Coal and tobacco are peas in a pod

Dear President Trump,

You sure seem to be a vacationing kind of guy and given your previous ragging on President Obama for his vacations, you are probably accruing quite a bit of negative karma. Actually, you having fussed about him taking vacations and then turning around and taking something like three times as many vacation days is the least of your karmic worries. I read a piece about you and Zinke dismantling the protections for public lands so that substantially more strip mining can happen. In the article the coal lobby’s chief spokesperson was quoted a couple of years ago as having said the coal industry is having an existential crisis much like the tobacco industry did 25 years ago because liberal conspiracy groups are targeting it and he is worried coal will suffer the same fate as tobacco if the industry doesn’t stand its ground. Granted, this was a NYT article and it’s possible these quotes were taken out of context, but somehow I doubt it. It’s really just too perfect. He completely nailed it; coal and tobacco are peas in a pod, so to speak; they both make their purveyors boatloads of money, they both wreak havoc on public health, and they are both completely unnecessary. I think the bit about liberal conspiracy groups is an especially nice touch. Really? What is this bullshit you all are trying to pull? It’s like you all are trying to tell us the sky is not blue, it’s really green and any fool can see that. Cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer (etc.) and strip mining doesn’t destroy entire ecosystems and burning coal doesn’t spew carcinogens and pollution into the air — all of these lies are from over-the-top liberals trying to keep honest workin’ guys from makin’ a decent livin’. Sorry. I know that’s getting super snarky but I’m mad. I’m mad you all are getting away with this stuff and that the stakes are so very high. This is one of those awful days when I’m seeing the glass half empty and noticing all the hairline cracks running through it. Really, I’m even more scared and sad than mad. You all have already blown up too many mountaintops and not a one of them is renewable. Please stop it.

May we be safe to breath the air and drink the water.
May we be happy to live lightly on the earth.
May we take care of each other’s health.
May we cooperate to take care of the only planet we have.

Tracy Simpson

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