The Budget and the Birds

March 16, 2017

BW photograph of Klee Mill Road after a snow storm.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The president’s preliminary budget was announced today, and it certainly does appear to represent the campaign promises made.  Given the large focus this site has on climate change, it is significant that the EPA is slated to be cut by about 31% as discussed here.  In addition, monies for least-developed nations to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change/sea level rise/desertification would be slashed.  There are other environmental-related initiatives/programs also identified for de-funding.

The gutting of such efforts is particularly compelling as it is not yet above freezing today in this part of the world, and the ground is covered with a concrete-like mass as a result of the most recent snow/sleet/snow storm and well-below freezing temperatures.  It is painful to see some robins, whose circadian rhythms are programmed for spring temperatures and conditions at this time of year, be unable to find the requisite food and water.  (The need for breeding and certain foods would have triggered the flight north toward a usually more temperate clime-the unparalleled warmth of this past December, January, and February could have disrupted their behaviour.)  These kinds of alterations to migratory patterns as a result of climate change is a major concern. Nature has its own timetable for evolutionary adaptation-one not based on short-sighted, ego/ethnocentric, year-to-year federal spending, and politics.  There simply may not be enough time to develop the necessary accommodations.

It is important to recognize that the announcement of this budget is just the start of the process of negotiation, so there is more to be revealed as to the final budgetary outcome.  In a similar vein, NPR posted this report a few days ago, which deals with the proposed health care plan.  If you are concerned about this budget’s impact on environmental issues (or health care for that matter), then it is worthwhile to make that position known by writing a letter to your Congressperson(s) in the House and Senate.  Be part of the process.

In all fairness, it is important to the democratic process for those who do support this proposed budget to contact their reps as well.  It behooves everyone to be sure to investigate these issues with enough due diligence so as to make an informed decision and one not based on confirmation bias or distortion.  Using multiple legacy-based sources helps.  That is what a democracy is supposed to be.   (As an aside, that is one of the issues with the recent controversy over the proposed health care plan-some recognized they would be worse-off if the Affordable Care Act were indeed repealed and replaced, which prompted contacts with those in power.  Brexit is another example if we want to go global.)  Unfortunately, the Citizens United decision brought much more money and the influence that buys into American politics.  This makes it ever more important to have individual voices be heard (or read, as it were).

NOTE:  For those reading outside of the U.S., this is certainly a bit of a look into our politics.

Take care.

 

 

 

Take care.

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