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Environmental Progress Is a Cause for Right-Wing Paranoia Some conservatives have the wild notion that environmental policies are out to destroy American's freedoms. By Janet Smith, Intelligence Report. Posted December 12, 2008.
"...know-nothingism - the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise - has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through."
-- Know-Nothing Politics By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: August 7, 2008
"The research was conducted on children from three different areas of the United States, and found a strong statistical correlation between expectant mothers who had above-average levels of the chemical in their urine while pregnant and the feminizing effect on their sons."
-- Plastics ingredient linked to smaller penises by MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT; Globe and Mail; October 7, 2008
EPA veils hazardous substances By Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger of the Journal Sentinel; Dec. 20, 2008
To me, conspiratorial mass poisoning and sex change treatments for children is just as much terrorism as conspiratorial bombings or assassinations.
And even in the case of drilling for oil...since what oil we could get domestically now is so depleted it wouldn't make a perceptible difference to us cost-wise to simply leave it where it is, I say ignore it and focus on things with a better potential return on investment.
Plus, the oil we got left would almost certainly make a bigger difference for us 50 years from now when the entire rest of the world's supply is depleted, than it possibly could today. So, to use a metaphor, why spend our last nickel when we could just forget about it, and end up with maybe several tons of nickels 50 years from now?
So why would our oil be worth a lot more 50 years from now than today? Supply and demand, for one thing. We'll be the only ones left with much untapped supply by then, unless we drain our last fields now to appease a handful of crazy Republicans.
Our last few meager domestic oil fields should be saved as a last resort for national security reasons.
Our last few barrels of oil are also a national security issue: with oil being so vitally important for the foreseeable future, why not use up everyone else's first, rather than our own? That way our remaining oil can serve as money in the bank for truly dire circumstances. Everybody, from newspaper delivery boy to an entire nation, should have some sort of minimal emergency stash of what they need to live on. Plus, what we got left is really only fit as an emergency stash anyway, since it could never supply our current total day-to-day appetite, for very long at all.
Lastly, 50 years from now (barring further catastrophic Republican administrations) we'll know a lot more about everything-- including how to much more easily and cheaply locate and extract our remaining oil, as well as how to make it go lots further than it does today. So 1 gallon 50 years from now might be worth 500 gallons today.
And although mankind will likely figure out ways to better recycle oil in plastics and tires, and everything else over the next 50 years too (as well as make all new oil from weird stuff like plants or fish)-- I bet there'll still remain some immense advantages in having a supply of the virgin petrol stuff, that's never before been pumped to the surface...
Some evangelical Republicans would love to see the end of humanity come about sooner rather than later. And many routine Republican policies could easily oblige them.
But there's still more! Environmentally speaking, of course. Such as the unknown weak links among species. While we can easily point to a handful of plant and animal species around the world which would certainly cause big problems for humanity's living standards if they suddenly went extinct, there's strong indications in research that there are certain critical but difficult to predict species which-- if they went extinct-- could cause a crash of entire ecosystems, and possibly the extinction of humanity itself, frighteningly fast. Note the difficulty in determining just exactly which plant and animal species extinctions pose those extraordinary risks to us. THAT is why many scientists urge we err on the side of caution, and try to minimize the rate at which new extinctions are taking place. For we simply don't know how critical to our own survival any particular species might indirectly be. And it could be centuries before we do.
You might also know this concept as the butterfly effect-- as applied to different subjects like weather forecasting.
Typical Republican policies would trash true miracle cures before we have a chance to discover them
But that's still not all. For beyond humanity's basic need to survive is our desire to minimize suffering and cure illness. In past decades we've learned that there are literally miracle drugs hidden in many obscure plant and animal species around the world. And we've barely begun to tap that bounty in research and development. But many of those miraculous cures and treatments may never be found, as the species containing them disappear into extinction first, before we can study them.
Is it possible many professional Republicans simply can't conceive of a time beyond today?
Of course, if you're incapable of comprehending concepts like those listed above, then being against virtually any and all environmental protections and regulations might seem like a reasonable position. Your perspective would also depend a lot upon whether you're one who abhors planning ahead, or you feel it important to consider how your actions today might affect your well-being tomorrow.
Most bank robbers or murderers likely see little use in planning beyond today. And look what happens to them, and those they interact with.
Many of today's Republican politicians seem to have the same short thought horizon as those robbers and murderers. At least when they condemn efforts to avoid plant and animal extinctions, or keep poison out of our air, food, water, and children's toys.
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