Gallery C

Message In The Wind
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Can Mother Earth Awaken Political Dead-Heads?

By James Donahue

As 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.
Obama’s 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:

--Construction 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.