By Dawn Gable (From the Democratic National Convention)

Environmental issues were absent from the speeches.

HAVANA TIMES — In three days of speeches by dozens of Congressmembers, governors, mayors, public figures, and carefully chosen members of the public the environment has been mentioned a grand total of one time.

What’s more, it was not a Democrat who spoke up for Mother Earth either. Instead it was the only Independent governor in the country, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island.

Chafee explained that he used to be a Republican but that the party had morphed into something unrecognizable to him. He listed the values of real conservatives and assured that he and Obama “believe in environmental stewardship – protecting our air and our water. Because despite what big business and this Republican Party would have you believe, destroying these precious resources will cost us far more in the future than preserving them now.”

That was it. Mother Earth’s less than 15 seconds of fame at the Democratic National Convention  exactly two decades after Vice President Al Gore wrote the book Earth In The Balance.

Conversely, the biggest air pollutor in the US was the star of the show… the automobile.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee

A decade ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists had this to say: “Transportation is the largest single source of air pollution in the United States. It causes over half of the carbon monoxide, over a third of the nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons in our atmosphere in 2006.¹ With the number of vehicles on the road and the number of vehicle miles traveled escalating rapidly, we are on the fast lane to smoggy skies and dirty air.”

While Governor O’Malley of Maryland led the audience last night in a “forward; not back” call-and-response bit, he, like nearly every other speaker, praised the Obama administration for saving the auto industry.

Apparently, the Democratic Party now considers the idea of transitioning to a more sustainable lifes way to be “old-school” and proping up a moribund and toxic industry to be moving forward.

The vision being peddled is the short-term jobs rescued vs. the long term health of the organism that sustains life itself. No wonder the good governor of Rhode Island is remaining Independent of both Parties.

 


2 thoughts on “US Democrats Abandon Environment

  • ‘Moses’ accuses ‘Dawn’ of being an idiot which seems to be an example of the pot calling the kettle black. The role the US auto industry, which ‘Moses’ calls an “eco-friendly industry”, has played in fuel efficiency is a very ugly story that needs telling.

    Even an idiot should be able to see what a comparison with European gas mileage shows. With fuel costs twice what they are in the US, European cars typically get 50 miles per gallon. The only one I ever drove with that kind of mileage here was a Prius, at around $30,000, priced outside the range of most people and it was certainly cramped in size for the price.

    Moses’ writes that “Miles per gallon achieved by 2012 model year vehicles is nearly double that of just 20 years ago”, hoping you won’t know or remember that improving fuel mileage nose-dived and reached their lowest values 20 years ago, in the early 90’s when SUVs started to be marketed. [www.pewenvironment.org]

    In the mid-1980s, Ford and GM started lobbying a receptive audience, the Reagan Administration, to lower fuel standards. The lobbying continued unabated. When the Clinton Administration began to raise light truck standards – SUVs – Congress responded with an appropriations rider taking away authority to increase vehicle efficiency. This anti-fuel economy rider remained in force from 1995 to 2000. Technological expertise with respect to fuel economy has yet to recover from the impact of these congressional riders.

    In 1990, Senators Richard Bryan (D) and Slade Gordon (R) sponsored legislation raising fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks 40% over a decade. It passed 14-4 in the Commerce Committee, but was filibustered on the Senate floor. Had it passed, the U.S. would currently be saving more than one million barrels of oil per day.

    As usual, Moses’ misses the significance of his bringing up the obvious pollution you witness in Cuba coming from its old cars and trucks. And why does Cuba have old cars and trucks on its streets dating back to the beginning of the embargo and before? All together now folks, “IT’S DUE TO THE US EMBARGO!!! So the US is responsible for pollution in Cuba too! Is there no end to what the US will do to maintain its hegemony over the world?

    ‘Moses’ writes that “As a Democrat, I do not need my party leaders to mention everything that ails the world to impress me.” Who said anything about everything? Just Cuba will do. For someone who posts voraciously on this website and visits Cuba regularly, claiming he’s against the embargo, you would think he would refuse to vote for a party that has just declared it will keep the embargo in place.

    Got it. See him for what he is – one who is RESPONSIBLE for maintaining the blockade. It always pays to know who your true friends are, and enemies as well.

  • Dawn, don’t be an idiot. The US auto industry has done as much to advance eco-friendly industry as any other heavy industry. Miles per gallon achieved by 2012 model year vehicles is nearly double that of just 20 years ago. Your comments are especially laughable coming from a Cuban. Do you want to compare carbon footprints between the cuban taxis in Havana and the average American car on the road today? As a Democrat, I do not need my party leaders to mention everything that ails the world to impress me. That has been the problem with Dems in the past. We talked about global warming and not the price of fuel oil. We waxed poetic about feeding the Sudanese refugees and went silent about kids in South Central Los Angeles. As for me, I am glad the party has taken a turn towards the pragmatic. I vote we leave the whole Moringa/Yoga/World religions proselytizing to people with nothing else to do.

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