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March 6, 2017

Love Trumps Hate

How to Remain Environmentally Optimistic During This Presidency

Written By Kylie Barton

With the election of a climate change denier to the White House, it would be easy for those of us who consider ourselves conservationists and environmentalists to throw up our hands in dismay and give up hope. This however, would be a big mistake, as the natural environment needs us to be louder, bolder, and more active than ever.

Unlike Trump with climate change, there is no denying that his election and his resulting string of concerning actions is crushing to those who have helped bring the environment to the forefront of politics, commercialism, and day to day life. He is gagging scientists, wiping stats and information, he has hurried along the much-protested Dakota Access Pipeline, put a person in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency who has previously tried to abolish it, he is actively encouraging the reduction of decarbonisation efforts… the list goes on.

Among all this pessimism however, there is room for some much-needed optimism. The greening of the American energy sector is well underway, and Trump is powerless to reverse this. Clean energy is on the up and that will continue. America’s power plants saw a dramatic reduction in emissions in 2016 with 27% less emitted than 2005 which is close to Obama’s target of 30% by 2030. Wind and solar are still going strong with states own tax credit systems and the cost reductions that come with an increase in popularity.

Island Spirit Fiji Environment Frangipanis

Clean energy is only a small portion of the climate change conundrum. There is transport, industry, animal agriculture, travel, architecture, etc. These things are all things which individuals and individual spending habits can have a huge impact on, and this is why there is room for optimism. More than ever we have to vote with our wallets; buy electric cars, eat less animal produce, choose green energy suppliers and banks and other services, travel responsibly, and reduce the amount we do buy through reusing, recycling, and upcycling. This is the only way we can affect change, and how we can combat climate change, is if everyone takes individual responsibility; it is evident we cannot rely on those up high.

Believe it or not, it isn’t all about America. Of course the environment and nature doesn’t abide by the rules when it comes to geographical boundaries, and what one country does on one side of the world can have positive or negative impacts around the globe. More and more nations are getting on board the green wagon, with populous countries and regions such as Chile, China, India and the Middle East all making their own strides towards a greener future. Progress in this area is no longer restricted to the wealthier nations, and this is just another example of why more than ever, it is imperative that everyone steps up and acts.

Here at Island Spirit ecotourism is what we do. We work alongside local communities in each of our four territories to ascertain where we can help people help themselves and their environment. We do this through projects with community members, local businesses and conservation charities, and also international partners and organisations. We enable positive change through eco-conscious activities such as coral gardening, beach cleans, and mangrove conservation intertwined with yoga, surfing, and whole range of other experiences.

The President is thought of as the leader of the free world, but with him in charge the world is becoming very much less free, and much more frightening.

It is important that people across the globe stand up to this agenda, and practice the mantra of permaculture; earth care, people care, and fair share. This is a mantra we follow at Island Spirit, and we would love for you to come and experience it with us.