Wednesday, September 21, 2011

While, on the campaign trail, a woman at an Obama rally shouted that American terrorists are left-wing environmentalists! As an environmentalist, I’ve been called a socialist, a communist, a terrorist, and other not so nice things.
While doing a climate change presentation at a movie theater, a group of Tea Partiers burst in and came down the center isle shouting, “global warming is a hoax” over and over until most of the audience left in fear of violence. The police had to escort me to my car. Hey Tea Party whatever happened to freedom of speech?
Perhaps many Tea Partiers’ are too young to remember Love Canal, a toxic dump that increased cancer rates in a New York community, or Ohio’s Cuyahoga River that caught fire from the toxic pollutants being dumped in it by unregulated industries?
Perhaps they forget that it was a Republican President, Richard Nixon, who established the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.
Of course big corporations hate these regulations because it costs them a small percentage of profit that would otherwise go into their pockets so they finance “think tanks” (what an oxymoron) like The American Enterprise Institute, The Cato Institute, and The Marshall Institute to name a few that feed money to pseudo-scientists to dispel real science to get rid of environmental regulations. 
They bring out “scientists” like Fred Singer who prostituted himself to the tobacco industry clamming cigarettes didn’t cause cancer. An industry memo that leaked to the press said “they wanted to create doubt in the public’s mind.” Then the chemical industry marched Singer out to claim that CFCs didn’t cause of the ozone hole in the atmosphere. Next, Singer came out disputing the science behind acid rain. Now, of course, he is one of the most outspoken “scientists” saying that climate change is a hoax. There are a few other scientists associated with these “think tanks” on the industry doll and it is amazing that they get so much traction in the media. More people get their message than get the true scientific facts.
Over 2,500 climatologists and every National Academy of Science worldwide agrees with the science behind climate change and are very alarmed about it. On top of that, just look around at the extreme weather events that are destroying, crops, livestock, water supplies, and communities to realize something very unusual is going on.
Imagine if the Tea Party and their ilk succeed in getting rid of our terrorist left-wing environmental regulations. What would that be like? 
Let’s begin in western Kentucky and West Virginia where the coal industry, due to very lax regulations, have so far, lopped off over 500 mountain tops destroying the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, removing entire towns, and destroying hundreds of miles of streams – all to get coal the cheapest way possible. Coal is the most dangerous and dirty fossil fuel we can burn and we should stop using it now. Coal Companies claim mountain top removal creates jobs, yet they replace 40 miners with each long-line machine they introduce.
Next, look at the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania New York, and New Jersey. With weak regulations, pristine state forests, game lands, and state parks, and people’s private property values are being destroyed by drilling activities and unsightly drilling pads and slurry ponds. People’s water supplies are being polluted with toxic fracking chemicals because environmental regulations are too weak to force drilling companies to tell people what’s being pumped into their groundwater. Some people set their faucets on fire by holding a match under it as water comes out.
Just because you don’t live in the Marcellus Shale area, don’t think you are exempt from this contamination. Much of that polluted water will seep into the Schuylkill and the Delaware waterways from underground channels and come right to your spigots. Not knowing what’s in the water means that your municipalities will not know how to treat it to make it safe.
These are just two current examples of why environmental regulations are vital to protect public health.  If it weren’t for the Clean Air Act, our air would be like China’s, so dirty that you wouldn’t be able to see from one end of a football field to the other.  God help you if you have a respiratory disease! And shame on President Obama for not having the spine to implement the tighter ozone regulations at the EPA last week.
 So, the next time you turn on your faucet to get a drink of water or make a pot of tea, remember to thank your luck stars for us terrorist commie left-wing environmentalist. 

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