The details of the Trump administration's proposals around environmental protection (and education) are becoming clear. This is what the Executive Director of the North American Association for Environmental Education [NAAEE] had to say to its members last week:
The work you do couldn’t be more important than it is right now. And the opportunity to stand up for what you believe couldn’t be more important than it is today.
The Administration’s budget, as many of you know, was released last week, and included massive cuts for education, environmental protection, science, STEM, the arts, after school programs, social innovation, and so many other areas that enhance our work in environmental education to create a more just and sustainable future. It also specifically cuts funding for environmental education in EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], and other federal agencies that have supported environmental education, under every administration, for decades. Although the proposed cuts are deep, Congress needs to approve the budget and we are working tirelessly with our Affiliates and other partners to restore funding for environmental education in the 2018 budget.
Many of you have asked how you can help support the programs that you care about without taking a political stand. It’s important to remember that environmental education is a non-partisan issue: Environmental education does not advocate a particular viewpoint or course of action, but focuses on creating a nation of learners and thinkers who are civically engaged and are actively working to protect environmental quality, promote social equity, and strive for shared prosperity for all.
The note went on to advocate 6 areas of action:
- Meet, Write, and Call Your Members of Congress: Your Voice Counts!
- Take Part in the Marches, Town Hall Meetings, and Other Activities that Support Your Work and Values: Numbers Count
- Join NAAEE’s Action Network and eePRO: Participation Counts
- Get Involved in Your Community: Civic Engagement Counts
- Submit a Proposal for Puerto Rico: Collective Impact Counts
- Donate to NAAEE: Your Support Counts
The first seems the most crucial. All of these are the sort of things that those based in the USA can do, but I'm wondering what I can do. I'm minded to write to the US Ambassador to 'the Court of St James' saying how wanton and shocking all this seems. What are you doing?