One week from now is the 10th anniversary of the terrorism of September 11, 2001, and so we’re seeing an even larger version of what’s become an annual revelry in that day of death. Supporters of the Homeland Security regime that the U.S.A. now lives under come close to celebrating the violence of 2011, because they think that it justifies the repressive and expensive retraction of liberty they have always favored. Their argument is that, because 2,571 people died once, we must behave as if another such event is always just about to take place.
The truth that the history of the last decade makes clear is that terrorist attacks are not an ever-present looming threat. Yes, terrorist attacks will take place in the future, and every now and then, the United States will even see a large scale terrorist attack. However, terrorist attacks are rare events, and large terrorist attacks are extremely rare.
On the other hand, smog is not rare across the United States. Deadly levels of smog are not always visible, but they’re present across large parts of the United States on many days. Smog doesn’t just attack in big cities, either. It spreads in dangerous levels across large rural areas as well, into countryside where the air is no longer at all fresh.
Unlike terrorists, smog is here, killing, year after year. Every year, smog kills many more people than Osama Bin Laden did.
Yet, although airline travelers are still being groped by the Transportation Security Administration and undergoing naked body scans, the Obama Administration refuses to provide effective protections against fatal levels of smog.
Last Friday afternoon, when he knew that most Americans would have already stopped paying attention to national events because of the Labor Day weekend, Barack Obama announced that he would support the policy of George W. Bush and the American Petroleum Institute, and refuse to implement strong anti-smog regulations that are legally required under the Clean Air Act.
Studies have indicated that somewhere between 4,000 and 12,000 Americans will be killed every year as a result of the lack of those regulations.
If between 4,000 and 12,000 Americans were killed just once in a terrorist attack, Washington D.C. would swoop in and change our lives forever, sparing no expense.
Because the killer is smog, and because oil and gas companies make such obscene profits that they are able to employ armies of lobbyists carrying huge amounts of money to give to politicians, Washington D.C. is just shrugging of the deaths of thousands of Americans, as if it’s just the sort of thing that happens every day…
which it is…
but it didn’t used to be…
and it doesn’t have to be.
We don’t have the allow the month of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2011 to be the month that we set the stage for another massacre. We could make this the occasion to take a stand against environmental terrorism by the fossil fuels corporations.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama is standing with Big Oil, and not doing what it takes to defend the American people.