I was blessed to have been raised in a small valley between Little North Mountain and Paddy Mountain, part of the Appalachian Mountain region. I grew up respecting and appreciating Mother Nature and acknowledging the power it holds in providing humans with the resources we need. For centuries, human greed has been at war with nature, and it is no different today in Virginia. Industries near our valley, such as mountaintop removal, hydraulic fracturing, pipeline construction and coal ash pollution, seek to destroy our land and endanger communities in order to gain wealth for a select few.
“”>That is why it disturbs me that many of those who live in our beautiful valley turn a blind eye to this topic when politics come into play. We have to acknowledge that there is only one presidential candidate who supports the health of our natural world – and that is Hillary Clinton. Despite any disagreements you may have about her other policies, it would be a danger to elect the candidate that sees climate change as a “hoax,” would reverse the hard work by environmental advocates, and rescind the diligent efforts of our president, such as the protection of millions of acres of public lands. Trump is a man who thought that wind turbines were an eye-sore to his $1.19 billion golf course in Scotland and sued their government to prevent the wind farm construction. He chose money over the people’s best interest. According to his website, he wants to open onshore/offshore leasing, drill for more shale, oil and natural gas, and uses the term “clean coal.” This is an embarrassment to science and a threat to our valley.
If you enjoy hiking, hunting, and fishing in one of the oldest, biologically rich mountain regions in America, I recommend you do your homework before heading to the polls. This is a Shenandoah County issue – it will affect your children’s children. We should not stand with the candidate who has no knowledge of the environment other than his party’s negligent denial of human impact on our natural world.