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copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today, Americans are engrossed in earthquake coverage.  The tremor in Haiti bought unimaginable death and destruction just south of our borders.  Events related to the recovery and rescues emerge as banner headlines.  Haitians Seek Solace Amid the Ruins. For a week now, the struggle to survive, revive the injured, and retrieve the bodies strewn on the streets of Port-au-Prince was also the central theme of most every broadcast.  In the midst of the misery, many Americans, felt desperate for a reprieve from the devastation that emotionally drained them. Millions took time to escape in a welcome distraction.  Sassy, former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin Made Her Debut appearance on Fox.  Tomorrow another reality will replace these stories, just as each superseded the hoopla over Harry Reid’s reference to race.  Metaphorically, the tales provide persons, policies, and, or practices fifteen minutes of fame.  In actuality, these  fade from our mind quickly.  

One narrative can and will replace another instantaneously.  Americans need only an inspiration, a titillation, a temptation, or a tease to turn their thoughts from one subject to another.  Over the next months and years, a myriad of yarns will receive quick and ample consideration.  Populist positions, presented with flare could captivate the country again and then again.

A prominent person fallen from grace might be the nation’s next amusement.  A young boy, or girl, might seem to be in imminent danger.  Another sexy blonde accompanied by her husband could crash the White House gates.  People want “the dirt,” that is, as long as it is not toxic waste, or pollution news.

Ability moves Americans.  We are attracted to appealing personalities, presentations, and performances.  Authority impresses us. We will tune in if, perchance, the President of United States makes an appearance.  The prospect of a sensational speech draws international attention.   This truth is not lost on regular people, politicians, or the President.  Any or each of these individuals might use this “reality” to their advantage.

Mister Obama might, once again, plan to further his own fifteen minutes of renown.  On an issue as important as environmental imbalance, the nation’s Chief Executive did just that.   Mister Obama scheduled “about nine hours” to actively engage in climate change policy negotiations..  This might be considered a colossal amount of time.  After all, President Obama is, as many Americans are, busy.  

Whilst true; people have much to do, perchance, the Chief Executive and citizens have become thrill seekers.  In this country countless wish to be the provocateur.  Others only crave the provocative.  Scientists who study climate change would want to be amongst those who roust the people. Their research, while they believe it to be racy, for most is nothing but mundane.

The veracity is for most environmental explorations are as reality, mundane.  On Monday, it is snowy. Tuesday brings rain.   Wednesday will be sunny.  “Wait five minutes and the weather will change.”  What appears outside the window is merely a matter of natural conditions.  Excitement lies elsewhere. Enter animated images that move quickly across the screen.  Exit purported facts and figures.  Data does not deliver delightful moments.  Decoration, declarations, drama, any distraction, these are the diversions the Western Press provides, and the people demand.  

Possibly, that is why most of us missed previous reports.  In September 1998, headlines heralded, what we experience in modern times is the Fastest mass extinction in Earth history.  While fascinating, this discovery was nowhere near as delicious as Bill Clinton’s testimony about his relationship with a young female assistant.  That little tidbit could easily occupy more than the measured fifteen minutes.

Months earlier, the esteemed Washington Post, also examined the issue.  Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say.   However, for most humans, that morsel was nothing in contrast to the news that a Conservative Group Buys Reagan Ranch.

That the research reveals humans may be the reason for this horrific destruction is nothing since our day of doom cannot be foreseen in the visible future.  The 680-acre Reagan spread being bought by Young America’s Foundation, a 29-year-old group that teaches patriotism, limited government, and other values espoused by the former President, surely that will have an affect on all of society.

Of course, there was the article published late last August; Study Finds Big Storms on a 1,000-Year Rise.  Certainly, this is troublesome for those who  understand How Storms Can Trigger Earthquakes,   Unfortunately, few appreciate what they likely did not read, let alone realize.  No time to waste on climate change, report declares.

Americans are preoccupied with the abrupt, instant, urgent, today and perchance tomorrow, the earthquake in Haiti.   What traditionally garners our attention is massive, murderous, moments that miss those of us in the States by mere miles.  In times such as these, Americans come out en masse.  We donate millions of dollars to a cause.  We cry for what has clearly been a crisis for years.  

Yet, even as we attend to the plight inflicted upon those in Port-au-Prince, and throughout the Haitian terrain, we do not address the notion that man and womankind have an affect on what for eons ago was the natural balance.  In the midst of the mad rush to assist those who were injured during the seismic activity, most overlook what the majority of scientists thought obvious.  Research reveals Point to ‘Carbon Starvation’ as a Cause for Tree Mortality.

It might be said that Americans were consumed with the current circumstances.  There was no time, not even fifteen minutes to contemplate columns that appeared alongside news of the trembler.  The truth might be that dry statistics do not sway people.  

Prowess. Performance. Presence.  Power.  Pretty.  Americans are captivated by what they think cool.  Even corny tales can tempt people, or convince them of what is true.  Persons who are believed to be capable can also be a source of stimulation.  However, nothing compares to the person who falls from grace.  In a world full of individuals who watch television, endlessly, the trivial has replaced principled, profound, practical, and all that is pertinent.   A planet in peril, for citizens who pine for sizzle, is but a distant possibility.  Indeed, most muse; “In my lifetime, I have seen meteorological conditions change.”  The climate offers no warning.  The situation is not critical.

Some in the Press choose to substantiate that sentiment.  Man-made CO2 has minimal effect on climate change, claim global-warming skeptics. Distraction, and the attempt to diminish the deluge of discoveries, is far more electrifying than what appears in scientific archives; Humans Linked to Climate Change.  NASA Study Links Earth Impacts to Human-Caused Climate Change   Perhaps, President Obama said it best long ago, when he was amongst the masses  In 2006, the Senator penned . . ..

It’s hard to deny that all the sound and fury, magnified through television and the internet, coarsens the political culture. It makes tempers flare, helps breed distrust. And whether we politicians like to admit it or not, the constant vitriol can wear on the spirit.

The spin works precisely because the media itself is hospitable to spin. Every reporter in Washington is working under pressure imposed by editors and producers, who in turn are answering to publishers or network executives, who in turn are pouring over last week’s ratings or last year’s circulation figures and trying to survive the growing preference for PlayStation and reality TV. The spin, the amplification of conflict, the indiscriminate search for scandal and miscues – the cumulative impact of all this is to erode any agreed-upon standards for judging the truth.

Sadly, Mister Obama too can get caught up in the cult of culture of personalities, pandemics, Party politics, and a performance.  Given the chance to change the climate in a curative manner, an opportunity to transform policies, and amend practices that harm Mother Earth, Mister Obama faltered.   He fell into the habit that is all-too American.  Follow the favored fifteen minutes of fame rather than do the work necessary to understand, and bring about authentic change.

It seems that Mister Obama did, as citizens do; he chose the path of least resistance.  President Obama  performed in a manner that maintains his celebrity status.  Originally, the Chief Executive expected his travel to Oslo to be ceremonial.   Initially, he wondered whether he would even go to the Summit.  Indeed, it was not until late in November 2009, the White House announced that Mister Obama, who previously had not committed to an appearance at the summit, decided he would deliver a speech.

Extensive pressure from other world leaders and environmental advocates influenced America’s Chief Executive’s decision.  Most thought it vital that Mister Obama make the trip as a statement of American dedication to the climate change discussions. Heads of State from 190 nations, were expected to talk, and produce a definitive, albeit incomplete political declaration.  Surely, fame would be fleeting, if the possibility existed at all at the end of the twelve-day meeting.  A short, and less than fully constructive, Summit could not hope to strike a chord with viewers of reality television.

Pass the cookies and milk.  American Idol is on the telly.  In a country once proud to be the most educated, people perceive airtime is the ultimate achievement.  If an individual has yet to appear on the screen, they gaze longingly at those who have.  People dream of the day when fame is theirs.

Countless wish to be a star.  Be it Barack Obama who flies in solely for the show of an accord on climate change, only to offer none.  or the Golden Globe winners gone wild.  Fifteen minutes of fame is not nearly enough.    Vast numbers of individuals hope to create the video that will go viral, or a tweet that will be picked up by the press.  Perhaps, a facebook message will move the media to cover me, or as meteorological , biological, and experts in Climate Change say, our shared predicament  

The statement the planet is in peril evokes but a small amount of excitement if that.  Indeed, those who see no visible sign of climate change say where is the evidence.  One day it is cold.  The next morning the weather report says it will be warm.  Tales that tell of a dramatic rise and fall of the temperature seem unreal to those who think all is well.  It is as it always was, millions cry, at least in my world.  For billions of beings, life is dull and dreary, that is until fifteen minutes of fame comes their way.  With climate change, a constant, legendary recognition could arrive sooner than later.

Citizens could find themselves caught in a historic blizzard.  However, for the man in the Oval Office, just as for average American Jane’s and Joes, is a not big enough to make an impression on men, women, the President, Premiers,  who prefer to deny the abundance of documentation or answers to the question, does man, or do.Large Dams Alter Extreme Weather Patterns?

As an attractive television meteorologist, a glorious good-looking girl [or gent] with a pointer demonstrates. We watch the visionaries who prance and dance on the screen.  Surely, a physically appealing person can predict the future with flare and finesse.  Scientists may know much, but do not entertain, titillate, or show us what we want, reality in the form of fun, folly, and fulfillment.  Perhaps, the planet in peril will furnish what environmental experts cannot.

Reference Reality . .

On The Issues

Iss

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Wherever Americans turn, they are asked the same question; what issue is most important to you.  If you could, what would you tell the President of the United States to do?  What do you think must be his priority, or the country’s greatest concern.  Television commentators turn microphones on citizens.  Radio announcers inquire; what does the audience think.  Newspapers poll.  Organizations count survey ballots.  Legislators look for constituent answers in electronic mailboxes.  Each attempts to usher in a new era.  They want the common people to help shape the discussion.  

Is the war in Iraq or Afghanistan the subject you believe he, or we should address first.  Do you have faith that Universal, Single Payer, Not for Profit Health Care would cure this nation’s ill?  Could education, or an equal opportunity to compete be the solution to our problems?  Must Congress restore the Constitution with the support of our Commander-In-Chief?  Might it be that Climate Change is our most pressing problem?  Civil Rights afforded to gays, straights, Blacks, Browns, persons, no matter their race, color, or creed certainly needs to be a serious consideration, as does the oft-identified issue number one, the economy.

Democrats say they will deliver solutions.  Republicans repeat the contention, they know what we should do first and last.  Independents insist neither political Party addresses their anxieties.  The apathetic feel there is no reason to participate.  Partisan politics polarize the nation’s ability to act.  

A few might muse; pragmatism may be the most powerful position.  Surely, the stream of replies to this issue-oriented inquiry will vary.  Each will test reason.  Yet, no lone logic will satisfy everyone within the electorate.  Thus, I submit  an inclusively that is more true for me.

Were I able to speak to the President of the United States of America, if I could stand before Congress and address what matters most to me, I would say there is no interest of greatest import.

For me, all issues are interrelated.  None can be considered more important than another.  Perhaps if people acknowledge that no man is an island we will become better as a world, as a country within a whole.  A lack of green technology starves the people and the planet.  Inadequate health care and education exacerbate the emptiness felt by any or all.  A hungry globe spawns war for dominance.  People want what they need.  Too frequently, individuals and nations are willing to fight for what they think is right, whatever will ensure their own existence.

Mother Nature is no exception.  As she struggles for survival, she does all she can to sustain balance.  Her cries unheeded cause greater harm.  Wounds, left unattended bleed.  The pus from these lesions spills out on Earthy beings.  If we the people allow any of our ills to thrive, surely, no one will survive.  

Please Mister President, do not ignore that we are one.  United we will stand.  If we divide the issues, we all will ultimately fall.

Sources for surveys . . .

Build a Green Economy; Jobs Will Come



Green Jobs Now (by Free Range Studios)

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The skeptics snickered; if man was meant to roam far and wide, he would have been born with wheels on his heels.  They said it could not be done.  Yet, circular tubes were made to ease travel on the ground.   Cynics sneered when someone said we might travel on water.  People would be born with buoyant blubber if they were intended to float and move with the flow of the current.  Rudders would protrude from our behinds if we were supposed to navigate the seas.  They said it could not be done; still someone invented a boat.  If people were meant to fly, disbeliever declared, humans would have wings.  Orville and Wilbur Wright did not accept that logic.  Travel to the moon; how absurd an idea.  Surely, the skeptics thought, if he was destined to soar to such heights, he would be physically able to propel himself far above the atmosphere.  Then, John Fitzgerald Kennedy set a goal and devised a mission.  Neil Armstrong took a giant leap for mankind.  Currently there is a cry for green energy.  However, doubters think the job cannot be done.

The costs are too great.  The technology too primitive.  Our conveniences would be lost and what of jobs.  If America or the world were to invest in other, more expensive industries, people would be put out of work.  Critics continually counter, we cannot endow renewable energy propositions.  There is no need.   Those who love life as it is believe there is an endless supply of fossil fuels.  Countless rely on the hope that conveniences will be preserved.  Humans know what they know.  People prefer familiar creature comforts.

Improvement is beyond a collective imagination, just as it was centuries ago, or in the more immediate past.  The prospect for progress is frequently limited.   Even scientists can be technicians.  Experts, often only explore within a realm of possibility.  Few feel a need to change.  Less see beyond the horizons.  

Certainly, the Earth is the center of the universe.  The planet is flat.  Electrical energy cannot be captured.  People cannot communicate through wires or even the air.

UN: Millions of green jobs to be created by 2030

By David Beard

Boston Globe

September 25, 2008 05:49 AM

Alternative energy technologies will create millions of new jobs in the next two decades, including 11 million alone in biofuels, according to a UN report.

Climate change and the efforts to reduce it already have created new jobs and investment — a process that will accelerate with the inevitable shift from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and geothermal power, said the UN Environment Program. Click here to see the agency’s summation of findings.

Among the findings:

  • Clean technologies are already the third largest sector for venture capital after information and biotechnology in the United States, while green venture capital in China more than doubled to 19 per cent of total investment in recent years.
  • About 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone, and the potential for job growth in the sector is huge. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030.
  • Renewable energy generates more jobs than employment in fossil fuels. Projected investments of $630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renewable energy sector.
  • Investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 2 million-3.5 million green jobs in Europe and the United States alone, with the potential much higher in developing countries.

The BBC quoted the agency’s director, Achim Steiner, as saying a delay in transforming to a low-carbon economy it would “miss a major opportunity for the fast tracking of millions of new jobs.”

Granted, life as people know it to be today, might be different.  Recognizable employment opportunities may not be realized, or these may not be as is customary.  However, the careers created  will more than compensate  for what was, and the newer job scene will be clean.  The terminology, technology will be perhaps, a bit tidier, neat, and even keen.  There is a Silver Lining to Climate Change – Green Jobs.  In the United States alone, while slow to travel the path towards pure energy, in 2005, the environmental industry generated more than 5.3 million jobs.  This number is  ten times greater than the US pharmaceutical industry produced.  In this nation, it is well-known people desire more drugs.  Doctors prescribed and the public pours millions into miracles cures, at least those ingested into their bodies.  Yet,  imagine;  a less  traditional task creates a more significant need for people power.  Perhaps, if we build this field the financial rewards, the environmentally friendly effects, and employment will come.

If people believe, they may wish to encourage a bequest.  Write to a Representative.  Submit a statement to those who have power of a political sort.  Use the computer that did not exist only decades ago to do a deed that would have been impossible to achieve tens of years ago.  Click and communicate with Members of Congress.

Dear Elected Officials . . .

I’m ready for Green Jobs Now.

I urge our elected officials to invest in creating millions of green jobs by repowering America with 100% clean and renewable electricity within 10 years. We can create new pathways out of poverty and curb global warming at the same time. We will do this by retooling our factories, rebuilding our communities, and repowering America with clean energy. ??

Signed,

Please remember the words of Spanish Philosopher and Writer, Miguel de Unamuno.

“Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”

Renewable Sources for Energy and Information . . .

Sunscreens; Little Protection – Much Harm



Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen! (Original Version)

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

For years, Sarah felt safe as she traveled about.  She shielded herself from harm.  She placed her faith in science.  She  listened to the  advice of experts.  She thought she had been careful with chemicals and creams.  This wise woman knew not to trust recommendations without doing a thorough examination of evidence.  After an avid assessment, Sarah avowed, “Sunscreens are good.”  Then one day, as she entered her home after being out and about, she saw what she had never imagined.  Sarah was beyond surprised; she was shocked.  Her mouth agape,  Sarah shrieked;  “I have been burned.”  Not only had the solar rays she worked to avoid scorched her skin in ways she had not thought possible.  The lotion may have seared parts of her body not easily seen.

What Sarah had not considered was her sunscreen may have debilitated people, plants, and aquatic animals throughout the planet.  She was not sensitive to the symbiosis that governs the globe.  Sarah was as most individuals are, she was consumed with what affected her directly.  Her skin, her health, the salves she slathered on, these were her priorities.

On a bright afternoon in June, Sarah, a person whose complexion is pinkish in hue, first realized reason for alarm.  She turned the television on, and was greeted with the headline, “Study: Some sunscreens overpromise on protection.”  Extremely disturbed by the possibility cosmetic creams might have an effect on her personal health, Sarah pursed her lips and rushed to the computer.  She needed to read the research for herself.  After all, her life and wellbeing were threatened.  She decided to take control and more closely scrutinize her choices.  She perused the survey.

In a new investigation of 952 name-brand sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 4 out of 5 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns.  Leading brands were the worst offenders: None of market leader Coppertone’s 41 sunscreen products met EWG’s criteria for safety and effectiveness, and only 1 of 103 products from Banana Boat and Neutrogena, the second- and third-largest manufacturers, are recommended by EWG.

Sarah sighed.  She had likely tried every brand imaginable before she chose what she thought best for her.  This studied soul, whose skin is sensitive, discovered she reacted poorly to most creams, ointments, and sprays.  Rashes raged on her skin after most any application.  For her, hypoallergenic was an oxymoron.  She believed the government had the best intentions when they coined this term; nonetheless, for her it was meaningless.  Sarah suspected perhaps, in the past, her trust in public officials and manufacturers was misplaced.  

(The Food and Drug Administration) FDA now stands in direct violation of a Congressional mandate requiring the agency to finalize sunscreen safety standards by May 2006, flouting not only Congress but also consumers, who are reliant on sunscreen to protect their health . . .

FDA has spent the past 30 years drafting sunscreen standards (FDA 2007a), which it urges manufacturers to follow voluntarily.  FDA issued its latest draft standards in August 2007, which include a proposal for first-ever UVA standards, but still has failed to finalize the standards to make them mandatory.  In lieu of enforceable standards, each sunscreen manufacturer decides on test methods, marketing claims, and the level of protection they are willing and able to provide consumers.  Health authorities recommend sunscreen, but people are left wondering which of the hundreds of sunscreens on store shelves will best protect their and their families’ skin from the sun.

Sarah now reluctantly realized her government, in all its glory, fried her sense of pride.  She thought herself careful.  This woman had faith; she could trust those in charge of the Food and Drug Administration to protect her.  Certainly, Congress would check the claims of sunscreen producers.  They would be the balance if policymakers engaged in questionable behaviors.  Such was the wisdom of Sarah.  

This lovely lady believed as she was taught.  The forefathers understood; equilibrium is essential.  This vital notion was built into the Constitution.  Government agencies work for the common good. In America, public officials, and civil servants, are employed by the people and labor in their interest.  Now she wonders.  All she is certain of is she is free to wear a sunscreen.  The question is, which one will she choose, and what are the hazards of such a decision.  Sarah reads on.

Many products on the market present obvious safety and effectiveness concerns, including one of every seven that does not protect from UVA radiation This problem is aggravated by the fact that FDA has not finalized comprehensive sunscreen safety standards they began drafting 30 years ago.  Overall, we (Environmental Working Group – EWG) identified 143 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users. Find out which in our best and worst lists.

Once the records are retrieved, Sarah saw that one of the two products that did not cause her to weep in reaction to the chemicals was deemed a “high hazard.”  The other that did not irritate or inflame her flesh was rated “moderately hazardous.”  She was uncertain whether she should be relieved or grieve further.  Could it be that a “moderate” rating was fine.  Frustrated with her choices Sarah read on.

The U.S. lags behind other countries when it comes to products that work and are safe. FDA has approved just 17 sunscreen chemicals for use in the U.S.  At least 29 are approved for use in the E.U. FDA has approved only 4 chemicals effective in the UVA range for use in the U.S., and has failed to approve new, more effective UVA filters available in the E.U. and Asia.

So many illusions were destroyed as Sarah reviewed the literature.  She wished she could go back in time when life was carefree, and ignorance seemed blissful.  She wanted to trust in her government, in the free market system, in anything again.

Sarah recalled the words of friends and family.  “A day in the sun, would that not be fun.”  So was the gleeful cry of every school child for decades, perhaps for centuries.  For eons, babies bathed in the light.  Parents would watch in delight as they watched the progeny play.  Long ago, she knew, some Moms and Dads were cautious; they feared exposure to such intense beams would not wear well over the years However, even those who expressed alarm, knew certainly, the sun could do no harm to internal organs, (or to organisms outside our body.)  However, today, we learn sunscreens can cause serious problems.  What we slather on with abandon apparently may do more to age us and cause illness than sun exposure ever did.

Some sunscreens absorb into the blood and raise safety concerns.  Our review of the technical literature shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some are linked to toxic effects . . .

Most sunscreen chemicals are far from innocuous.  In sunlight, some release free radicals that can damage DNA and cells, promote skin aging, and possibly raise risks for skin cancer.  Some act like estrogen and may disrupt normal hormone signaling in the body.  Others may build up in the body and the environment.

Oh my gosh, she exclaimed.  These supposedly innocuous sunscreens seep into the bloodstream and place the planet in peril.  Sarah understood that a chemical on the skin might cause residual effects.  However, she was challenged to comprehend how a unguent could bother Mother Nature?  

Yet, her interest was peaked.  How could a balm she rubs on her body possibly do damage to the flora and fauna?  She searched for more information, an explanation, and some elucidation.

The scientists said ultra-violet filters found in sunscreens and commonly used fireproofing materials were to blame for the presence of these dangerous (hormonally active chemicals known as endocrine disruptors) . . .

Even at low dosages, these chemicals have an effect, according to the national research programme into endocrine disruptors.

Endocrine disruptors of this type are fairly common in the environment, in household dust or office spaces. Researchers consider that people absorb these airborne chemicals at least as much this way as they do through nutrition.

Small children who are still crawling as well as aircraft crew are considered to be among those most under threat.

Traces of bromide fireproofing agents have also been found in fish, in sludge at sewage treatment plants and even in foxes living in urban zones.

Sarah sighs and in the moment thinks herself  relieved. Perhaps, chemicals found in fish and foxes are not critical.  After all, humans are filled with toxins and we still survive.  Most of us thrive.  The thoughtful person that she is, Sarah is fascinated by the realization she is in a relationship.  Her actions are a cause.  What she does has an effect the other being, some of whom she has never seen or touched.  She could not imagine what this might mean.  Little sweet spirit Sarah never thought she might have the power to  injure cuddly babies.  As she read and reflected, tears fell from her eyes.   She knew not whether the salty solution that drifted down her cheeks spoke to her sorrow or rage.

Sunscreens are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways that the chemical industry and the government are failing to protect public health.  An extensive body of scientific literature demonstrates that everyone in the world carries in their body hundreds if not thousands of industrial chemicals at any given moment, the result of exposures to contaminants in air, water, and food, and to ingredients in everyday consumer products.

No one understands the health implications of our exposures to complex mixtures of industrial compounds and pollutants: remarkably, federal health standards do not require companies to test most products for safety before they are sold, including nearly all chemicals in sunscreen and other personal care products.  Little is known about the safety of most industrial chemicals.  In the absence of data the federal government approves new chemicals for the market using computer models to predict if they are toxic to humans.

Sarah wondered; how can she trust what she thought to be true?  She had relied on the strength of her government.  She placed her faith in an industry who she now accepts profits from her pain.  Sarah, too often experiences a reliance on technology reaps results that harm humans.  Her faith in all that is familiar is dashed.

Article after article, reveals a truth she had not realized.  Sarah is related to every entity on the Earth and she is somewhat responsible for realities beyond her belief.  Sarah concludes, ignorance is not an excuse; arrogance is injurious.  She bemoans her own failure to know what each essay reminds her of.  The invisible connection every individual has with all other life forms cannot be disputed or ignored.  

Sarah’s heightened stress prompted more reading and greater concern.  One treatise was perhaps more persuasive than the next.  “Chemicals in sunscreen may be harmful to aquatic life.” Injurious indeed; what might that mean?  She scanned further. “If your suntan oil can change the sex of fish, what can it do to you?” The tome stated, “The stuff is not only on our skin: it’s in our tap water and lunches too.”  Sarah gasped.  Then, she looked back at the page.  Sarah hoped to learn more.

“Almost 80 percent of our water in the U.S. shows trace amounts of chemicals from personal care products, which could be sunscreens, lotions, colognes or medications,” said Sejal Choksi, the program director for Baykeeper, an environmental watchdog group. . .

A recent study authorized by the European Commission found that the chemical compounds that filter ultraviolet radiation in cream-based sunscreens caused bleaching in coral reefs.

The study, published in the U.S. journal Environmental Health Perspectives, showed that even small amounts of the chemicals made the algae on coral susceptible to viral infection.  The killing, or bleaching, of the algae — which have a symbiotic relationship with the coral — is a death knell for the whole structure . . .

Some 60 percent of the world’s reef systems are now being threatened by a combination of global warming, industrial pollution, and excess UV radiation, which is why the sunscreen threat is being taken seriously by scientists.

“As with anything that happens in the environment, there is a confluence that joins together in weakening an ecosystem.

The union of man and beast, flora and fauna when in balance give birth to a thriving bionetwork.  When destabilized even the strong cannot survive.  Life, as we know it, ultimately dies, when impurities are the source of imbalance.  

Sarah had never considered the importance of marine life before.  Nor did she suspect the depth of synergy.  Coral for her, just seemed to sit on the bottom of the ocean floor.  She did not fully consider collectivism.  The statement, “Man is not an island” does not begin to explain a fellowship that exists beyond humans.  As she investigated, she gained greater insights into synchronicity.

Sea life supports plants and animals.  Fish are dependent on a healthy coral reef.  Humans are perhaps more reliant on the vigor of aragonite structures.  Sarah marveled; her choices and those of every person on the planet affect the well-being of life forms beneath the sea.

Why are healthy reefs important?

Healthy coral reef ecosystems play several important roles by:
  • Maintaining ecosystem structure and function
  • Supporting ecosystem and community services
  • Protecting shorelines and preventing erosion

Unhealthy systems have been linked to:

  • Human illnesses or diseases linked to ecological imbalance
  • Decline in economic profits due to loss of natural resources
  • Loss of cultural traditions due to changing use of natural resources
  • Decline in tourism
  • Increased vulnerability to hurricanes due to altered/decline of reefs and coastal areas.

What are the primary threats to reef health?

The primary disturbances in the Mesoamerican Reef Ecosystem have been:

  • Unsustainable coastal development
  • Overfishing
  • Pollution (including agrochemicals, sedimentation and nutrients/sewage)
  • Global Climate Change (which may increase the impact of coral bleaching and hurricanes)
  • Lack of protection or lack of enforcement of existing regulations

Sarah surmised what she read and heard of sunscreens was more significant than reported.  Pollution, even from a lotion, gives way to global warming.  A planet heated is beset with hurricanes.  Certainly, recent weather conditions illustrate there is reason for concern.  Sarah, just as citizens throughout the globe, has witnessed odd occurrences.  Historic cyclones, floods, tornadoes, hail, winds, and rains have become our daily truth.  People everywhere speak of unprecedented, unpredictable weather conditions.  No matter the season or the region, men, women, and children do not know what the weather will be.  Sarah marvels, might the effect of sunscreens partially explain these mysteries.  Yikes!

Sarah said aloud, “What else do I not know of the layers and layers of lotion, lathered high above the epidermis?”  As she settles into her routine, she reflects.  

Where can she go to hide from the rays that put her at risk?  Can she sneak away from the government that she thought cradled her soul and secured her safety.  Must she accept, in a society built on entrepreneurial enterprises, manufacturers create a market and no matter where she travels, she will not escape the woes that a want for more money advance.  Hours later, tucked into the darkness of night, Sarah, now ready for bed decides, she is free to choose, and only she can be her best shield from entities that could cause her to suffer.  She sleeps and dreams of daylight.  What will she do come morning. Might she slather on the sunscreen and live with the guilt.  Sarah never thought the cream she applied to her face, arms, and legs could cause such a crisis worldwide.

Sources and Sunscreens . . .

Oil vs Ice

© copyright 2008 Storm Bear.  Town Called Dobson


To view the original, travel to a Town Called Dobson.  Oil vs Ice

Thankfully, California is doing something about global warming.


California outlined for the first time the largest U.S. attempt to regulate greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, calling for the creation of a new emissions- trading program and increased renewable-energy production.

All parts of the $1.6 trillion economy, the largest of the U.S. states, would be affected. Utilities, refiners, carmakers, farmers, manufacturers and forest managers would be called on to cut pollution under the draft plan released today by the state Air Resources Board.

The blueprint comes 18 months after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law requiring the country’s most populous state to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The law is the most far-reaching of any climate-change plan in the U.S., where President George W. Bush’s administration and Congress have resisted mandatory caps on greenhouse gases.

But is it too late?

When polar bears start suffering from heat stroke, you know something is wrong.

The plight of the polar bear is not just hinged on global warming. In Iceland, polar bears are being shot dead.


Icelandic authorities said they were forced to shoot a polar bear found wandering on the island in order to protect the public after a plan to anaesthetize the animal was abandoned.

The bear, an adult male weighing around 250 kg (500 lbs), was presumed to have swum to shore from drifting ice. The last time a polar bear came ashore in Iceland was in 1988.

“There was a lot of fog in the area and the bear was moving into the fog. We couldn’t risk losing him and there was no time to wait for anaesthetics, so we had to shoot him. It was for the safety of the public,” Police Superintendent Stefan Vagn Stefansson told Icelandic national radio on Wednesday.

In response to a public outcry at the shooting, the environmental ministry said it would review the incident to see if it could avoid shooting the next bear that lands in the country.

The world’s largest land-based predator lives in the Arctic, depending largely on sea ice to hunt seals.

The sport hunting of polar bears continues and some groups wants to lift the ban of polar bear hide importation into the US.

And of course, oil companies are given full permission to harass polar bears.


IT’S just over a month since the US government designated the polar bear as an endangered species. Now the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stands accused of giving oil companies a “blank cheque to harass polar bears”.

The row revolves around the seven oil companies that paid $2.6 billion in February for the rights to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska. Some 2000 polar bears live in the region – a significant chunk of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 bears worldwide, and the companies were worried that environmental groups might take legal action to prevent the animals being disturbed.

But the FWS issued regulations last week permitting firms to disturb “small numbers” of bears and walruses without fear of prosecution as long as they report each incident and take steps to minimise the animals’ stress. If underwater sonar is being used, for instance, engineers must stop surveying should a bear swim close by.

Petroleum and My Prayer



Bush to Visit Iowa Flood Site

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Dearest Mister George Walker Bush . . .

This morning as I sat in what I would wish to think of as my safe little sanctuary from danger, I watched you mount the stairs and ascend into Air Force One.  The television announcer spoke of your impending trip to the Midwest.  As one with family in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, I was grateful for your travel.  I am certain the people in these regions will be comforted by your presence.  Most will feel they have reason to hope that you will offer help.  I truly appreciate you “swift” response to their needs.  I am gratified that you have decided to fly high above the flooded terrain, and perhaps spend a moment with an individual or two.  Perchance, you will speak to my sister or my Dad.

As I observed the day’s news break on screen, I perused the printed page and realized the American people may have another reason to thank you.  The New York Times reported Bush Calls for End to Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling.  I am confident those on dry land, still able to drive through the streets are pleased.  Your grand gesture will gratify them, belatedly if at all.  The United States House Committee on Natural Resources thinks the move will not improve circumstances.   I sigh.

There is no reason to let little details such as well-researched assessment get in the way of the glorious work you do Mister Bush.  As you well know, the public cares not what the future might bring.  The people prefer to be catered to in the immediate.  I know you understand this Mister President.  You felt the repercussions of a delayed action.  I remember your late response to Katrina, and even to the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center Towers.  

Woe, to the politician who does not take measures to calm the citizens quickly.  Mister Bush, I am consoled as I witness all you have learned.  Indeed, today, you quieted fears and felt the people’s pain.  You did as is necessary.

In this nation, an elected official who bows to the will of his or her constituency will be judged well.  After all, as you are aware Mister Bush, the people are the power.  The populace casts a ballot at the poll.  Even for those such as you, an individual who cannot hold the office of the President again, that is as long as the Constitution remains unchanged, legacies are the legends of history.  

Mister Bush, I applaud your heroism, your ability to reach out and to touch the common folk.  Yet, while I might admire the actions you took on this 19th day of June, I only wish that consolations would clean the mess you created.  

I fear each of the events of the day is the result of earlier enactments.  What occurred in the Midwest is as much that the world has seen recently.  Granted Mister President, you only preside over a portion of a North American continent; nonetheless, what is in our air travels overseas.  Water also journeys to shores far beyond our horizon.

Contaminants and toxins permissible in the United States will be found in the heavens above foreign soil.  Oceans, far from our homeland, will contain elements hurled into American waterways.

I know you might muse Mister Bush, as you did for near a decade ago, humans have little effect on the environment.  Ah, but President Bush, as you now relent, we do alter the balance of nature.  Decisions you made in our name, accelerated the cycle of unwelcome warmth on a globe too fragile to fight off the effects of a fever.

You, Mister Bush may have learned the laws of motion in your studies.  As Sir Isaac Newton discovered in an Earthly environment, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Perchance, as a Chief Executive and one who received a Master’s degree in Business Administration, you are more familiar with a similar premise, economic in nature, “You scrub my back, and I will cleanse yours.”  

In the financial world, the policies you endorsed illustrate that you embrace this “theoretical” truth.  I recall your first hundred days in the Oval Office.  Much to the benefit of business buds, who supported your rise, you chose to initiate practices that filled your friends’ purses.  . . . and oh, yes, these very guidelines damaged the milieu.  Ooops.

  • Bush administration marks 100 days in office (04/29/01)
  • EPA drops objections to Florida rule that undermines Clean Water Act protections (04/26/01)
  • Gale Norton nominates William G. Myers III as solicitor for Department of the Interior (04/24/01)
  • Yellowstone snowmobile ban goes into effect, but perhaps not for long (04/23/01)
  • Bush seeks to relax requirements of Endangered Species Act (04/09/01)
  • Bush administration delays hard-rock mining regulations that protect watersheds (03/21/01)
  • Bush withdraws new arsenic-in-drinking-water standard (03/20/01)
  • Bush appoints industry apologist as regulatory gatekeeper (03/06/01)
  • EPA upholds Clinton decision to clean up diesel pollution (02/28/01)
  • EPA delays, then upholds, new rule protecting wetlands (02/15/01)
  • White House announces regulatory freeze (01/20/01)

Indeed, you were a busy man Mister Bush, just as you have been today, and throughout your terms.  You entered the White House and released the latch on barn doors throughout the nation.  Domesticated animals, Americans, did not rush out, for they had long felt as though they were not in harm’s way.  Centuries of relative calm encouraged citizens, beasts of few burdens, to believe they were sheltered from storms.  However, once the portals were open, predators, or was it you Mister President, ran in.  

Marauders came though back gateways, side entries, windows, and slats in the ceiling.  Perhaps these too were but friends of the fellow we all know as George, you, Mister Bush.

Oh, Sir, you must know, corporations, intent on earnings, ignored the warnings of environmentalists.  Scientists could not be heard above the hum of oil drills.  The clang of change as it fell into deep pockets muffled the melodious mantra of the few concerned citizens.  This circumstances Mister Bush caused the globe to warm.  Now the water falls from the sky without end.  Levees poorly maintained or engineered break.

My Dad hopes his sump pump will not fail.  My sister prays that her home will remain on a hill.  My best friend fears for his roof.  A friend in Racine, Wisconsin I hope is well.  No one has been able to reach him.

Mister Bush, when you first arrived in Washington District of Columbia you changed the fabric of the land.  You did not steward the territory we each occupy.  Economic favors flourished as did environmental hazards.  The rich grew richer; the poor did not prosper.  Those who had wealth garnered dividends.  Those with few resources received less.  Now, we all suffer.

Wind and water does not discriminate.  Homes, bought and paid for wash away in a torrid tempest just as shacks do.

Oh my dear Mister Bush, you promised to be the Compassionate Conservative.  If only you had chosen to be the Consummate Conservationist.

Each day Mother Nature cries out.  She weeps and the terrain floods.  Her heart breaks, and tectonic plates move.  Cyclones are the swell of tears her eyes cannot hold.  Mother Earth pounds us with hail; she means no harm.  Her children, under the tutelage of an oil moneyed man are out of control.  She knows not what to do to get their attention.  She throws what she has at hand, and hopes, perhaps, her brood will stop the insanity.

Mister Bush, please I plead, do not pander, or patronize.  My Dad does not need cheaper fuel.  He is a patient man and willing to wait for alternatives that do not leave him soaked and sorrowful in the next five-hundred year flood, which may occur only a month from now.

My sister would be content, if she could tell he son with certainty, she will leave him a world better than the one she grew up in.  Sensitive as she is, my sibling hopes to bequeath her grandchildren with a glorious existence.  However, as you fly to her home with promises too late, and replete of a skewed reality, she fears a dependency on fossil fuels will never end.  

She too, just as Daddy, does not concern herself with what cannot be salvaged.  Each requests that we secure the future, clean the environment, and do not drill for more oil, offshore or anywhere.

Mister Bush, the time is now.  For as much as any American would wish to believe they are safe in their now dry homes, as long as we continue to rape the few resources we have left, as long as we waste, and want more and more “conveniences” no one will be secure.  

As you peruse the cities and crops destroyed by rains and runoff, you might realize climate change is evidence of what you sowed.  No promises will repair broken hearts.  No policies that allow for more petroleum usage will produce calm or clean seas.  We now reap the rewards of gluttony and gratification.  It is not a pretty picture.

Mister Bush, tomorrow does come.  Our actions today will be the cause.  The effects of your past performances are what you see today in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri . . .  Let us no longer wash the back of a egocentric executive, at the expense of the environment.  Instead, kiss my sister, hug my Dad, and if you can find my friend, lost in the tragedy, please tell him I love him.

Resources, No More Oil . . .

Let Them Eat Oil



President Jimmy Carter – Address to the Nation on Energy

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In a nation, where appeasement is condemned, Americans are anxious.  The people have been pacified for so long they can no longer recall what it means to be other than indulged.  On June 6, 2008, Congresspersons, uncomfortable with the notion that they might have to use the rod, concluded, for now, it is better to spoil the already pampered Americans.  Lawmakers said, as they have so often, “Let them eat oil!”  After all, the people love petroleum.

Rather than rescind policies that contribute to global warming, or the related scarcity of food and water Legislators declared defeat.  Hope for change was put off for the future, just as it was one score and ten years ago.  Now, nearly a decade into the twenty-first century, the United States Congress concluded a bipartisan  Bill, intended to control climate conditions must die.  The hope was postponed, again.  The dream differed until 2009.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, cautioned climate change is “the most important issue facing the world today.”  However, apparently, it is not imperative enough to counter the cries of despair heard from the American people.  Citizens in this country think cash in hand counts for more than the health of the planet.

The public is easily able to dismiss evidence; Mother Earth is in trouble.  Extinction threatens every species.  Even humans are at risk.  Pollutants fill the air that men, women, and children breath.  Poison is found in the rivers and stream.  Toxins travel through the ecosystem.  There are consequences to what we do.  Global warming is but a warning, one not heeded by Americans who prefer to remain sheltered from talk of environmental storms.

Co-authors of the measure designed to limit heat-trapping gases, California Democrat, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut envision the demise of the Bill was a win.  The three expressed a shared joy.  Perchance lawmakers are closer to an agreement.  Might it be that Legislators are more unified in an attempt to appease Americans.  The Senate was just shy of consensus.

Conventional wisdom states, “There is time.”  The world can wait.  Evidence does not suggest a need to act immediately.  Next year will be better.  In actuality, politicians did just as the people prefer.  Government officials did not ask the people to forego creature comforts.  Regulations on industry were not increased.  

While the people insist someone must pay for the drastic rise in petroleum prices, most suspect, ultimately, the cost will be passed on to the common folk.

Perchance, that is why Congress was willing to probe profit margins.  The people wanted an explanation; why do they pay exorbitant prices at the pump.  It mattered not that the expectation proved to be the reality.  When tycoons who produce Texas tea were asked of the high cost of fuel, they sang the same old song. What was important is the sense the people had after the hearing.  They had tried to make the big bosses accountable.  The public demands little, insists on less.  Yet, as coddled children who covet a toy just out of reach, they protest loudly.  

Members of Congress, the President of the United States, and Oil Executives understand this.  Each has perfected the art of appeasement.  Give the people what they please.  Then positions and profits will remain secure.  Explanations and examinations reassure the masses and best of all for those comfortable and cozy in millions of cars nothing changes.  Certainly, circumstances dictate all must remain the same, and while few admit it, all are pleased.

The executives firmly insisted that global market forces beyond their control were to blame for high prices.  “As repetitive and uninteresting as it may sound, the fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work,” said John Hofmeister, the president of Shell Oil Company.

(Of course, it was repetitive and uninteresting: Mr. Hofmeister read the same line in his testimony the day before.)

The executives politely but just as firmly insisted that Congress should focus its efforts on allowing more drilling and exploration for domestic oil – in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, offshore in the Atlantic and Pacific, and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  They insisted that they were investing heavily in search of new oil supplies.

And they strongly warned against other measures: any new tax on profits would put American companies at a disadvantage and only further decrease oil supply; a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would increase demand and only raise prices more; lawsuits against foreign nations would do nothing to lower prices.

The public may not trust the moneyed moguls; nor do they respect the Representatives.  Nonetheless, the people are silently satisfied.  Few if any wish to give up the freedom they feel as they drive down the road alone, or with one special passenger.  Convenience is comfortable.  The people do not wish to pay the price for alternative energy.  The actual cost may not frighten Americans; the idea that they may need to forfeit a familiar lifestyle terrifies the average citizen.

Months ago, when gas was relatively cheap, cars barely crawled on clogged highways.  Yet, few did more than grumble.  People were essentially cozy cocooned in snug Sports Utility Vehicles, mini-vans, sedans, coupes, and cute convertibles.  Children were pleasantly preoccupied.  Digital Video Discs entertained the young and other occupants as they lounged in leather seats.  Drivers pounded out tunes on the dashboard or punched cellular telephone keyboards.  Travel was a pleasure.  

Some treasured the hours spent on the road.  Life was good not so long ago.  Few complained.  Less requested freedom from fossil fuels.  Progressives may have postured; it is time for a change.  However, few fled from their automobiles.  The price of petroleum may have transformed their habits temporarily.

On Friday, (May 23, 2008) the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reported that Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles in March 2008 than in March 2007.  According to the FHWA, that’s the sharpest drop since the agency began keeping records in 1942.

Calculate Risk provides some context:

This is only the third time since 1970 that the year-over-year change in total U.S. miles driven has declined.  The previous two times were following the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 — and led to the two most severe U.S. recessions since WWII.

Drivers, some now riders, rejoice.  History teaches us economic downturn do not last.  This too shall pass.  Most anticipate the shift is but a provisional switch.  Indeed, Americans work to receive assurance.  They rant and rage.

The President of the United States hears the cries.  He responds.  In April 2008, as Americans clamored for affordable fuel George W. Bush eloquently expressed elucidations to calm the citizenry.  As a Mom or Dad might soothe a baby who bawls incessantly disturbs the parent who only wishes to please his or her progeny, President Bush proposed we do as has long satisfied spoiled Americans.  George W. Bush proposes oil companies provide the people with what they want, more petroleum at prices the electorate likes.

As a self-proclaimed steward of the environment, the President said he would never wish to harm the land.  He assured Americans, if we were to drill for fuel in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] that would be responsible stewardship, regardless of what some scientist say.  Mister Bush declared if Americans simply increase the supply of fossil fuels, demand would be met.  After all, is that not the goal.  Give the baby a bottle of sweet crude and they will stop crying.

Studies show oil pumped from the Artic would have little impact on the cost or availability of petroleum; however, that information is less significant than immediate gratification might be.  John McCain understands this.  He is sensitive to the research and to the millions who intellectually reject the claims the Chief Executive makes.  Senator McCain has a reputation for being a maverick.  He relates to people who, in the twenty-first century, are more environmentally conscious.  The Grand Old Party nominee knows the citizens can no longer be cajoled to believe drills do no damage.  In the Information Age, the electorate is enlightened.  

John McCain is cognizant; the people will only be persuaded to do as they desire if a Presidential aspirant promises to reduce greenhouse gases.  Therefore, he proposes a cap and trade solution.  This policy would allow companies to buy and sell emission credits.  Those who wish to splurge and surge the grid can continue to do so.  Energy exploiters can garner greater credit from those who are prepared to scrimp.  The people who prefer to remain plugged in can.  Those who wish to leave a smaller carbon footprint may do so.  Everyone will be happy, and energy policies will not substantially change what is.

In remarks prepared for delivery Monday at a Portland, Ore., wind turbine manufacturer, the presidential contender says expanded nuclear power must be considered to reduce carbon-fuel emissions.  He also sets a goal that by 2050, the country will reduce carbon emissions to a level 60 percent below that emitted in 1990.

Americans are again gratified.  Change can be delayed.  There is no rush to an energy revolution.  Indeed, this proposal will furnish fission and not provide an authentic substantive solution.  McCain’s Nuclear Waste could possibly contaminate the ground water.  The senior Senator does not discuss the need to prevent nuclear proliferation, the problem with security at nuclear facilities.  Indeed, speculation is John McCain is a proponent of nuclear energy for political reasons.  Imagine that.  Assuage the people who have the power and finances to further a career and all will be well.

Senator McCain and the people, rich and poor, will retain the luxury that has long been essential.  The public and the official can portray themselves as environmentalists.  Yet, they need not abandon the way of life that has sustained them.  John McCain states as many Americans do.

As never before, the market would reward any person or company that seeks to invent, improve, or acquire alternatives to carbon-based energy . . .

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] I believe is a pristine place.  I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades . . .

I believe that climate change is real.  It’s not just a greenhouse gas issue.  It’s a national security issue.??

However, Senator McCain has a record.  He voted against tax credits to promote research.  The League of Conservation Voters granted Senator McCain a zero rating on environmental issues.  In 2007, the supposed ecological standard-bearer McCain missed all 15 critical environmental votes in the Senate.  In the course of his Senatorial lifetime, only twenty-four (24) percent of the time did John McCain vote in favor of conservation.

McCain Missed Opportunity To End Big Oil Tax Breaks to Invest in Clean Energy.  In 2007, McCain was the only senator who failed to vote on a motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Energy Independence and Security Act.  This vote was about whether to close $13 billion in tax breaks for major oil and gas companies to invest in new clean energy technologies such as wind and solar, and efficiency.  Sixty votes were required for passage.  The motion was rejected 59-40.  (CQ.com; HR 6, Vote #425, 12/13/07)

Actually, all Americans have a history that contradicts what they say is their truth.  We, the people consume and waste, we purchase and pollute.  We scrounge for energy-wise merchandise.  Then, we buy not the most environmentally efficient product, but the best bargain.  Many of us know what we did in the past, although we do not wish to speak of it.

Only years after citizens of this country waited in long lines for fuel, as a nation, Americans mused of the humorous hours they spent engrossed in an energy crisis.  Once more, the public concluded it was time for a change; yet, they proved that transformation was not what they really wanted.

In 1976, the people elected an Executive Officer who did not wish to appease the people.  On January 30, 1977, Jimmy Carter said what he reiterated days later on February 2, 1977; two weeks after the former farmer took office.  The President engaged the public in a fireside chat.  Donned in a casual cardigan sweater Mister Carter somberly said . . .

(T)he United States is the only major industrial country without a comprehensive, long-range energy policy . . . our failure to plan for the future or to take energy conservation seriously – started long before this winter, and it will take much longer to solve.

I realize that many of you have not believed that we really have an energy problem.  But this winter has made all of us realize that we have to act . . .

Our program will emphasize conservation.  The amount of energy being wasted which could be saved is greater than the total energy that we are importing from foreign countries.

The American people looked, listened, and laughed at a President who would suggest.  “All of us must learn to waste less energy.  Simply by keeping our thermostats, for instance, at 65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night we could save half the current shortage of natural gas.”  

Citizens in this, the wealthiest nation in the world thought there was no need to worry.  There never is.  Americans are encouraged to live in the moment.  This petroleum predicament would pass.  The people then, just as now, ignored the cautions.  Months later, President Jimmy Carter offered  . . .

(Energy, the supply and demand) is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.

We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

Yet, in the past and in the present, the public, while intellectually eager to leave a lush legacy for the progeny, does not wish to think of  how what we do establishes the future.  Few Moms and Dads ponder the profundity of energy policies.  Prices are the only issue of import to the common folk.  Countless will contact their Representatives to complain; the cost of gas is too high.  Who will call and say, let the price of fuel rise?  Americans cannot continue to eat oil.

Certainly, it will not be the millions pacified or the few who cling to the words of a scientist or two who scoff, humans have little effect on the environment.  Will the people who read recent reports realize the need for immediate change.  Will the informed relent and say, “I will no longer be placated,” or will they respond to this energy crisis as they did in the last century when there was still time to correct the calamity that may now be out of our control?

Our countrymen may be content as spoiled children are.  Perhaps, Americans will again stomp their feet, hold their breath, pound on the table and buy a gas-guzzler regardless of the admonition.  The public may say, “Give me, give me, give me what I want, or else!”  Let me eat oil, or maybe, just maybe, the childish ways of Americans will be gone with the wind.  We can only hope that the people will no longer crave pacification and conciliation.

Our Resources and References . . .

The Elections and Ethics; Gas and Gratification



Will A Gas Tax Holiday Help?

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Americans speak of the divide within this country.  Most accept the labels.  We are a nation of Red states and Blue regions.  People define themselves as Conservatives or Liberals.  West Virginian primary election voters, who were asked, reinforced the notion in this nation we are not unified.  One fifth of those polled stated, skin color influenced their decision.  Former Senator John Edwards often expresses his distress for what he sees as “Two Americas.” The one time Presidential candidate reminds us of why the common folks clamor.  The rich get richer while the poor become more impoverished.  For some of those who fight to endure, a “gas tax holiday” is thought essential.  Others believe such a measure will negatively effect the infrastructure and the environment.  In Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 14, 2008 a Black man and a white man stood on a stage together united and equal.  Some, in this splintered nation of ours, thought this was a sign.  Perhaps, Americans would finally come together as one.

People applauded and expressed a sincere hope for the future.  However, what segregates us may not be easily transcended; nor is it obvious and observable.  Ethically, Americans are not united.  Often the person the public elects to govern does not share their values, although citizens believe the esteemed Representatives do.  Rarely do we imagine that there are a myriad of definitions for morality.  However, there are.  What one person or persuasion thinks rational and reasonable is heinous to another.  This is not obvious or observable, for we all feel certain there is but one truth.  Nonetheless, research illustrates what we might consider before we hire, the next President/

Holier Than Thou? Employees Who Believe They Are ‘Ethical’ Or ‘Moral’ Might Not Be

ScienceDaily

October 31, 2007

Bad behavior seems rampant in business [politics], and scholars are divided as to why people act ethically or unethically.  Many have argued that ethical behavior is the result of simple judgments between right and wrong.  Others suggest that the driving force behind ethical behavior is the individual’s moral identity, or whether the individual thinks of him/herself as an ethical person.

New research from the University of Washington suggests that both of these forces are at play.  In two separate studies, Scott Reynolds, an assistant professor in the Michael G. Foster School of Business, and Tara Ceranic, a doctoral student studying business, surveyed roughly 500 college students and managers about their ethical behaviors.

In the first study, researchers asked students if they would have cheated in college in order to score better on a test.  Those who explicitly considered themselves to be moral people and considered cheating to be morally wrong were the least likely to cheat.  In contrast, students who considered themselves to be moral but saw cheating as an ethically justifiable behavior were the worst cheaters.

“Our research suggests that a moral identity motivates behavior, but that accurate, ethical judgments are needed to set that behavior in the right direction,” Reynolds says.  “A person’s moral identity can interact with his or her judgments and actually push ethical behaviors to extreme levels, as we saw with the students who decided that cheating was justifiable and OK.”

According to the researchers, a moral identity specifically centers on a person’s moral aspects and acts as a self-regulatory mechanism that sets parameters for individual behavior and motivates specific actions that are moral.

Previous studies implied that moral identity is “good” when it is associated with and motivates individuals toward socially desirable outcomes such as volunteering and making charitable donations.

Reynolds and Ceranic found that this motivational force needs direction, and that without proper guidance a moral identity can conceivably push individuals toward socially undesirable behaviors.

“Moral identity seems to be more motivational in nature than ‘moral’ in nature,” Reynolds says.  “Managers and organizations should not just assume that a moral identity will necessarily translate into moral behaviors.”

Executives and the electorate must consider that a performance may not be as principled as it appears.  Adults are only children in older bodies.  Babies learn how to get what they want.  Boys and girls perfect the practice.  Men and women are masters.  As we age, Americans, become better actors, not more ethical, merely more expert entertainers, and obtainers.

In a prosperous nation such as the United States, when a baby cries, Mommy coddles her child with the candy he craves.  If she does not, mother risks the toddler will throw a tantrum.  Dad does not hesitate when his little princess screams, “I want it!”  Papa understands a young women’s scorn can be great.  Daddy has no desire to be part of a stressful situation.  

Parents have learned to pamper themselves.  Moms and Dads indulge themselves, just as their caregivers’ cosseted them in their youth.  In this nation, people expect to receive.  Here, we have more than we need, and the price is right, or it was until the cost of petroleum rose.  Granted, many struggled to survive before the bottom fell out of the oil barrel.  However, these impoverished individuals were and are virtually invisible to the mainstream.  Perhaps, those without never had the opportunity to grasp the notion that the ends justify the means.  Nor did these less than distinctive individuals fully comprehend in affluent America if you wish to be successful and fulfilled you must adopt a certain style, an ethical standard.

Give the people what they want and you will get what you need.  Presidential hopefuls, New York State Senators, Governors, and those who are groomed for political prominence are fully aware of this truism.  

Promise the public a holiday from gas taxes, and perchance they will award you with additional support or  a spectacular win.  If a political aspirant wishes to ensure greater success amongst the electorate, then pledge to punish those who the people envision as the enemy.  Large corporations, whose Chief Executive Officers profit off the petroleum people depend on, conglomerates such as ExxonMobil,  are always good targets.  It will matter not that experts define the plan as a quick fix. A person who seeks  the highest office in the land will not be concerned if members of Congress, friends or fellow colleagues, reject the proposal.  Words of woe from Economists will not deter a determined doctrinaire dilettante.  When a man or a woman thinks they are correct, experienced, and will be the “best” Commander, then a plan, a pander, are appreciated for the power they yield.  Hence, talk of what may be a terminal action. a holiday that might place our planet in peril, will not die.  

This truth is evident out on the stump.  A month after Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton were harshly criticized by fiscal and political policymakers for a proposed “gas tax holiday’ the scheme survives.  Indeed, the rhetoric thrives.  Americans are comfortable with cognitive dissonance.  They embody this demeanor.  Let us have our cake and eat it too.

McCain: I will not shirk, the mantle of leadership that the United States bears.  I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges.

Bash: McCain promised  . . . To reduce greenhouse gases, he proposes a cap and trade solution which caps gas emissions but allows companies to trade emission credits.

McCain: As never before, the market would reward any person or company that seeks to invent, improve, or acquire alternatives to carbon-based energy.

Bash: Portraying himself as a rare species of green Republicans is a regular part of McCain’s stump speeches.

McCain: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR] I believe is a pristine place.  I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades.

Bash: But coming to Oregon to highlight his environmental proposals is all about the fight  . . . for independent voters.  It’s why McCain is using one of his most precious resources — campaign cash . . .

McCain: I believe that climate change is real.  It’s not just a greenhouse gas issue.  It’s a national security issue.?? End Video Clip) ??

Bash: (on-camera): Democrats and several left leaning environmental groups blasted McCain for what they call hypocrisy.  Putting out, for example, that he praised renewable energy here at this wind power plant, but voted against tax credits to promote research.  The McCain campaign insists that legislation and others like it collided with another priority, which is to cut excess spending.

Indeed, the dollar dictates decorum.  Mores and expediency are often found in monetary policy.  In an opulent region, some pray to the Almighty buck.  It is no wonder the words “In G-d We Trust” are inscribed on every bill and embossed on each coin.

In this, the most affluent nation on the planet, all, but the hidden few, know it is possible to get what you want and not spend much.  Hence the harangue; Americans desperately want to ensure life is comfortable just as it once was.  Until now, in this country, petroleum was cheap . . . and that is the way the people like it.  Actually, comparatively speaking, the price Americans pay for petrol is still relatively low.

Our countrymen are as spoiled children.  They stamp their feet, hold their breathe, pound on the table and say, “Give me, give me, give me what I want, or else!”  Just as parents respond to the pleas of their babies, so too do Presidential hopefuls.  Moms, Dads, and potential Commander-In-Chiefs may be labeled as leaders; however, often they follow.  Ethical standards are often silenced in a time of turmoil.  Consequences can often outweigh principled wisdom.  We see this logic in our children, and in ourselves.

Perhaps, Americans might take a moment and reflect; are we children being coddled, the parent whose priority is to please, or the individual who will patronize just to get what they want?

Might we ponder when a Commander-In-Chief or a Presidential aspirant presents a plan that benefits him or her more than it does the progeny and the people seven generations from now.  Please remember the research; “Employees Who Believe They Are ‘Ethical’ Or ‘Moral’ Might Not Be.”

Consider the scenario.  Senator Clinton offers a glorious summary of her experience.  She is abundantly able.  When her future employer, the electorate, pressed her on an important issue, such as the cost of gas, Hillary Clinton offered her plan to the people who might provide her with what she most wants.  Just prior to the primary elections in Indiana and North Carolina, the former first Lady Hillary Clinton called for gas tax holiday.

The Arizona and New York Senators were not the only government officials to suggest that Americans need some relief, even if only temporary.  Governors also thought to appease the masses.  One day after Economists everywhere pointed to the problems with such a plan, Governors from The Everglades expanse, in the Show Me State, in The Empire area and lawmakers in the Lone Star region signed on to the idea that citizens need a gas tax holiday.

States Get In on Calls for a Gas Tax Holiday

By Damien Cave

The New York Times

May 6, 2008

Slocomb, Ala. – Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida has been fighting to cut 10 cents from the state’s gasoline tax for two weeks in July.  Lawmakers in Missouri, New York and Texas have also proposed a summer break from state gas taxes, while candidates for governor in Indiana and North Carolina are sparring over relief ideas of their own.

If experience with such gas tax “holidays” is any guide, drivers would save less than politicians suggest. But that is not necessarily the point.

“It’s about trying to serve the people and trying to understand and have caring, compassionate hearts for what they’re dealing with at the kitchen table,” said Mr. Crist, a Republican.

He added, “I’m supposed to respond to the people and try to make them happy.”

As talk of the possibility increases, throughout the countryside individuals are thankful.  To many Americans it seems, finally, politicians are listening to them.  The common folk forget that those who compete for elected positions never overlook the fact that the populace has the power to appoint a President, a Governor, or any other policymaker.  In a republic, many individuals who wish to “represent” Jane and John Doe have one purpose.  They wish to please [placate] the public.  If the people are content, the life of a politician is good.  If the public is displeased, they will act out as an angry child might.

Actually, parents [politicians] have learned to pamper themselves just as they were indulged in their youth.  Mother gives herself a present, or two.  She shops ’til she drops.  Papa purchases plenty for himself.  In the wealthiest country in the world, “Waste not; want not” makes little sense.  Here, we have more than we need, and the price is right, or it was until the cost of petroleum rose.  Americans, comfy and cozy with convenience do not consider the cost of a gas tax holiday.  Ordinary citizens look upon experts as overly protective.  Authorities always offer a doomsday scenario when they do not wish to give gifts.

Economists Criticize Clinton, McCain Gas-Tax Plans (Update1)

By Brian Faler

Bloomberg

May 5, 2008

More than 200 economists, including four Nobel prize winners, signed a letter rejecting proposals by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John McCain to offer a summertime gas-tax holiday.

Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz, former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin and 2007 Nobel winner Roger Myerson are among those who signed the letter calling proposals to temporarily lift the tax a bad idea. Another is Richard Schmalensee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was member of President George H.W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The moratorium would mostly benefit oil companies while increasing the federal budget deficit and reducing funding for the government highway maintenance trust fund, the economists said.

“Suspending the federal tax on gasoline this summer is a bad idea, and we oppose it,” the letter says. Economist Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution is among those circulating the letter.  Aaron said that while he supports Obama, the list includes Republicans and Clinton supporters.

If Economists from each political party convincingly challenge a plan proposed by esteemed and ethical persons such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, how might the people evaluate the dichotomy.?  Who might, we the people, the electorate, those who employ a President trust?

Certainly, these political contenders have long been admired.  Senators Clinton and  John McCain would not  have risen though the ranks were they not qualified, quality candidates.  Americans can have faith neither, a respected former prisoner of war, or a revered former First Lady, would recommend a policy that would intentionally harm the public.  Nor would these leader postulate a proposal that would place the planet in peril.  Yet, Economists, and yes, even Ecologists caution constituents that the gas tax holiday is unwise.  Hence, Americans are left to inquire, how might this variance be explained?  

The answer may not be as obvious as we would wish it to be.  We cannot condemn or condone a plan as Conservative or Progressive.  While the strategies differ, logistically, symbolically they are similar.  Each hopes to allow Americans to continue to consume as they had.  A satiated society can and will simply dismiss ethical questions, and ignore environmental issues.  A child content with candy does not consider how the sugar rots the teeth.  A Mom, who is comfortable with convenience foods, does not contemplate fresh fruits and vegetables might be much more nutritious.  A father fine with his fleet of vehicles does not ponder how he pollutes the air.  

Americans happy to have a gas tax holiday do not think beyond today.  Few recall what was foremost on the minds of the people in the 1970s.  As citizens in this country realized the reality of an energy crisis, laws were passed to improve fuel economy.  Memories are short.  The desire for self-satisfaction is deep.  In 2005, near three years ago, a New York Times editorial addressed what was and continues to be true.

There’s no serious disagreement that two major crises of our time are terrorism and global warming. And there’s no disputing that America’s oil consumption fosters both. Oil profits that flow to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries finance both terrorist acts and the spread of dangerously fanatical forms of Islam. The burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse emissions that provoke climate change. All the while, oil dependency increases the likelihood of further military entanglements, and threatens the economy with inflation, high interest rates, and risky foreign indebtedness. Until now, the government has failed to connect our crises and our consumption in a coherent way.

That dereliction of duty has led to policies that are counterproductive, such as tax incentives to buy gas guzzlers and an overemphasis on increasing domestic oil supply, although even all-out drilling would not be enough to slake our oil thirst and would require a reversal of longstanding environmental protections.

Now, however, the energy risks so apparent  . . . have created both the urgency and the political opportunity for the nation’s leaders to respond appropriately. The government must capitalize on the end of the era of perpetually cheap gas, and it must do so in a way that makes America less vulnerable to all manner of threats – terrorist, environmental, and economic.

The best solution is to increase the federal gasoline tax . . .  That would put a dent in gas-guzzling behavior, as has already been seen in the dramatic drop in the sale of sport-utility vehicles. And it would help cure oil dependency in the long run, as automakers and other manufacturers responded to consumer demand for fuel-efficient products.

Still, raising the gas tax would be politically difficult – and for very good reasons. The gas tax, which has been at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, is painfully regressive. It hits hardest at poor people for whom fuel costs consume a proportionally larger share of their budgets; rural dwellers for whom truck-driving over long distances is an everyday activity; and the gasoline-dependent middle class, particularly suburban commuters, who, on top of living far from their workplaces, have been encouraged by decades of cheap gas to own large, poor-mileage vehicles.

Fortunately, those drawbacks can be overcome.  A bolstered gas tax would raise huge amounts of revenue, roughly $1 billion for every penny of additional tax. Some of that money would have to be used to provide offsetting tax breaks to low-income households, such as an increase in the earned income tax credit . . . Eventually, the gas tax would pinch consumers less, as revenues from it are used to finance long-term structural changes to reduce oil dependency, including mass transit and research into alternative fuels and technologies.

Might Americans be ready to consider, a policy that protects a lifestyle of over-consumption is not as ethical as it would appear to be.  Those who vie for votes, wish to be employed by the electorate.  A candidate may benefit from a simple solution, but what of the Seventh Generation.  Will American adults continue to be as children concerned with nothing but immediate gratification?

There is a better way. Truly dealing with global warming . . .  The good news is that doing so is far more popular politically  . . . Voters overwhelmingly support this objective, and Gallup found last year that 65 percent of voters support spending at least $30 billion a year to do it.

If the environmental movement is to finally translate its rhetoric into reality, it will need to shift its focus from making dirty energy expensive to making clean energy cheap.

Truly, ethical parents who care for the lives of the children in the present, do not indulge, pamper, or pander to the whims of those who have yet learned the art of patience.  The best Moms and Dads teach the young, or juvenile at heart, to plan for the seventh generations, Might we all reflect upon the Chinese proverb . . .

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

As we consider which of the Presidential candidates we will hire, perchance we might ponder.  Are solid solutions and ten-point plans as fish in what we are led to believe is an abundant sea of aquatic vertebrae?  Might a mentor who inspires us to catch our own schools of trout, bass, and salmon better serve us, the people better?  Think of the species yet to be discovered.  

As employers, the electorate, we, future fishermen must assess, who truly has our best interest at heart.  Which individual shares our sense of ethics?  May we acknowledge and act on the imperceptible.  Morality is often in the eyes of the beholder.

References, Research, “Realities” Revealed . . .

Mother Earth Catastrophically Ill. Humans; Cause and Cure?



Mother Earth

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Mother Earth is catastrophically ill.  Our Mother is warm with fever.  Scientists at the National Research Council report the  temperature on the Earth’s surface has increased one degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) during the last century.  The consensus is her children gave rise to the heat that now harms her.  

The carelessness of her youngest brood, people, may kill the benevolent parent.  All the progeny inherited is endangered by their presence. For centuries, Mother Earth provided the best for her young.  For eons, her offspring were appreciative.   She asked for noting in return.  Reciprocal reverence was the only rule.  Somehow, this standard was lost when people began to populate the planet.

Scientists strongly suggest human activity altered what was once a vibrant balance in “Mom’s” home.  People put the planet is in peril.  Mother Nature gave humans life, and mankind has progressively destroyed hers.  

What two-legged creatures classify as “growth,” generates greater amounts of greenhouse gases.  Currently, there is a high concentration of toxic chemicals in the air.  It is difficult to breathe, or be when the heavens are not healthy.

As people passionately produce the natural world suffers.  Earth, once a comfortable home for man and beast, plant and plankton, is no longer cozy.

Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 35 percent greater, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The presence of methane in the air is now 151 percent above pre-industrial levels.  Noxious nitrous oxide is more plentiful in our skies than it was two hundred years earlier.  The amount of this colorless, nonflammable, sweet-smelling gas, is more 18 percent higher than it was only two centuries ago.

Many researchers and experts who have studied global warming believe people are the likely culprits for change.  The burning of fossil fuels, emissions from vehicles, and the clearing of forests has placed this astronomical body, its inhabitants, and all other beings in jeopardy.

More than seventy species vanish from the planet Earth each day.  Deforestation is one of the many obvious causes for the extinction of life. Climate change is another result.  

As the rates of rainfall, increase and decrease throughout the globe, residents worldwide and within America can no longer simply hold onto our hats and hope that hurricanes and hailstorms will pass.  People must find a way to hang on to their roofs.  The removal of plants and trees devastates all forms of life.

Overpopulation taxes our resources.  Yet, each day egocentric humans consume and consume.  People, their vehicles, and the factories that belch out the bile obliterate the Mother who gave birth to us all.

Today, on Earth Day, April 22, 2008, might we, every one of us consider we were the ailment that hurt our Mother, and only we can provide the cure?

Resources, the Environment, The Rape and Mother Earth . . .

Climate Change; An Impeachable Offense?

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert


Please Help the Polar Bears.  View the video and act.  Save the Polar Bears: The Coca-Cola Bear Ad Mash Up

The Bush/Cheney Administration denied global warming for years.  Denouncing scientific evidence served this presidential pair and their business partners well.  Entrepreneurial enterprises prospered.  Profits grew as the icecaps melted.  Ocean waters warmed, so too did the hearts of Chief Executives.  Corporate coffers swelled.  Misters Bush and Cheney benefited.

Therefore, the two and their cronies elected to create an Energy Task Commission comprised of corporate bigwigs.  Scientists were barred from these “public” proceedings.  Actually, the American people were not allowed to participate in policy decisions that concerned them directly.  Environmentalists, oh no.  They could not contribute or assist in creating a plan that might save the Earth.  Worries about waste were not aired.  Increasing the use of electrical and petroleum power were favored.  The preponderance of evidence offered in committee focused on commercial financial gains.

Energy guidelines were illusive; possibly, because they were designed to generate more revenue, not to save the planet or preserve our natural resources.  Please ponder the records.

A Bush administration report suggests that evidence of global warming has begun to affect animal and plant populations in visible ways, and that rising temperatures in North America are due in part to human activity.

The report to Congress, issued Wednesday, goes further than previous statements by President Bush.  He has said more scientific research is needed before he imposes new restrictions on greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

In 2001, after the release of a National Academy of Sciences report on global warming, Bush said the concentration of greenhouse gases has increased, in large part, because of human activity, but he emphasized that other factors could have influenced warming.  Referring to the NAS report, he said, “We do not know how much effect natural fluctuations may have had on warming.”

Several administration officials characterized the study as a routine annual summary of scientific research on global warming.  John H. Marburger, the president’s science adviser, said the report has “no implications for policy.”

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney enacted policies that accelerated climate change.  The globe that we inhabit warmed.  No one noticed, or at least few complained.  Now, even those that worked with Mister Bush and Mister Cheney are screaming, “What were we thinking?”  What were they thinking?  Even Cheney’s fund manager is up in arms and voicing his outrage.

Cheney’s Fund Manager Attacks … Cheney
By Brett Arends
Mutual Funds Columnist

The oil-based energy policies usually associated with Vice President Dick Cheney have just come under scathing attack. There’s nothing remarkable about that, of course — except the person doing the attacking.

Step forward, Jeremy Grantham — Cheney’s own investment manager. “What were we thinking?’ Grantham demands in a four-page assault on U.S. energy policy mailed last week to all his clients, including the vice president.

Titled “While America Slept, 1982-2006: A Rant on Oil Dependency, Global Warming, and a Love of Feel-Good Data,” Grantham’s philippic adds up to an extraordinary critique of U.S. energy policy over the past two decades.

What Cheney makes of it can only be imagined.

“Successive U.S. administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change,” he writes, “and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain.”

Yet, “there is now nearly universal scientific agreement that fossil fuel use is causing a rise in global temperatures,” he writes. “The U.S. is the only country in which environmental data is steadily attacked in a well-funded campaign of disinformation (funded mainly by one large oil company).”

Now, the polar bears are endangered.  People throughout the nation are experiencing record breaking high and low temperatures.  Tornado winds move more rapidly than they have in the past.  Snows flakes fall and build incomprehensible banks. Weather is now an enigma.  Perchance, some humans think it another enemy.  We know not what the day will bring.  We are only certain that humans harmed the environment.  We do not only warm the planet, we pulverize the ears and organs of those that inhabit this world with us.  People such as the President who focus on profits and creature comforts forget, we too are animals.  What we cause will have an effect!

We can thank President Bush for lowering the standards that were helping to reverse the damage.  This Administration ignored the natural balance and thus hastened the decline.  The Bush/Cheney clan denied that humans influence what happens here on Earth.  Hence, they allowed actions that reeked havoc throughout the planet.  Currently, the two reluctantly admit to the effect humans have on the environment, or at least scientists are forcing them to face what they hid.

On the Climate Change Beat, Doubt Gives Way to Certainty
By William K. Stevens

In the decade when I was the lead reporter on climate change for this newspaper, nearly every blizzard or cold wave that hit the Northeast would bring the same conversation at work.

Somebody in the newsroom would eye me and say something like, “So much for global warming.” This would often, but not always, be accompanied by teasing or malicious expressions, and depending on my mood the person would get either a joking or snappish or explanatory response. Such an exchange might still happen, but now it seems quaint. It would be out of date in light of a potentially historic sea change that appears to have taken place in the state and the status of the global warming issue since I retired from The New York Times in 2000.

Back then I wrote that one day, if mainstream scientists were right about what was going on with the earth’s climate, it would become so obvious that human activity was responsible for a continuing rise in average global temperature that no other explanation would be plausible.

That day may have arrived.

Similarly, it was said in the 1990s that while the available evidence of a serious human impact on the earth’s climate might be preponderant enough to meet the legal test for liability in a civil suit, it fell short of the more stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” test of guilt in a criminal case.

Now it seems that the steadily strengthening body of evidence about the human connection with global warming is at least approaching the higher standard and may already have satisfied it.

The second element of the sea change, if such it is, consists of a demonstrably heightened awareness and concern among Americans about global warming. The awakening has been energized largely by dramatic reports on the melting Arctic and by fear – generated by the spectacular horror of Hurricane Katrina – that a warmer ocean is making hurricanes more intense.

Now we know what we always knew, but chose to ignore.  Our President and Vice President have profoundly changed our planet.  Their energy policies have devastated the world climate.  Might we ask; is global warming an impeachable offense? 

Each day, the Earth decrees, ‘We must condemn these perpetrators of environmental crimes.’  The winds and waterways are clamoring for justice.  They act out seeking long overdue attention.  Mother Nature is requesting we help her.  She says, ‘Please honor our shared planet.’  Do not do as the self-proclaimed compassionate conservative and his cunning colleague have done.  Do not destroy natural resources.  Preserve the balance.  We might consider that with every tempest, with each extreme temperature change, with rampant animal extinctions the environment is screaming, ‘Prosecute President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney.’  Please, let us heed the call!


Please speak to Senator Barbara Boxer.  She is asking for suggestions.

  • How would you stop Global Warming?  PAC for Change

    Climate Change and the Bush/Cheney Clan . . .

  • Help Save Polar Bears from Global Warming.  National Resources Defense Council.
  • Global Warming Puts the Polar Bear at Risk of Extinction  National Resources Defense Council.
  • Hurricane fuel: warm, moist air over warm ocean water.  How a Category 5 monster is formed over the open sea,  By Keay Davidson.  San Francisco Chronicle.  Thursday, September 22, 2005
  • The Cheney Energy Task Force; Search the Energy Task Force Records.  National Resources Defense Council.
  • Going Backwards, Bush’s Energy Plan Bares Industry Clout, By Judy Pasternak.  Los Angeles Times.  Common Dreams.  August 26, 2001
  • pdf Hurricane fuel: warm, moist air over warm ocean water.  How a Category 5 monster is formed over the open sea,  By Keay Davidson.  San Francisco Chronicle.  Thursday, September 22, 2005
  • Bush policy harms environment, benefits industries, By Jennifer Carlise.  The Orbis  October 10, 2003
  • pdf Bush policy harms environment, benefits industries, By Jennifer Carlise.  The Orbis  October 10, 2003
  • Threatened By Global warming.  Animal Planet in collaboration with the United Nations.
  • Administration Shifts on Global Warming, By Juliet Eilperin.  Washington Post.?Friday, August 27, 2004; Page A19
  • pdf Administration Shifts on Global Warming, By Juliet Eilperin.  Washington Post.?Friday, August 27, 2004; Page A19
  • Cheney’s Fund Manager Attacks … Cheney, By Brett Arends.  Mutual Funds Columnist.  The Street.com.  February 5, 2007
  • On the Climate Change Beat, Doubt Gives Way to Certainty  By William K. Stevens.  The New York Times.  February 6, 2007
  • pdf On the Climate Change Beat, Doubt Gives Way to Certainty  By William K. Stevens.  The New York Times.  February 6, 2007