Can Mother Earth Awaken Political Dead-Heads?
By James Donahue
the storms grow in intensity and cause extensive damage across the land, I am secretly happy when Washington D. C. gets hit
hard. After years of frustration at the failure of our elected and appointed leadership to take action to stop the reckless
heating of our planet, it appears that climate attacks against Washington may be all that is left to get their attention.
I remember when our joker president George W. Bush publically rejected
appeals by environmental groups to put the United States in a leadership role in controlling the burning of fossil fuels and
searching for alternative green energy sources. Throughout those agonizing eight terrible years that Bush held that post in
the White House, he repeatedly declared that he was not convinced that carbon emissions had anything to do with it.
Bush used the powers of executive order to roll back laws and hold
back enforcement of air pollution and standards for arsenic in drinking water. He opened federal lands to wildcat oil drilling
and logging, promoted strip coal mining, acted to block fuel economy standards and refused to act on international calls to
reverse climate change. He and his staff were accused of distorting government science concerning global warming.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in his book Crimes Against Nature, wrote:
“George W. Bush will go down as the worst environmental president in our nation’s history.”
President Barack Obama has done much better since taking office. While
the conservatives haven’t been entirely happy with Obama over issues like the Keystone XL Pipeline project, Obama has
restored power to the Environmental Protection Agency, set new greenhouse gas emission limits for coal burning power plants,
set tougher fuel emission standards for new cars and trucks, supported world efforts to clean and save the oceans, and directed
money into new green energy development.
critics may argue that this president is doing what should have been done 20 years ago. His actions now appear to be too little,
too late. But at least he is attempting to move the nation in the right direction. His biggest obstacle has been a refusal
by mostly House Republicans to support his programs.
As the storms continue to ravage the East Atlantic coastal area, including Washington D.C., they may help convince
a gang of rebellious anti-Obama hardliners to get off their high horses and help.
What is desperately needed:
of a safe pollution-free rail system connecting major cities and eventually all towns that can carry people and goods, thus
getting that daily traffic grid of cars and trucks off our deteriorating highways.
--Construction of major solar energy plants designed to replace our worn-out grid of power plants, and putting
those electric cables underground and away from harm from the storms now slamming the planet.
--Construction of water desalination plants to provide coastal drinking and irrigation water.
There are just for starters. There is much work to be done, demolishing
old dilapidated buildings and towns and turning the ground into productive farmland, finding ways to detoxify the land and
seas, improving our medical centers and finding less costly ways to provide good health care for everybody, and improving
our education system so that nobody in the world gets left behind.
Shutting down our inclination to go to war would play a major role in fixing the mess we are now in.
There are so many possibilities. But everything is going to hinge
on our ability to control the polluting and subsequent death of our planet.