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Bush’s Assault on the Environment

A Seattle Times editorial entitled John Kerry’s green political thumb pretty well summarizes the major reasons I’ll be voting for John Kerry and not George Bush in the upcoming election.

This editorial concludes:

Overall, Kerry calls a halt to Bush’s four-year assault on the environment. Kerry offers a renewed sensibility that is a good fit with the environmental ethic of the Pacific Northwest.

Of course, I doubt anyone who’s read this site for any length of time would be surprised by this revelation. I did write 19 in-depth articles exposing the Bush administration’s assault on the environment for Open Source Politics starting last year, many of which are still presented here if you’re interested. Part of the reason I lost interest in writing, besides burnout from starting too early, is that I found myself merely repeating myself.

While I’m disgusted by the Bush administration’s philosophy of “what’s good for business has to be good for the environment,” I’m even more disgusted by their attempts to disguise their approach to the environment as some form of environmentalism. Apparently they’re afraid to admit that they think earning money for investors and keeping people employed should always trump any environmental concerns. At least if they’d come out and state that as their position you could admire their honesty for standing up for what they believe in.

Instead, they’ve constantly resorted to what at best must be called “euphemisms” and, at worst, damned lies to cover up their intentions to cash in on the environment. If you believe them “Clear Skies” should contain more pollutants than “Clean Air.” While the pollutants in the air may make for prettier sunsets and sunrises, they sure as hell won’t improve the health of the millions of people who are forced to breath the air, many of whom are too poor to afford health insurance. The Bush administration’s “Healthy Forests” policy seems to consist of cutting trees down so that they won’t accidentally burn down. While that might help to keep smoke out of the sky, it seems to ignore the fact that it will accelerate the Greenhouse Effect.

Oh, that’s right, I forgot. The United States, at least the United States under George Bush’s leadership, is one of the few (corrected) industrial nation in the world that refused to sign The Kyoto Treaty which 126 other countries have already signed despite the fact that
“The US produced 36% of emissions in 1990, making it the world’s biggest polluter.”
And why wouldn’t we sign it? According to Bush, it does not demand enough of China and other developing countries. And he feels it imposes unrealistic emissions cutbacks that could hinder economic growth. In the second debate he said, “But I thought it would cost a lot. I think there’s a better way to do it.”

What that “better way” is isn’t too clear, but maybe it’s just standing around watching the price of oil rise so high that Americans will finally have to buy more gas-efficient vehicles while they wait for those hydrogen-fueled cars that are “right around the corner.” And if you believe that perhaps you, too, should be drilling dry oil wells in oil-rich Texas. Meanwhile, the Bush family’s oil friends will continue to get richer and richer while trade deficits continue to skyrocket.