(Cross posted from Calitics)
In a time when Lester Brown is writing about a World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse it seems that the political forces in California make for strange reading. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose overall environmental polices were as destructive as any CA governor, made an impassioned speech this week on the need for strong action on climate change. It may be the only environmental issue that he got right.
At the same time, Representative Jim Costa was voting with the Republicans to continue subsides to the petroleum industry... subsidies that cost the US Taxpayers Billions a year. It is yet one more piece of evidence that cutting the federal budget is not really a goal, but rather a question of whose ox is going to be gored. In this case, Republicans in Congress are making sure that their ox is protected.
We all know how we are being manipulated, first by a national that considers Charlie Sheen to be the big story of the day year, but also by the political operatives who draw a public salary to be lobbyist. One time John Doolittle / John Ashcroft aide, Kevin Ring, made that very clear on his Daily Caller blog post this month.
If I did not know these critical facts as the lead staffer on the bill, how little did other Hill staffers (and their bosses) know when they agreed to let this bill pass? I know this for certain: If someone had objected, I would have recommended that we accuse the objector of not being serious about saving Americans from this deadly threat.
Ring was talking about how federal legislation regarding methamphetamine and the manner in which offenses are punished. But we surely know that the same type of manipulation goes on in every are. BTW - Ring awaiting sentencing for Abramoff associated dealings. In California, we need to pay attention to how demands for additional growth and invective against the EPA will play out, especially with CA Reps Buck McKeon and Darrel Issa in positions of power right now.
Schwarzenegger was right. This is a time when we will have to manage the climate as best we know how or pass on the consequences of our non-action to our children and grand children. The Climate, Energy, Water nexus of issues will define our future.
As a one time thespian, I am thinking of the line from Death of a Salesman: Attention must be paid.