Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

Scott Pruitt’s EPA

It’s a brand new day,
Scott Pruitt’s EPA:
It’s Everyone Pollute America,

Who needs air?
Put your hands up if you dare.
It’s so much cheaper when we don’t care, I say
Who needs air?

Our ambition is more emissions,
Elimination of every regulation.

It’s all for sale.
Put the scientists in jail.
It’s the liberation of all creation,
It’s all for sale.                          

Let the flames go higher!
Set the rivers back on fire!
When it’s Everyone Pollute America,

  [Piano solo]

Who wants to keep ‘em clean,
Those rivers and those streams?
It’s Everyone Pollute America
Who wants to keep ‘em clean?

I don’t know why you want  protection
When you can have so many new infections.

Oh, say hurrah!
Mosquitos and cholera!
Our solution is more pollution,
Oh, say hurrah!

It’s a brand new day,
Scott Pruitt’s EPA:
It’s Everyone Pollute America,

Lyrics ©Doug Hendren 2017
(Tune: “Ain’t She Sweet”, by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, 1927)

What’s it about? In 1971, Republican President Richard Nixon created the US Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to that, American cities like Detroit and Los Angeles were looking the way Beijing looks today. Our lakes were dying, our rivers burning.

The 1971 fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland was the turning point. It had happened before on the Cuyahoga, and on many other heavily polluted American Rivers. But this time, the image of a burning river galvanized the public imagination. The rest is history. Lake Erie now has good fishing, and Boston’s famously polluted Charles River (remember the rock song “Dirty Water”?) is now reportedly clean enough to drink.

Pollution kills people. It feeds a host of health problems, including asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Pollution of air, water and soil corrodes the health, beauty and economic potential of our homes and families, undermining the larger ecosystems on which our lives depend. With water in particular, cleaning up is slow and costly. It’s much easier to keep it clean.

Nixon’s creation of the EPA in 1971 did not hurt the American economy. On the contrary, it brought dead lakes and rivers back to life, and revitalized numerous decaying American cities. Just as London discovered in the 19th century, and Beijing is discovering today, allowing unrestrained industrial activity is like shooting ourselves in the foot.

The lion’s share of industrial pollution is related to using fossil fuels to run our society. In addition to all the usual pollution problems associated with carbon fuels, we are now facing the unparalleled challenge of global climate disruption. Historically, the United States has put more carbon into the atmosphere than any nation on Earth. Under Mr. Trump, we are now also the only nation on Earth to turn our backs on the Paris Climate Accord.

The irony is that in pulling out of the Paris Accord, America is ceding global leadership in 21st-century energy technology to China and the European Union. South American nations, too, are running increasing sectors of their economies on non-polluting, clean, renewable energy. Don’t forget, solar energy is an American invention (Bell Labs, New Jersey, 1954).  Mr. Trump’s policies, while giving free rein to the polluting industries of yesterday, and crippling America’s competitiveness in the industries of today and tomorrow.

To get a glimpse of where we were before the EPA, take a look at the video and articles below. I think you will agree: The EPA is America’s friend. Scott Pruitt is not.


Here’s how many people Pruitt’s environmental policies could kill. From a Harvard Medical School report published in the Journal of the AMA.

This is what America looked like before the EPA. Video, 4 minutes. I dare you to watch it.

The EPA tries to turn a blind eye to carbon emissions. The courts can stop it. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in Grist Magazine, Dec 15, 2017.

Selling Our Health Down the River. Why EPA needs to stop water pollution from power plants. A report from Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Clean Water Rule Fact Sheet. Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Cleaner Air, Longer Lives. Science Daily, 12-26-17

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *