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By Steve Valk:
Elli Sparks does not look like the kind of person who strikes fear in the hearts of fossil fuel lobbyists. But woe be to they who underestimate this diminutive mother of two from Richmond, Virginia.
Given a hundred Ellies, I have no doubt that the movement to stop climate change would regain its momentum. Given a thousand, I have no doubt that we could save humanity from our own stupidity and ensure a livable planet for generations to come.
Environmentalists often say we must stop climate change for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Who better, then, to lead the charge on Washington than mothers? As we approach the day when we honor those who gave life to all of us, I see that it will take a mom — lots of them — to save Mother Earth.
This Tuesday will find me on Capitol Hill once again, talking to members of Congress or their aides about what we can do to end extreme poverty in our world. I’ve been doing this nearly every summer since the 1980s as a volunteer with RESULTS, a little-known but highly effective advocacy organization. Many might see my quest as an exercise in futility and me a latter-day Don Quixote tilting at windmills. But I know better. I first got involved with RESULTS at a time in my life when I was an angry young man who was on his way to becoming an angry middle-aged man, leading eventually to being an angry old man. I was angry about the great injustices and problems of the world and at the people who had the power to fix things but didn’t. A young woman who would later become my wife introduced me to […]
Funding for the International Monetary Fund, which the Obama administration wants included in the supplemental spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan, is looking like an extreme long shot at this point. If Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) – a.k.a. the “conscience of the House” – is any kind of bellwether, the odds for IMF funding are very long, indeed. Lewis was one of 51 anti-war Democrats who voted against the supplemental bill last month. With most Republicans supporting the bill, however, it passed overwhelmingly. But that was before the Senate passed a version of the spending bill that allows the IMF to extend its line of credit by $100 billion (actual cost to the U.S. is estimated at around $5 billion). Republicans in the House say they’ll vote en masse against the bill if IMF funding is included. As Democrats hold a solid majority in the House, this would normally be […]