When I was 5 and a newly minted kindergartner, Ronald McDonald came to my school. It was my first celebrity sighting, and I listened intently to his message: “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” Two decades ago, conservation efforts were not divisive or controversial; they were so widely supported that one of America’s largest corporations came to spread the message of ecology to children of factory workers and farmers in small-town Michigan.
Fast forward 20 years and the United States is the second-largest polluter in the world, and talking about how to fix this is controversial. The Environmental Protection Agency has to battle this problem with a president in denial, an unsupportive Congress, a self-sabotaging administrator, a skeptical public, and as little as half the funding as years past. Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposed budget cuts to the EPA would propel our nation into a public health crisis and set us back several decades.
Our children deserve better. They deserve good memories and a positive culture. They deserve an EPA that has the desire and ability to keep this world livable for them, and they deserve to know that everyone, from their parents to large corporations, was looking out for them and their future.