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Congressional Democrat Proposes Ban On Climate Action

dirty environment democratConsistently increasing temperatures, sea level and ocean acidification are making it clear that strong government action to confront climate change is needed. The marketplace forces that are supposed by some to automatically keep society running smoothly have been not been acting to change the polluting human activities that have led to climate change. On the contrary, they have worked to make the climate crisis worse.

Yesterday, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives stepped up to deal with the issue – by protecting the market forces that have led to the climate crisis in the first place. Congressman Nick Rahall introduced H.R. 1486, legislation that would make it against the law for the government to shift the expense of carbon dioxide pollution from individuals and small businesses to the corporations that release the pollution in the first place. Rahall’s bill would ban an entire category of action to confront climate change, with the goal of protecting the dirty energy dominance of fossil fuels corporations.

With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?

11 comments to Congressional Democrat Proposes Ban On Climate Action

  • Tom

    Ah, and with corporate controlled government, what should we expect, right? After Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act, today we find out (though i’m sure everyone has known for years) that their GM corn is full of toxic pesticides. Just in time for the summer barbecue season! Mmmm – eat up!

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/326208

  • Tom

    here you go Green Man:

    GMO Corn loaded with chemical poisons (9 min. video)

  • Bill

    Green, the last line of your article cracked me up…because it was the first thought in my mind when I read the teaser for this article on the home page. A true DINO is Congressman Rahall.

    Tom, the Digital Times article you cite regarding the super-scariness of Bt corn is, I’m sorry to say, pretty much crap. It cites three published studies, then speculates wildly (and inappropriately) about how OHMYGOD WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE FROM Bt CORN!!!! I’m not expert enough in this branch of science to stand in judgement of those three papers, but I do note that despite being years old they have hardly ever been cited by others in the voluminous Bt toxicology literature (no doubt due to a vast international conspiracy), which tells me something, anyway. And you play into the same tone of mindless hysteria with your “GM corn is full of toxic pesticides” statement. Well, OK, Bt corn (a subset of “GM corn”> does indeed contain Bt (“full of” is rather a stretch), and Bt is indeed a natural pesticide, which by definition means it is toxic (to pests…hence the term ‘pesticide’). Bt and Bt corn have been subjected to a huge amount of toxicological assessment (and thank God, says I), and the scientific consensus is that they are quite harmless if you don’t happen to be a Bt corn-eating insect. The existence of Bt corn has prevented the use of one whole helluva lot of chemical pesticides that no one denies are extremely toxic to pretty much every multicellular organism, particularly including humans, and has done so without depressing corn yields, thus feeding a whole lot of people worldwide who would otherwise be less well nourished.

    The phrase “You’d b*tch if they hung you with a new rope” does, once again, come to mind. You frequently ask “why isn’t anyone doing anything?” about the many threats to mankind’s wellbeing but, when somebody does something, you declare it to be yet another part of the problem.

    • Dave

      Bill, according to commondreams.org the greater share of corporate campaign contributions in the U.S. has gone to Democratic candidates since 2006. Forbes.com tells us that corporate profits under the Democrats (four years/Obama) have been a whopping 77%, when administrations going back to Eisenhower show anywhere from 11 to 13%.

      Green Man’s last line indeed is funny, but to me it’s for a different reason. The idea of Republicans as the party of big corporations is fading quickly into the mists of time, assuming the status of a myth.

  • Tom

    Hey good one Bill! Yeah, i don’t have the energy to argue anymore. You eat it and tell me how you feel.
    Same with all the other warnings – keep telling yourself and your kids that it’s all gonna be all right and we’ll see how it goes, eh? Just keep refusing to look at what’s going on around you – continue to believe that the planet can provide for as many people as we want to have and that nothing can stand in our way because we have Monsanto and all the other corporations to make everything great!

    Are you a Republican, or like Obama (a DINO)? i’m just curious.

    • Bill

      So, disagreeing with you = refusing to look at what’s going on around me? Naah.

      In point of fact I’m a rather active and committed environmentalist, and I like to think of myself as a humanist. But as a biologist I just find the widespread luddite hysteria over GM food in general, and Bt in particular, to be reprehensible. We are where we are, and where we are is that we’ve got 7 billion mouths to feed three times a day. Our choices seem to be: (1) redouble our use of highly toxic chemical poisons and unsustainable fertilizers, or (2) go ‘organic’ and feel all warm and fuzzy while we let 3.5 billion people starve to death, or (3) use the dang scientific knowledge we’ve paid so much for to create drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant, heat-tolerant, pest-tolerant versions of food crops.

      Listen, I totally get that people like you (and me!) get nervous about unintended consequences when we talk about modifying ‘nature’, and well we should. But modifying nature is, alas, how Homo sapiens rolls…it is the hand that evolution has dealt us. Even the sainted pre-Columbian Amerindians, much heralded in popular mythology as living in perfect harmony with Nature, quite actively engineered ecosystems to meet their needs (and, oh, by the way, drove innumerable species of prehistoric megafauna to extinction). As with anything else, our modifications of nature just need to be done wisely, and need to be appropriately regulated. Going Luddite by damning all “GM” is both fruitless and irresponsible. Looking at things on a case-by-case basis, and doing what makes the most sense, is the responsible thing to do. Using growth hormone to increase milk production in cows is obviously crazy, because we know it gets into the milk and we know it has powerful biological effects on humans. Genetically engineering Bt into corn, in contrast, has never been shown to be harmful (after a huge amount of study), and dramatically decreases the need for chemical pesticides. So I’m against the former, and for the latter, based on evidence, not hysteria.

      I’m old enough to recall the dawn of ‘molecular biology’, when we first learned enough about DNA to enable us (biologists) to manipulate DNA as a tool to conduct biomedical research. And, early on, some folks pointed out that this was such a powerful technique that, if left unregulated, it could do some serious harm. So we declared a self-imposed moratorium on the use of these techniques while expert panels reviewed the situation and drafted sensible rules balancing risk and reward and erring on the side of caution, and imposed these rules on ourselves; shortly thereafter, governments adopted the same rules and thus molecular biomedical research became appropriately regulated. Forty years later we can look back and say “job well done — nobody died from needless stupid accidents, and countless millions of lives have been saved by the medical breakthroughs molecular techniques enabled.” In the same vein, I would strongly support sensible, systematic, evidence-based regulation of genetic modification of crops, but I must also reject Luddite hysteria. If that means I’m refusing to look at what’s going on around me, well, then so be it.

  • Tom

    Bill, do a search for “Monsanto problem with loss of crops” and read some of the articles – if you want. They’re probably all made-up and “old” so don’t matter at all, i suppose. It’s most likely all just crap.

  • Tom

    Yep, so be it indeed Bill. It’s not the disagreeing with me it’s statements like your last paragraph. Are you kidding me? Where are these “self-imposed rules” when Obama just signed into effect the Monsanto Protection Act, where they can get away with their monumental fraud of a business while they buy Congressional approval and the laws they want, implant their own guy as head of the FDA (so there is practically no regulation (hey, just like the banks), and pull their global food scam whereby Indian farmers who were sold Monsanto’s bill of goods ended up killing themselves by the thousands due to the fact that their crop didn’t yield as promised? Your statements as to the superiority of SCIENCE over everything is ridiculous, fundamentalist in character, and completely wrong as evidenced by too many examples but especially bio-engineering where we are the unwitting guinea pigs for these companies.
    Enjoy your corn.

  • Tom

    (10 minute overview of a much longer documentary) Genetic Roulette:

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