Dear Mr. Pruitt,
I understand, I know with every fiber of my being, that it is for each one of us, our individual responsibility to be mindful of how we walk on the Earth, for the proverbial “footprint” we leave behind, and for the choices we make on a daily basis that will either take from, or contribute to, the well-being of the planet and our physical environment.
I choose to live in Oregon in great part for the green, the vastness, and the physical beauty that is still here. For now...
And it has been since living in Oregon, six years now, that I’ve become increasingly aware of a life that can be lead with less, if not minimal, negative impact on the planet. I personally have a long way to go as I still create too much waste, use too much energy, and create too much pollution. But day by day, I’m becoming more aware of the little things I can do that I know will make a difference.
And then there’s you. You are in one of the most powerful positions to influence, impact, direct and foster our nation’s relationship with our Earth, our physical environment, and (not to be dramatic but it must be said), our future ― not to mention our relationship with the other 6.5 billion people with whom we cohabitate. I do believe and will stand by the belief that it is our individual, personal responsibility to turn away from over-consuming and turn towards minimalism. But that does not get you off the hook.
Why would you choose to take a job that in its very name states “environmental protection” if you do not yourself take this personally responsible attitude? How is it possible that over 200 countries worldwide, in a monumental and momentous declaration of INTERNATIONAL (and by inference, personal) responsibility for our environment, be wrong? How could you have accepted such an important role, a role we are all supporting in you upholding, a role we need you to uphold, and then turn your back on the WORLD? And for what? Short-term financial or political gain, long term...?
[O]ur world now rests in our individual hands... we can’t count on you or the government of which you are a part, to do the job you were charged with.
I am not here to judge. I am not here to condemn you personally. I’m writing only to point out that which I dare to say a majority of the country is thinking. You have a responsibility. A professional one but perhaps more importantly, a personal one. To live in integrity with the position that has been placed at your feet: to protect our environment. We implore you.
And in the meantime, please know that regardless of what you choose going forward, I’m listening, I’m watching, and I’m learning from my mistakes. I realize I was asleep to my personal responsibility for the environment, my environment. I’m awake now. I realize I assumed and took for granted that it was “someone else’s” job to take care of the environment. I’m taking care of it now. And I realize that I was holding on to the false belief that our government, whatever party or faction reigning at the time, would put all human life and the environment that sustains us, at the top of our list of priorities. I understand better now.
Regardless of what you choose from today on, Mr. Pruitt, I understand now that it’s in my hands. And I believe I am not alone. I believe the people of the United States are starting to understand collectively that love for life and for our world now rests in our individual hands, and that we can’t count on you or the government of which you are a part, to do the job you were charged with. From today on, Mr. Pruitt, the job of caring for the environment and for ALL human life is officially our individual and personal responsibility that we WILL endeavor to accomplish. We will strive to do a little better than we did yesterday, and to consider tomorrow a little more mindfully. We are 323 million strong. And we’ll do your job for you because we love life, we love each other, and we love our planet.
And tonight I’ll sleep better knowing that in my own way, I took several small steps today to love ALL human life and to care for my environment. I wonder, Mr. Pruitt, how you will sleep?
One of 7 billion