Bush, Obama and the Corporate Love Affair
by Gary Sudborough
Saturday, Jul. 11, 2009 at 11:26 PM
An analysis of the great similarities between the pro-corporate, war and environmental policies of the Bush and Obama administrations, despite the obvious differences between the two men.
The former Bush administration finally admitted that global warming is a real phenomenon and is related to the burning of fossil fuels. Also, they proposed a novel solution to the problem-just adapt to it.
Since global warming will result in increased severe heat spells, people will adapt by running their air conditioners a lot more and by staying inside their homes. Those people who can't stay inside because of their employment and other reasons and don't have air conditioning will be candidates for heat stroke and a Darwinian natural selection process, eliminating those people least resistant to the heat.
Cold habitat animals like polar bears and walrus will be in danger of extinction and those people like Eskimos who depend on them for food will adapt by moving and changing their life styles, like eating at the northernmost fast food restaurant. Anyhow, it is about time these primitive hunters started contributing to the global capitalist system.
Global warming causes increased frequency and severity of storms. After their homes are blown away, people might adapt by staying in more substantial dwellings like caves or underground shelters. During inland flooding, those afflicted can console themselves with the thought that it is only water and is necessary for life. Also, it is drinkable, if caught directly from the sky and does not land on the nearest toxic waste dump. The view from the tops of houses can be quite awe-inspiring. One can only hope that the precious and irreplaceable memorabilia inside the houses, like photo albums, will dry out under the sun's rays. Just adapt to these changing conditions, and for heaven's sake, leave the beleaguered oil and coal companies alone to make their outlandish profits-er, I mean provide you with a dependable source of energy and act like a good public citizen.
The sea levels will rise dramatically due to global warming, threatening seaside communities. People will adapt by moving to higher ground. Those people on low-lying Pacific islands will be out of luck. They will adapt by growing gills.
The technologies already exist for greatly reducing the outflow of greenhouse gases. One can only assume that the profits of his friends in the oil industry are more important to former President George W. Bush than the livability of the planet.
As one can assume, this article was written several years ago, when George W. Bush was still president, and his statement about adapting to global warming seemed so ludicrous to me, that I simply had to write a sarcastic reply. However, I don't recognize the situation to be much altered under the Obama administration. Actress and political activist Darryl Hannah was recently arrested in Coal River, West Virginia for protesting mountain top removal. What this means is that large quantities of explosives are used to blow the tops off mountains, exposing the seams of coal underneath. Already, 500 mountain tops in the Appalachian mountains have had their tops removed and 3,000 miles of headwater streams have been polluted. The coal ash from these operations is stored in unlined pits and sometimes these pits break as one did in December, 2008 in Harriman, Tennessee polluting the Emory river and the towns and farmlands in the area with toxic materials like lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Recently, the EPA wanted to remove this coal ash from the cleanup operation in Tennessee and deposit it in a waste dump in Alabama, and Alabama was protesting this decision. Coal ash, like nuclear waste, is something that no state desires to store. The coal plants themselves, which produce electricity from coal, emit a very toxic chemical called dioxin, which was one of the contaminants in Agent Orange. It is still causing health problems to American soldiers involved in the Vietnam War and even more health problems to the Vietnamese themselves. Because of the silence of the corporate media, this very dangerous chemical is being produced right under our noses and emitted into the atmosphere.
Darryl Hannah said that the EPA under the Obama administration had recently approved 42 mountaintop removals and had six pending. She is reporting that over the years the cancer rates and diseases of the heart, lung and kidney in the region of these mountain top removals is much higher than the national average. The term "clean coal," which I have heard President Obama use time and time again, is an oxymoron. As the situation now stands, I think the politicians are so obligated to the large carbon dioxide emitters, that there will be a lot of rhetoric, but little action. I think they intend to use the last drop of oil and the last bit of coal left on Earth.
I hate to disappoint those who had such fervent hopes for Obama, but so far, I see little difference in policies, except superficial ones, between him and George W. Bush. President Obama's health care plan is a give away to the big insurance companies and drug companies. President Obama has already tried two coups- one successful in Honduras and the other unsuccessful, so far, in Iran. He has expanded the war in Afghanistan and increased the drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I believe I am paraphrasing Shakespeare when I say that evil is often masked by a facade of goodness. I have some friends and relatives who are so mesmerized by President Obama that they become furiously angry when anything negative is said against him. It is almost like a disease. I guess one could call it Obamaitis.
Scientists believe there is a point at which global warming will become irreversible. I have a feeling politicians will still be bickering about whether it is real and what to do about it when that time arrives. In my opinion, there are only two alternatives- a candidate from a third party or a revolution, unless people simply don't care if their children and grandchildren live in a very unpleasant world.