Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who needs an environment, anyway?

Man, apparently it's crazytown week in environmental news. The good James Rowen over at the Political Environment, and also Wayne Bigelow (chair of the Dane County Democratic Party) who mentioned it again this morning on Lee Rayburn's show, pointed out the absurd new rules that the Bush Administration is trying to push through that would essentially gut the Endangered Species Act:
The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.

New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press.

The draft rules also would bar federal agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.

I'm trying to find another way of saying that this is like "the fox garding the henhouse" because everyone and their mother seems to be using that phrase, but damn if it isn't 100% accurate. Maybe we could call it "the crack addict gaurding the crack house" to make it even more obvious what we're dealing with here.

The officials that are pushing for this change claim that individual federal agencies now have enough expertise to make appropriate determinations about the impact of new construction on wildlife and their habitat, that the new rules make sense and would help cut down on delays and higher costs.

You'll excuse me, however, if I have a hard time believing that no one would abuse this, intentionally or not. Independent oversight and regulation of federal agencies and corporations is an incredibly important part of a functioning democracy, wherein corporate and/or other monied interests are not supposed to run things (not that that's what actually happens most of the time, but we've got to have goals!). And all of this whining about alleged delays and higher costs? I won't lie, it pisses me off a little bit.

We're talking about trying to rationally manage our natural resources--you know, the stuff that allows us to go on living a relatively healthy and balanced life on this here sphere. I get the distinct impression that, left entirely up to lobbyists, corporations and certain politicians who take their money, we'd quickly have ourselves a thoroughly paved over, run down, dirty, dying world. And they'd be dancing a little jig on its corpse with money-stuffed pockets, until, of course, they die of mercury poisoning.

Oh but the world and its environs were already saved 2,000 years ago (give or take a few) by Jesus, and we don't need to do anything more! Or at least, that's according to Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
"[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she's just trying to save the planet," Bachmann told the right-wing news site OneNewsNow. "We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet -- we didn't need Nancy Pelosi to do that.
Oh Minnesota, why you gotta go and elect someone like that? Too many politicians in my former (and current) home states have been offering up wacky stuff like this as of lates, and I'm starting to worry that there's something in the water...which means I've drunk it too. That might go some ways in explaining the incessent blogging....

Look, even for committed Christians, the whole Jesus dying on the cross thing was meant to absolve us from having to make more burnt offerings, and to forgive us, eternally, for our sins. Unless you decide to apply the latter as a blank check for fucking the world's shit up, then I don't know how it makes sense to say that Jesus already saved the environment, and Pelosi should just back off. It just doesn't make sense! But then, not a lot of what the rabidly pro-development-and-environment-be-damned types say ever makes sense, just cents. Lots of 'em.

UPDATE: And the road through Crazytown continues, with one right-wing think tank declaring that immigrants, both legal and illegal, are to blame for rising CO2 levels.


Steve said...

and, more stupidity from Bachmann -

I feel ashamed for living in St. Cloud for 10 years, why they elect her, I have no idea. And I am sure she will get reelected.

Emily said...

I like how flying above a part of the ANWR qualifies her to decide what would be good for it. The whole "caribou snuggle up with warm oil pipes" line is pretty hilarious, too. Hilarious, that is, in a I-want-to-cry-it's-so-stupid kind of way.

The Lost Albatross