It Ain't Easy Being Green, Part 3, The Nader Story

In the last two articles, weíve taken a very close look at the two major players in the 2000 presidential race. I think itís a fair statement to make that neither has shown themselves to have what it takes to become the caretaker of our environment in that both have always first knelt before their corporate owners before giving any thought to the health of the nation and the planetís environment.

Now letís focus our attention on the only other viable candidate in this yearís race, Ralph Nader. If neither of the other two candidates canít make the grade, will Nader?

Well, a good place to start would be to look at Naderís life story. Has he any shown any inclination to act in the best interests of the average American or does he, too, kneel before the wealthy and the powerful, putting the best interests of you and I last?

Nader came to the publicís attention in 1965 when, seven years after graduating magna cum laude from Princeton in 1958 and Harvard Law School in 1958, he investigated and exposed the automotive industryís practice of selling automobiles that the industry knew were defective and which led to the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Americans every year. Taking on General Motor dangerously defective Corvair resulted in GM going to extraordinary lengths to discredit him personally. Nader sued GM for invasion of privacy and GM, having already admitted their guilt during a Congressional hearing, settled out of court. ( 1 )

By todayís standards, Naderís settlement wasnít much, just $280,000, but he did something with those funds that very few Americans in the year 2000 would ever even consider. He didnít run out and buy the equivalent of an SUV or a house or fancy threads or anything of that sort. Instead, he used that money to found Public Citizen, a DC-based consumer advocacy and product safety policy group. ( 2 ) In the following thirty years, he has founded; the Multinational Monitor, a premier magazine for the progressive mind; the Center for the Study of Responsive Law and the Public Interest Research Groups. With his ďNaderís RaidersĒ he has been a constant irritant to the polluters all over America.

Nader fought the nationís ill-advised signing of the NAFTA, the GATT and the WTO treaties since the paramount reason for every trade agreement in the last twenty years was only to tear down the barriers that Corporate America felt impinged on their ability to rampantly destroy the environment if a profit was to be found.

His stance against these fatuous agreements has been proven correct over and over in just the last five years. In the case of the WTO, corporate interests have used the WTO to undermine or threaten US Clean Air rules, our Endangered Species Act, the Kyoto global warming treaty, an EU toxics and recycling law, our long-horned beetle infestation policy, EU eco-labels, and US Dolphin protection. Nader has also stood nearly alone in his opposition to Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Communist China on the grounds that affording China this power will only abet Chinaís long standing neglect of their own nationís environment.

Nader advocates the mandatory labeling of all genetically altered foods, a desire that is in line with the 90% of American consumers that polls have consistently revealed. He urges that all genetically altered food be thoroughly tested by the FDA and the USDA before they are allowed onto the store shelves. He would no longer allow the Genetically Modified Organisms industry to ďvoluntarilyĒ certify the safety of their products since they have performed no long term tests in its safety, either.

Nader would mandate far stricter gas mileage , with a minimum of 45 miles per gallon for cars and 35 miles per gallon for light trucks, requirements than the current administration ignore while gifting the automotive and petroleum industries with an ďeight year holidayĒ from any proposed fuel efficiency standards (which have led to the ten mile to the gallon SUVs that have taken over the nationís roads). He would charge the Justice Department with investigating the obscene price gouging on gasoline that has been going on since Ronald Reagan abolished the windfall taxes.

Nader would initiate legislation that would promote research into and the wide spread sue of alternate energy in all facets of American life. He would mandate improved efficiency of all appliances and electronic equipment in a move to lower our dependency on electricity. He would require power providers to produce a minimum level of clean, renewable energy and apprpriate necessary and adequate funds for further research. He would eliminate all subsidies for the production, sale or use of fossil fuels.

Nader would enact laws and policies concerning the use of nuclear fuel and the storage of nuclear waste that would force those areas and communities that desired the building of a nuclear plant to also design a method to store the waste where it was produced. ( 3 )

Gentle readers, I understand that this article might strike some as a puff piece and the articles about Gush and Bore just more attacks from that nasty old Commie who writes that left wing propaganda known as Another Perspective. The only answer I have is, wait and read the articles that will follow these where I look at the stands of the three viable candidates on other issues such as the nationís drug, education, health care and possibily other policies and then call the ones that feature Ralph Nader a puff piece. The problem I face in writing and researching these reports is that the candidates from the Republicrat Parties simply fall far short of any decent expectations that they would govern this nation in any manner other than according to the dictates of their owners. It is, plain and simple, only Ralph Nader who offers an independent and intelligent choice in this election and anything I write will be mostly positive and supportive due simply to that reality. If we, as average Americans, want to regain control of our government and our future and our health, then Ralph Nader is the only opportunity to realize that dream.

Redeemed if we do, damned if we donít! It canít be stated any simpler.

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