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So many truly appalling things have happened over the past few weeks, I hardly know where to begin. Shall I rail about the hypocrisy of Republican politicians who proclaim that the only way to support the troops is to support the war but ignore the appalling conditions in housing for wounded members of the military who are being treated at stateside facilities until the condition of said housing becomes a segment on the prime time news?
Should I mock political candidates (even ones I like) who have begun campaigning fully a year before the first primary will actually be held?
Shall I snort in derision about remarks by the First Lady that refer to “the one bombing a day” in Baghdad, implying that (a) there is only one bombing a day (which would be an improvement), and (b) a mere one bombing a day is not a big deal (imagine if it were a bomb a day in NYC, Laura, and see if you would still feel like things were going pretty well)?
Or perhaps I should lampoon the allegedly neutral think tank (apparently a spin-off of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute) that made much of the Gores’ high utility bill but ignored the fact that part of the reason it was so high was that the Gores were paying a higher rate in order to obtain their energy from renewable sources?
Just read a post over at Crooks and Liars about how Exxon and the evil right-wing belief tank American Enterprise Institute (I don’t call them a thinktank because that would imply actual thought rather than just unvarnished greed and rationalization) are offering scientists who speak out against global warming a ten thousand dollar bounty. Although there may be a few scientists who take them up on this — there are a few bad apples in every barrel, as the saying goes — I hope that it is only a small number. I think the issue has gotten to the point where very few scientists are willing to speak out because it would seriously call their credibility into question.
We have only to witness visible changes in weather patterns over the last thirty-five years or so (maybe longer, but I am speaking from my own memory) to realize that climate patterns have been shifting and shifting rapidly. If we don’t act soon to change our behaviors, it may very well be too late. Sure, global warming may seem like a good idea when you are in the midwest in February, but come July or August, it’s not so fun…
I propose a consumer-based response to Exxon’s move: let’s all stop buying gas from them. That is, if you were buying from them to begin with — personally, I have avoided their gas stations since the whole Exxon Valdez thing. But really, money is the only form of communication that these bastards understand, so let’s hit them in the pocketbooks where it will hurt the most. That ought to get their attention.
Better yet, hit all the oil companies: take steps to reduce your gasoline consumption! Drive less, use public transportation, carpool, ride a bike, whatever you can to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. If it’s too much hassle to do it all the time, do it one or two days a week. Ditch your SUV and get something more fuel-efficient. Demand better fuel efficiency from auto manufacturers. Write letters to Congress asking them to fund research into alternative energy sources. Sign petitions. Whatever you can think of that might help. Not only will it help fight global warming, it can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil — which in turn will reduce the incentive to certain moronic politicians to embark on ill-advised wars in the Middle East. Everybody wins!
Let’s all do what we can to keep the earth livable — because there’s really nowhere else we can go to get away from it all.
Update: Just checked my e-mail and saw that the top story in yesterday’s New York Times was about how the evidence for global warming due to manmade causes is now “unequivocal” — you can see the article here if you want more information.