Category Archives: Delaney Reynolds

I Vote For Humanity

In my recent post, Business As Usual, I expressed frustration over how silent so many in the Republican Party are over the outrageous, incompetent and increasingly inhumane behavior that President Trump, Vice President Pence and their Administration are subjecting our country to every day of our lives.

Only days after that post we are faced with yet more dire examples of why our country is at a monumental cross roads and needs to decide whether the inhumane behavior that’s taking place while his fellow Republicans remain so often silent in a way that only condones what is happening is who America is or aspires to be. Are we not better than what we are watching and what Republicans far too often support with their silence? Are the offices they hold so selfishly important to them that they are afraid to speak up and take issue with the attacks on America’s foundational values that we witness every day and night these past two plus years?

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Case in point: this week a reputable writer shared a story of rape in a department store dressing room by Mr. Trump. I’d think that an allegation of rape against a sitting President should concern all Americans, yet despite a picture showing the two of them together at a party his response that he’s never met the woman and that she’s “not my type” seems acceptable to Republicans given that only two in Congress have as of yet expressed any public concern. Where is the humanity and concern we should all have to determine if this serious allegation is true?

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Case in point: the horrific, vivid picture of a father and his young daughter washed up on the shore of a river on the Mexican/American border, having drowned while seeking the promise of freedom that America was founded on. Or for that matter, stories that are pouring out into the public domain about children being maliciously separated from their families, forced to sleep outside or without bedding or with the lights on all night in concentration camp type facilities. The immigration related atrocities just go on and on and none of it strikes me as humane or the way we Americans should want to treat our fellow man.

smkVx5dR-720Or case in point: the recent interview Vice President Pence gave about climate change in which he stated that there are “good scientists on both sides of the ‘debate'”.

First off, there is no longer any “debate” by unbiased and even slightly educated folks that our climate is warming and seas are rising, much less that it’s caused principally by man-made carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels we use. 98% of scientists agree on these facts.

Secondly, his comment about “good scientists on both sides” reminds me of his mentor, the President, saying that there were “good people on both sides” of a peaceful demonstration that turned deadly when white supremacists, key supporters apparently of Trump, Pence and the rest of the “R” crowd, invoked vile, racial mayhem that has rippled across America ever since. His words and the silence of nearly every Republican only served to condone what the racists did that day and because of their lack of action we see a growing element of that hatred building all over America. Surely that’s not who America is or aspires to be and become.

I realize that democracy is not always linear, nor painless. Progress ebbs and flows over time as our society and culture evolves, but I also know that many patriots have fought and died for our values. Many brave Americans have spoken up and out to make our country truly great.

For our freedoms.

For women’s rights.

For racial and gender equality.

For cherishing and protecting our environment so as to leave it in better shape for the next generation than the last.

There is a deep humanity in these achievements and their aspirations that defines who we, as Americans, are and who we want to become. But that humanity is lost everywhere I look within the Trump Administration and that loss seems to be growing like a cancer in need of a cure.

And so with our country beginning to contemplate our next Presidential election, starting in earnest with last night and tonight’s Democratic debates here in Miami, I hope that you will join me in seeking a cure and by supporting a change in our nation’s highest office before it’s too late. Consider your options starting tonight and spread the word to your friends and family.

Together we can fix the terrible mistake America made in 2016. And for my part, I vote for humanity in 2020 and will happily support anyone not named Donald Trump.

 

Why Things Are Different (& Better) Three Years Later

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Two evenings in March of 2016 taught me much of what I ever needed to know about Presidential politics, as well as a few things I wish none of us had to ever learn. That spring provided our community and country an amazing opportunity to discuss what is easily the most important challenge that my generation will ever face during our time here on earth: our global climate crisis. That’s when both the Republican and Democratic Party each held nationally televised debates right here in Miami amongst the then six remaining candidates.

Climate change was, as it is today, on a great many people’s minds and yet the media and most of the candidates failed America in 2016. Over the course of those two nights and their four hours of nationally televised “debate”, the candidates spent just 9½ minutes discussing climate change. And what did the national media do to address the most important topic of our time? They asked just two questions, one each night. Talk about a “fail”.

The topic was so overlooked that on one of those nights the question on climate did not surface until 1½ hours into the two hour event. To say it was not a priority to the candidates or media is an understatement and was, in many ways, educational to my then 16 year old self. You can read more about those debates in a blog that I wrote at the time entitled 9½ Minutes by clicking here.

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Fast forward three years and three months later and we have a candidate, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, who is largely running on one single topic: protecting our environment with a specific focus on our climate change crisis. Something tells me that the good Governor himself might just spend more than 9½ minutes on the topic later this week whether the journalists prompt him to or not.

We also now have the New Green Deal, a potentially transformational prospective plan to address our climate crisis that’s being embraced by many of the Democratic candidates.

And perhaps most importantly, each of the candidates, all 20 that will appear on television from Miami later this week, are openly and often even aggressively talking about their plans to address climate change. More than half of them have pledged to not accept money from fossil fuel businesses. All have created plans to address the issue.

In 2016 two candidates, Senator Cruz from oil rich Texas, and the man who shockingly became President, Donald Trump, unsurprisingly never even mentioned climate change. That can’t happen this or next year. At every debate, starting with this week’s two Democratic events here in Miami, the media must press the candidates to speak to the issue. Journalists and candidates have a moral obligation to my generation and all that shall follow to address this topic and make it the priority. Almost 100% of democratic voters believe that our climate change crisis is a matter of great importance to our country and, thus, I hope that NBC News, which is moderating, will act like it understands that people want to hear candidates address the issue. Rather than bury it deep into the night, how about we start each evening’s questions here in Miami by discussing climate change?

In the time since being elected, President Trump and his administration have done everything possible to embrace fossil fuel producers and polluters, roll back America’s Clean Power Plan, pull out of the Paris Climate Acord, tout “clean coal” (there is no such thing, it’s a lie) and diminish scientists and the science, including the Administration’s very own November 2018 National Climate Assessment that (once again) made clear that earth is warming and humans’ use of fossil fuels are the key cause. In places all over America, and especially here in South Florida, we no longer have room for such nonsense. We can’t allow Republicans to sell their souls and our future by supporting gas and coal in return for polluted votes. We must (and we can) elect leaders at all levels of our government that support the absolute elimination of fossil fuel use within my lifetime and, in doing so, transition our economy to sustainable energy. Time is running out.

The stakes over this issue are much greater than those votes in coal and gas rich states or, for that matter, the brief time one would hold an elected office. And, yes, even in those states that still rely on coal and gas, a future of clean, well-paying jobs in sustainable energy should be seen as part of the solution in regions that are often desperate for hope. And, of course, the very survival of places like where this week’s debates will actually be held (South Florida) is also at stake and we need to be discussing that before our region disappears under water to the point where future debates can’t be held here.

So come on NBC News and the 20 assembled candidates that will be in sunny South Florida this week, show us that things are different in 2019! Show us that you are truly serious about taking bold steps to solve our climate crisis and helping transform America. Dig deep and get away from the sound bites and prove that you understand what’s at stake as our climate warms. Voters are watching and this time we expect more than 9½ lousy minutes on the topic that defines our generation.

Business As “Usual”

When I started college I knew there would be times like this where my school work, environmental work, lectures and all else might keep me from posting to my blog as often as I’d like and the last two months have been just that. I’ve been “radio silent” for some time between traveling overseas for an incredible experience that I will soon share with you, final exams, a new job I’ll tell you about soon, and one marine science expedition after another to start the summer. I will be back on the “high seas” on a week long shark tagging trip later this week, but will do my best to write a post or two between now and then given all that’s going on in the world starting with Business As Usual

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I was going to title this post Cowards but I generally see myself as a polite, respectful person and thus settled on Business As “Usual” instead.

As much of the world now knows, this week President Trump clearly announced that he’d not have any reservations over accepting information about a political opponent from a foreign government (sound familiar?), nor feel compelled to inform the FBI if ever contacted about such information.

I will leave it to the expert political scientists to evaluate most of the President’s troubling comments but should anyone wonder whether his comments are acceptable (or legal), you need only read the unprecedented statement that the head of the Federal Elections Committee, a Trump appointee, issued while also wondering out loud why her office would even need to explain that working with a foreign government, or not informing authorities about being approached, should be common sense. You can read all about it here from a Washington Post article which starts with the following:

Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub released a statement Thursday making clear that candidates for public office may not receive help from a foreign government, in what appeared to be a warning to President Trump, who said he would consider taking information about an opponent from another country. 

 

 

 

Tweeting her statement, Weintraub wrote, “I would not have thought that I needed to say this.”

The President and his profound lack of character is now well known to the world and frankly I’m over it and him. His record speaks loudly for itself and the sooner we can replace him, the better (November 2020 can’t come soon enough!).

However, what actually concerns me is the fact that nearly his entire political party, yes the Republicans, are so systemically silent in response.

Politics aside, as an American it’s truly troubling that virtually all members of his party run so scared of the man (and why, for fear of an early morning tweet?) that they avoid calling him out over those comments and countless others. Their silence facilitates the fire to grow and grow.

These educated men and women in our Congress and Senate are in prominent positions to act like leaders, to be examples for others, especially young people, to follow. They hold in their hands the morals, ethics and laws of our nation and yet virtually all of them remain silent as a storm that erodes our country rages around them.

Their silence has become their accepted approach to politics, it is how they conduct their business but it does not go unnoticed. And I am certain that I am not alone in these observations nor in thinking that they are cowards to stand silent and by doing so condone his behavior.

I can’t say I am surprised, the Republicans’ silence has for too long been their typical “business” strategy to all things climate change. As they sit silently, or worse when they enthusiastically promote antiquated industries such as oil and coal in places like West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and elsewhere in hopes of garnering votes and political donations to perpetuate their time in office, Republicans are placing their selfish political interests above serving our country and that, most certainly, is shameful.

In order to solve our climate crisis, all of our elected leaders, no matter their party affiliation, are going to need to become involved in creating meaningful solutions, to actively engage in productive debate over what is happening right before our eyes and in supporting solutions to the problem by helping our country transition away from fossil fuels and to our sustainable futures. To avoid these topics, or for that matter avoid scolding a terribly misguided President, will not make things better and likely makes them worse. And while we can likely tolerate the circus that is the Trump White House until the next election, we do not have any time to waste when it comes to our climate crisis.

To solve the climate crisis we need and deserve patriots and leaders, not cowards.

Business as usual will not work.

Policies and products that emit carbon pollution into our atmosphere and oceans must end. We need elected officials who will make the hard choices to support transformational changes that in many cases will threaten their ability to be re-elected and that put our nation and environment ahead of politics. Avoiding the topic as happened over the last 8 years here in Florida under Governor, now Senator, Rick Scott or is happening in Washington right now, is no longer acceptable.

All of us likely need to be a bit less polite and far less patient when it comes to saving our planet.

And you know what? On second thought, I should have titled this blog Cowards. That’s what those who stand silent and allow this to happen to our country and planet are: COWARDS.

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