The Bush administration declared that the EPA would not be regulating carbon dioxide emissions because he decided that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. How could his genius have escaped me for so long? What a masterstroke! In one sentence, he solved the problem of carbon dioxide pollution. I only wonder why he didn’t also declare that arsenic and mercury and agricultural runoff and sulfur dioxide and oil spills and all the rest of those nasties are also all not pollutants. Then we’d have nothing left to worry about!
Re: Salad Daze
For those individuals who want to keep grass or weeds from creeping around their organic gardens, I suggest borrowing (or buying) Better Basics for the Home, written by Annie Berthold-Bond. There’s a whole section on gardening with “simple” solutions. In other words, Annie teaches you how to use the stuff that you keep in your kitchen to control weeds, pests, and other garden nasties.
Annie also writes about keeping house and making your own beauty supplies; while I can’t testify to the miracle of homemade body lotion, I can say that her cleaning “recipes” are simple and cheap and work just as well as anything else on the market.
Zoos are prisons for wild animals. While many “good” zoos have expanded animals’ spaces and provided them with an “enriched” environment, these are still animal jails, where the inmates have been torn from family, friends, and home. Zoos’ educational messages are inherently flawed; visitors are observing captive animals in an unnatural environment. A much better idea would be to show large-sized films of animals interacting naturally in the wild. Then educators can go forward to explain habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, etc. Animals are not ours to use for entertainment.
Re: The Other Healthy Forests Initiative
It will take this kind of action [community-based forestry] to truly protect our environment and return our country to the people. We need this action not only in our forestry community but in agriculture and energy as well as other aspects of manufacturing. If we continue to deliver wealth to the few (corporations), it will likely be the downfall of our country, as the patterns of history have shown. We need to make connections among the different sectors (agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, renewable energy, etc.) to take back our government and the marketplace from the corporations who have more rights than citizens.
Great article. Too bad it softened things in the last summary paragraph:
“We may find in the future that the Bush administration’s dogged emphasis on these kinds of incentive-based strategies — many of which were also strongly supported in the Clinton administration — was on track. But far more obvious will be the bait-and-switch tactics, the slick PR machinations, and the evidence that the Bush administration’s promising ‘new environmentalism’ theories were executed in ways that in fact undermined the progress of environmental protection.”
While I support incentive-based policies if the pollution limits are set to gradually get tighter and continue improving conditions, these incentive-based policies are a small percentage of Bush’s programs.
Also, it is far from just a matter of poor execution and PR. As the Natural Resources Defense Council and many others have pointed out, the policies themselves are giveaways to special interests, thinly disguised in 1984-style language. Most of the policies have nothing to do with environmental protection; they are environmental destruction, long-term economic destruction, and human-health destruction.
I work with people whose job it is to understand such things as global warming or global climate change. They prefer the “climate change” moniker because, while things may well get warmer on the whole, some places will cool off, and we’ll generally have a more dynamic environment. I would contend that the Bush administration is not to be faulted for adopting the term favored by science, but they certainly should be faulted for taking steps backward on environmental policy.