Saturday, September 3, 2011


Here's a video I found of my old pal, Dr. Mike Russo, Director of the Molloy College Center for Social and Ethical Concerns, talking about the American consumerist mentality:

Russo, of course, is correct in his identification of consumerism as a moral evil, but he's probably a bit too optimistic about voluntary simplicity as the solution to this problem. I honestly don't think that we Americans will ever get over our lust to consume....Not until the inevitable economic collapse occurs, that is!

Our So-Called Environmental President

Obama with EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson

Yesterday, the Obama Administration, in a deluded effort to appease conservatives and business interests, rejected a well-considered proposal from the E.P.A. to reduce emissions from smog polluting chemicals. The E.P.A, following the recommendations of it's scientific advisers, had proposed lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to 60-70 parts per billion. Ozone at its current levels has been linked with many major health care problems, including heart disease, asthma, and lung disorders. But who cares if small children can't breathe any more in the inner city without the help of least general Electric will be happy!

This latest decision comes on the heals of several others from the Obama administration that make you wonder how committed this so-called environmental President is to the environment. In recent weeks, the Obama administration has:

1) given Royal Dutch Shell the approval to drill for oil in the Arctic.
2) approved a 1,700 mile pipeline from Alberta to Texas.
3) has approved even more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, despite the fact that cleanup from the last oil spill there has not even been completed.

This sort of pandering to conservatives is foolish for two reasons: First, Republicans will never give Obama credit for anything, so the attempt to appease them by weakening environmental rules is a waste of time. And second, Obama stands a very good chance of alienating his own base, which is made up of people who strongly support much stricter environmental standards.

Perhaps it's time for the Green Party to run another candidate for President in 2012. The Green Party in Germany has shown that it can win elections when it runs candidates who have consistent and firm positions on environmental issues. Now, Americans, according to recent polls, feel as strongly about environmental protections as Germans do. So let's at least give them a candidate for President in 2012 who is really committed to reducing carbon emissions, investing in alternative energy sources, cleaning up our air and water, and ending the strangle-hold that Big Oil and Big Gas have over our economy. That candidate, sadly, doesn't appear to be Barack Obama.

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