Sunday, July 31, 2005

Banana Republic Energy

The U.S. Congress has finally given America an "energy" bill. My only question is what percentage of our representatives are merely dull-witted and what percentage are simply corrupt? We can be grateful that drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge was taken out of this energy bill, but it will be voted on in a couple of months in a separate authorization.

Neither the House nor the Senate gave much thought to the obvious--increasing fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Choose whatever reason you want for this oversight. More than 9 billion in subsidies went to the nuclear, gas, and oil industry, even though a bloated predator like Exxon-Mobil had record profits this year. But these corporations do give our pretend legislators a lot of campaign contributions. In fairness, the majority in Congress--in an attempt to placate its literate minority--added a provision to encourage the development of biofuels, clean-coal technology, and carbon sequestration, but a very small sop. And before one thinks enlightenment has suddenly descended over the U.S., the executive branch will ultimately decide how much money they will put into this encouragement.

Should we be grateful for miniature favors? I think not. Energy dependence, global warming, environmental deterioration, and religious fascism are not the sort of issues that moving to Canada will cure. Time to get busy once again. Religous schools in Saudi Arabia are not the main problem.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Getting Back

Almost two months away from "talking" heads and general political hypocrisy and lies. What's going on in environmental politics? I don't know; I haven't opened the mail or paid attention to the latest disaster. Refreshing for a change. But then reality arrives: Religious fascism appears in London carrying four bombs. Some fool archbishop in Vienna wonders about the theory of evolution. What next? As Voltaire once said, "The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning."