by Jan Baughman
(Swans - November 3, 2008)
by Jan Baughman
(Swans - November 3, 2008)
Threatened But Not Protected - © Jan Baughman 2008
While I was editing Michael Barker's excellent, eye-opening article on the role of liberal philanthropy on the pro-corporate approach to the environmental movement, I received a call from the California League of Conservation Voters, to whom I had good-intentionally yet apparently naïvely contributed last year. The caller began by reading from a script that disparaged the disastrous environmental policy of the Bush administration, went on to extol the successes the League has had in California, and finally got to the point: They have endorsed Barack Obama and would I consider pledging $50 a quarter for the next year to support their very important efforts in this critical time? I responded that I am voting for Ralph Nader, and am very displeased with their endorsement of Obama, whose campaign platform includes nuclear energy, clean coal technology, offshore drilling, and corn-based ethanol. "There is no such thing as 'clean coal,'" he was quick to retort off-script, stating the obvious and missing my point altogether. "While as much as we would like to support Nader, he will not be elected and we believe that we can work with Obama once he is in office to shape his environmental policies." "I will no longer support your organization," I responded, and the conversation ended abruptly.
How do we explain to the polar bears that we elected a candidate -- whether Obama or McCain -- who proclaims that he'll fight global warming while promoting an environmentally destructive energy policy, hoping that over time we can pressure him to act on behalf of the polar bears rather than the corporate barons? And if it doesn't work over the next four years, we'll try the same failed strategy in the following election cycle, while the Arctic ice continues to melt...
Polar bears were classified as a threatened species in May 2008, which requires their habitat to be protected. Yet the Endangered Species Act has been gutted, and the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department have been co-opted by corporate interests that preserve our way of life, not theirs. The Bush administration dismissed this ruling as having no impact on America's climate change policy. Rather than giving money to the likes of the World Wildlife Fund to protect polar bears, we must pressure our elected officials to respect and enforce the very laws that are already in place to do so.
Most importantly, we must dispense with the lesser-evil voting that does nothing to serve progressive interests but rather supports the ongoing merger of the two corporate-controlled parties. Vote your conscience. Vote for the polar bears. Vote for Ralph Nader.
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Global Warming Gag Orders - Jan Baughman, July 2, 2007
About the Author
Jan Baughman on Swans (with bio).
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This Edition's Internal Links
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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art14/jeb200.html
Published November 3, 2008
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