20 Years later

Rick Eaton is an ardent evnironmentalist – and a neighbor! – running for the Democratic nomination to challenge current and somewhat slimey Congressman Vern Buchanan here in the 13th District of Florida. Vern has money, lots of it. So he’s not likely to be unseated, but it is possible. This traditionally Republican County missed going Democratic in the Presidential election by fewer than 200 votes in 2008.

A Gulf War veteran and recovered corporate marketeer, Rick – via his Facebook page – has become my primary source on the Gulf oil leak. He’s posting frequently and with very informative stuff. If you’re on Facebook, go friend him.

On his Facebook page today, he posted this video from the World Wildlife Fund showing Prince William Sound 20 years after the Exxon Valdez. It’s sobering.  WWF has quite a few relevant videos at the link.

25 responses to “20 Years later

  1. Is there room for green ideas in the democratic party?

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    • Hey Jay:

      For every guy like Rick, there are a hundred who won’t step out of the herd. I remember Jimmy Carter in ’77 starting programs to get us off fossil fuels and putting all sorts of tax credits in place to stimulate research into renewables. Then we elected Ronald Reagan. And. that. was. the. end. of. that.

      The Democratic Party should hang its head in shame for not being green. BEing more green than the GOP just isn’t good enough.

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    • Is there room for green ideas in the democratic party?

      There’s not room for green in the GREEN party:

      Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal.

      The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

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  2. Howard Zinn points out the pro-corporate laws Jimmy Carter adopted and the damages they did to the US democracy.

    We have the same problem with our so-called mainstream left. A sparkle of green and that’s it.

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    • I agree with you re the mainstream left – i.e., the congress critters and recent administrations (except for Gore who is committed big house or not, cuz that’s not what it’s about.) Outside of Washington, there is a vibrant and strong environmental movement on the left – around the world.

      Re Carter: What pro-corporate laws? What damages?

      And Zinn? He was a deeply moral man whose experiences as a WWII bombadier informed the rest of his life. He was pretty much a socialist and found fault with all Democratic presidents. Ultimately, he was unable to accept the realities of politics and the need for compromise to get anything done. I don’t know if he left the Left behind or if the Left left him behind.

      And, of course, the direction of the US for a hundred years – in spite of Teddy Roosevelt’s best efforts – has been toward corporate power.

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      • there is a vibrant and strong environmental movement on the left – around the world.

        Forgetting everything you hate about here, do you think Palin is PRO environment or ANTI environment?

        I find it hysterical that a person finds no room at the inn when it comes to environmental issues unless he believes in the Religion of Global Warming.

        I like clean air and clean water and seeing blue birds in the house I built with my kids. I also enjoy life saving technologies. I enjoy innovation that has brought a level of prosperity to our generation that has transformed the greatest social ill from hunger to obesity.

        In other words, I acknowledge that I kill a tree to build my house, but the marginal value is worth the price.

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        • [Forgetting everything you hate about here]

          whoa pino – what does that mean? Perhaps you’re reacting to my leaving out a word. My meaning was “There is a vibrant environmental movement – here and around the world”. But even with my typ0, it’s still true – are we not part of the world?

          The environmental movement preceded what you call ‘religion of global warming’. The ‘greenhouse effect’ was posited in the 1800’s and serious research got underway right after WWII. The concept hit the mainstream in the 70’s with Carl Sagan’s show on TV.

          But well before most people understood or even knew about global warming, the environmental movement was robust – because of it air and water pollution in THIS COUNTRY were cleaned up big time. Huge changes. Nixon created the EPA. Bush I signed the Clean Air Act.

          But the biggest one of all was “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. Because of that 1958 book, we were the first country in the world to ban DDT.

          The US – until the last 30 years – led the way in pollution clean up and future energy technologies. We are now way behind.

          It’s time to catch up and set the example again, as we did for so long.

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          • whoa pino – what does that mean?

            My typo this time:

            Forgetting everything you hate about “her”. Her = Sarah Palin.

            Do you think she is PRO environment or ANTI environment?

            The concept hit the mainstream in the 70′s with Carl Sagan’s show on TV.

            I think it hit mainstream when Gore created “An Inconvenient truth”.

            But the biggest one of all was “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.

            I agree. A devastating book.

            Because of that 1958 book, we were the first country in the world to ban DDT.

            And because of that book, virtually no one in the world uses DDT. The result? People are dying by the millions.

            And DDT may not even be poisonous. There is simply little, if any, science to back that up.

            It’s time to catch up and set the example again

            Virtually no one I know is against a cleaner world. Virtually no one I know is willing to tax gasoline up to $9-$11 a gallon to make that happen.

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            • [The concept hit the mainstream in the 70′s with Carl Sagan’s show on TV.
              I think it hit mainstream when Gore created “An Inconvenient truth”.]

              I guess that depends on your age pino. By the time of Gore’s movie, though, the problem was already underway – it was measurable while in Sagan’s time it was considerably more theoretical.

              (and for some reason both Gore and Palin elicit passionate dislike and scorn, albeit from diff sides. What do you think they have in common that makes that so?

              You’re right about mosquito-borne diseases going up; shame on me for forgetting that. I believe alternatives are now being used. Even so, many more people are dying today from drought and desertification than from lack of DDT.

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        • Oh, and Palin? I have no idea. Really. She grew up in a frontier culture after all where the land and resources are as abundant as they were in the ‘lower 48’ a hundred years ago. So I really don’t see how her attitudes could have much relevance for the restr of us. It really is a different culture.

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          • I have no idea. Really.

            And that’s my point.

            The Left feels they are the only ones who care. And really have no idea about the rest of us non-Leftists.

            I just came back from a camping trip with my son. How in the world can you honestly debate that me and other non-Leftists are in favor of poisoning our water, tearing up all of our trees and killing all the animals?

            I mean, serious?

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            • [How in the world can you honestly debate that me and other non-Leftists are in favor of poisoning our water, tearing up all of our trees and killing all the animals?]

              Holy mary mother of god – that’s just not true pino. And where did I say any such thing?

              I will say though that there ARE some who don’t give a damn if their activities poison the streams, foul the air, take tops off mountains, kill species and ecosystems. Or tear up trees.

              But they aren’t you and they aren’t me. They are Shell Oil and Mass Mining. And others like them. And don’t come back and say how would I like to go without gas for my car or electricity for my house. One is not hte opposite of the other. Corporate responsibility might cut into profits but it wouldn’t put them out of business and it wouldn’t foul our world.

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              • wouldn’t foul our world AS MUCH. (while we spend the next few decades weaning ourselves off oil and coal and developing this century’s energy sources.)

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        • the Religion of Global Warming.

          Unlike religion, Global Warming is a fact, proven by a great deal of empirical evidence.

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          • Global Warming is a fact, proven by a great deal of empirical evidence.

            You mis-use words, and that’s dangerous.

            When you say Global Warming, what does that mean? Does that mean humans are using fuels and emitting CO2 such that the a positive feedback loop is going to occur that will cause much of Florida to go underwater and see the destruction of environments around the world?

            Then no, Global Warming is not a proven fact and IS a religion.

            If, however, you are saying that CO2 is, in fact, a greenhouse gas, and that by consuming fossil fuels humans are releasing some levels of CO2 into the atmosphere and THAT is causing a slight increase in what are otherwise normal temperature increases, then yes, Global Warming is a fact.

            But the Left is careless with words. And incites fear and poor policy based on it.

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            • Arb: Global Warming is a fact, proven by a great deal of empirical evidence.

              Pino said:You mis-use words, and that’s dangerous.

              Nothing in my statement is particularly misleading or a misuse of words as you claim. Only when you attempt to add ‘nuance’ to my position do things become more cloudy. So to conclude for clarification: My statement is meant to convey the message that the damn earth is getting warmer.

              On the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming or AGW, I’m fairly sure we’ll disagree to the degree of how humans are changing the environment for the worse.

              The baggage you add to my assertion, along with a mendacious false dichotomy, is tailored to suit your political leanings and ill founded skepticism of scientific consensus.

              Our climate is based on a series of dynamic equilibriums. If we charge the systems in question with enough energy(via our own doings coupled with the natural fluctuations) there is the potential that our climate will radically change. We have already passed several tipping points already; the Arctic Sea ice comes to mind as an example. The effects have yet to be fully measured, but the potential for drastic climate change remains.

              But the Left is careless with words.

              Especially when the words are put in their mouths by starry eyed libertarians like yourself. Kudos for making sweeping generalizations and then attributing them to the Left.
              And incites fear and poor policy based on it.

              For most of the industrial history, it has been a environmental degradation free for all. Essentially, who can rape the earth the quickest for the most profit.

              If by ‘poor policy’ you mean the small nudges toward responsible environmental stewardship and ending the orgy of destruction that sustains our current consumer culture, then by all the power vested in me being wholly representative of the Left plead guilty as charged.

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            • Deepwater Horizon. British Petroleum. Ltd.

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    • I appear to be feeling ‘talky’ today!

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  3. Maybe Zinn’s argument that all Presidents were assholes is a bit excessive. About Carter, I would need to read that chapter again…

    Anyway, I’m curious how these lunatic teabaggers will change US political landscape. They might make some room on the Left while they work on the Right.

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    • Well tomorrow may tell us part of the answer to that question! I actually do think the tea partiers are ‘the start of something big’.

      They could die out I guess after 2010, when they find out their dreams can’t all come true in one election, or a more coherent movement could emerge from the group that’s out there today.

      But whatever they’re shoulting on the streets . . . they’re at least right that reform is urgent. They have the villians (and the facts!) wrong, but they seem to read the zietgeist okay.

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  4. Pino: There’s not Left in American politics, only more-on-the-Left. Teabaggers call Obama a socialist, a communist… People in Canada and Western Europe look at that laughing. An American socialist can’t get involved in politics: there’s no room.

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    • I agree Jay – by almost all measures, this country has moved substantially to the right since 1980. All this business of calling Obama socialist, arobrist, whatever . . . it’s utter nonsense.

      Justice Stevens who is retiring is a perfect example of where we are. He was appointed by Ford and he ends up being the strongest liberal on the Court. He changed a little, but the country changed much more.

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    • Putting Obama on a non skewed political spectrum, he would most likely be considered, if anything, centre-right.

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  5. thanks for sharing this Moe.

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