For (Rossman). Nixon is not the only president

For years the world has watched while our planet dies. We know that some of our actions harm the planet yet we continue to do them. America is supposed to be a world leader, paving the way for other countries to follow. Yet we seem to be falling behind when it comes to some aspects of protecting the environment. Not to mention that the Trump Administration is doing everything they can to put the environmental problems on the back burner. We need to take a firm stance with aiding the restoration of our planet and proving to the rest of the world that we still are a global leader.     The idea of protecting the environment is not a new thought. Rossman writes that when you look back at the United States in the late 1960’s you will find several stories of how bad the pollution was at the time. In 1963 smog had killed 400 New Yorkers while in 1969 four hundred square miles of oil spilled off of the California Coast killing hundreds of birds. After watching all of this happening around him in the summer of 1969 President Nixon established the Environmental Quality Council. Time described the council as “a Cabinet-level advisory group designed to coordinate governmental action against environmental decay at all level, create new proposals to control pollution, and foresee problems”. Rossman further explained that shortly after the Environmental Quality Council was created Congress passed the Environmental Policy Act of 1969 which was one element to create an environmental policy. Then in the summer of 1970 Nixon issued a Reorganized Plan 3 which provided for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA with William Ruckelshaus as the first director. (Rossman). Nixon is not the only president who saw what we were doing to the environment and wanted to change it. During the Obama administration the then president established several environmental regulations such as the Clean Power Plan, which set limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants for the first time (“What Is the Clean Power Plan?”),  and labeling climate change “an urgent and growing threat to National Security” (Greshko). These were just some of the big steps from the past that showed the rest of the world we are working towards healing our planet. The United States prior leaps towards a greener future have continued our reputation to the rest of the world as a global leader. With the objectives of current president Donald Trump far from those of past world leaders some of that progress may be set back.     Donald Trump’s agenda downgrades if not excludes environmental protections.  According to the authors of the National Geographic article, “A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment”, in his first year as being president Trump has downgraded the threat of climate change from the National Security level to only being discussed in the U.S. energy policy.  He is also getting rid of the Clean Power Plan and trying to cut mentions of climate change on government websites. All of these decisions don’t just impact America. It can also impact other countries around the world. A prime example is the decision Trump made to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Rosenthal gives an explanation of what the Paris Agreement entailed and how it commits 197 nations to try and hold the global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius and cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero. Pulling out of this agreement may change how other countries view America. President of Earthjustice, Trip Van Noppen, says that “History will judge withdrawing from the Paris Agreement as a huge error”.     While the United States under Trump’s administration is at a standstill with trying to help the environmental pollution problems the rest of the world is making their own advancements. In February 2016 China sent out environment inspectors in four rounds to uncover violations of anti-pollution measures where it was found that 18,000 Chinese officials failed to take the actions needed in helping the environment.(Xu, Woo). Xu and Woo also reported that more than 10,000 companies were fined a total of fifteen million dollars which translates to about one hundred million yuan. One common idea that several countries have to start solving the global pollution crisis revolves around cars. In Italy, several cities, including Milan and Turin, have restrictions on what type of vehicles may be driven and at what times as twenty-five cities in the country have reportedly exceeded the European Union air quality standards. (Gabbatiss). France and the United Kingdom want to ban the sale of gas vehicles by 2040. (Gross). All of these countries around the world are finding ways to try and reduce their carbon footprint. They recognize the problems we as humans have created and are trying to right their wrongs. With president Trump claiming that climate change is a “hoax” created by the Chinese it is not in the foreseeable future that America will join in on these advancements. (The Associated Press). It is unknown what the result of these actions will be but now that the groundwork has been laid many more environmentally friendly advancements can be expected in the future.     Environmental pollution is a worldwide crisis. Over the years it has garnered more and more attention. Now that governments and the people are working together in the fight to rejuvenate the planet it seems America is being stagnant on the progress. To combat this the American people need to take it upon themselves to try and help the environment in any way they can. If more people purchased electric or hybrid vehicles we could follow the rest of the world in trying to reduce the air pollution that gasoline vehicles produce. Along with more electric vehicles being purchased if we also added more charging stations the appeal of these vehicles will increase creating more excitement for consumers. Although our president is not pushing for environmental reform the people can be just as influential on their own. WORKS CITEDGabbatiss, Josh. “Milan and Turin Ban Cars to Combat Smog and Air Pollution.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 28 Dec. 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/milan-turin-car-ban-stop-smog-air-pollution-italy-north-environment-fumes-diesel-petrol-a8131681.html.Greshko, Michael, et al. “A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment.” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 17 Jan. 2018, news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/how-trump-is-changing-science-environment/.Gross, Daniel. “It Doesn’t Matter How Much Trump, Pruitt, and America Love Gas Guzzlers. Cars Are Going Electric.” Slate Magazine, 3 Oct. 2017, www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2017/10/cars_are_going_electric_with_or_without_america.html.Rosenthal, Erika. “The Paris Agreement: A Good Deal for the United States. An Essential Deal for the Planet.” Earthjustice, 17 Aug. 2017, earthjustice.org/features/paris-agreement?gclid=CjwKCAiA7ovTBRAQEiwAo8dPceOGaCrwbEW6PkegKip8GPKZN5skKQ6b6Yat3dQnoUNQt83hExEqVxoCDmEQAvD_Rothman, Lily. “Environmental Protection Agency: Why the EPA Was Created.” Time, Time, 22 Mar. 2017, time.com/4696104/environmental-protection-agency-1970-history/.The Associated Press. “Trump Says East Could Use Some Global Warming.” WJLA, 28 Dec. 2017, wjla.com/news/nation-world/trump-says-east-could-use-some-global-warming.”What Is the Clean Power Plan?” NRDC, 9 Jan. 2018, www.nrdc.org/stories/how-clean-power-plan-works-and-why-it-matters?gclid=CjwKCAiA7ovTBRAQEiwAo8dPcTtzHdzQuULIF4orAkyKCDcVK8Wh6xKg_sNvIUnvX6jQc706sx1eYxoC3t4QAvD_BwE.Xu, Muyu, and Ryan Woo; “China Says More than 18,000 Officials Failed or Performed Badly in Pro.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 28 Dec. 2017, www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pollution-inspections/china-says-more-than-18000-officials-failed-or-performed-badly-in-protecting-environment-idUSKBN1EM0HZ.