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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

July, 2008


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Lowe Letters:

Serving The Republicans
An initiative defining marriage as "between a man and a woman" qualified for the Nov. election, which will bring national attention back to California, and might just skew the election in favor of the Republicans. The initiative is no different than defining patriotism as wearing a flag lapel pin.
The marriage measure is a Republican thing. The GOP feels that if it can get independents and moderates to vote for this measure they will go right along and vote for John McCain and other anti-tax Republicans.

This is a narrow-minded and misguided piece of legislation tailored to the Republican agenda.

* * *
What Happened To Bush's Balanced Budget?

Whatever happened to Bush's promised balanced budget? Did it go the way of his compassionate conservatism?

Remember the surpluses of the Clinton years that Bush and anti-tax Republicans squandered? Remember when John McCain opposed tax cuts skewed toward the wealthy? Mr. McCain is now walking in lockstep with GOP deficit hawks and embracing the spend and borrow economic policy of the Bush administration.

This seems redundant, but will the Republican Party change its economic ways with John McCain in the White House?

Barack Obama will return America to economic responsibility and feasibility and just possibly to surpluses again. The Democratic financial advisors who helped Clinton correct the prior Bush's mess are ready in waiting.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Disappointed With Bishops
I wish to express my disappointment with those Catholic bishops who allow politicians that support abortion and embryonic stem cell research to receive Holy Communion.

In most, if not all cases, these politicians are fully aware of what they are doing. They know the church teaches that abortion is a grave sin and they also know that they are co-operating in it by promoting it both publicly and legally. Common sense dictates that when gravely immoral policies find themselves into law, they begin to incrementally, surreptitiously, almost invisibly, impose themselves on society by both coercion and force - marginalizing in the process both religion and those of religious faith.

When bishops allow such politicians to receive Holy Communion under the guise that all culpability for guilt lies solely with the communicant rather than also with the minister of Communion, these bishops themselves foster and encourage this dictatorship of relativism.

Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl's claim that bishops should only be responsible for those people in their own dioceses is a claim to "territorial morality" - in essence the same slogan and formula used by politicians who claim the right to lead a double life - a private life in which they supposedly oppose the evil of abortion and a public life in which they allow and even promote this evil in others. What form of mental 'compartmentalization' or bicameral thinking can allow an intelligent thinking human to rationalize this way? On the contrary, Scripture has it that "no man can serve two masters" (Matt. 6: 24).

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

In Defense Of Prejudice
No one says it better than Israel Shamir himself.

Bravo to you and your staff for having the courage and decency to actually offer the public a free press on the most crucial crisis facing our feeble democracy today: who runs Washington, Israel or the American people? Is it the Neocons...the militant Zionist whose first allegiance is to Israel and who are in position in our government to write up war policies on Israel enemies as well as authoring the First Strike Doctrines, the Full Spectrum Dominance Doctrine, and introduce a policy of Perpetual Warfare Doctrines for the United States and its children? Or is it the American people who believe in being friends with thy neighbor, who ache for peace and prosperity and to witness the salvation of a humane democracy...once again?

May Dini
Marin

Enemy Combatant Rights
The Supreme Court ruling granting to enemy combatants the same habeas corpus rights enjoyed by American citizens appears to be an unfortunate aberration from past precedent.

In Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 US 763, 776 (1950), the U.S. Supreme Court said: _A unanimous Court recently clarified both the privilege of access to our courts and the limitations upon it. We said: _The ancient rule against resident alien enemies has survived only so far as necessary to prevent use of the courts to accomplish a purpose which might hamper our war efforts or give aid and comfort to the enemy. This may be taken as the sound principle of the common law today._ Ex parte Kawato, 317 US 69, 75...

BUT THE NONRESIDENT ENEMY ALIEN, ESPECIALLY ONE WHO HAS REMAINED IN THE SERVICE OF THE ENEMY, DOES NOT HAVE EVEN THIS QUALIFIED ACCESS TO OUR COURTS, FOR HE NEITHER HAS COMPARABLE CLAIMS UPON OUR INSTITUTIONS NOR COULD HIS USE OF THEM FAIL TO BE HELPFUL TO THE ENEMY..._ (Emphasis added)

Is the Court abandoning the principle of stare decisis?

Fielding Greaves
San Rafael

Energy Fallacy
If the energy cartel (and their political allies) had not been successful in their destruction of the conservation, environmental, and alternative energy programs that were chartered under the Carter administration; our current energy and trade deficit problems would have been infinitely better-not to mention our unbalanced contributions to carbon pollution and our diminished world standing.

Those same interests now advocate drilling for more fossil fuels which would provide no measurable benefits. Instead, this would only delay the badly needed environmental reforms which they had successfully blocked during the Reagan years (and thereafter) that have contributed largely to the current problems--and for which they now blame on the environmentalists and scientific community.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

God Speed Mr. Bush
As President Bush made another farewell tour of Europe earlier in June, a lot of people in different countries must have felt like the sentiments in the western song that said: "How can we miss you if you won't go away?" But their prayers will be answered in January 2009 as the cowboy rides into the Texas sunset.

A new optimism has wafted across Europe according to a new worldwide study by the Pew Global Attitudes Project because of a change at the helm in the Oval Office that will take place in January. The survey showed that many nations blamed the United States for the unrest in the Middle East because of the Iraq War, the saber rattling with Iran, the slumping economies and the high gas prices.

Americans don't like other nations mocking and criticizing their presidents, but Bush and his staff have had a way of irritating others by poking their finger in the eyes of "Old Europe" with their "going alone policies" and then recently seeking their support in solving Middle Eastern problems.

No one will envy the next president who will occupy the Oval Office who has to clean up the wreckage of the Bush Administration but there would probably be no shortage of disgruntled Europeans and Americans in January who would happily line up to assist Bush up on his horse and point it southwest for Texas and shout: "God speed."

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls, CA 94933

Good For The Irish
I wish to commend Irish voters for rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. Their vote is a reflection of the true heart and soul of a nation in touch with its democratic roots and moral foundation.

Acceptance of the treaty would have helped solidify a constitution of the European Union that has already broken good faith with organized religion by deliberately failing to mention Europe's Christian roots and identity. A Yes vote would have enhanced the power of a European Union that unequivocally aims at forced compliance of all member states to accept a culture of death that includes homosexuality, same-sex marriage and abortion.

Philosopher Jacques Maritain wrote that democracy -- what many consider the best form of government -- emerged in human history as a temporal expression of evangelical inspiration and as such -- in a historical rather than a dogmatic sense -- is closely linked to Christianity, the foundation of which is Catholicism.

The increasing tendency of European nations to repudiate their Christian roots is not the expression of some morally superior tolerance for other cultures but rather the authorization of an absolute way of thinking and living that is radically opposed to the variety of cultures -- cultures which, in the end, are dogmatically relativized.

Secularists are motivated by a totalitarian concept of the State. According to this mentality, the State is a sort of Supreme Being that is above us and tells us how to live. But this is not reality. It should be the State that conforms to the society it serves -- not the other way around. This is the essence of democracy. The opposite is dictatorship and totalitarianism

Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Happy Birthday, Israel!
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Israel and Jews around the world. After all, Jews have won 159 Nobel Prizes, many more than any single group. Their dedication to scholarship, research and the understanding of how our universe works benefit us all.

Happy Birthday Israel!
Bob Prichard
Tiburon

Hateful Concentration On Israel
Please cancel our current advertisement. We no longer would like to advertise with your paper due to the hateful concentration on Israel and the Jewish people. Please issue us a refund for the remaining credit at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,
Tiana Franklin
Petaluma

Historical Errors About Israeli History
I have no intent to engage in an ideological argument with somebody so biased and so anti-Israel as Ed Miller. But I would like to point out a few of his more egregious historical errors in the hope that some readers may be interested in getting a more accurate picture of history.

a. The 1948 war was one-sided indeed, but not in the way Ed Miller describes. While the Yishuv (the organized Jewish community in Israel) has accepted the UN Resolution 181 on the Partition of Palestine, the Arab side refused to accept it and started a war of attrition that targeted the Jewish population in Palestine. Once Israel declared its independence in May 15th 1948, five Arab states' armies - Egypt, Trans Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq - have attacked the new state, in contradiction to their obligations as signatories of the UN Charter. Unfortunately for them, the new Jewish army proved to be stronger than they expected.

b. The 1967 war was not, as Ed Miller states a "long-planned campaign of colonization". It was the result of unprovoked military movements initiated by the Egyptians. Syria and Jordan, believing the Egyptians will be victorious joined the war. The result was, yet again, a huge Israeli victory. As result of that, Jordan lost the territories it occupied in 1948.

c. Ed Miller states, "In 1967, the Palestinians lost everything". He conveniently ignores the fact that between 1948 and 1967, the West Bank was under occupation of an Arab country - Jordan. Nothing would have prevented the Palestinians from establishing a state in the West Bank and Gaza. During these 20 years, nobody suggested the creation of a Palestinian state. It is only after Israel, reacting to the Jordanian aggression, has occupied the West Bank that the idea of a Palestinian state was put forward.

d. The Hamas was indeed democratically elected. That doesn't make it less of a terrorist organization. The Nazi party also came to power in a democratic election, albeit after a violent campaign. This fact doesn't make them less evil. e. The Palestinians have indeed suffered deterioration in their livelihood after the Intifadah started. Before that, a large part of them were employed in Israel and were able to improve their life. After repeated terrorist attacks on its civil population, Israel has barred Palestinians from employment in Israel and so eliminated an important source of revenue to the Palestinian population.

e. Ed Miller sheds tears for the "1.5 million imprisoned in the Gaza Strip". Let us not forget the facts. Israel has unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza, pulling back all the settlers living there. This could have been a good start for establishing a more normal relation between the two nations. Unfortunately that was not to be and Hamas and other organizations have almost immediately started launching rockets on Israeli towns located within the Green Line (the pre-1967 border). I am hard pressed to think of any nation state that would not react to such events. The Israeli government would be greatly remiss if it didn't react to the unprovoked attacks on its population. Let us imagine for a moment a rocked attack on San Diego and what would be the US reaction to that.

f. Last, but not least Ed Miller tries to imply that the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the US were precipitated by our support for Israel. The first declarations of Bin Laden didn't mention the situation of the Palestinians at all. His excuse for the attacks on the US was the presence of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia and the support the US lends to apostate Arab regimes. Only later did he capitalize on the Palestinians' plight to justify his terrorist acts.

I hope all the above sets straight some of the false facts presented by Ed Miller.

And as for his comparison of the Herut (Freedom) party to the Nazis. I can't find words to express my disgust for this calumny.

Reuven Segev
[email protected]

Israel's Expulsion Of Jewish Critic
(The Irish Times, May 26th) because of his outspoken criticism of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is further proof, if any were required, that Israel is neither a democratic state nor one with regard for basic human rights. While 60 sixty years of existence, the state of Israel throws out - and bans for a decade - a free-thinking Jew who is the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Irish academics and members of Aosd_na should immediately protest in writing to the Israelis over this blatant crime against the right to free speech. If an Irish author or academic were to be banned from Israel, be he Jewish or not, we'd never hear the end of it. Surely neither members of Aosd_na, nor of the academic world, could support any regime or individual that sets out to stifle criticism? It would be interesting to know the argument by which Irish academics, writers, or artists, justify silence as an answer to Norman Finkelstein's outrageous treatment. - Yours, etc,

Fred Johnson
Carn Ard,
Galway, Ireland

Red Hill Park-Character Study
Ted Freeman is Mayor of San Anselmo, California. Make no mistake. Ted Freeman is Mayor. "Go to hell." That's mayoral.

How is a genuinely nice, elderly man, a strong supporter of the San Anselmo Library Tax goaded into telling a speaker, "Go to hell?" The speaker questioned why Mayor Freeman was letting Peter Breen command the meeting and why the Mayor didn't know answers to basic questions about the Red Hill Community Park multi-million dollar money trail.

Vice Mayor Peter Breen has been dictating policy direction and orchestrating development ventures using public assets and taxpayer money with the cooperation of TUHSD Trustee John Wright. Peter Breen is the walnut-grower behind the nut.

Town Manager Debra Stutsman added new information into a Planning Appeal to Town Council that had nothing to do with the actual project. The new information (a hypothetical 57-acre foot dam) was to dissipate the fact that the Town officials know TUHSD is going to install another synthetic FieldTurf in San Anselmo i.e., Drake HS = 2005 flood. Officials don't knowledge of the FieldTurf installation and drainage plans to avoid being clearly culpable if there is storm flooding into Red Hill Shopping Center. Senior members of the Council and Administration sanction, assist, and protect wrongdoing at all levels of San Anselmo local government.

Planning Director Lisa Wight is instrumental in fouling any chance of a legitimate planning process by denying commissioners, applicant, appellant, and citizen's adequate review, by providing incomplete, inaccurate, and nonsensical information that misleads and misinforms, and if all else fails, by improperly influencing others who have authority to determine decisions.

1. Did not send Dept State Architects the plans for the three-acre FieldTurf synthetic surface area.

2. Provided Planning Commission inadequate time (7 hours) to review the 500 pages of public comment received in response to the CEQA required Negative Declaration.

3. Methodically scheduled the Negative Declaration (May 5, 2008) without the drainage and electrical plans reviewed by the Public Works Director, as Director Elias is required to do on projects of this scope.

4. At the Negative Declaration hearing, Director Wight advised the Planning Commissioners not to consider the drainage or electrical drawings of the plan in making their Final Determination. This mandate violated the intent of the Negative Declaration in considering mitigations and irreparably harmed the subsequent Appeal process.

5. On June 17, 2008, Town Council heard the Appeal of the Planning Commission approval. Director Wight added in the drainage and electrical drawings into the scope of the review. Council considered information that the Planning Commission could not consider in making their Final Determination.

6. San Anselmo Town Council members Peter Breen, Judy House, Barbara Thornton, and Mayor Ted Freeman refused to acknowledge violations to CEQA and to the Town's regulations, policies, and Municipal Code.

7. Mr. Breen called an accurate Town document a lie because it identified him as voting to approve sport field lighting at Red Hill Community Park.

8. Town Attorney Robert F. Epstein advised the Town Council that Town hearings on Red Hill Park could be moot because the Tamalpais Union High School District will own the property and can invoke its standing as a public school at which time the Town has no jurisdiction. Even with a legal precedent that risked everything, Mr. Epstein had the Council proceed with the hearing, knowing that litigation was the only recourse.


TUHSD ownership and controlling entity means:

A. That the TUHSD will build only those projects it wants at the site with taxpayer money.

B. TUHSD will use its Modernization tax dollars without restraint.

C. TUHSD will have the right under the Education Code to have a night-lighted sport field and amplified sound. Town's Municipal Code is meaningless.

D. Town Public Works Director Rabi Elias said that the Town does not inspect school projects.

E. TUHSD could broker deals to combine city and school tax dollars to build a Community Services Center at Red Hill School, probably using Peter Breen through the RHCP JPA process.

In reaching his decision whether to deny the Appeal, Mayor Ted Freeman spoke the most pathetic words of the evening, "If I thought long enough I could think of reasons to oppose this".

Development is transitory, but the process to get there should be functional and rational. Only two men represented these qualities; Councilman Ford Greene and Planning Commissioner Daniel Harris.

Public officials representing Town of San Anselmo, Tamalpais Union High School District, and Ross Valley School District during the last three years have refused to confront what was in front of them and expose the bureaucratic lies and correct the unprincipled actions by the members of the Red Hill Community Park Joint Powers Authority.

After RHCP JPA meeting five years ago with TUHSD Trustee John Wright, Councilman Peter Breen, and Ken Conroy of San Anselmo Baseball Association, I realized that in order to cooperate toward the purpose held these three men, my moral compass would have to be set between corrupt and hooligan.

Pandora's Box at 100/110 Shaw Drive is now in unscrupulous hands.

Louise L. Mathews
San Anselmo

Politicians Again Attacking Prop. 13
Our California politicians are pushing five (5) amendments attacking the Constitution, to cripple our cherished Proposition 13:

SCA 10, to end Prop. 13_'s two-thirds vote on transportation bond measures;

SCA 21, to end the 2/3-vote for bonds for essential services buildings;_

SCA 17, to lower the 2/3-vote for school district parcel taxes;

SCA 12, to rob you of your right to vote on new property taxes, allowing politicians to impose new taxes on all property owners at once, with NO vote of the people; and

SCA 18, to create new _education finance districts_ as NEW taxing agencies, allowing school districts to join together to levy new taxes.

The legislature's disreputable politicians are noted for redistricting to rig elections; for corrupting its own voting procedures and theft of fellow member's votes by _ghost voting; _ for changing their votes after the fact to deceive constituents and others; for betrayal of both duty and constituents by _taking a walk_ to avoid voting on controversial measures; and for violating the Constitution's Article XX and their sworn oath to faithfully discharge the duties upon which [they are] about to enter._

CONTACT your legislators let them know you expect them to vote NO on all five, and you're watching how they vote.

Fielding Greaves
President
Marin United Taxpayers Association

McCain Is About Judgment, Not Age
John McCain's campaign is accusing Democrats of ageism because they say McCain is "confused", "oblivious", and "out of touch". But this isn't a criticism of McCain's age because Bush is far younger than McCain and Bush is also confused, oblivious, and out of touch. McCain is just like Bush who is a young vigorous guy. The problem with McCain isn't his age; it's his poor judgment. It's not that McCain is too old, it's that McCain, like Bush, is just plain wrong and he hasn't learned anything from Bush's mistakes.

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA.

McCain's Plan For Nuclear Reactors
John McCain's plan to build 45 new reactors by 2030 demonstrates more about his connections to nuclear industry lobbyists than to any real concern about addressing climate change. Nuclear power provides far less climate protection per dollar than any of its competitors. The mining, uranium production, transport, use and storage of nuclear fuel (and waste) create global warming. Nuclear reactors heat up the air and water wherever they operate. It takes a tremendous amount of water to cool down nuclear fuel. Radioactive releases are constant into the environment, and cancer and birth defects, miscarriage, and pollution accompany standard nuclear power plant operations.

Moreover, because nuclear power is so expensive, only massive taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies would enable the construction of new atomic reactors. Such investment would divert the resources from those solutions that really work: renewable energy, energy efficiency, cogeneration, smart grids and distributed generation are the clean, affordable means to reduce carbon emissions and meet our energy needs, not nuclear power.

Clean energy sources don't produce lethal radioactive waste, don't require massive security, don't make residents live in fear of a meltdown, and don't enable the spread of nuclear weapons. The choice is easy. But Senator McCain has made the wrong one.

Kathryn Barnes
Sherwood, MI

No Charging Stations In Marin
Marin County has no public electric vehicle charging stations that I am aware of. The only one at Costo in Novato is down, they are remodeling.

As most people know, one of the biggest complaints people have about electric vehicles is you need charging stations before people will buy them. But the Oil Companies will not put in the electric vehicle charging stations until there are electric vehicles that need them! There really is a conspiracy against electric vehicles starting with the lack of electric vehicle charging stations and the Oil Company's refusal to put them in their gas stations. (I have would not be surprised if the oil companies black list gas stations that put in a electric vehicle charging stations!)

So it seems that again will be up to the government to force the oil companies to put in electric vehicle charging stations. No electric vehicle charging stations.

But, maybe we can do something. How about charities and foundations, cities and the counties putting them in public places like public parking lots, parks, shopping centers, College of Marin etc. Maybe Marin County can be the pioneer!

Last year I purchased a Lepton Oxygen scooter/moped because of the high gas prices. It was $1650, refurbished. Gas prices are $4.25 and up, it cost me $180 to fill my truck for one month of driving to College Of Marin from Forest Knolls 22 miles round trip. I purchased a meter called "Kill A Watt" and found it was about 2 KW Hours to charge it in about 6 hours. That is about 22 a day, compared to about $7 a day for my small truck.

So, it costs about $5 a month to fill up with electricity and $180 to fill up the truck with gasoline!

Yes, if everyone drove an electric car it would put a strain on electric generation done by oil, gas and coal, unless most people also had solar panels! But power plants are lots more efficient and less polluting than the portable polluting power plant we call a car!

Kevin E. West
Electra West Systems
California Licensed Contractor # 618599, ACO #3699

In Business Since 1976

On Choking Off Liberties
As I reviewed Mr. Swanson's diatribe against the Bush Administration for destroying the United States of America, for trashing nearly all the really important clauses of the Constitution of the United States, and for rough treatment accorded Islamic thugs found on foreign soil engaged as they were in fomenting violence against American and allied warriors or against native populations,

But it is Mr. Swanson who is fomenting things, notably the Big Lie that the Bush Administration has applied, wrongly, tough conditions for dealing with the Islamic thugs who have been found scattered about in the Afghan, Pakistani, and Iraqi wildernesses.

The most notable of Mr. Swanson's errors, and the one that underpins the rest of them, concerns his comment "Bush signed an order announcing that in the US fight against Al Qaeda, "none of the provisions of Geneva apply."

Dependent as he seems to be on the teachings of Geneva, Mr. Swanson failed to explain his angst over the matter, and for good reason--reason anyone who actually reads the Geneva Conventions would understand.

Convention III, which sets out the rules for treatment of Prisoners of War, actually defines the term 'Prisoners of War', something which Mr. Swanson chose not to. Of course, as defined in Geneva Convention III, the Islamic thugs of Al Qaeda or any other informal insurgent group you can think of who have intruded themselves into Afghanistan and Iraq, clearly do NOT fit the definition of Prisoner of War. This is incontrovertible & undeniable.

As a consequence, Convention III does not apply. Here is why:

1. They are NOT members of, or affiliated with, the armed forces of a Party to the conflict. Al Qaeda has no allegiance to or attachment with any sovereign state, and does not serve as the armed forces of any state.

2. They do not fulfill the following conditions which contribute to the definition of Prisoner of War:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war

I would suggest that Al Qaeda fell outside the proscribed limits of item (d) above based on their actions of September 11, 2001, which clearly were NOT in accordance with the laws and customs of war. The thugs who have represented the 'insurgency' in Iraq conduct their operations outside those limits all the time in Iraq & Afghanistan by using civilians as cover for their violent activities. And the suicide bombers are so bizarre and non-customary that they defy categorization. In any case, however, they are dead and we need not concern ourselves with them, except that we have come to understand that Al Qaeda, terrorist groups such as Hamas, and other so-called insurgent groups conduct recruitment and training of suicide bombers in an organized fashion.

The Geneva Conventions allow for the category known as 'guerrillas', but may be accorded protections only if they distinguish themselves from the civilian population if they are preparing or engaged in an attack. At a minimum, guerrillas must carry their arms openly.

As we know too well, Al Qaeda and other insurgent fighters do none of these things. By their actions, the international community has, by its rules as established in the Geneva Conventions, afforded Al Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations no rights or protections on the global battlefield.

I have come to the conclusion that President Bush and his Administration have handled the international issues facing the United States since 9/11 quite well indeed. It took too long to get the situation in Iraq under control, but under control it is, and it does now appear that the war on terror, or whatever one chooses to call it, is both winnable and, quite possibly, won in this stage of the effort.

As for Mr. Swanson and his Chicken Little hysterics, we've had quite enough of it. It is simply NOT TRUE and the people of this nation are not fooled by this sort of misguidance.

Chris Rasmussen
Novato

Story Is Wrong About Feinstein Briefing
[Re Bush 'plans Iran air strike by August', May 29 appearing in the Asia Times] Your story on Iran is wrong. Senator Feinstein has not received any briefing, classified or unclassified, from the [George W Bush] administration involving any plans to strike Iran. I am asking that you correct the story.

Scott Gerber
Director of Communications
Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

Rejection Of Climate Bill By Republican Senators

The rejection of this bill, after the Kyoto, and Bali Conferences, underscore the dangerous control that special interests exercise over this administration's policies. Their distortion of scientific data typifies their unconscionable war on science.

Evidence linking carbon pollution to warming has long been as close to certain as science can be. Its causes, consequences, and mitigation requirements have been documented by many dedicated environmental organizations including The Union of Concerned Scientists.

Special interests argue that the current warming trends follow historic warming cycles, and hence reflect natural weather patterns--but they omit obvious differences: The earlier warming trends developed at slower rates which permitted the ecosystems to adapt. Moreover they resulted from temporary natural events, which allowed transitions back to normal temperature patterns--by contrast, the current warming patterns result from artificial causes that will only intensify unless mitigated.

By all indicators, global warming will self perpetuate as the melting ice sheets absorb rather than reflect heat, as the melting permafrost releases more CO2 & methane, and the list goes on. Inundation of low lying areas, spread of tropical diseases to temperate latitudes, sea life destruction from changing ocean chemistry, & currents, are only some potential consequences.

Often overlooked is the fact that, the same measures needed to mitigate global warming would be necessary even if it were no issue. Conservation, alternative energy development, anti-pollution refinements, etc are essential for other vital environmental reforms such as air and water quality, reductions in toxic waste generation, land preservation, etc.

Contrary to right wing assertions, measures to reduce greenhouse gases could only improve our economy by lessening our trade deficits, and improving our security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We could also regain some of our lost world respect that has resulted from our rejection of Kyoto while arrogantly contributing disproportionably to carbon pollution. With our participation in international efforts, China & India could no longer use our non-compliance as an excuse for their non-participation.

The environmental and social damage from our indifference to carbon pollution can only worsen if we allow this administration, guided special interests, to continue their war against our planet.

Robert Settgast,
San Rafael


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