Every April 22, museums and zoos all over the country host a slew of Earth Day events to teach people (mostly kids) about the environment. Even as an adult, though, I am fond of spending Earth Day at the Bronx Zoo. It can be fun — but really, Earth Day is a time to recognize hazards against our earth and make sure that we are working hard towards environmental protections. That's why these tweets about Donald Trump's Earth Day statement say what you're thinking, because he obviously missed the point.
The White House released an Earth Day statement from Trump on April 22 to celebrate the "blessings given to us by our Creator." But the real point of Trump's message was to talk about how "a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand," according to The Hill. Trump wrote,
We know that it is impossible for humans to flourish without clean air, land, and water. We also know that a strong, market-driven economy is essential to protecting these resources.
The president then went on to say that this administration plans on fixing environmental issues by "removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth." He wrote,
For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment.
But the question is, harmful to what? Twitter immediately went in on Trump's message, pointing out that he "doesn't know what Earth Day is about" and that his administration has been nothing but harmful to the environment.
Trump's idea of protecting the environment does not make much sense, especially because since he's been in office, the regulations he has undone have proven detrimental to the environment.
During Trump's campaign run in 2016, he promised to roll back climate regulations put in place by the Obama administration. According to The New York Times, the Trump administration has so far tried to overturn 60 environmental regulations. This includes approving the Dakota Access pipeline, which is designed to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois. It has been a point of contention stemming back to the Obama days, because it travels underneath the Missouri River which serves as the source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
In June of 2017, Trump notified the United Nations that he would be pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, which holds the United States to cut emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025, according to The New York Times. The United States is the only country in the entire world who is against the Paris agreement.
Trump argued that the Paris climate agreement favors the other countries by allowing places like China and India to continue using fossil fuels, but would put the United States at an economic disadvantage. However, he did say that he might reconsider if he can negotiate some better terms for the United States, according to The Hill.
However, the Paris agreements does not actually place any specific regulations on any of the participating countries. It is more of a pledge that each country makes to lower carbon emissions, but how they choose to do that is up to them.
Given Trump's history with the environment, it's no surprise that people took issue with his Earth Day statement. Earth Day is not really the time to talk about rolling back regulations that protect the earth. That just seems like common sense, right?