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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Hard To Be A Good Capitalist

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 9:54 AM

In today's New York Times, Mark Bittman takes aim at our government's constant coddling of business interests over environmental health and considerations. He accuses President Obama of having no better environmental policy than President Bush and points out recent examples of policies favoring Monsanto, the agricultural giant, and the new Keystone XL pipeline that will stretch from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

The article is filled with enraging helpful links as Bittman makes his case. All in all it's a pretty depressing read. Monsanto has flagrantly violated federal regulations without any repercussions and the Keystone pipeline has drawn protests and outspoken anger.

Bill McKibben...calls the pipeline “a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent,” and NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who says the oil Keystone will deliver “is essentially game over” for the planet.

Game over? No problem, says the State Department, which concluded that the project will have no significant impact on “most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor.” The Sierra Club quickly responded by calling the report “an insult to anyone who expects government to work for the interests of the American people.”

The biggest disappointment, of course, is that President Obama has the power to nix the project, but so far has done nothing. And last night a deeply cynical friend of mine called me cynical for not being surprised, claiming that he thought politicians, especially ones who claim to care for the quality of our planet and embrace sustainable energy, would have more sense. I countered that yes, I would like to believe that as well, but I have never seen any evidence to the contrary.

So read the editorial at least. Then, if you like, go join the protestors at the White House. You'll be in some good company.

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