Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is appeasement the best strategy for dealing with deniers and industry on Climate Change?

 

Is appeasement, just giving into to the other side’s demands no matter the future consequences, really a good leadership strategy to protect our environment?

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline where Canadian tar sands oil gets piped through the US and refined then burned for energy which will warm up our atmosphere even more has a new twist. Instead of deciding to drop the pipeline in the US altogether and move forward on renewable energy, President Obama has decided on an appeasement policy to sit back and watch part of the project—the southern part—go ahead.

Obama supports TransCanada's bid to push ahead with part of oil pipeline White House welcomes construction of portion of pipeline between Oklahoma and Texas, but activists condemn 'betrayal' Barack Obama helped put the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline back on track on Monday, endorsing construction on a key southern portion of the controversial project. The White House support for construction of a southern portion of the pipeline, running from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, essentially unravels its rejection of the entire project just one month ago.  (February 27, 2012) The Guardian

This will probably make the fossil fuel industry so thankful to President Obama for his willingness to compromise our environment in favor of their industry that they’ll pull back their claws and stop trying to gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to adapt to Climate Change.

EPA Rules On Greenhouse Gases Face New Legal Challenges WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. limits on greenhouse gas emissions face a challenge in federal court this week from more than 100 industry groups and several U.S. states, the latest high-profile effort to halt or overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's rules. Three federal judges will hear arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday at the D.C. Court of Appeals from groups seeking to overturn the regulations and also convince the judges that the science used by the EPA is wrong.  (February 27, 2012)  Green News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

Whoops. Guess not. The fossil fuel industry wants it all, no matter how much our president gives in. That’s the way it is with corporations, they only need concern themselves with their shareholders interests, while it’s government’s role to protect our country, our citizens, and our environment.

Well, ok maybe we can depend on New York State government to hold fast to our strong ballast water pollution restrictions. Remember those Zebra Mussels and other critters that traveled inside ships’ ballast waters and trashed the Great Lakes? Guess not because when the shipping industry said NYS ballast rules were too inconvenient New York switched gears and gave in.

NCPR News - NY scraps tough ballast water regs, prompting praise and rebuke (02/27/12) On Friday, we reported that New York state is pushing Federal officials to toughen proposed new standards for ballast water pollution on freighters using the St. Lawrence Seaway. In that report, we mistakenly reported that the Cuomo administration is still planning to implement its own set of ballast water regulations, scheduled to go into effect next year.  (February 27, 2012) NCPR: North Country Public Radio

Well, there you are:

New York Pursues Uniform, National Ballast Water Requirements - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation DEC Will Work with Other States and Stakeholders to Advocate a Strong National Standard In comments filed today with the Environmental Protection Agency, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens indicated that New York will pursue a uniform, national ballast water standard that will leave in place the EPA's current standards in New York for the remainder of EPA's current Vessel General Permit through December 2013. "New York remains concerned about the introduction and spread of invasive species in the state's waterways and we hope that a strong national solution can be achieved," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "At the same time, shipping and maritime activity is critical to New York state and international commerce. A technically feasible national standard which recognizes the critical economic role played by our waterways is the only viable way to address the spread of destructive aquatic invaders through ballast water." February 22, 2012 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

We are living in a strange reality where we know more than ever about our environment but we are increasing allowing ourselves to be ruled by those who don’t understand the science. For certainly appeasement to corporate desires instead changing our behavior so that our way of life can remain sustainable is a formula for disaster.

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