Trump’s SOTU address was designed to humiliate Democrats and lift up his sycophants and he certainly accomplished that. Trump is extra, special good at humiliation. Perhaps this is a new trait we look for in our Presidents now. He chooses minions who are equally good at dehumanizing their enemies, who just happen to be anyone sneeringly referred to as a “liberal.” Soul-sucking may be a dominant feeling we will need to steel ourselves against over the next four years if Democrats don’t win in 2020. But bouts of abject depression are not our worst worry. An article in The Daily Beast this morning talked about what Trump has been up to while we were tuned into his impeachment.
Trump put our access to fresh water in even more jeopardy than it was already in, Margaret Carlson tells us.
“He moved to poison the country’s water and pollute its air, allowing emissions even greater than the auto industry had asked for, and lifting the ban on toxic chemicals like PFAS. You might have missed the change to runoff rules that over time will turn every city into Flint, where the water is so toxic its residents had to bathe in Evian. The Environmental Protection Agency, so-called, has reopened negotiations with cities, including the nation’s capital, to allow them to dump raw sewage into its rivers until they can afford to upgrade their sewers.
Last Thursday, the same agency finalized a rule to strip protection for streams, wetlands and groundwater, to the pleasure of real estate developers and fossil-fuel producers. It’s all part of Trump’s crusade to remove all traces of Obama and to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws on climate change, clean air, chemical pollution, coal mining (the head of the EPA is a former coal-mining lobbyist), and oil drilling—soon to be happening in a national forest near you. His support for the Trillion Trees Initiative, proposed by the World Economic Forum in Davos, will hardly compensate.”
Trump is dangerous because he poses a threat to our republic/democracy. We know this and we are trying to fight it, however unsuccessfully. But the threat to our water supply is far more existential. We cannot survive without fresh water. Some places in the world have always been deserts, where water was so scarce that life was only able to keep a tenuous hold on the land, people had to move from oasis to oasis in order to be able to trade for goods they could not make or grow. These problems have been somewhat ameliorated by cities that have better transport options and can even supply locations in the hinterlands. However, the news still brings us pictures of places where unstable water supplies, or impure fresh water make life a hardscrabble proposition. Recently there was an article about a town in India that had completely run out of fresh water.
Obviously freshwater resources are not equally distributed in America. In our own desert places water runs when it rains and dries up when rain is scarce. Some of our rivers have been tamed by damming until they are mere shadows of what they once were. We are surrounded by oceans full of water, but it is all salty; we can’t drink it. Given that people now understand that when their water runs out there are still people on the planet who have enough water, we will either have to share our water (which people will be unlikely to do), or we will have water migrants roaming the planet to find a place to live with plentiful fresh water, or we will have water wars. Think about how aggressive America might become if our own water became undrinkable.
Water is a closed system. We do not manufacture water. The planet has a water cycle so that water moves around, is picked up in one place and put down in another, but the water cycle does not distribute water equally. The water cycle does seem to be able to take water out of oceans without taking the salt. Too bad this trick is beyond our means. There is no extra water being created in space and hosed down on the planet. If we make our freshwater toxic, we rob the system of water that cannot be replaced and, most likely cannot be cleaned. Every time we put an oil or gas pipeline over a freshwater aquifer or reserve there is a chance we could contaminate water that serves thousands or even millions. We should not be taking these kinds of chances with our fresh water. Our president is a wrecking ball.
Let’s talk about water in the campaign against Trump. Let’s make ads that show what could happen if we lose our fresh water or if water gets scarce somewhere else while Trump’s immigration bans forces more people to migrate, always to Europe, never to America. Things could go catawampus pretty quickly. Besides, we need a message to counter Trump’s new ‘victims of socialism’ ads which were also announced in today’s papers.