"Anybody But Bush" crowd hiding behind the environment

Yesterday we went down the road a bit to the annual neighbourhood cultural fair. (See hubby's post here for a bit of back story.) Every year I go I ask my self, exactly who's culture is being celebrated here? Last year when I performed with my belly dance troupe there was a large inflatable thing that was supposed to be a nuke but didn't look anything like a nuke just up the street behind us. There were lots of Dean signs around last year too.

I don't know if it's because it's an election year of what but things seemed a lot worse this year than they've ever been. The Kerry-Edwards signs almost matched the number of Bush Must Go signs (they usually don't). There were some cheerleaders in drag calling themselves the System Shakers. Three guesses who the butt of their cheers were. But you know this is my neighbourhood. These folks are trying to make a living and raise their kids just like me. And what else would you expect from a street fair in college neighbourhood in a very blue state.

Then some guy dressed up as a spotted cat handed me a flyer entitled, "Why Do Plants & Animals Oppose the Bush Agenda?" Okay no more Mrs. Nice Lady, I just couldn't let this foolishness go unchallenged. I wish I had a scanner so I could scan the thing in and post it but here is the text and my comments.

It harms our shared environment.

Almost every day the Bush Administration guts or weakens our nation's environmental protections for the short-term benefit of corporate interests.
[And the poor House and Senate are powerless to stop them, for shame.] A few examples (for more details see www.peacecouncil.net):

Broken Promises
Sixty scientists, including 20 Nobel Laureates, charged the Bush administration with distorting the science on climate change and other issues for political reasons by censoring reports and deliberately misinterpreting information.
[Never mind that the same could be said about this group of scientists. Never mind that there is serious debate in the scientific community about the human component of the current warming trend that the earth is in. Never mind that plenty of scientists are quiet emphatic about the fact that global climate change should be EXPECTED and that humans have little to no effect on said changes. Never mind that there is scientific proof that things have warmed up before and the whole planet did not go to hell in a hand basket.]

The Bush administration withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce the pollution that causes global warming. [The Kyoto Protocol has been around since 1997, Clinton's presidency. Here's an interesting tidbit from an October 1999 article:

"Despite the Senate's 95-0 signal that it is not prepared to ratify the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas reductions - and plenty of scientific questions about the relation between those gases and global temperatures, the likely effects of any predicted increase in temperature, and the costs of mitigating that increase - the Clinton administration is rushing ahead to implement the U.N. demands.

The protocol, still being hotly debated in various international meetings, applies only to a list of rich, industrialized countries that will be required to reduce their total greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012."

Those countries that produce most of the pollution that the Kyoto Protocol is supposed to control are exempt (anybody ever wonder why?). The US is not the only country that refuses to sign on to the stupid thing (anybody ever ask them why they won't go along with it either?). There is no reliable evidence that air pollution is the cause of global warming or that human activity can effect global warming or that global warming is a bad thing.]

Little is being done to decrease our dependence on imported oil, worrying many policymakers and scientists, who foresee a future of economic crisis and political conflict.

[On the backside of this flyer there is this statement under the heading Wildlife]

The Bush administration attempted, and at times succeeded, to drill for oil and gas in our wildlife refuges, national forests, national monuments [I have this picture in my head of an oil derrick rising above the obelisk in DC], and other public lands.
[So, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Any stick is good enough to beat Bush over the head with eh? Funny thing is, I seem to recall the president speaking about funding research into alternative energy sources and I could have sworn that I saw commercials on television for hybrid power cars. I thought I saw something about tax incentives for those who buy such cars as well but maybe I was just dreaming. No I wasn't:

"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles." President Bush's State of the Union speech January 28, 2003

And somebody is making hybrid cars.]

Energy
The Bush administration's 63-person energy advisory team had 62 members with ties to corporate energy interest.
[And this is a problem because why? If the statement had read, "The Bush administration's 63-person health advisory team had 62 members with ties to the medical profession," would we be expected to see this as a bad thing?]

Bush opposed a Senate energy bill requiring power companies to produce 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. [Is this the best that they've got? That the president opposed ONE energy bill? Out of how many? My energy bill is high enough with out having to pay for stuff that the government unwisely requires power companies to do (a significant part of what I pay for heat and electricity is made up of taxes and fees, how about you?). Thanks for trying to keep my energy bill from going any further through the roof that it has already Mr. President.]

Air
Bush intends to weaken the Clean Air Act by allowing six to seven times more mercury into the air than is currently allowed. Mercury exposure can cause serious health problems.

[Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not) but isn't the real concern over mercury in water? Two crucial bits of information are missing here. One, what is the current level allowed? Two, what is the current level at which minimum toxicity is shown to occur? Does the president intend to raise allowable levels beyond the point of minimum toxicity? If he did I'm sure they would be quick to point this out.]

Water
The Clean Water Act was gutted by relaxing sewage treatment rules, thereby increasing the public's risk of contracting dangerous water-borne illnesses like giardia.

[Giardia, "The overall incidence of infection in the United States is estimated at 2% of the population....Major outbreaks are associated with contaminated water systems that do not use sand filtration or have a defect in the filtration system." (From the FDA's Bad Bug Book.) I'm not sure what this statement is supposed to do other than just scare people. It doesn't provide any useful information at all.]

Land
The Bush administration decided to move forward with the plan to haul high-level nuclear waste across the U.S to Yucca
Mountain, Nevada, which is atop 33 major fault lines and home to the Shoshone people.
[That many fault lines eh? Are they stable? The Yucca Mountain facility has been under construction and debate since before I was in highschool (that would be more than 15 years). The Department of Energy started working on this in 1978! It has been used by environmentalists to beat up on every president who has served in that time. Back in the day though the argument was that the facility could contaminate ground water. Never mind that the cavern under the mountain that would be used for storing the nuclear waste has be BONE DRY FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. But you know, anything could happen right? So what are the other viable solutions for storing nuclear waste? Anyone? Anyone? Buhler? Did we forget to mention that nuclear power is one of those alternative energy options that could reduce our dependence on foreign oil if folk would stop being so squeamish about nuclear waste? Much of Europe utilizes nuclear power and they aren't all glowing in the dark. As far as I can see the Yucca Mountain facility is a far better option than secretly dumping the stuff in the woods. President and Congress Approve Yucca Mountain site. I wonder if the folk who wrote this ever saw this. The Nuclear Energy Institute has lots of other links about Yucca Mountain as well.]

Wildlife
[Already talked about that one up under Broken Promises.]

What You Can Do
Check out these websites to learn more about the environment:

  • www.sierraclub.org/wwatch/
    [With a link for you to, "Subscribe to our twice-weekly update on the latest Bush administration environmental outrages." This isn't about the environment, it's a George W. Bush hate fest.]

  • http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/ ["Tracking the Bush administration's misdeeds," indeed. "With support by MoveOn.org, Democracy in Action," right.]

  • www.lcv.org/fedfocus/ [ "LCV is committed to holding Congress and the White House accountable for their environmental actions. From Cabinet appointments to environmental legislation, our federal officials have the power to decide our environmental future.

    President and Congress works to separate fact from rhetoric, and show where Congress and the Administration have both taken action to protect the environment and where they have merely paid lip service to supporting conservation, public health and environmental protections. Check back often for updates."


    The first link on their page says:

    "President
    See how the Bush Administration is rolling back our environmental protections."

  • Are we supposed to learn more about the environment from these links or about how President Bush is just plain eeeeevil?]

    Take a small action - ride a bike, boycott companies that pollute, start a compost pile, promote renewable energy, help clean up a creek. [Guess what, President Bush rides a bike on occasion. I'm pretty sure there's at least one compost pile on that ranch of his somewhere. And he's promised funding for alternative and renewable energy sources. Hey, three out of five ain't bad right? You guys have almost got him on your side! I, however, do not ride a bike (never learned how), I don't boycott companies that pollute (what exactly counts as polluting again?), my compost pile has been out of commission for a couple years now, how does one promote renewable energy, and I've never cleaned up a creek. Trust me people, you'd be better off with GWB as president than me.]

    Contact your elected officials about issues that concern you. In November be sure to vote for candidates strong on environmental issues.

    [What ever that means. Immediately followed by this.]

    Get involved in the Syracuse Peace Council's Bush Must Go! Campaign.

    The Anybody But Bush crowd strikes again. How pathetic. These people are giving environmentalists a bad name.

    "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." - Abraham Lincoln
    This quote was the one randomly generated when I went to visit the Peace Council's website today. I wonder if they are trying to make a friend of President Bush as they so clearly seem to see him as the enemy. And what do you do with an enemy who wants to be your friend just long enough to cut your head off?

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