Friday, April 22, 2005

Mother Nature mad, very mad

How perfectly ironic that hail and thunderstorms in the skies over the Great Smoky Mountains National Park forced President Bush to seek shelter inside a Knoxville hangar on a day in which he planned to promote his so-called "Clear Skies" initiative.

Once out of harm's way, monkey boy said:

In the park, had I been there, I would have reminded people today is Earth Day, a day in which we recommit ourselves to being good stewards of the land [choke, choke, cough, cough]. We didn't create this Earth, but we have an obligation to protect it [wink, wink].

Since 1970, the air is cleaner and the water is more pure and we're using our land better, and our economy has grown a lot. My point is, it's possible to have economic growth and jobs and opportunity and, at the same time, be wise stewards of the land.

That's funny...I thought monkey boy has said that because environmental regulation hurts the economy, and that because there was a lot of bad science on the issue of global warming, he couldn't sign the Kyoto Treaty on greenhouse gases. I guess ice caps gushing into the oceans isn't proof enough.

There's a lot of good science on global warming in this week's installment of Now on PBS, including a sharp examination of the lunatic fringe wingnuts paid by the energy lobby to denigrate that science (Senator James Inhofe (R, OK), and Micheal Crichton), plus there's a broad array of perspectives on the "Clear Skies" initiative.

Interesting, too, that monkey boy likes to claim as his own the heritage of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, both signed by President Nixon, and given real teeth thanks to President Clinton, but which he, Bush, has already gutted by executive fiat because Congress won't pass his dirty "Clear Skies" legislation. You see - and as monkey boy is always fond of beginning - "what this legislation says is, is that" monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations keeps polluters from doing the right thing. Given the chance to get out from under the thumb of the people's laws, they'll volunteer to do the right thing.

Uh huh...that's how it was before the Clean Air Act. Yeah. Sure.

Environmentalist Hilton Kelley recalled how "Clear Skies" is working in Texas after a Port Arthur Motiva refinery accident:
It wasn't the first such incident, or "upset," at the 3,800-acre plant, a century-old, grime-stained industrial giant that glowers above Port Arthur's pancake-flat landscape. Motiva had experienced seven in just the previous 11 weeks, and the record of Port Arthur's other refineries wasn't much better; during one six-month period last year, barely a day went by without a toxic accident of some kind.

And so, Kelley knew just what to do as 128.3 tons of vaporized poisons -- including sulfur dioxide, hexane, carbon monoxide, isobutane -- began sifting earthward. He went door to door, warning his neighbors to either leave quickly or stay inside with the windows shut tight. He also made a phone call, to a toll-free number at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state agency charged with monitoring airborne toxic releases.

When a TCEQ staffer finally arrived, Kelley says, "I asked the guy, 'You got any air-monitoring equipment with you?' And the guy said, 'No.' And I thought, So...what? You're here to watch?"

As for thunderbolts crashing down from the heavens? Well...better luck next time!


The Hamster points out that Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative will make the most polluted National Park even more polluted (yep, that would be Ol' Smoky), then cites ThinkProgress which quoted Bush on the Smoky trip, "I’m proud to be traveling with...Lamar Alexander." The story just gets more amusing, because Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, told Senate colleagues on Monday that he will not support the Bush administration’s air pollution plan - known as "Clear Skies" - because it does not "go far enough, fast enough" to solve his state’s air pollution problems.


At 4/25/2005 02:21:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Is nothing out of that man's mouth unironic? "Clear skies," please. Next: the "Constitution Restoration Act."


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