Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's It Going To Take?

You've got to wonder. We've just had the biggest oil disaster in U.S. environmental history. (This is essentially our Chernobyl.) We just had the biggest coal mining disaster in decades. Natural gas “fracking” has poisoned a vast number of underground water supplies across our country. 2010 was the hottest June ever recorded in Earth history. The Arctic Ice Cap is melting (and humanity's response is an oil rush.) And even worse; a massive flow of ice broke off of the surface of Greenland recently! (That's right, the oceans are rising faster than ever expected – right now!)

...And there will be no comprehensive Climate Bill in America.

It had no chance of passing.

Not one Republican Senator will vote for it.

(NOTE: For those of you (flat Earth) climate change deniers, who get their pseudo-science education from FOX (say anything for a profit) “news,” why don't you go out and read a real science publication once in a while? And while you're at it, look up the term “scientific consensus.”)

Time magazine reports that $350 Billion was spent on lobbyists last year. Gee... do you think that maybe this has something to do with Republicans protecting their (big money) fossil fuel contributors? The Republican politicians have sold out. They've sold out our future.

Our political system is broken. No one can get elected without essentially taking required bribes. I'm not happy with the Democrats – but I'm thoroughly disgusted with the Republicans.

The Democrats didn't have the best of ideas to deal with CO2 emissions. Cap and Trade was very likely a mega-bank con job. A carbon tax would still have been a tax. But the best idea, at least for a start, is to stop subsidizing some of the most profitable companies in history. The fossil fuel companies don't need our tax money. They should be paying taxes. And neither the Democrats nor the Republicans would even talk seriously about this. Why? Why? Why?

It has become blatantly obvious why. In today's political circus, subsidies are for companies who can afford to buy them.

Our government has practically driven itself into insolvency by giving our money to all the wrong people – those with enough money to manipulate what was once a Great Democracy. This is now an oligarchy. They pick who we vote for. They often pick who we vote against. And by the time the election circus is over, whomever we vote for will not cut off the oligarchy's give-aways. It has made them briefly stronger. But it has made us all weaker in the long run. It has stifled innovation. It is gutting our nation's real wealth. It is destroying our world.

What is it going to take? An even bigger oil spill? Abject desperation of millions? A total collapse? How bad are you willing to suffer before you do something significant to save your future? Will we only act when someone tells us it's too late? Hey! It may already be too late! The environment is not a linear system. If things go out of balance bad enough, there may be no human way possible to keep things from spinning out of control.

And as we see now, things are spinning out of control in Washington.


Here in Nevada, the National Resources Defense Council has issued a report by Terra Tech that elevates Clark County's projected 2050 water supply shortage risk to “extreme” – due to global warming.

Southern Nevada must now want to take Central Nevada's water more than ever. The irony of this self-destructive desire amazes me. Exporting water from the desert is just a STUPID idea. And exporting that water to maintain a high carbon lifestyle is even more STUPID – because it just makes the problem worse. On top of that, spending even more money on a bad idea (when there are better ideas) is just STUPID (but that's what politicians do, because it's political suicide to ever admit they were wrong.)

It's hard to change. Sometimes it means admitting you were wrong about something very important. Once the momentum is there, people are expecting to make money. And of course, the (say anything for a profit) propaganda machine has already convinced people this is what they want.

Come election day; there will be some certifiably selfish people here in White Pine County who will go to the polls to vote against Senator Harry Reid because he was against building two huge coal-fired power/CO2 generators (in favor of solar power). Yet, at the same time, they will vote for a Republican who will almost certainly vote against any effort to fix extreme climate change – making the export of Great Basin water even more likely. Apparently, there are people in White Pine County who will vote against their own air and water because they've been convinced that money is more important.

I wish I could say that Harry and Rory Reid were against the watergrab – or at least willing to commit to an independent study to compare real alternatives. But I can't. And at the moment, I don't know of any post-primary candidates willing to stand up for Central Nevada.

This is what's wrong with our political system. Majority rule does not imply that might makes right. Freedom of speech does not imply that one can essentially buy a candidate. But U.S. history has shown just exactly that. Those with wealth and power and numbers have been able to take whatever they've wanted since the days of “manifest destiny.” Frighteningly, what they want now is collectively insane. Together, they want to ruin it all for a big short-term profit.

We need a comprehensive Climate Change Bill. This is a matter of National Security. Our coastal cities are at risk. Our food and water supplies are at risk. Our health is at risk. Our long-term economy is at risk. So what if some terrorist can blow up a building or two. Climate change could take down the whole country.

No nation can survive consistently making bad decisions. It is a hideous situation we are now in. We have allowed the most polluting industries in history to make our decisions for us. And they have decided to keep making quick multi-billion dollar profits – at whatever the cost.

I have a nagging feeling that Americans are starting to lose faith in America. I sense that people are starting to doubt that the politicians are going to be able to fix themselves. And I hate to see this, because who will fight for America if Americans lose faith in America.

It took thousands of years to get to the point where a nation would (at least generally) respect the Bill of Rights.

If we lose America, we will lose what frayed threads of rule of law we still have.

It will be a whole lot easier to fix things now.

No comments: