"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Don't Drink the Water, and Don't Breathe the Air"

That's from an old Tom Lehrer song, from the days before we began to clean up our act environmentally. It looks like we may soon be returning to those days:

We've already seen several indications that EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, will be stripped of its mission — protecting the environment, including the climatic environment — and turned into a profit protection agency instead. At best, as I noted here, EPA would be reduced to a kind of janitor for the fossil fuel giants, "sweeping up after the energy industry's mess-making" as the toxic wastes, perhaps exponentially, increase.

We certainly know that Trump's new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has sued the agency many times to prevent it from doing its legally mandated job.

I remember being in Hollywood many years ago, looking down into the Valley from the hills. You couldn't actually see a lot of LA proper because of the smog -- some places, just the top of a palm tree sticking up above the haze.

Pruitt was obviously picked to fit in with the agenda. From the heat of Trump's EPA transition team, Myron Ebell:

“My own personal view is that the EPA would be better served if it were a much leaner organization that had substantial cuts,” he said in an interview. Ebell is director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a small-government think tank where he pushes the notion of “global warming alarmism” and against the science that says it’s a crisis. He acknowledges cutting 10,000 staffers might not be realistic, yet he sees that as an “aspirational goal. … You’re not going to get Congress to make significant cuts unless you ask for significant cuts.”

Sociopaths, one and all. Lead in your drinking water improves the flavor, right?

New Zealand starts to sound better and better.


Pieter said...

Currently there is a bill in the House (H.R. 861) to terminate the EPA as of December 31, 2018. These politicians are basically pre-schoolers saying If I were the Mommy I wouldn't make me eat my vegetables. The childishness of the Tea Party is on blatant display these days. Unfortunately, few of the people who voted for them understand what they're doing.

Hunter said...

It's the low information voters who never bother to look past the claim of the moment: "environmental regulations are bad for business" is as far as they get. Oddly enough, there should be a sizable proportion among them who remember what it was like before the EPA started doing its job, which was to enforce the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. But then, that's more than fifteen minutes ago, so. . . .