It Ain't Easy Being Green, Part 1, The Gore Saga

It appears that Gore may be attempting to cast himself as the more dedicated environmentalist in this Republicrat election. As is usual in such extraordinary situations, such as the purchase of the elections, the reality is far different from the fantasy that is offered.

First, he is a part of the administration that is proposing to spray an untested fungus over suspected coca and marijuana fields down in Columbia, hoping to eradicate only the intended illicit crops. The problem is, of course, that there is no way of knowing how the fungus will affect the surrounding plant life or even the health of the humans living in the dispersal areas.

Colombian biologists are speaking out against the plan, stating that the fungus may well kill the intended plants but, once that source of nutrition has disappeared, it may mutate and begin destroying both wild plant life as well as food crops downwind or downstream.

The eventual effects of the fungus are so frightening that even old Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, has refused to allow its use of that state’s huge marijuana crop for fear that it will become a danger to the state’s agricultural system.

So, Mr. Green must be utilizing all the power of the office of Vice-president to put an stop to this potential horror? Well, so far, he hasn’t taken the opportunity to address the issue of biological warfare on the Colombian people since he’s just too busy running for President. ( 1 )

While loudly proclaiming himself an environmentalist, he holds stock, as executor of his father’s estate, in Occidental Petroleum. Occidental is a company with, at best, an abysmal environmental record in Latin America. It is also working on attaining a profoundly appalling record on human rights in that the corporation is attempting to illegally drill on Columbia’s U’wa Indian tribe’s ancestral land, prompting the tribe to threaten mass suicide if the drilling is allowed to go ahead. Nevertheless, Occidental continues to push for Colombian military intervention to move the U’wa out of the way of Occidental’s corporate profits, even if it means the deaths of thousands of human beings who truly own historical rights to the land.

Not very surprisingly, Occidental Petroleum is a major donor to the Democratic Party. ( 2 )

Speaking of petroleum and the oil industry, the Clinton Administration has “proposed tax incentives for 100% expensing of geological and geophysical costs, and allowing the expensing of delay rental payments [which would lower the cost of drilling on federal lands]”.

Just some of the benefits that bribery, er, rather, the campaign contributions to the administration from the oil industry has resulted in includes; lifting the ban on the export of Alaska North Slope Oil [most of it now goes to Asia, not the U.S.], Royalty Simplification, privatization of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve [remember the Teapot Dome scandal? Same place and same scandal again but this time no reporting by any major media], the transfer and lease of Naval Oil Shale Reserves One and Three for production, and creation of a guaranteed loan program for small domestic oil and gas producers. Oh, by the way, guess who was the successful “bidder” for the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve? If you guessed Occidental Petroleum, then you move to the front of the class! ( 3 )

When speaking out against over populating the planet in his book, Earth in the Balance, the father of four pontificated, “Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so common in the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average, many times more destructive than that of a child born in the developing world.”

In July 1999, 4 billion gallons of water gallons of water was released from a dam on the Connecticut River so that Gore’s canoe would not scrape bottom during a photo op. In the meantime, residents around the eastern seaboard were placed on water rations because of drought conditions. ( 4 )

Referring to the Kyoto Accords and the weak stance that Vice-president Gore held regarding carbon-based pollutants, Paul Horsman, a Greenpeace campaigner. decried the fact that ''Vice President Gore is prepared to sacrifice any agreement which might protect the climate at Kyoto to the interests of the fossil fuel industry. He demonstrates no leadership in trying to solve the problem.'' ( 5 )

This supposed icon of the environmental movement falls far short even when one asks if he has championed any form of energy independence in his eight years with the bully pulpit of the Vice-presidency. As Ken Bossong, founder of Sun Day Campaign, so eloquently puts it, “Gore has not made a single speech on the need to make a renewable energy policy preeminent in this country if we are to be energy independent. Yet in a little-noted speech, White House Chief of Staff John Podesta told the National Press Club on Sept. 1 that ‘ultraclean fuel cells and cars that get 80 miles per gallon are well within our reach’” ( 6 )

Overall, Gore has a better record on the environment than Bush, but just how hard is that, anyway? Nevertheless, there are many questions concerning his ability to stand up to the petroleum and chemical industries when they have paid top dollar for his soul during this and many former elections. Can Gore separate what are possibly his true beliefs about the absolute need to rein in those industries that are responsible for the majority of the filth that is spewed into our air and water and soil, day after day, from the fact that he has sold his soul to those same industries? That is a question that will only be answered in the distant future. The most important question, though, is do we wish to gamble our planet’s health on the slim chance that he might possibly discover a courage that hasn’t been apparent in the last eight years?

If we cannot bring ourselves to trust Gore’s oft-times fragile sense of responsibility towards the American people at the expense of his, clearly, very strong sense of loyalty to his corporate owners, the we must then ask if his major opponent, George W. Bush, offers any greater prospect of putting his well reported love of industrial pollution throughout the state of Texas from his good buddies in the oil and chemical industries behind him and to suddenly find it in his heart to protect the American people from his biggest campaign contributors? Since it is these very same folks that the American people expect to be controlled by the government, the possibility of old Tumbleweed finding the nerve to come down on his life long sugar daddies is virtually nil, as we’ll explore in our next article.

Where does that leave us? It leaves us with the opportunity to elect the one American who has made it his mission in life to stand up to the bullies in Corporate America and who has stood up for the rights of all Americans his entire career. It leaves us with the only candidate that America has been offered in over forty years that is honest, uncorrupted and courageous enough to take America into the next century. We are offered a candidate who will never agree to any policy or legislation that benefits Corporate America’s sick drive for more and more profits over the needs and rights of the actual human beings who populate this nation and this planet. It leaves us in the happy position of electing Ralph Nader as the next President of the United States.

Next, though, we’ll look at exactly what a Bush presidency might offer our lungs and children’s health and what the planet has to look forward to in the next article.

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