Southern Green

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Sometimes, that’s because the intentions never get turned into actions. Other times, it’s because the intentions are just plain lies. Which category the latest initiative by a passel of Democratic Senators (Webb, Rockefeller, McCaskill and Manchin from the South, joined by Johnson, Nelson and Conrad from the Dakotas) falls in, I’ll leave for others to decide. But, Democrats do have a record of accomplishment. What the Senator from Virginia announced is: Senator Webb Co-Sponsors Bill to Protect Coal and Manufacturing State Economies to, in Senator Rockefeller’s words:

encourage companies to invest in new technologies and create jobs, … we need a system that gives major employers the framework to do so and to succeed.

In short, because companies lack courage, Mother Nature is going to have to wait a little longer for them to stop pumping carbon into the air. While it’s long been said that the Environmental Protection Agency’s “solution to pollution is dilution,” now that the EPA has finally collected enough data to know who’s dumping how much waste and where, Congress suddenly knows best.

“I do not believe that Congress should cede its authority over an issue as important as climate change to unelected officials of the Executive Branch,” said Senator Webb. “It is critical to our environment and our national security that we move towards more responsible energy policy, but Congress – not the EPA – should enact any changes, and be accountable to the American people for them.”

OK, so maybe there’s another vehicle to populate the underground — the hubris of man. Webb claims “authority” over climate change. Why not just order the winds to blow the other way? Or is it really fear that’s the driving force? Senator Webb’s term is up in 2012 and, while the grassroots definitely got him elected in 2006, he may think it wise to cater to the Koch Brothers’ Tea Party crowd. I’m reminded of the parable of the Unjust Steward. You know, that’s the fellow who’d been fired and before he left his master’s service (in the days before personnel officers and “security”), he called in his master’s debtors and wrote down what they owed — feathering his nest by distributing someone else’s property and creating debts of gratitude for himself. It’s a clever strategy — giving away someone else’s property. We usually think of corruption in terms of people taking something they don’t deserve. Besides, in this case, Mother Nature has been our waste dispose-all for so long, it’s not likely she cares how many more tons of carbon get pumped into the air we breathe. Not to mention that using human lungs as scrubbers is so much more cost effective than trying to capture the carbon at the smoke stack and putting it back (sequestering it) where it came from — underground. That place where nobody wants to go. Of course, the categorization of Webb and his cohorts in Senate Class I (those whose terms end in 2012) as unjust stewards only holds up, if you agree that humans are owed clean air to breathe and our lungs aren’t just so many natural waste repositories.

Addendum–the China perspective. Don’t miss it.”>


Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."