Since Trump’s inauguration, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. It’s pretty scary what is happening with our neighbours to the south, and it’s hard to ignore. It seems my entire Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with more disastrous stories of what he is doing now that he is in office.
On January 21 I marched along side of hundreds of men, women, and children in Halifax, and with millions of people worldwide. I left the march empowered and excited about the big show of support for equal rights for all humans, and rejecting the bigotry, misogyny, and hate that Trump represents.
However, coming down from my “post-march high”, and reading the news the past few days, I quickly lost the excitement and empowerment I felt at the march.
Trump has given the green light to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines, and Trudeau has backed him on the Keystone XL, outlining his support of Trump’s plan. Trump has forbidden the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from posting on its social media platforms, talking to the press, or awarding any new contracts or grants. He has scrubbed the White House’s website of all mentions of “climate change” and “global warming“. Trump has also signed a ban on American funding that supports any NGO’s abroad that have any relation to abortions as a family planning option, and the list goes on.
As I am writing this I am reading Trumps “Energy Plan” that he announced shortly after his inauguration: “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule…The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.” WHAT THE FUCK. I can’t even put my frustrations into words right now.
So, how do we get out of this slump? I am not saying we should cover our ears and eyes and pretend like there isn’t horrible things happening right now, but we should also seek out the positive stories. I spent a few hours today looking up positive things that have been happening, to help remind myself that there is more going on in the world than what Trump is doing – we need to hear these positive stories. We also need to be inspired to take action, and continue to be an advocate for the environment, and for human rights issues. So here here a few positive stories I found:
- The Netherlands have launched a global funding program in order to help women gain access to abortions. Even if there is no way you personally would get an abortion, women should still have the RIGHT to chose, and they should have the support and access to it. It endangers women’s lives and safety to restrict abortions. So thank you to the Netherlands for this initiative!
- How different cities and mayors are standing up for the environment. This Grist article outlines how local climate progress will continue. California Gov. Jerry Brown was reported saying “If Trump turns off the (climate research) satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite…We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight.” California is also planning to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road in order to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, and increase charging stations.
- The Women’s March on Washington also stood up for the environment. At the march in Halifax, there were lots of signs about protecting science, and the environment. Environmental justice was an issue that was spoken about at the marches. This is perhaps one of my favourite signs from the march:
- Obama Administration gave $500 million to the Green Climate Fund. Just a few days before the inauguration, Obama gave the Green Climate Fund (GFC) $500 million, the second time his administration has given that amount to the GCF. Thank you Obama for continuing to support the environment!
- One man has planted a forest bigger than Central Park. Jadav Payeng, a man living in India started planting trees in an area in 1979. He has returned every day since then to plant more trees. The area is now a thriving forest with elephants, rhinos, deers, and tigers residing there.
- Mr. Trash Wheel. In May 2014, Baltimore installed a trash wheel they named “Mr. Trash Wheel,” in hopes to have their Harbour swimmable and fishable by 2020. The wheel is located on a river that feeds into the Harbour. The river’s current spins the wheel, which in turn spins a conveyor belt that takes trash out of the river. The trash is then brought to an waste-to-energy plant where it is used to generate electricity. The wheel has removed over 350 tonnes of trash from the river. California is considering installing it’s own trash wheel, and I think more cities should as well!
- Read this list of the top 10 Ocean Stories. From the Great Barrier Reef, to the Antarctic, this list is definitely worth reading!
So there you have it. I am definitely feeling a bit better after reading and writing about all these positive stories. Don’t let the negative news get you down, and lets keep on working together for a better world.