Year 2, Month 2, Day 22: The Terrible Threat of تغير المناخ

The Newberg Graphic (OR) has a guest editorial with a good strong statement in favor of the EPA’s authority, and a good chastisement of the Republicans’ behavior.

I figured it would be a good idea to provide some additional moral support. This letter’s not as coherent as some; I’m just too damn tired. Sent Feb 13:

The intersection of coal and petroleum money with the electoral process has produced a breed of politicians far more cognizant of the short-term requirements of their cash suppliers than of the long-term well-being of their constituents. While West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller is a Democratic case in point, the majority of anti-environmental voices in Congress belong to Republicans. Less than two months into the 112th Congress, these GOP stalwarts have rejected decades of scientific evidence and publicly insulted EPA Chief Lisa Jackson. The coming decades of climate chaos will bring enormous disruptions to our agriculture, infrastructure, public health and political stability; when we face a threat far greater than any terrorist organization, we need thoughtful preparation and mitigation, not the GOP’s kindergarten-level squabbling. It’s too bad climate change wasn’t represented by a scary dictator and the possibility of an expensive war; the Republican caucus would have been beside themselves with enthusiasm.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 2, Day 21: Sock It To ’em!

The Las Vegas Sun quite elegantly takes the Republicans in the House to task for scientific illiteracy, bad manners and general douchebaggery. This editorial was a real pleasure to read.

Sent February 12:

The behavior of the Republican members of the House of Representatives is a disgrace to our country and to its institutions of governance. Their reflexive, ideologically-driven hostility to the facts of climate change is both foolish and perilous. While the GOP has routinely positioned itself on the side of industry, its current allegiance to the most extreme corporatist interests has led it to abandon even lip service to scientific expertise. It is quite evident that the Republican legislators who questioned EPA administrator Lisa Jackson not only couldn’t understand the science behind the policies she’s implementing — they brought no understanding to the discussion at all, and her testimony became an occasion for petty theatrics of the most immature sort. These modern-day “know-nothing” politicians would be comical if the threat posed by climate change was not so grave. As it is, their childish petulance poses a danger to us all.

Warren Senders

Month 7, Day 9: Even Though I’m Not A John Denver Fan

The Rainforest Action Network sent me an email. They’re apparently camping out in EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s vicinity, letting her know that mountaintop removal mining is a Bad Thing. Which it is.

We’re here at the EPA today with a giant sound system playing Lisa Jackson her own words over and over at a deafening volume, mixed with the sounds of dynamite blowing apart mountains, and a little of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” for good measure. We hope this intensely emotional soundtrack filling the halls of the EPA all day long will guarantee they hear us this time.

They requested me to go to their online action site and send an email. Which I did. I’m also going to print it and fax it/send it.

Dear Administrator Jackson,

There are many reasons to oppose mountaintop removal mining.  The obvious ones are local in essence: an MTR project means millions of tons of toxic debris winds up in the waterways; it means that what was once a flourishing forested area will be transformed into a blasted, dessicated moonscape; it means that once the project is over, local ecosystems and economies are blighted, perhaps beyond recovery.

Those are the obvious reasons.  The less obvious reasons are national and global in essence: America and the world need to stop burning coal as soon as humanly possible, because of the extraordinary amount of harm it does through increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The goal of the EPA should be what its name implies: protecting the environment.

There really is no good reason for green-lighting the Pine Creek MTR proposal, which is projected to destroy almost a thousand acres of pristine forest and over two miles of streams.  Please reverse your decision.  Mountaintop removal is a bad idea in every sense, and it is time for your agency to offer genuine stewardship instead of an “Environmental Protection Racket.”

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders