politics


Presidential hopeful (and extreeeeme longshot) McCain announced that Al Gore and Gov. Schwarzenegger are planning a bipartisan forum on energy and climate in NH, in December.

The announcement comes a day before the “bipartisan”  Global Warming and America’s Energy Future forum in CA, featuring Hillary, Obama and Edwards. There is a slight possibility that this forum will not happen, but stay tuned and it will be available via. webcast. Check their website for time, and other info.


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A repsonse to an Op-Ed in the NYTimes by Thomas Friedman.

 “Generation Overwhelmed” by Courtney Martin.

We are not apathetic. What we are, and perhaps this is what Friedman was picking up on, is totally and completely overwhelmed. One of the most critical questions of our time is one of attention. In a 24-7 news climate, it is all but impossible to emotionally engage all of the stories and issues you are taking in, and then act on them in some pragmatic way. So instead, young people become paralyzed. (It seems that all of us are a bit paralyzed. After all, what are Friedman’s peers really doing? And aren’t his peers the ones with the most straightforward kind of power?)…


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The following may be common knowledge for those who are actively invested in working on the problem of global warming: There are well-funded groups that actively work to deny global warming for the sake of traditional industries that rely on burning fossil fuels (oil and gas, auto, steel). The lobbying groups and think tanks have names such as: “Global Climate Coalition,” or “American Petroleum Institute,” and they are funded by ExxonMobil and others.  How could someone who is not already familiar with them, not be confused?

But it is alarming to think about how many people in the U.S. have been misled by groups who have “green” names, that are actually producing fake science to trick the American people and prevent us from transitioning into a more sustainable society and developing new economies. The dying industries (oil, auto, etc.) are desperately trying to maintain control of our global economy, and our governments, at all costs. It is costing us too much.

Newsweek’s August 13 issue tackles this problem in some depth. I strongly recommend you read it – especially if this is a new topic for you, as it is both incredibly frustrating, and interesting – and as reports come out from various think tanks and groups, you will be sure to check them out a bit more. Many of these groups find fringe scientists, who are rather soul-less if you ask me, to produce reports that claim global warming is full of controversy.

A quick note to follow up on the Washington Post article about Dick Cheney’s horrifying environmental record…. which has made a few (small?) waves in Congress. What ultimately happens? Who knows. However, the House Natural Resources Committee chairman Nick Rayhall just invited Cheney to testify:


“Dear Vice President Cheney:

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on July 31, 2007, to examine the role that elected officials and political appointees within the Administration have played in the scientific decision making processes under the Endangered Species Act and other laws governing the conservation and management of our nation’s natural resources. I cordially invite you to testify at this hearing.

As you are aware, a June 27, 2007 Washington Post article detailed your apparent efforts, as well as the efforts of political appointees in the Administration, to influence a wide range of scientific and policy decisions at the Department of Interior and Commerce to benefit industry at the expense of our natural resources. For example, the article alleges that your intervention in the development of a 10-year water plan for the Klamath River resulted in a 2002 die-off of around 70,000 salmon near the California-Oregon border -the largest adult salmon kill in the history of the West. We invite you, as a former member of this Committee, to offer your views on these reports and explain your role in this and other decisions.”

I couldn’t help picturing Governor Ahhhnold in some high tech transformer-esque gear when I heard him say:

“There is no Democratic planet Earth, and no Republican planet Earth. There is just one planet Earth and we all have a responsibility to take care of it.” 

Regardless of the images that the Governator conjures up, what he said was great. This really shouldn’t be such a political issue. 

It’s a good sign that governors from each coast (CA, FL, NJ, others??) are sending a clear message that they will not wait for Washington to take swift action against climate change.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rayhall (D- W.Va) is one of many who found Cheney’s disregard for the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and other environmental regulations immoral and alarming.

Cheney was responsible for the largest fish kill on the West coast in history. Tens of thousands of endangered fish washed up the Klamath River, for the sake of a few farmers’ fields. Cheney manipulated the scientific findings concerning endangered species to boost the economy, and improve his standing with this district. Unfortunately – not only was his misuse of power devastating for the wildlife, it also cost Americans over $60 million in compensation for damage done to the fishing industry. This was a total loss for the environment, and the economy — yet there has been little accountability. Until now…

Rayhall is calling for a hearing to further investigate Cheney’s involvement (and the Bush administration’s) in meddling with, and disregarding, the ESA. Rayhall received a letter signed by 36 Democrats, asking for such hearings, following the Washington Post article.

The article exposed Cheney for “pressuring mid-level bureaucrats at the Department of Interior to manipulate agency decisions in environmental rulings across the country for the sole purpose of political gain,” the Democrats wrote. California Democrats Mike Thompson and George Miller were the lead signatories.

The Washington Post is publishing an eye-opening series about Dick Cheney this week.  It is scary, and sickening.

Today’s four page article focused on Cheney’s horrifying environmental record. Christine Todd Whitman, governor of NJ, was appointed head of the EPA by the Bush administration when they first arrived in office. I remember talking with my parents about how little Whitman really knew or cared about the environment and I felt violated even then (with my mom interacting with her in the elementary education realm in NJ routinely). Little did we know that she actually cared more than any of the other members of this administration and ultimately resigned because Cheney’s repeated environmental abuses wore on her. She could not sign another pro-industry ruling offered by Cheney. The one that caused her to resign allowed power plants and oil refineries to forego routine maintenance, pollute pollute pollute, and violated the Clean Air Act. 

In the article we also learn that Cheney was responsible for the largest fish kill on the West coast in history.  Tens of thousands of rotting fish (including chilcoot salmon) washed up Oregon’s Klamath river. Cheney’s choice to save one growing season for a relatively small number of his farming constituents cost Congress over $60 million in compensation to fishermen, and the fishing industry on the West coast still lies essentially in ruins.

“Isn’t there some way around it?” – Dick Cheney on more than one occasion concerning a federal law that got in the way with his immediate, selfish agenda.

While these articles are eye-opening, I can’t help but wonder if Jon Stewart is right though… that this is just another mind-blowing report of how fucked up Cheney is, and somehow it will just fade into the background. It’s happened before! And this administration will amazingly continue to roll back its environmental protections and fail to ever take a stand against global warming…

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