A Vision of the Future in 2 Headlines

It’s bad enough to read a headline like this one tonight in The New York Times: Trump’s Budget Has Sharp Cuts for E.P.A. and State Dept. The story previews Trump’s “budget blueprint for the coming fiscal year,” which would “slash the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent … in a brash upending of the government’s priorities.”

But when the same front page has this headline as well–Large Sections of Australia’s Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Say–it’s hard not to despair. The second story explains that “huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, were recently found to be dead, killed last year by overheated seawater.” If the words “overheated seawater” don’t make the underlying cause of the calamity clear, the article illuminates: “The state of coral reefs is a telling sign of the health of the seas. Their distress and death are yet another marker of the ravages of global climate change.”

So while the world suffers (and the Great Barrier Reef is just one of seemingly endless examples of the environmental disaster unfolding around us), our new president wants to cut funding to the lone agency responsible for monitoring and regulating greenhouse gases in the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Surprisingly (given the rush to censor damning data), the EPA still has information about greenhouses gases on its website, including this chart. Perhaps because it indicts China as the world’s largest polluter it’s considered non-fake news, but if the EPA’s budget is slashed, it will only make it easier for the U.S. to catch up fast.

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