Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Trees? We Don't Need No Stinking Trees!



GeorgeBushCo. has proposed a change in law that would pave the way (pun certainly intended) for further destruction of America's forests.

BushCo.'s latest efforts would abolish the "roadless" rule, a rule passed by Bill Clinton that deemed nearly 60 million acres of national forest largely off-limits to logging, mining or other development...in other words, BushCo.'s buddies.

While proponents of BushCo.'s proposal claim it simply puts the destiny of our national forests in the hands of individual states rather than the national government, let's not kid ourselves. This is merely a way for logging and mining industries to expand their business. This, proverbially, is the slow nudge of a creaking door before it's abruptly kicked in. Sadly, once a forest is decimated, you cannot simply put the hinges back on.

Look, the more-money-at-all-costs yahoos who run the logging and mining industries, many of whom are, naturally, very "chummy" with BushCo., need to be stopped by rules such as the one Clinton passed and that they are now abolishing in the name of uncontrolled greed. There is no gray area here. They will not stop their expanding destruction unless strictly prevented by specific laws. Period. And, even then, they'll go down kicking and screaming.

If you think that, should BushCo.'s proposal pass, the unprotected forests will be left untouched out of the goodness of some logging CEO's heart, you're crazier than Mike Tyson on a bad day.

The ironic part? BushCo.'s proposal is all about putting the power in the hands of individual states...yet BushCo., strangely, lacks faith in individual states when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, which, it feels, even altering the Constitution is not a distance too far to travel to reach its preferred ends.

Weird, huh? No, not really.

BushCo. wants - needs! - the power in the hands of whoever serves its interest best. If that means the individual states, so be it. If it means smudging the Constitution with ultra-conservative, holy-rolling rhetoric, so be it.

Talk about flip-floppers!

There are some classic quotes coming from the mouth of James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (an oxymoron if ever I heard one.)

Try this one on for size. "They are national lands for public purpose."

Yep, as long as the "public" is the inside of some logging or mining bigwig's pocket.

OK, OK, it's true that there might be some locals in, say, Alaska or Idaho who'd find employment in this debacle, but are a handful of jobs really worth the decimation of forests that have stood for millions of year, and - get this! - are necessary for the survival of our environment as we know it.

How about this gem from Connaughton? When asked if he thought there would be more or less land remaining "roadless" (hence, untouched by loggers, miners, etc.) a decade from now, he replied, "Couldn't say. Couldn't say."

Somebody really needs to slap this guy because he's a pompous prick. The least he could do is be honest and say, "Yes, sadly, there will likely be an amount of business done. Yes."

Oh, by the way, in case you're interested in who Connaughton really is - before his present position, Connaughton, a lawyer (sorta like a certain John Edwards), lobbied on behalf of power companies and major electricity users and represented companies fighting Superfund cleanup rules. He also co-authored a 1993 law journal article, "Defending Charges of Environmental Crime - The Growth Industry of the '90s."

Basically, Connaughton gets his kicks (and makes his money) by fighting for people who benefit from abusing our planet in the quest for the almighty dollar.

Like I said, somebody really needs to slap this Connaughton guy. Maybe it would dislodge his tongue from Bush's ass.

Incidentally, this is Mr. Connaughton. He just looks like a weasel, like he got picked on at school...alot.



The moral of the story? Don't pick on kids at school because they might grow up to take it out on the environment.

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