Year 4, Month 9, Day 17: My Mama Done Told Me, When I Was In Knee-pants

The Glenns Falls Post-Star (NY) has a nice editorial denouncing fossil fuel corporations and their grossly disproportionate influence on our politics:

While many people wring their hands over climate change and the warming of the Earth, Congress twiddles its thumbs.

All reasonable people now know the Earth’s climate is changing because of the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

One of the largest contributors to the production of greenhouse gases is the burning of fossil fuels, and one of the most creative ways people have come up with to curb that production is a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

A revenue-neutral carbon tax charges the producers of fossil fuels, but uses the revenue to lower other taxes, such as the income tax. That way, if a carbon tax leads to higher energy prices, the public doesn’t suffer because it gets the money back through lower income taxes. And channeling the money back to consumers ensures the tax does not create a drag on the economy.

Along the way, pollution is reduced and fewer greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

But to ensure carbon tax legislation never passes, conservative business interests and lobbyists have targeted key members of Congress they think can be turned against the idea. One of the five congressional districts targeted in an anti-carbon tax radio campaign this August was our own 21st District, represented by Democratic Congressman Bill Owens.

It always feels good to tell the truth, dunnit? September 10:

When politicians abandon their responsibility to the greater good, they deserve neither the respect or the votes of their constituents. This is especially true when it comes to climate change, an issue which knows no local, state, or national boundaries.

The loud voices of “denialists” in politics and the media demonstrate how easily giant financial interests can influence public understanding. The “Senior Policy Analysts,” “Energy Research Fellows,” and “Energy Strategy Experts” on your television are the creations of multinational corporations which resist anything — anything at all, no matter how important for the public welfare — that would reduce their quarterly profit margins. These malefactors of great wealth invest heavily in creating diversions and distractions in order to muddle the public discussion, co-opt legislators, and ensure that meaningful policy initiatives are impossible to enact.

The massively-funded climate-change denial industry is run by the same people who fought tooth and nail to deny any link between cigarettes and lung cancer. When small minds meet big money, it’s always bad news.

Warren Senders

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