Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Undoing Bush's mess.

While the War in Iraq and all of the implications of the War on Terrorism have earned Bush the enmity of this generation, I think that future generations will be more inclined to blame him for his failure to act on global warming and other ecological issues. His administration provided the hopefully last gasp of a 19th century view of the world as a source of infinite exploitation for the pleasure of man the consumer.

I am thinking of that when I read the Washington Post story Forest Service that Marnie Glickman posted at Green Change. The goal
The tone of the article is anti-corporation and it points out the problems from Bush Administration last minute rule changes. But that does not begin to get at the heart of the problems which this administration has caused in the Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management of the past 8 years. Click Read more! to learn just how bad it has been.

In the comments following the Washington Post article cited above, I made reference to David Iverson and a blog that he ran called Forest Policy - Forest Practices. Last night, I found an article in High Country News (HCN) that began with another reference to Iverson. In an article headlined Up in smoke, HCN describes an organization that has lost its way, its sense of mission and is fast losing its experienced, professionals like Iverson. In a move of supreme audacity, the Bush Administration tried even to outsource as much as two thirds of the workforce of the Forest Service.
In 2006, the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility analyzed age trends within the "green agencies" - the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA and BLM. They found that between one-third and one-half of all specialist employees - some 30,000 scientists, rangers, inspectors and enforcement attorneys - will become eligible for retirement by 2011. According to the Forest Service, 6,410 employees have retired just since 2004.
It will take a long time to recover from this. I am especially concerned with the effect on the EPA, an agency that is not now doing it's job and has been subject of law suits by the State of California to force that to happen.

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