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Headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Federal Triangle facilities – Washington DC – USA

Our global capitalist economic system has brought us to the edge of an abyss. If we want more jobs, the corporate capitalist elite tells us, we must reduce environmental regulations that increase their operational costs and make their products less competitive in the global marketplace. They say the same about financial regulations and employee wages. But those are other interrelated issues. I want to focus here on the environment.

The word “environment” seems to have lost its meaning for those of us, like myself, who live in large urban centers and have a greater say in state and federal policies, regulating our environmental protections. Far removed from our natural world, we can control the temperature within our homes, offices, and commercial and entertainment centers. We obtain our food and beverages, including purified bottled water, at our local farmers’ market, grocery store, or wholesale and retail supermarkets. The “environment” upon which our lives depend may seem distant and of little importance to urban dwellers.

Let’s gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the corporate capitalists or their puppets in government tell us. Let’s slash its workforce and budget. Its strangling the U.S. economy and impeding job growth. (What they really mean is that the EPA regulations hamper their growth and reduce their profits.)

We don’t need the EPA, the corporate capitalists tell us. We must trust them to do the right thing. We must trust them not to pump or dump their toxic waste into our atmosphere, lakes, rivers, oceans, landfills, and heaps of solid waste. We’ll have our jobs back, they promise. Based on their track record, our choice is either destitution (labeled and shunned as moochers) or a reduced lifespan combating some toxic-induced infirmity. Since we must die anyway, our choice is easy: jobs. (Forget about our moral responsibilities towards our kids and future generations.)

Established on December 2, 1970, by Republican President Richard Nixon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not always live up to its mission of protecting human health and the environment. Corrupt corporations, corporate influence on state policies, and the shortage of personnel to investigate abuses and enforce regulations undermine its efficacy.

On February 2, our Senate Committee approved Scott Pruitt, a climate change denialist, as new head of the EPA. Should the corporate capitalists have their way, he will gut or abolish the EPA.

Let’s not be fooled. The choice between jobs (those that would pollute and destroy our environment) and the environment is an “alternative fact” created by our corporate capitalist elite. Without a healthy environment that sustains human life and other living beings upon which our lives depend, we would cease to exist as a species on Planet Earth. Surviving species would have no need for human jobs or money.