Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in cities around the country marking President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office with protests against his environmental policies.
In Washington, organizers of the climate march estimated some 200,000 people showed up to march, clogging the streets and snarling traffic on a sweltering day where temperatures threatened to break records.
The marches occurred as a slew of executive orders and policy moves from the Trump Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (along with the proposed budget for the EPA) reveal a disregard for climate science (and science in general), while pursuing a pro-business agenda that even some conservative pundits say poses health hazards for the US.
In an editorial for The Atlantic (it’s worth reading the whole thing), Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA Secretary under President George W. Bush writes:
There are a number of health risks inherent to the proposed budget cuts, thanks in part to Trump’s promises to leave only “a little bit” of federal regulations. For example, the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention runs a program that screens and tests endocrine disruptors, which are harmful chemicals that pose a threat to reproductive health and children’s growth and development. Under the Trump budget, funding for this program would be cut from $7.5 million to $445,000—rendering the program inoperable and ineffective. Trump also wants to significantly cut the federal radon program to the tune of 80 percent. Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is believed to cause lung cancer and is linked to 21,000 deaths annually. An estimated one in 15 homes has high levels of the gas, and this small program promotes radon testing in homes.
Pollution poses an undeniable threat to public health, as the Supreme Court has validated. A 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study reported that roughly 19,000 more people die prematurely from automobile pollution each year than die in car accidents. The same year, Harvard University researchers found that pregnant women living in areas with elevated levels of air pollution “were up to twice as likely” to have an autistic child, compared with women in low-pollution locations. And a new study released in January found that air pollution increases the risk and expedites the onset of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.
Just yesterday the EPA removed pages related to climate change research from its website. In a statement explaining the changes, the EPA said that the website was being updated to reflect “outdated language”.
Much of that “outdated language” reflects the consensus of what can best be described as a supermajority of scientists, according to a December 2016 study by an energy professor from the University of Houston.
Speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania this evening, Trump said that there would be an announcement on the Administration’s continued participation in the Paris Accords in the next two weeks.
Rallies weren’t limited to Washington as thousands of protestors also marched in Boston;