives to stop pretending that Trump's policies, in general, are anything more than fodder. History is being written right now and over half of our governmental representatives and many Americans are content with being responsible for pushing us into another Dark Age. We deny simple logic and basic science for the sake of party loyalty and faith in absurdity.
The future of our world is at stake. Only so much ignorance can be undone. Our leaders are giving us shovels to dig our own graves for their own financial benefit. We cannot allow these traitors to continue their work. We must speak up and demand our coastlines be closed to oil drilling. Otherwise, let's go find a tar pit to jump into like neanderthals. Of course, an oil stained beach could do just as well.
Ali was born in Greenville, SC but grew up in High Point, NC where he studied English/Writing at High Point University. He has called Charleston home since 2006 and wants to believe Bigfoot is real.