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Green Party Prez hopeful on Green-washed Bali meeting

Greens versus Green-washed: Mesplay on Bali mtg.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting in Bali is drawing to a close.  While the rest of the world is determined to do something about Climate Change, the United States under the Bush Administration continues to practice divide and conquer tactics between countries in order to avoid taking any responsibility for ourselves.  They use the word “consensus” in press conferences and then try to undermine the consensus that already exists.

This administration has been treating Al Qaeda as a security threat and ignores the security threat from an entire planet whose populations, especially those of the poorest countries, have been destabilized by rising ocean levels, failing crops, drought and floods. That is the real security issue of the 21st Century and it cannot be solved by 19th Century policies.  The beginnings of this are already clear, as the US Dept. of Agriculture announced this week that we have had significant falls in the stocks of corn, wheat and soybeans, along with an increased demand.

The House Oversight Committee (Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair) has just released a major report that details exactly how far the Bush Administration has gone with their political interference with the work on climate science. As a scientist myself, one whose current work deals with air quality control, I am appalled that our government has perpetrated this deceit on the American Public.  Under a Green Party administration, there would be two standards: are we getting the science right and are we being just in our use.

The scientific consensus is clear.  The only lack is a political consensus. Even as the Bush Administration’s performance in Bali brings shame to this country, the Congressional Democrats are trying to green-wash themselves, hiding bad policies behind carefully scripted language. The Energy Bill (HR 6) recently passed by the House of Representatives does contain some improvements such as an increase in Corporate Average Fuel Standards (CAFE) for both cars and trucks; but not until 2020.  It also calls for a three-fold increase in the renewable fuel standard which will create a greater demand for ethanol from corn, itself a worse producer of green house gases than the petroleum product it would replace.

Even Sen. Obama cannot help but propose legislation that would “require the production of 18 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2016”.  The words he wraps around it are all about boosting our rural economy.  It is just about winning votes in the Iowa primary and gaining the support of major agri-business contributors. Diversion of even more corn from our dwindling supply for the production of ethanol will drive up the prices of almost all our corn-derived groceries: meat, milk and many packaged product containing “high fructose corn syrup.”

I want an improved political process that allows good candidates to run so that we have public officials who treat science with respect and who actually work to make us more secure rather than catering to their favorite businesses.

It is for lack of political will that we do not have solar and wind as the back-bone of all energy production in this nation.  If we take away the subsidies given to coal and nuclear, allow an even handed, true costing of all energy options, we will no longer be proposing new coal or nuclear power facilities.  Once we develop the mind-set of every structure being designed for energy efficiency and becoming its own power plant we will not need those new plants.

There is now a proposed Science Debate 2008.  I would relish the opportunity to challenge any of the other candidates. The debate we need is over energy.  The energy we need  will come when one joins the Green Revolution. 

Register Green and Vote Green. Just be wary of green-washed candidates.

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