Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Congress is obstructed — anyone got an enema?

With the Copenhagen world climate conference coming up next month, a bill to initiate cap-and-trade programs in the U.S. to combat climate change continues to crawl its way through the Senate, which can only work on one issue at a time, apparently. After Congress is done shredding all sane proposals for national health care and presenting the American people a turd wrapped in gold foil and calling it "reform," the same group of people is fully expected to throw climate legislation into the same brick wall and piss on it.

According to MSNBC, "Republicans... have characterized the "cap-and-trade" approach as tantamount to a massive energy tax because it would make energy from fossil fuels, especially electricity produced from burning coal, more expensive." And Democrats aren't exactly lining up to take up the let's-stay-alive cause, either. And while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce denies that anything needs to be done at all, the corporations — yes, corporations! — who make up that Chamber have been resigning in protest of its money-first, life-last policies.

Unfortunately, the CEOs of those corporations aren't members of Congress. And so, to the dunderheads who are there, WB offers this review of the basics:

You say that climate change can't and shouldn't be fought because carbon would become more expensive. But you see, that's the point. When things are cheap, people consume them without thinking because there's no need to think. Consider the plastic disposable razor, one of the most wasteful and unnecessary products ever invented. As long as those things work out to about 19 cents a shave, no one's going to stop to ponder what happens to that little chunk of plastic when it's "disposed" of, going to the landfill (or to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) to join millions of other chunks of plastic that will take hundreds of thousands of years to break down into toxic subparticles.

Raise that razor's price to two or three bucks a pop, and people start to think: Can I skip this shave? Can I reuse the blade one more time, even though it's starting to rip the whiskers instead of shave them? Could I... find some way to keep the handle and replace just the blade?

And bingo, there we are: back at the non-disposable razor.

The one that makes sense.

Why do manufacturers make disposable razors? Because they can. Why do consumers buy them? Because no one stops them. Why do people keep all the lights on in the house? Why do they buy TV sets that suck up five times the electricity of the old set that's still working just fine?

You Congressional climate legislation obstructionists aren't lining up to block climate change initiatives because you're concerned about the well-being of your constituents. You're doing it at the beck and call of your corporate owners who produce all of the products we don't need and the energy we waste to run them.

The good news is, that kind of thinking — and behavior — just can't last. When gasoline prices shot up to $4 per gallon, the world stopped driving. And when the price fell back to $2, our cars stayed parked. Clearly the people know something that you narrow-minded obstructionist legislators never will: living on this planet is about much more than desperately clinging to a job. It's about clinging to life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was starting to worry--but you'blogging again! Yeah!@