Election Results and our Natural World

If I could start this with an audible sigh, believe me, I would. I've said it in some posts, but I'll say it again with more emphasis here. Please share this post if you think someone would benefit from it. Also if you're reading it, leave a comment with anything I should add to make the post a bit more compelling, it can be literally anything.

As we all know, the US president for the last 4 years has done more to strip America of its natural wonders than any other president ever has. The most recent example is that he opened the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging and mining. If you've never been there, I'll do my best to try to explain the amazing piece of land. The Tongass National Forest is the world's largest temperate rainforest. Yes, there is a rainforest in Alaska. Just like most of coastal Alaska, you go from the ocean to tree covered cliffs and mountains with a layer of fog so thick you can't see the tops of the mountains most of the time. Driving to inland lakes and bays, you see glades with bears, Bald Eagles and all sorts of wildlife. In the lakes and bays, you get Humpback Whales, countless Arctic Terns and other seabirds, Steller's Sea Lions on the buoys and all kinds of kelp surrounding the boat. Back in the national forest, you immediately walk through a steamy, wet and lush forest. Huge plants all around, puddles of water on the path, bridges over roaring waterfalls, pools of water at the base of bluffs so deep and so clear, you could sink and it would look like you were floating through a void in the earth. Farther on you get to glaciers across from more lakes. When the glacier calves, it sounds like a building collapsing. The rush of water from the falling boulders of ice is immense. You can see a wave forming and getting bigger as it gets closer. It's almost like a mini tsunami. Walking through the forest on boardwalks over a sort of fen, there is Devil's Snare in with the fungi, sedges and orchids. Black Bears and beavers make their way around and under your feet. You look up and you see a pond with a glacier and mountains as the backdrop. You never want to leave.

Now imagine if that all disappeared. Imagine if those mountains were blasted away by dynamite so that people could have some more precious metals. Imagine if the lakes were polluted so heavily that the beavers left, the fish floated to the surface and there was a stench so bad it pushed even the workers away. Imagine the glacier melting and calving faster and faster as the air around it warmed more due to more pollution. Imagine the glaciers splitting in half as workers riddle it with mile deep holes to gain access to the valuable minerals stuck in the bottom. This could all very well happen due to the actions of the president.

Trump has also began work on the new border wall in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in extreme south Texas. At Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, construction recently started. Hundreds of species of birds including some species found nowhere else in the country may be wiped out. other animals like Ocelots, Indigo Snakes and other animals dependent on the mesquite thicket may have nowhere else to go, and eventually will vanish. At Recasa de la Palma farther east in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, hundreds of historic palms were cut down to make space for the wall. Those palms were home to Red-crowned Parrots, many butterflies and other animals. Now they're gone.

Trump fairly recently opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil fracking. One of the largest pieces of land home to hundreds of species of living things is now fair game to the oil industry. Species of plants not even described may go extinct without us knowing. That's how big that piece of land is. Birds that only breed in the high arctic may take heavy losses to their populations. Animals like Polar Bears, many butterflies and many other animals will be greatly affected. Birds like Steller's and Spectacled Eiders, Red Phalaropes, Parasitic, Pomarine and long-tailed Jaegers, Rock and Western Sandpipers, Ross's Gulls, and countless other endangered, threatened and protected species may have to move farther south and change their entire lifestyles because of Trump's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic NWR.

We have lived in a world of environmental destruction for as long as we've all been alive. Even in the 5 years I've been into documenting and extensively finding nature, I've noticed changes around me. If that much change occurred in just 5 years, I can't even imagine what it'll be like in 50 years. We live in a really scary and uncertain time, right now, our biggest fears should be the fear of the unknown. We could wake up one morning and hear that logging has already commenced in the Tongass NF, or the last Ocelot of Texas was found dead at the base of the border wall. That is the day that we've lost. Let's do everything we can to stop this machine of greed and hunger for destruction.

That's all for now,
Simon

Anotado por brdnrdr brdnrdr, noviembre 04, miércoles 15:11

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