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* Warning: this text contains Politics *
Amongst other things, Flicker is a reflection of the world. So for those of you who like taking pictures of our natural world, you may want to consider the following:
As you may know, there is a whole bunch of United Nations proceedings currently taking place and soon a Climate summit of sorts will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The article on the front page of the Financial Times quotes a European Official as saying:
“So far, we thought the problem was the Chinese and the Indians. But now I the problem appears to lie most clearly with the US”. The article goes on to say the problem is specifically with the US Senate holding up global progress on the matter. According to Harry Reid, the US Senate Majority Leader, environmental legislation may very well have to wait until next year in lieu of the all consuming Health Care Reform debate taking place in the US.
There you have it – America is the most internationally renowned environmental pariah on the planet. Now I have a voice, and I have a choice about my opinion on the matter…and here it is – Bologna! Nope! Not on my tax dollar!
Firstly, Mr. Reid’s excuse that the US Senate is too busy right now to deal with the global environmental crisis is abject garbage. Despite the fact that I can’t imagine why any US Senator would think that multi-tasking wouldn’t be part of the job, other evidence also suggests that this is a complete lie.
Take a look at maplight.org/. Maplight offers a searchable database of campaign contributions and other cash payments to Senator’s together with their voting history on legislation that would effect the contributor purchasing legislation. Hmm,…look at those dates!? Hmm,…look at those legislative topics!? My, my, my, isn’t that a lot of money – unrelated to Health Care Reform – for the Senator to take receipt of during the Health Care debate without the party paying the money sitting down with the Senator and giving himher voting instructions or explaining the legislation that they wrote? Yeah it is. And if you don’t think so consider that the Senate is currently considering an amendment or "rider" to the Interior/EPA appropriations bill that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from using its existing authority to limit global warming pollution from power plants and factories. Then there is Senator Vitter’s currently working on an amendment to gag the President’s well-respected climate change advisor Carol Browner.
A third amendment aims to obstruct EPA’s ability to complete the Renewable Fuel Standards rule and hinder their ability to ensure ethanol fuel blends will not endanger air quality and public health. All told it is probably accurate to say that the Senate is too busy to consider passing effective Climate Change right now. But unfortunately, it is not because of Health Care but rather because of engaging in efforts to the contrary on behalf of polluters so they can line their own pockets.
It gets worse. The primary Global Warming initiative that the U.S. is dragging their feet on is the Waxman Markem Bill. It includes a whole bunch of stuff heralded as the U.S.’s arrival on the scene to fight Global Warming. The bill has a very apt nickname, however, for what it really is “The Coal Preservation Act”. The Bill will increase the amount of C02 in the atmosphere and turns over management of the widely acclaimed Transferable Discharge Permits to Wall Street. The people who brought the Mortgage Backed Security Crisis.
It still gets worse. No not the correlation coefficient between cash paid and voting behavior but the “STOCK Act”. What is this “STOCK Act” that our National Politicians are redoubling their efforts to make sure that it doesn’t even come to a vote? The “STOCK Act” would make Insider Trading (using information not available to the public but gained via their political position) by Congresspersons illegal. Yes folks, American’s not only need to worry that our National Politicians are selling legislation that doesn’t represent the best interests of flesh and blood taxpayers, but that they are making voting decisions based upon what is best for their personal financial portfolios. But don’t despair, there is some evidence that suggests they do vote according to what special interests paid them to do, and then simply make changes to their portfolio accordingly. (Doesn’t take that much time away from the Health Care debate to talk to your broker).
In a review of 6,000 financial transactions our national politicians consistently beat the market rate of return. Warren Buffet isn’t even that good. And once again, U.S. National Politicians found time to fight the STOCK Act while the Health Care Debate supposedly took away focus from its obligation to fight the Global Environmental Crisis.
My message to U.S. National Politicans? Even though you can successfully excuse or spin the “Cash Party’s” machinations away in the minds of the American people, don’t expect the same of the rest of the World. They are not captive to your bologna. They are not pacified with having been given a right to vote that is of increasingly dubious significance. A tip of the hat to the Financial Times for pinning the problem down to the conduct of the US Senate.