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Editorial Cartoon by Flynn Geraghty | Vidette Art Director

Sustainability force over Space Force

On June 18, President Donald Trump announced a request for a separate military branch known as the “space force.”

The action needed for Trump’s space force falls just outside his power. Only Congress can create a new military branch, so legislations for the space force would need to be made and approved by the House and Senate.

This announcement overshadowed the executive order Trump was signing to manage and clean the trash in space. While respecting the need to clean up all the trash floating in outer space, the money required to carry out the formation of a sixth military branch could be used for more important things on earth.

To start, education is at a low. There is not enough funding within schools and some teachers must buy their own school supplies for their students.

Kids are currently learning how to take tests – they are not learning anything of true value. Schools need the funding to bring back the arts – band, shop, art classes and student newspapers are struggling to stay afloat or have already been taken away due to lack of funds.

Classes and extra-curriculars such as these stimulate a child’s developing brain and encourage creativity and thinking outside of the box. It challenges the mind instead of having kids float by every day because all they are learning is how to pass a test.

Secondly, as important as it is to clean up trash in space, it’s more pertinent to clean up the trash in our oceans.

According to National Geographic, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that, 269,000 tons float on the surface and four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the sea.

This number is only growing in one of the places scientists know the least about. The ocean – which covers over 70 percent of earth’s surface, controls weather and regulates temperature while supporting all living organisms is teaming with trash.

Shockingly enough, it is trash that could be easily resolved if we would stop being so careless. Plastic bags and straws make up for most waste in the ocean. Promoting a straw-free lifestyle or recycling straws and plastic bags can significantly reduce the amount that winds up in the ocean.

With less than 7 percent of our ocean explored, there is much to be learned about the biggest supporter of sustaining life. However, it’s growing harder to do so with the ocean covered in trash. Plus, there are not enough funds to clean the trash as well as explore the sea.

Though education and a clean ocean are two completely different issues, there is one thing in common: sustainability for the younger generation.

Currently, there is nothing urgently important in space whereas education and a clean ecosystem provide importance for younger generations for years to come.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on a space force, Trump should look towards sustaining long-lasting life on earth.

EDITORIAL POLICY Editorial written by BECKY FLETCHER, a member of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the university.

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