Small Steps for a Big Impact: Your five-minute action item today: May 17, 2017


It’s working…
Trump is certainly taking heat, but it’s really Trump who brought this on himself. But the strong attention being paid by people like you has helped generate the press’s responsiveness and the congressional democrats’ spine.

…so let’s keep going
It’s important not to get sucked into wish fulfillment fantasies. With this Congress and with Trump’s core supporters still strongly behind him, it’s not likely Trump will be impeached and even less likely he’ll be removed. It’s true that this morning Jason Chaffetz, the head of the House Oversight Committee, subpoenaed the Comey memos describing Trump’s attempts to influence him, but I have complete confidence that Chaffetz will use his committee’s power to try to neutralize Trump’s actions, not bring them to accountability.

Meanwhile, right-wing policies are getting passed even as this summer blockbuster unfolds. Let’s address one of those today—an attempt to open up our protected public lands to drilling and other industry.

Today’s action is inspired by My Civic Workout. They’re awesome. Their words: “The administration is ‘reviewing the status’ of 27 public lands designated as national monuments: this is their euphemism for seeking to allow drilling and other destructive activities on some of America’s most beautiful wild lands. These monuments also protect wildlife and support the economies of nearby towns by bringing in tourists. The administration is trying to shut out the public by having an absurdly short notice and comment period—only 15 days.” Read more about the Antiquities Act, the economic and cultural importance of national monuments, and the harm that will be done of this historic rollback here.

Your task
Post a comment TODAY, as there is a very short comment period. Here is the link to the site.

Take a look at the monuments currently being targeted here. Take a look at the rest of the monuments in the U.S. here. Take a look at your state’s protected areas here.  Don’t forget to consider nearby states; for example, Chicago, my place of residence, is just a few hours from incredible beauty in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Again, here is the comment site where you will post your comment.

Write of course whatever you like. Here are some ideas:

I grew up around/I live near/I frequently visit ______. Because of this monument, I [learned to appreciate the beauty around us; experienced incredible family bonding time that lasts to this day; was inspired to follow my career of ____; learned to hunt and fish/hike and camp/bird and botanize, activities I cherish]. [____ has vilatized the areas nearby fostering small businesses and providing jobs a the monument itself.]

I often frequent [such and such publicly protected place], a place similar to the national monuments under review, and similarly protected. I understand the value of natural areas on the mind, body and soul. [Appreciating quiet and beauty; experiencing family bonding by doing ___ with my ___; exploring the mysteries of ____; learning to hunt and fish/hike and camp/bird and botanize, activities I cherish] has been an essential part of my/my family’s experience.

[Then in either case add] It is simply not up to us to use up everything around us. The world is moving forward with new kinds of industry and energy policy, and if we open up our monuments to development today, we leave nothing for our children, or for other creatures in the world, tomorrow. States do not have the capacity to protect and manage lands on their own. Considering a change in status of these monuments is tragically short-sighted. I implore you to retain the protection of ____, other national monuments, and other public protected lands.

[Consider incorporating some of all of a Teddy Roosevelt quote:]
“I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children. That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children, leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.”

“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. ”



Five Minutes by Small Steps for a Big Impact

What Do I Do About Trump?