Sunday, May 01, 2005

Some house cleaning, I came across Gregg Easterbrook's op-ed in the NY Times ("Clear Skies, No Lies"). I had clipped it and was going to comment at length, but something came up and.... Anyway, it's important to "clear the air" of his distortions. For that, go here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

Natasha Hunter nails Easterbrook with, "he admits that the Clear Skies initiative would slow pollution reduction under the Clean Air Act. But, he says, because the Clean Air Act has never been enforced on schedule we should instead enact a law that's easier for industry to obey. One might similarly claim that because hard-to-catch criminals still evade the police we should legalize more of what they do." Exactly, he endorses doing as Bush Inc. desire: give in or cave to their demands. And yet these same folks always cry we don't need new gun laws, but rather just enforce the existing laws. Apparently, for the environment, it's different.

Hunter also summarizes a key point, one I often hear from wingnuts almost gloating about how things have improved over the last few decades, "Most environmental indicators that have improved over the past 30 years have done so as a result of prolonged battles between environmentalists and polluters, in which the government was reluctantly strong-armed into doing the right thing." The wingnuts behave as if all of the good things that have occurred have done so without a fight -- a joke.

It's been a fight all along the way, and yet over the past 4+ years much has been reversed and it appears as if the public simply has no idea what's going on. By the time the public wakes up and smells the noxious fumes, it will be too late. It's embarassing as much of the rest of the world gets it and there's many reports of even China investing lots of $$$ in pro-environment solutions, and many multi-national corporations are reforming to comply with non-USA Kyoto provisions. We're the world leader on so many fronts, yet thanks to dunder-head GW, we're fast becoming the singular global laggard on this enormously-important topic.

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