Trump’s first 100 days of environmental rollbacks will create chaos and expedite the extinction of many species — specifically humans.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

Don’t believe anyone who says Trump hasn’t done anything his first 100 days besides squander opportunity, alienate but a tiny fraction of his base with his broken and shallow promises and basically proved to be completely incapable of even stringing mere words together to form a complete sentence.

Rather than make light of his ineptitude, instead worry more about his psycho-killer Patrick Bateman EKG-inspired signature on three dozen executive orders, most of which have DIRECTLY been written (and not read by him) to privatize and/or destroy our most precious resources.

If there is one consistent narrative during his first 100 days, it is ensuring that his family gets rich. Very rich. Not fake Trump ties/university/vodka/stakes/shallow branding deals rich. For real rich. Like, kleptocrats in the building, barbarians at the gate, they have taken a torch to all of our norms, symbols and rules of progressivism. They have brought freedom and democracy all down in the name of some phony brand of patriotism and false fervor and acted unabashedly and constantly—above the law.

It’s been his singular goal and his only achievement.

The rest of us sit by as the swerving motorcade barely misses sideswiping us as our tax dollars pay for golf trips, security for the absentee First Lady to live in Manhattan and promotion of their businesses at home abroad by his sons, daughter and son-in-law.

The latter pair also have inexplicably norm-shattering high positions in his White House based on zero qualifications, and in exchange for taking all he can till the alarm sounds, he portends to kill health insurance, destroy national resources including our National Parks system, tear down, debase and defund classrooms in public schools, do away with environmental protections and controls for giant corporations and basically do it with a cohort of doomsday-seeking neo-Nazis and Russia-friendly advisors.

Trump is America now and America is now Trump. Where we were once the world’s good guy, the ones who sent humanitarian aid and military help, if necessary, to fight injustice and stand up to wrongdoing…we are now the bad guys.

And guess what? When the shit goes down for us …ain’t nobody gonna come knocking to help out. When you make your slogan “America First” which has its roots in Charles Lindbergh’s isolationist/pro-Nazi campaign of the same name, when you ignore history, the rule of law and basic human kindness and civility and when you put the worst people in the world in charge…expect only the worst things to happen—nothing more, nothing less.

But those who have underestimated this man, dismissed him as an oafish buffoon, all bluster, no action—a melted Little Orphan Orange Otter Pop melted on the sidewalk with no sense of the job and no serious mind to execute it are both tragically very right and shockingly wrong. He has done more in the length of a summer break to tear down decades, centuries even, of protections for the people and the planet, divide the people and take a sledge hammer to the once shining city on the hill of democracy, now a tattered foundation of rusted rebar and sagging studs…burned out and gutted from the inside with no inclination or resource to repair it.

Sort of reminds me of this:

Do not underestimate this man.

Of all the sabre rattling, random bomb-dropping, wishful policy-making, gutting of government agencies, false promises and straight up lies, the biggest loser thus far in this 100 days has been …the planet and its inhabitants.

Among his more notable executive orders (below) he has cut funding for Great Lakes restoration by 97 percent, killing clean water for his base in Michigan and Ohio and making it possible for corporations to pretty much do everything they want including pouring waste into streams and rivers there. He silenced the Environmental Protection Agency on day one (again, below) and has eliminated more than 3,000 jobs in the agency as well as handcuffed its ability to publicize or instruct citizens should an environmental emergency or disaster (likely) occur. Add to that the muzzling of scientists and National Parks employees who were also told to stop communicating with the outside world, causing them to create rogue twitter sites and Facebook accounts—but, again, in the case of a real crisis, they have no official recourse.

By stripping us of our rights to our lands, clean air and water and a hope to inhabit an Earth that can be healed not further harmed, we have been oppressed in a way no American population has in its 241-year history …unless, of course, you count the native population that was here in the first place.

Here then are some high (low) lights from the first 100 days:

The first move Day 1 was to freeze the Environmental Protection Agency. New contracts were suspended day one and media communication was silenced. A harbinger for policy to slash or eliminate environmental regulations to come.

Why it’s important: The EPA awards and manages several billion dollars of grants every year, from environmental testing to cleanups and research. The first order also froze work assignments to contractors and his appointment for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is like appointing a bank robber to work as your branch manager. He made a career suing the EPA and will do Trump’s bidding to dismantle it. The EPA is the only regulatory body that protects people and animals from corporations having their way with our natural resources. Oil spills, poison in the air and water and cataclysmic disasters caused by a warming planet that will, for starters, misplace hundreds of millions who live in coastal areas are just the beginning. While the agency is dismantled, workers are prohibited from writing press releases, blog updates or engaging in social media posts.

On January 20, Trump froze all regulations until they are approved directly by his administration or appointees. The action, given in a memorandum from White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, delays all regulations with the exception of health, safety, financial or national security matters.

Why it’s important: This means ny new or existing environmental regulations are effectively suspended. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are a group of pesticides made by Dow Chemical whose origin compounds were developed in Nazi Germany as nerve gas. They threaten almost 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. But guess what? Dow can now sell the shit out of that shit because …no regulations. It helps that the company’s president Andrew Liveris is friends with Trump and a seven-figure donor to his campaign. Fuck ALL the animals especially the people animals.

On January 23 Trump froze the federal workforce which prohibited government agencies from hiring any new employee …with the exception of military.

Why it’s important: Stripping agencies like the State Department, the EPA, the Department of Commerce, and the Fish and Wildlife Service of their ability to staff up means companies like Dow who have (and will continue to) fuck up the land for untold fiscal gain not only for themselves but the Trump family …and when the inevitable breakdown occurs (communities poisoned, sick children overflowing tiny hospitals) the government won’t have the resources to help fix it. And those who profited will be 100 percent off the hook teeing off on the fifth at Trump National.

On January 24 Trump signed and executive order to advance the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines.

Why it’s important: Beyond this being just a giant fuck you to everyone except for people who own stock in the company that’s going to build it, which—to nobody’s surprise ever—Trump has and may continue to. A December AP story showed Trump owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock for a Texas company called Energy Transfer Partners. He had between $500,000 and $1 million the year before that. He also owned between $100,000 and $250,000 in stock in energy company Phillips 66 which has a share of the pipeline. To figure out how much he actually owns of these types of companies—companies that may directly benefit from his decisions—he should probably release his taxes at some point.

Also on January 24, he issued an order to expedite environmental reviews on infrastructure projects.

Why it’s important: Under a normal regime an infrastructure project would be viewed as a positive. But this action requests that the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to expedite procedures and deadlines for environmental reviews and approvals for high-priority infrastructure projects. This will result in haphazard bidding, improper vetting, shoddy work and shortcuts on projects that could affect endangered or protected lands and waterways. All to either the lowest bidder or the bidder closest to Trump and his family.

Yet another one on January 24 featured Trump signing a review of domestic manufacturing regulation.

Why it’s important: The action by Trump ensures the Secretary of Commerce will contact stakeholders to review the impact of Federal regulations on domestic manufacturing. After the review, he is then charged with streamlining Federal permitting for domestic manufacturers. Again, manufacturers can get permitted with little or no oversight or accountability. Were you appalled by the water in Flint, Michigan? Pure Flint tap will be sold like Evian by the time manufacturers have their way with no regs and expedited permitting.

On January 30, Trump began reducing regulations so that any agency or department that needs a new regulation will repeal two. For 2017, there is also a mandated that all new regulations and repealed regulations are no greater than zero.

Why it’s important: The biggest rollback on regulations to specifically benefit corporations in U.S. history. They’re not creating loopholes as much as they’re blasting holes in the dam for a gushing of unprecedented corruption and rolling over the interests of the American people and the land they occupy.

A late February order tells Scott Pruitt and the secretary of the army for civil works to roll back President Obama’s Clean Water Rules with the Review the Waters of the U.S. Rule.

Why it’s important: What little controls we have for clean drinking water that can be untainted and untouched by private interests has been removed.

On March 27, Trump Rescinded Obama’s rules on contractors, which rolled back three of Barack Obama’s 2014 executive orders to impose restrictions and requirements on federal contractors.

Why it’s important: Do you like cronies and criminals being awarded no-bid federal contracts…including factions of the Trump business empire? Good, because that’s what you get.

On March 28, he signed an order to review Obama’s climate initiatives.

Why it’s important: Obama’s legacy is built on the foundation of his environmental protections. This executive order directs the government to conduct a review of energy regulations issued by the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan. It repeals multiple Obama-era memorandums and reports and directs the Interior Department to review a number of rules on oil and gas drilling. It also makes shit up instead of science; creating something called the “social cost of carbon,” and metric for determining the cost-effectiveness of climate change regulations. That alone should keep you from sleeping over the next four years.

On April 26, he went ahead and started taking away our most precious public lands by signing an order to. Review designations of national monuments.

Why it’s important: This order mandates Interior secretary to review “all presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act since January 1, 1996.” So, basically areas protected not only by former president Barack Obama but also by George W. Bush and Bill Clinton could be rolled back and sold to the highest bidder. The Trump regime’s pretending this is turning lands over to people instead of corporations is one of the biggest lies he’s perpetrated in a regime of lies. Up first for the raping, the 35-million-acre National Monument Obama declared in December in Utah, Bears Ears.

Also on April 26, Trump rolled back Obama’s ban on new drilling in federal waters in parts of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using a 1950s-era law that environmental groups say would require a drawn out court challenge to reverse.

Why it’s important: A Trump spokesman said this rollback builds on previous executive actions that have “cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers.”

In total, the energy- and environment-regulating executive orders signed by Trump have decimated climate change regulations put in place by the Obama and have placed the U.S. solely out of step and out of touch with the rest of the civilized world when it comes to recognition of an Earth in crisis. They also place our most valued public treasure—our lands—squarely in the crosshairs of corporations, without any regulations to hold them back from drilling, developing, fracking or depositing their waste directly into our tributaries.

Though the actions did not specifically take the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, the international pact nations signed to address climate change in 2015, the brazen moves have weakened the U.S.’s position on helping restrict greenhouse gas emissions and encourage a corporate wrecking ball to regulations, that the measures taken themselves will eliminate any chances of us making our commitments.

Death by a thousand rollbacks and one greedy banana republic kleptocrat and his family.

Andrew Steer, the president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, may have put it best last week when he said the Trump administration was “taking a sledgehammer to U.S. climate action.”

These orders are not only harmful to the environment, but they are devastating to the economy. The communities we live in and will ensure the deaths of millions. Even if a new regime took charge tomorrow, these rollbacks on regulations could not be easily undone. Corporations will not let these new freedoms go without a fight and we do not have the resolve of elected officials, Democrat or Republican, to fight them.

Our government has been hijacked by the worst type of grifters and propped up by a state that has been trending to favor corporations over the planet and its inhabitants for thirty years.

Demise is certain and perhaps our only solace is it will be swift.

Andrew J. Pridgen helps run sister site Death of the Press Box and is the author of the novella “Burgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.

Photo: Reuters/grist.org