The Mind of James Donahue

Ecological Disaster Looms

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Bush Is Leading Us Into A
World Ecological Disaster

It is ironic that Senate investigations are putting a microscope on the inner workings of the Bush Administration following the collapse of the Enron oil empire.

That a failure of a big Texas based oil company threatens to expose the rough-shod way the Bush family has been whipsawing the nation's political system might be the right kind of justice, after all, if it happens. A lot of people in this country were silently hoping, I think, that the hearings would hang the Bush dirty linen
 out for all to see.

CBS Columnist David Calloway recently put this whole Enron mess in perspective when he wrote:

"What the public will get to hear and read about in wrenching detail over the coming months, is how business gets done down in Texas. How a small group of business leaders exert enormous clout over Bush and his team in getting the rules changed to their benefit."

He wrote: "It will explain why Bush has locked up presidential records, locked out any voices opposed to his pro-business agenda and rammed through an expensive economic plan that wiped out the budget surplus but to date hasn't had any positive effect on the economy.

"It will explain what influence Enron Chief Executive Ken Lay and his advisers had with Cheney and his energy task force when they met six times last year while the vice president was putting together the administration's energy policy.

"And it will explain why Bush is now thinking about acting on a proposal from that very task force that seeks to roll back a key provision of the Clean Air Act that helps keep factory pollution down by requiring new controls when old plants are upgraded," Calloway wrote.

These are some of the very things the public needs to know about our president. These "behind-the-scenes" manipulations by big oil corporations and other business interests have been skillfully clouded by the so-called "Terrorist War."

If the truth will be told, the decisions by our president to allow American industry to continue ravaging the environment has more serious implications than even the September 11 attacks. We are facing a consuming ecological disaster of global scale.

Since stealing
office, George W. Bush has backed out of the international Kyoto Clean Air agreement, opened protected lands for oil drilling and lumbering, and now wants to let electric plants and other factories dodge important anti-air pollution requirements in the Clean Air Act. He has left a laundry list of actions that are speeding up the death of an already dying planet.

This president has always said he does not believe in global warming. He said it while he was a candidate for office, and he still says it.

And while he is paying off the big industrial interests who bought his seat in the White House, the world is already experiencing the first throes of a global ecological crisis that some scientists fear cannot be reversed.

The ice caps and glaciers are melting. Sea levels 
are rising to a point where many island residents in the South Pacific are now evacuating their homes, and moving to higher ground. Low-lying cities like New Orleans 
and Venice seem doomed as rising waters eat away at the levies built to protect them.

Experts at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) say a warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean herald yet another severe El Nino that may even be worse than the El Nino that ravaged the North and South American continents in 1998-99. What is worse, NOAA says there is a strong indication that El Ninos will become more frequent and more severe as the world warms.

Even without the help of El Ninos and La Ninas, radically changing weather patterns are being felt all over the world. Extreme cold snaps, extreme heat, extreme storms and other weather anomalies are being recorded almost daily. Only a decade ago, reports of straight line winds with speeds of 100-miles-an-hour or higher were almost unheard of. Now they seem common.

A recent report by the
Commission for Environmental Cooperation, in Montreal, warns that if "sea levels rise as expected (because of global warming) storms and flooding will become much worse, causing property damage and loss in the billions of dollars."

The report warns that the North American continent faces a "biodiversity crisis" in which threatened species could disappear. This, in turn, "harms evolution and depletes the natural environment humans depend on to survive," the report said.

"Our report shows that over the past few decades, the loss and alteration of habitat has become the main threat to biodiversity,'' said Janine Ferretti, executive director of the commission. "A significant proportion of the plant and animal species of North American is threatened.''

Similar problems are occurring all over the world. This is why the other countries involved in the Kyoto agreement are going ahead with plans to reduce industrial (greenhouse) gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, even though the United States, among the world's worst air polluters, is ignoring the pact.

Even if the U. S. did honor the agreement, and reduce emissions immediately to 1990 levels, it would not be enough to stave off the looming threat of natural global disaster, some scientists warn.

A recent issue of the Russian publication Pravda quotes Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, leader of the Russian Ecological Union, as threatening that the planet is heading for a warm-up that will eventually make life as we know it uninhabitable. He said that all we can do at this point is work to "diminish climatic changes caused by civilization's negative effect.

"It is too late to speak of preventing antropogenic climatic changes," Danilov-Danilyan said during a press conference held in Moscow.

He urged the world to work to reduce the human effect on climate-forming factors and especially: stop the destruction of ecological systems and cut the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

George W. Bush may go down in history as a key figure in the final collapse of the world's environment. The few who survive (at least for a few painful years) will remember him with intense disdain from their bunkers, deep underground. They will be what the Hopi call "the ant people" because they can no longer survive on the planet's surface.

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