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Remember Acid Rain: Environmental Change for the Better is Possible

For those who say that everything’s getting worse and nothing can get better as long as the corporate moneygrubbing duopoly maintain their tight grip on the neck of the American political la dee da dee da, so we might as well do nothing, Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe has a strong rejoinder. Under a Republican president at the end of a conservative era in government, legislation was enacted that massively cut acid rain pollution. America’s freshwater lakes and ponds have recovered as a result. Change for the better is possible.

6 comments to Remember Acid Rain: Environmental Change for the Better is Possible

  • Except, of course, that America’s lakes and streams now have other problems, such as increased mercury pollution as a result of coal fired power plants and our over-use of fossil fuels for transportation.

    But, your general point, that we can make things better, with effort, is spot on. The corporate duopoly wouldn’t stand a chance against a focused and active citizenry.

  • Tom

    Yeah, yeah – just let the Republicans in and all is well, right Jim?

    Elect whomever you want and you still get the shitty corporate driven agenda crammed into your head, vacuuming out your wallet and very little getting any better out here in the real world where homelessness, unemployment and commodity prices are all on the rise, while they’re trying to get creationism into school curricula, genetically modified foods on the shelves, continue to keep the EPA and other watchdog agencies from doing their job of protecting us, all while keeping up their propaganda 24/7, stiffling the real news and hiding their actions so that it takes years to discover what they’re really up to.

    Green Man and you (and i) agree that a “focused and active citizenry) COULD change things, but ever since Bush 43 anyone protesting anything are all but ignored, the only people who get to run for office are the rich and powerful or backed by them, and the entire government (including both parties, for the most part) are, if not LEANING RIGHT, out and out NEOCONS who would make Stalin look mild by comparison. Every single year the economy has gotten worse (since Bush 43) for the citizenry while the military gets their non-negotiable blank check for making us more enemies (to justify their existence), and the entire financial sector has become riddled with fraud, despite electing Obama to change things.

    As far as pollution goes, the Pacific gyre isn’t getting any smaller, acid rain hasn’t been eradicated yet (trying to clean it up since 1970 – see http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/atmosphericpollutants.html) and now we have more CO2, methane and other byproducts of our all-about us “lifestyle” increasing yearly due to lack of action by our all-corporate government
    (see http://www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/pollution).

    So keep up the happy talk if it makes you feel better Jim, but from where i’m sitting, not much has improved and a whole lot has gotten much worse on multiple fronts (economically, environmentally, politically, ethically, with regard to health care, educationally, religiously, and socially to name a few areas of concern in no particular order).

    It would be great if everyone “woke up” and rallied around a cause like better government, but i’m pretty sure that, short of collapse, this government is entrenched and won’t give up their greedy power grab without a fight to the end. They already spy on us, just in case anyone has any bright ideas about horning in on their turf. They send the goon squad out to taser, beat up and kill anyone getting out of line (and even innocent people now: see http://jonathanturley.org/2010/10/21/new-york-police-accused-of-assaulting-college-students-trying-to-give-cpr-to-friend/) and we don’t know the half of what they have planned for us in the near future.

    • Dichotomy Man returns!

      Tom, you know and I know that letting the Republicans in isn’t a good idea. My point is that if people organize and push they can accomplish positive outcomes even against corporate pushes to the contrary, even when Republicans are in power.

      I’m not just talking happy talk, Tom. I’m looking at reality here. Take a look for yourself:

      Sulfur oxide atmospheric concentration time series:
      http://www.epa.gov/air/airtrends/sulfur.html

      Nitrogen dioxide atmospheric concentration time series:
      http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/nitrogen.html

      Lead atmospheric concentration time series:
      http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/lead.html

      The hopelessness of saying that positive change isn’t possible is comforting in a bitter sort of way, Tom. I won’t give you that comfort.

      • deep thinker

        Yes, and some companies who placed additives in lakes and streams to help return the pH to normal levels, received inordinate compensation and raised the TDS of the bodies of water in question, which had other affects. It turns out that streams, ponds and lakes have a natural cyclical variation in pH that plays a role in plant growth, decay and reproduction, that in-turn has an impact on the invertabrate and vertibrate poplulations within the broader ecosystem. Political parties are not capable of managing these problems; it absolutely requires local, state and federal cooperation. Frankly, what I’ve seen of corporate involvement is not impressive; perhaps that could change.

  • Tom

    i don’t like it either Jim, but it’s reality nowadays. Great they decided to clean up acid rain (because the cost to maintain practically everything would be far too expensive), but they’re still short-sided on too many other issues and aren’t budging on the environment. By the time they see the error of their ways it’ll be too late.

  • Tom

    should have read “short-sighted” – sorry

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