Is America witnessing the birth of a new civil war? A polarization of political ideologies has paralyzed the democratic process and poisoned the relationship needed between politics, science, and hermeneutics.
This conservative organization's action page has form letters on a number of issues that Republican voters may send to their representatives to let them know that the party line may not be in their best interests.
Whether or not the debate is about jobs, public radio, oil and gas, or America's military footprint in the world; all Americans will benefit by the preservation of our resources. Conservative Republicans, Liberal Democrats, and everyone in between and on the fringes can work together to provide the regulatory leadership that demonstrates our respect for all life and a basic human right to clean water and air.
The "Big Lie" perpetrated by climate change doubters and insincerely debated by Global Warming Experts, warrants the recall of those representatives whose bullying is tantamount to treason and rends our union vulnerable to the extremist, irresponsible policy that cites Climate Change as a lie, endangering the health and safety of our children, and putting us at the brink of disaster. (Neil Zusman, 2011-03-17).
The Senate letter, "Congress Should Pass a 'Clean' Continuing Resolution" includes:
As a Republican voter, I urge you to support a fair 2011 continuing resolution that does not target environmental and conservation programs for a disproportionate share of budget cuts and is free of the anti-environmental riders that were, unfortunately, included in a resolution that the House passed on February 19.
I understand the need to correct the federal government’s fiscal imbalances, and it is fair to require reductions in environmental and conservation programs. It is not fair, however, to require these programs to shoulder a disproportionate share of the reductions. Nor should the resolution include the shockingly extreme riders that were in the House’s resolution. These riders would weaken bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, as well as public lands protection and wildlife conservation.
Republicans were not elected to weaken laws that protect Americans’ health and protect our nation’s scenic, historic, and wildlife treasures for future generations.
Congressional Republicans must return to the traditional conservatism that values stewardship, saving for the future, and making frugal and careful use of our country’s natural as well as its fiscal resources.
Please support a continuing resolution that takes a rational approach towards correcting our nation’s fiscal imbalances, and avoids indulging the anti-environmental agendas of political extremists.
Dear EPA - Think Little
For most of the history of this country our motto, implied or spoken, has been Think Big...Thinking Big has has led us to the two biggest and cheapest political dodges of our time: plan-making and law-making. The lotus-eaters of this era are in Washington, D.C., Thinking Big...
But the discipline of thought is not generalization, it is detail, and it is personal behavior. While the govenment is "studying" and funding and organizing its Big Thought, nothing is being done.
In "Think Little", (p. 81, 1970), Berry says that, "the movement to preserve the environment will be seen to be, as I think it has to be, not a digression from the civil rights and peace movements, but the logical culmination of those movements..."
We didn't cause strip-mining or sell our natural heritage to the highest bidder, but by not knowing how it's done we are guilty for we connive in them by our ignorance.
...the environmental crisis should make it dramatically clear, as perhaps it has not always been before, that there is no public crisis that is not also private.
...the environmental crisis rises closer to home. Every time we draw a breath, every time we drink a glass of water, every time we eat a bite of food we are suffering from it. And more important, every time we indulge in, or depend on, the wastefulness of our economy - and our economy's first principle is waste - we are causing the crisis.
...Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato.
So far as I can see, farming is considered marginal or incidental to the economy of the country, and farmers, when they are thought of at all, are thought of as hicks and yokels whose lives do not fit into the modern scene...The corporations and machines that replace them will never be bound to the land by the sense of birthright and continuity, or by the love that enforces care. They will be bound by the rule of efficiency, which takes thought only of the volume of the year's produce, and takes no thought of the slow increment of the life of the land, not measurable in pounds or dollars, which will assure the livelihood and the health of the coming generations.
See: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2011. (PDF, 140 pp) Web.
In total, EPA received 5,521 comments that were submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to EPA. This appendix provides a summary of those comments.
More than half of the electronic comments received consisted of a form letter written by Energycitizens.org and sent by citizens. (EPA Draft Plan, Appendix B, p. 90, 2011).
Indivdualism-write your own damn letter!
The last thing we need in this world are suicidal farmers who have gone cheap for power. That is what we seem to be getting in at least 34 states where farmers have leased their land.
When the New York Times reports that some environmentalists favor hydraulic fracturing and clean natural gas over other forms of energy, it is clear to me that we need to ask, which environmentalists, and do the kind of work that encourages all of us to know what it means to grow a potato. (Neil Zusman, 2011-02-23 6:44 P.M., Ithaca, New York.)
Individualism is going around these days in uniform, handing out the party line on individualism.
EPA's Adopt Your Watershed program challenges you to serve your community by taking part in activities to protect and restore your local watershed.
See: Community Science Institute. Ithaca, New York.
The nonprofit Community Science Institute (CSI) organizes and empowers citizen volunteers to monitor water quality in streams, lakes, ponds and groundwater as a critical first step in protecting water resources.
Mixplex Environmental Justice Blogroll Note
On Martin Luther King Day (MLK Day Jan. 17, 2011), America deserves to be reminded that hard on the trail of King's Civil Rights legacy in Alabama is the way Alabama's poor have been victimized by negligent environmental law.
The daily posts of Max Shelby and his group, blogging in Alabama about the environment, politics, big business and corruption are some of the boldest independent voices writing in the U.S. on environment justice today.
If you're not following writers like Shelby's Vincent Alabama Confidential, Sharon Wilson's Bluedaze, Shelly Thomas on Futurism Now, Ken Ward Jr.'s Coal Tattoo, the late Karen Korell's Splashdown, Bill Wolfe's Wolfenotes, Amy Mall's blog on NRDC Switchboard, Rick Piltz on Climate Science Watch, and the many other personal and professional authors, videomakers, humorists, and journalists located by scrolling through these double pages: Background, Companies, Experts, Government, Legal, Opinions and Press; you are missing out on the most entertaining, free, participatory, First Amendment, punch the bully in the nose shows in this nation.
This writing takes courage and sacrifice and I want to recognize them all here on MLK Day through Shelby's 2010 post as the proudest way that we demonstrate to the World that we will manage our industries without the sacrifice of liberty by ensuring that our laws are fair and just to all. (Neil Zusman, 2011-01-14.)
BARD's (Business Alliance for Responsible Development) "Big Mule" Drummond Coal Sued--Part II
We left off with issues raised regarding Region 4 and the questionable results (in contrast to the SE study results) of their monitoring program implemented after the recent lawsuit was filed on behalf of the African-American residents who claim to be devastated by serious health issues from the toxic discharges from Drummond Company, Inc.
Why is it this particular group of citizens are usually the ones most harmed? "Big Mule" philosophies carry through to federal agencies here in the land of cotton:
Nearly four decades of EPA Region 4's harmful and discriminatory decisions have turned too many black communities into the dumping grounds, lowering nearby residents' property values, stealing their wealth, and exposing them to unnecessary environmental health risks.
Big business and politicians play a smoke and mirror game of corporate welfare that is disadvantageous to their citizens by cutting "economic progress deals" with each other that are designed to line both their pockets and strip communities of the right to exist in a clean environment.
In our opinion, that is exactly what is going on with big businesses such as Drummond and the State of Alabama.
And we thank them for it, along with their hard work on advancing issues that we all should care about. Kudos to our fellow like-minded bloggers and the mighty keyboards they sit behind. We would add the work of Dr. Robert Bullard as high on our own list, because without him there would be no modern day environmental justice movement.
A who's who of Religious Right leaders have come together for a 12-part series called "Resisting the Green Dragon" which seeks to expose how the environmental movement is out to control the world and destroy Christianity.
People for the American Way began in 1980 when acclaimed television and movie producer Norman Lear began searching for an appropriate response to what he perceived as a new and disturbing political movement in America.
See: Civilianism Blog. Resisting Cornwall Alliance Evil Anti-Green Propaganda.
See: Berry, Wendell. "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front." In Context. Fall/Winter 1991.
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Berry, Wendell. "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front." The Country of Marriage. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1973.
Discussion at an imaginary natural gas exploration and production company headquarters.
Our Mission: To work in a legal, ethical, and civil manner to stop urban gas drilling in the highly residential areas of North Texas. We are not against all gas drilling, but rather that which will adversely affect the public safety, the enjoyment of our homes, and our overall quality of life. We support the need for better regulation and accountability of the Oil & Gas Industry in rural and urban areas of Texas.
xtranormal’s mission is to bring movie-making to the people. Everyone watches movies and we believe everyone can make movies. Movie-making, short and long, online and on-screen, private and public, will be the most important communications process of the 21st century.
xtranormal's revolutionary approach to movie-making builds on an almost universally held skill—typing. You type something; we turn it into a movie. On the web and on the desktop.
Black Warrior Riverkeeper's mission is to protect and restore the Black Warrior River and its tributaries. The Black River Watershed in Alabama provides water to over a million people.
We are a citizen-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving water quality, habitat, recreation, and public health throughout our patrol area, the Black Warrior River watershed. This vital river basin is home to over a million people and is entirely contained within Alabama.
There are over four thousand coalbed methane wells in the Black Warrior River watershed. Tens of thousands of acres are leased to this practice, creating a massive network of roads and well pads. The extraction of coalbed methane involves a process known as hydraulic fracturing.
See: Affirming Gasland.
See: Max Shelby. Dec. 19, 2010. Black Warrior Riverkeeper Newsletter--Sheperd's Bend Coal Mine Fight Continues. Vincent Alabama Confidential.
Texas based blogger "TXsharon".
"I'm a landowner and a mineral owner on top of the Barnett Shale.
If you want to know how I became known as TXsharon and why industry tries to discredit me by calling me a "left-wing lunatic with a socialists agenda," you can read about it here: How I became a "Far Left Radical with a socialist agenda," etc. And, yes, I'm a mineral owner.
In January 2010, I started working for Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project on a very part-time basis. I am likely the only person in Texas who gets paid for helping Texans who are negatively effected by oil and gas development. We hope to make my position full-time soon."
See: Cheney Helped Halliburton Hide Secrets About Dangerous Chemicals in YOUR Drinking Water. Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:36:40 AM CST.
Most Texans don’t know what the Texas Railroad Commission is or does. In 2007, one Texas blogger changed that: Sharon Wilson. Wilson’s reporting on the injection well drilling in the Barnett Shale region and its impact on the water quality and the environment in Wise County and surrounding areas has been exceedingly important to bringing wider attention to the dangers this practice poses across the state.
Wilson has nearly single-handedly stood up to large oil companies and made the companies and state agencies–including the Texas Railroad Commission–take notice. Relentless in her drive to educate the public and elected officials to the damage being done to the Texas environment, Wilson’s investigative reporting and blogging is worthy of recognition.
Excerpt of e-mail from Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy:
Anyone not living under a rock must be aware of the mountain of bad news that's recently come to light about fracking.
The New York Times recently ran an extensive three part series that detailed many of the dangers associated with fracking as well as the industry pressure that has forced state and federal agencies to turn a blind eye to practices known to put the public at risk.
Among the findings: Pennsylvania water treatment plants have been accepting radioactive drilling wastewater that is 2,000 times more polluted than permitted by federal drinking water standards. That means that one million gallons of wastewater would need to be diluted with 2 billion gallons of fresh water in order to meet minimal standards for human consumption.
Also last week: Arkansas ordered a temporary moratorium on new injection wells, which are suspected of causing 700 small earthquakes in the last six months alone.
Because about four million gallons of fracking fluid remains underground in each Marcellus well, every Marcellus well is an injection well. Even a single small earthquake could spell big trouble if it opens up fault lines and permits toxic fracking fluid to migrate into drinking water.
The EPA recently determined that methane leaks from natural gas operations are 9,000 times higher than previously suspected. Methane is a greenhouse gas twenty to thirty times more destructive than carbon dioxide.
See: ECONOMIC BENEFIT? REALLY?
As the horrific truth about the dangers of fracking continue to come to light, economist (and Catskill Citizens member!) Jannette Barth, Ph.D., continues to deconstruct the myth that drilling will be a boon to local communities and the state. Her latest report points out distortions and misstatements in the industry- funded studies that tout the economic benefits of fracking.
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is a volunteer grassroots organization intended to give residents a voice in the emerging energy decisions in the Catskills.
See: Steve Coffman. (2009). The Safety of Fracturing Fluids – A Quantitative Assessment