Every election is called “the most important election of our lifetime”. 

Well, in 2016 - for the planet - it is. 

As an environmental photographer and conservationist, I have never been more anxious than right now. That’s because one person is possibly about to have a more profound impact on the future of the natural world and planet than at any time in our history. That person, if elected the next president of the United States, is, of course, Donald Trump. 

Donald Trump is by far the most anti-environmental presidential candidate ever. (And Mike Pence, the most anti-environmental vice presidential candidate ever). 

He would be the only elected leader of 195 leaders on the planet that denies and rejects the science of climate change, referring to it as “bullshit” and “a hoax”, “created by and for the Chinese”.

As most of you know by now, over 97% of climate scientists around the world believe that man-made climate change is real, and the biggest threat that has ever faced mankind. Even groups as generally ‘conservative’ as the Pentagon, the U.S. Dept. of Defense and the insurance industry all believe that climate change is a monumental threat to us all. 

And yet the anti-science (almost exclusively Republican) crowd in America continues to willfully disregard the near-universal scientific consensus on man-made climate change. Their greed, ignorance and obstructionism, and deliberate dissemination of misinformation, is allowing, and will continue to allow, many millions of people and animals to suffer and die, possibly for centuries to come. 

If over 97% of doctors told you that based on multiple medical biopsies of your body, you had cancer, and that if you wanted to survive, you need treatment now, would you refuse to believe those doctors, and listen to those who said that that the biopsies were a hoax?

Of course, many people - like Trump and so many like him - may not care that man has killed all the animals and despoiled the earth, such is their focus on personal financial profit at the expense of all else. But as the environmentalist Judy Bonds once said, “There are no jobs on a dead planet".

If Trump should win, the consequences for the natural world would have a disastrous impact like no other election in mankind’s history. Trump has promised that he would reverse the U.S.‘s recent ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, currently the planet’s only hope of mitigating the worst of the cataclysmic damage. If the United States pulls out, other countries will therefore refuse to ratify, and the agreement will collapse. 

Trump has also promised to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (I guess that Trump voters will be magically impervious to polluted air and water?) These two issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, there are a thousand reasons to be horrified by the prospect of a Trump ‘reign’. But suffice to say that the gap on environmental, climate and animal welfare issues between Clinton and Trump is and will be the largest in U.S. political history.

If Trump should win, American politics will never be the same. It will prove that the most crude, absurd string of lies actually works, and gets you elected to the most powerful position on the planet.  For Trump and most of his followers, no baseless conspiracy theory is too absurd to be believe, whilst rational science is derided and mocked. In this world turned-upside-down, fact has been reduced to opinion. 

Trump is the epitome of a (poorly written) cartoon villain. Sure, we are all fascinated by villains. But seriously, you don’t vote for them in real life.

By the way, if you are planning to make a protest vote and you live in a battleground state, enough of you doing this risks handing the presidency to Trump. Gary Johnson actually accepts that climate change is real and”probably” caused by man, but in spite of that, believes that the government should not do anything about it! (Yeah, that worked out well with the tobacco companies). Johnson’s reasoning barely makes it past the level of a four year old’s: he said that there is no point doing anything about climate change because the sun is going to expand and gobble up the earth in a few billion years anyway. Oh dear lord.....

So the upshot of all this? I think you know: 

You cannot claim to care about the environment and animals and then vote for Trump, or, if you live in a battleground state, vote for Johnson or Stein.

Please, cast your vote for the planet, and vote for Hilary Clinton, the candidate with a proven track record of voting to protect the environment. 

And please cast your vote for Democratic senators and congressmen who support the protection of the environment and animal world. The League of Conservation Voters show that the difference between the two parties on the environment and animal welfare has never been more stark.  In 2015, Democratic Party Leadership voted pro-environment 95% of the time, whilst the Republican leadership voted pro-environment just 1% of the time. 

On November 8, please help stop the Trump reality show from going apocalyptic-global. 

Vote for the planet. Vote Clinton.