Trump’s America, Where Even Park Employees Have Become Enemies of the State
Last Tuesday, for a few hours, Badlands National Park defied presidential orders. “Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years #climate,” it tweeted. The account went on to discuss ocean acidity, carbon dioxide and the founding mission of the century-old National Parks Service, which included an obligation to “leave [the parks] unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”.
In Trump’s America, where national parks are forbidden from communicating through Twitter, this constitutes an act of radical subversion. This is not the America I was living in a week ago.
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Following a pitiful inaugural turnout, Trump, the most unpopular president ever to take office, issued an unprecedented order, stating that US institutions including the National Parks Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency were forbidden to independently communicate to the public.
The diktat was in part a reaction to tweeted photographs showing the discrepancy between the massive crowds that attended President Obama’s 2009 inauguration and Trump’s, one of which was retweeted by the National Parks Service’s primary account. The NPS was forced to apologise to Trump and delete the tweet. The Badlands followed suit. “Rogue” national parks accounts soon appeared, offering scientific facts in anonymity.