Vive la résistance!
It’s not unusual for there to be an upheaval in regulations and processes when a new administration takes control, and over the years we’ve seen numerous presidents take various steps to start implementing their policies during their first few days in office.
So why does President Trump’s first week feel so abrupt?
Politics, policies, and empty promises aside, it’s always scary when the attempt at a fresh start comes in the form of a barrage of executive orders, especially when these EOs restrict basic things such as, you know, freedom of speech.
In wake of the new president’s string of orders freezing regulatory powers on all federal agencies, thus prohibiting various federal agencies from using social media, talking about their work and research, or speaking to the press, one national park took “the resistance” upon itself in classic Western outlaw fashion, if only for a short time.
Hold Your Tongue… Er, Thumb.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen social media pave the way for once-dreary and even outdated organizations to find new life.
Twitter, while simultaneously forcing us to endure the rants of many angry and apparently deranged minds, has also given an important creative outlet even to the most unlikely of candidates, such as restaurant chains, federal agencies, and, yes, even dictionaries. This possibility brings us all to an equal playing field where we as individuals can interact with said organizations on a personal and often humorous level.
This has been a blessing in terms of publicity and marketing for various places, including our own national parks.
On January 20th, the day of his inauguration, President Trump ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media. Many have alluded to the fact that this came after the agency retweeted a picture of the disparity between crowd sizes on the National Mall at Trump’s inauguration and one of Obama’s inaugurations— a figure which Trump and his team later disputed despite evidence against them. Of course, we cannot say if the two events are actually related.
The Parks Service was back online the following day, however, having deleted the retweet and posting the following apology:
“We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you”
But not all national parks went quietly into that awful night…
Stretching across the southwestern plains of South Dakota is nearly 243,000 acres of some of the most pristine nature and wildlife you will ever see. With the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States contrasted by stunning buttes and spires, the Badlands is home to a massive designated wilderness area and the most endangered land animal in North America, and it became a national park dedicated to preserving history and the environment in 1978.
Even a federal freeze on social media didn’t stop the park from staying true to its method of preservation. On Tuesday, January 24, a series of rogue tweets were released from the park’s Twitter account, and the rogue event inspired a new hashtag, #Badasslands, to form in the wake of a disturbing series of executive orders.
In the rebel tweets, the park focused its attention on the environment and climate change, a crucial topic that has notably gone missing from the White House website.
“The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of/ Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate/ Flipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution. ‘Ocean Acidification’ #climate #carboncycle”
But within hours, the tweets disappeared. Keep reading.