July 6, 2011
The conservative right deploys right-to-life as its battle cry, but when it comes to rallying against environmental pollution that is arguably a greater threat to fetuses than abortion, the right is silent. With a few exceptions, there is hardly a whisper from the pulpits about organizing to protect the unborn by rallying congregations to support tougher anti-pollution laws and candidates for public office who support them. Mercury exposure, for example, is known to cause deformities and developmental disorders. In Florida, mercury is as ubiquitous as sulfur thrown on sugar fields by billionaire farmers, flowing downstream to God knows where.
Southern Christians (I’m singling out Southern Christians, because this writer is from Florida) ought to recognize that the rights of fetuses are harmed by pollution. So why isn’t the conservative right deploying their message machinery to educate Southern Christians about the threats of environmental pollution to the unborn, especially since it is clear thatpollution is arguably a bigger threat to fetuses than abortion? Read the rest of this entry »
March 3, 2008
(Published at Counterpunch.com) A small percentage of Americans ever heard of the peloton; the tight-knit pack of riders leading a bicycle race. But Americans generally are clueless about so much of what the rest of our trading partners understand: the United States has dropped to the back of the world economic peloton.
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January 20, 2007
On global warming, the American public is slowly rising to attention. Congress and the White House cannot be far behind.
The occasion for optimism is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between evangelical and scientific leaders who met in December to find common ground in the greatest threat to humanity: global warming and climate change.
These are no longer unlikely allies. On Wednesday, the nation’s leading scientists and evangelicals joined in Washington, D.C., to urge action to reverse rapidly escalating environmental problems, including global warming and species extinction. Read the rest of this entry »
December 31, 2006
To greet the new year, there are so many wish lists it is hard to know what to want. So let’s give it up for the environment, in no particular order, that:
Florida’s agencies charged with protecting public health and the environment shall abandon predetermined outcomes based on political expediency. Read the rest of this entry »
December 11, 2005
I am asked, often, “I know what you are opposed to, but what are you for?”
How is this for an answer? I am for a sustainable creation. I am for Jerusalem.
Oh, I know: Who is against Jerusalem? Who is for chaos?
Yet the question moves with the questioner, toward a familiar direction: compromise, the magnetic north of politics.
In 15 years of watching Florida’s environment — and intensely now, global warming and climate change — even when land purchases, global assurances and hard lines drawn on a map are held as signs of progress, compromise is no match to the threats.
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June 23, 2005
What about environmental issues in 50 years? It is a question recently asked by a friend who will soon be discussing the subject with a group of Florida’s newest lawyers.
Here is the good news:
Florida, on the leading edge of effects from global warming, will lead the nation in changing energy consumption from fossil fuels.
Florida, with unexplained concentrations of mercury pollution threatening public health, will eliminate toxics contributing to the rise in cognitive learning disabilities and chronic disease. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2005
Church is a good place for Sunday worship, but to contemplate the miracle of Creation, sometimes all you need to do is take a good walk.
The point of a good walk is obvious to anyone who has taken one. You start in one place and end up in another, even though you return where you started.
Which brings me to Tallahassee, a state capital so full of lobbyists you can’t do business without one handing you a towel when you finish. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12, 2005
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Really? It is worth revisiting these cornerstones of our democracy.
Recently, three farm-worker families in a neighborhood of Immokalee gave birth to severely deformed children—one without arms or legs, one without the capacity to keep his tongue from sliding back into his throat, and one without a nose, an ear and with no visible sexual organs. The story was reported in the Palm Beach Post, “Why was Carlitos born this way?” Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2005
The United States and Great Britain share a common language, a passion for football and, when it comes to government response to global warming, nothing much else.
On Wednesday, when the Kyoto Protocol becomes international law, only one will be sulking loutishly on the sidelines: the United States.
While the Bush administration unrolls phrases like “climate variability” to test the drape of its message on the foreshortened frame of American public opinion, the original Red Coats do not mince words.
Britain’s chief science adviser, David King, calls global warming a more serious threat than terror.
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December 26, 2004
A normal wrap up of the year’s environment would include a list of acres purchased or not, wetlands protected or not, initiatives started or not. The year 2004 deserves a closer look.
“We can’t even describe what we’re seeing,” said Sheila Watt-Cloutier to Reuters recently because her constituents, Inuit natives, have no words in their language for the impacts of global warming they are directly witnessing.
In the majority party—those leaders who believe that self-interest expressed through the marketplace protects the air, water and natural resources better than rules and regulations—a significant subset also believes failure to protect the environment is good news, signaling the long-awaited Second Coming. Read the rest of this entry »