If you had given birth to a child the last time any major environmental legislation was made, that child would now be old enough to buy a beer. That fact seemed puzzling to me because I’ve heard all kinds of environmental talk associated with everything from presidential debates to State of the Union addresses. So if everyone is talking about environmental issues and promising changes what is happening? Just that; Talk and Promises.
The Clean Air Act of 1990 was the last major environmentally geared legislation to pass through Congress, and although it’s had some minor additions to it, it is the most recent legislation of its kind. The Kyoto Protocol in 1997 was as close as the US has gotten to “major” legislation since 1990 and that document was never ratified. Apparently, it was important enough to help write, but not important enough to actually follow.
What’s worse than the age of our latest major environmental policy change is the current legislation that stands to directly affect our planet in the negative. Oil, coal and natural gas companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars every year lobbying in Washington D.C. to keep their interests in front of congressmen. Thankfully, that’s where groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council come in. The NRDC is one of the watchdog groups that address upcoming environmental legislation that keeps these politicians as honest as possible. That’s just about on par with teaching a honey badger to play golf, but they still manage to get results through petitioning, social media pressure and other campaigns to get the masses involved in environmental legislation. The blame for the 24 year lack in legislation definitely doesn’t fall on their shoulders. Oh, if only we could get Teddy Roosevelt back in office. Where is my time machine?
I, for one, think that if campaigning on the backs of environmental issues is going to be a tactic in modern politics, then it is up to us to hold these people accountable for their promises. I know that is an old mentality and people have been saying the same thing for years. The problem here is that the economy and other issues that politicians claim to care about can rebound on their own; our planet may not. As voters with any concern for our planet, it’s our responsibility to see what our officials are up to. Groups like the NRDC are a great start. We will continue to follow current environmental policies and legislation and we encourage anyone who is taking up any legislative cause to contact us and let us know about it, we’d love to help.