Saturday, September 25, 2004

Bush: Strong Environmentalist

But, it might depend on how much of a sap you are:

But the administration's most enduring environmental legacy may lie here in the West, where a series of policy decisions and little-noticed administrative actions have eased development restrictions on millions of acres of federal lands. More than 60 million acres -- an area twice the size of Virginia -- are more vulnerable to logging or drilling as a result of policies that weakened federal restrictions on their development. Other administration actions have made it harder for government officials to apply the most stringent protections to federal wild lands. As part of a legal settlement reached last year with Utah, the administration banned government workers from surveying public lands to identify areas worthy of being set aside by Congress as federal preserves off-limits to development of any kind. More than 3 million acres of land that had been nominated for a congressional designation lost their protected status.

In addition, Interior officials have worked rapidly to revise dozens of federal land-use plans. The documents, developed without congressional oversight, determine whether large swaths of federal territory will be protected or thrown open to businesses seeking gas, oil, grazing lands or timber.

I, unfortunately, met such a sap.

True story: I met a guy in a bar a few months ago who claimed to hold a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering. I remember at least one of the degrees was from the University of Michigan - a very good school by most accounts. He worked in the DC area for an environmental engineering firm - doing goverment work, analyzing and protecting the environment and all that. He argued with me, vociferously, fully convinced, that Bush had very policies which were very beneficial for the environment. Not kidding. The dude seemed smart, except for this pro-Bush stuff coming out of his pie-hole. I was shocked, but some people are just so enamored of this Bush guy that they can't bring themselves to believe that he's a lying sack of shit. I'm not surprised that religious fundamentalists and racists and unintelligent (those just lacking any real brainpower) people love Bush, but to hear a dude who outwardly seemed intelligent, and someone with a damn masters degree in a scientific field, no less! - sound off on Bush as the next best thing for the environment - it's just surreal. I was disturbed, and amused, and befuddled at first, but it quickly went downhill from there.

As evidence of Bush's strong environmental credentials, this dunce told me about Bush's 'Clear Skies Initiative'. I said, "Yeah, what about it?" He said, "Well, you tell me." I thought to myself, "You have got to be fucking kidding me." So, I'm thinking he heard the name, knew he loved and trusted Bush, and so figured it must be a great bill. Ignorant fuck.

I, on the other hand, had just read a bunch of stuff about the Act and its effects, the spin, etc. two days previous, so I knew my shit. I knew I was ignorant about it, and like any smart citizen I know better than to trust what any politician says, so I read a bunch of critical analysis, and I read parts of the Act itself. I explained a little bit about what I knew about the trading system, about who crafted the bill, how, and why, and then Dear Leader's leading patriot in DC retorted with stuff like "That can't be true." I'd say, "Listen, man, it's true. I'm not making this up. I wish the dude had a good environmental policy, but he doesn't. He's being dishonest, and it's working, because even people like you believe that it must be good just because it's got a nice 'green' title." He wouldn't take my word for it.

I eventually went to the extreme, and proposed a hypothetical - to see if I could at least move this dude a little closer to reality. Follow the conversation between me (ME) and dumbass (DA) from that point on:

ME: "Let's just say that I'm right, that all the facts and figures I've just quoted to you are correct, that this Clear Skies Initiative is a pretty name on a horrific piece of legislation that is highly dangerous to the environment - would you then believe that Bush was being deceptive with this Clear Skies bill, and that the bill is, in fact, very dangerous to the environment?"
DA: "Well, I'd actually have to have actual figures to know for sure."

ME: This is just a hypothetical. Just pretend, just for three seconds, that every fact and figure I've quoted you is gospel, it's as true as true gets. It's just a hypothetical. Would you trust Bush, still?
DA: "Well, I'd have to see the actual percentages of dioxins in the air, etc."

ME: OK, let's try this one last time. This is only a hypothetical. It hasn't actually happened yet. It's a theory. I'm asking you to make a decision based on the facts that I present to you. All those facts are not verified yet, but I'm asking you to accept them, temporarily, for the sake of argument, so we can find out what you think. If all the information I've just given you is true, would you still believe that the Clear Skies Initiative was a good policy in terms of protecting the environment, and that Bush was telling you the truth about that policy?
DA: I would have to get the actual percentages, and figures, and...

ME: [shaking my head and smirking in disapproval] Forget it, dude, forget it...

Dude was a coward. Unable to admit that Dear Leader was a deceiving sack of shit. Unbelievable. Two words come to mind when I encounter an idiot like this: Un-American.

He was being willfully ignorant, to the detriment of his country and its citizens - all in the name of maintaining full, committed devotion to the gangster who occupies the Office of the President.

Love of country. Love of government. Different.

Love of President. Respect for Office of the President. Different.

This dude, and millions of Americans like him, can only figure that out when a Democrat occupies the White House. Unbelievable.

UPDATE: WaPo has an editorial saying vote Kerry if you give a *#&# about the environment.

WaPo also has a nice graphic to accompany the article above. It further explores Bush's treachery on the environment.

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