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environmental policy Archives - State of the Planet
Evelyn Reis is a student in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program and is returning to school after almost 30 years at the NYC Department of Sanitation.
As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, many of us reflect on the year that has past and think about the year to come. In the United States we have had a year filled with disappointment but sparked by hope.
The recent birth of my first grandchild reinforces my desire to believe that the world that she will inherit will be at least as good as my world, if not better. I am trusting her future to the sustainability leaders and professionals that have emerged during the first part of the 21st century.
While I see little hope of modernizing the environmental regulatory structure under the current regime, last week provided some hope that the U.S. Senate won’t allow our environmental laws to be dismantled.
If we are to continue to grow our economy without destroying the planet’s basic systems that sustain human life, we need to learn a great deal more about our planet and the impact of human activities on natural systems.
As we face a Donald Trump administration, we must reflect on the development of environmental policy and politics of the past. Despite the skepticism that President-elect Trump could halt progress on sustainability efforts such as research and development for renewable energy, it seems that the average person values a clean and safe environment. Donald Trump is anything but predictable, and we should maintain hope that we can continue to make a case for sustainability and pursue progress in our country and around the world.
While ideologues continue to deny the reality of climate change, local governments do not have the luxury of indulging in the Tea Party and Koch Brothers’ favorite environmental fantasy. The impacts are real. We don’t need to shut down the economy, but we need to learn to run it without burning the place down or floating away in floodwaters.
The New York Times reported on a new international agreement that will phase out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a chemical that is used in refrigerators and air conditioners that is a powerful greenhouse gas. The irony is that HFCs were developed to replace chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals that caused a hole in our atmosphere’s ozone layer and were banned by the Montreal Protocol of 1987.
There are limits to how much a president can do without a congress willing to legislate. Barack Obama produced his environmental legacy through the creative and determined use of his executive authority.