Turn on your Righteous Anger Indicator: this is going to be a rant. A political one.
I have heard recently that GWB is considered the president with the worst environmental record in US history. That’s quite an indictment don’t you think?
The other day I read an article entitled ‘THE ALASKA CHAINSAW MASSACRE” by Osha Gray Davidson (Feb. 5th Rolling Stone) in which he describes the way that in 2002 the US economy paid $35 million to build roads into a unique and priceless piece of Alaskan wilderness so that the timber industry (friends and supporters of you know who) could harvest $1.2 million worth of lumber.
Do we need timber this badly? Apparently not. Davidson writes: “Tree farms in the lower forty-eight provide plenty of wood to meet the country’s needs, and a worldwide glut of timber has been forcing prices down for years. Today there are only 200 timber-related jobs left in southeast Alaska.”
It appears that these trees our governement is so happily helping to cut down to ship to Asia and turn into mulch aren’t just any old trees either – many of them are Sitka Spruce trees that are at least 600 years old. That means, as Davidson so eloquently puts it, these trees were “already 100 years old when Columbus set out to find a new route to India.”
Let’s face it this one piece of environmental insanity is just a pimple on the bottom of our incessant industrial greed. Why are we doing this to ourselves and more importantly to a world that Bush’s twin daughters and you and yours will have to live in? I don’t have kids. By the time all this insanity comes home to roost – and there are too many people and pollutants and not enough food & water to go around – I’ll be pushing up daisies. Assuming that the environment will support them of course.
I think we all need to think about what we have in this enormous and bountiful world that we live in. Davidson makes this very crucial observation about our forefathers and how we’ve changed the face of America & the world in the last 200 years: “From the moment they set foot here, European settlers mistook ‘vast’ for ‘infinite’ and ‘abundant’ for ‘inexhaustible.'”
We’re getting to the point where infinite and inexhaustible are perhaps no longer applicable to the world in which we live. In the months to come and as the election approaches please make sure this is an issue we all discuss.
(P.S. Please feel free to track down that article and tell me I’m wrong. It would make my day to find out that everything’s hunk dory out in the woods.)
(P.P.S. It’s not just about the woods either. Try tracking down CRIMES AGAINST NATURE by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the 12/11/03 edition of Rolling Stone.)
(P.P.P.S. About eighteen months ago our dear leader agreed to repeal a decision made by the Clinton government that would make the Big 5 Detroit Auto makers produce cars that were vastly more fuel efficient. I think the goal was to produce cars that would average 25 mpg. The Big 5 said they couldn’t do it in the time alloted. Being an oilman GWB said OK and scrapped the law. I’ve just discovered this piece of trivia in the Harper’s Index column of an old edition of Funny Times: The maximum number of miles a 1912 Ford Model T could go on a gallon of gas in 1912 was 35 miles. Such is progress that the maximum number of miles that Ford’s most fuel efficient 2003 car can drive on a gallon of gas is 36 miles!