From the Archives
(August 2005) Have been logging onto weather.com off and on all day to follow the hurricane and just read that two massive oaks outside the almost 300-year-old St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square fell on either side of the huge marble Jesus, snapping off the thumb and forefinger of his outstretched hand.
This reminds me of a random fact I’ve always wanted to incorporate into a poem—one that would be a lot more effective if I actually believed in a savior (my utterances of “O Christ!” and “Oh For The Love of God!” not withstanding): When the black choirgirls died in the church bombings, the stained-glass windows remained intact except for Jesus’s face, which blew out ... almost as if he couldn’t bear to see the horror of what hate destroyed.
I hope we don’t find out just what happens when the urge to develo destroys over one million acres of coastal wetlands that once served as a storm buffer.
This puts me in mind of Hillary’s comments after her trip to Alaska. She said, after seeing the effects of climate change firsthand, “We can’t afford to live in an evidence-free zone where science takes a back seat to ideology” anymore.
What I find most pathetic is that the White House oilmen not only refused to join over 150 nations in signing the Kyoto Protocols to reduce emissions but also declared that, instead of regulating the harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, they would instead make any such emission reductions voluntary.
The New York Times calls this “Washington’s stubborn passivity.” I call it Pure-T Greed.
Meanwhile, the mayors of over 130 cities have become exasperated enough with the oilmen’s failure to sign the Protocol that they have agreed to meet the emissions reductions contained in the pact at the local level.
And the state of California (which already went into the business of funding scientific research after Shrub announced his so-called moral prohibition against stem-cell research and which already has tough environmental laws on the books) is now exploring a regional agreement with Washington and Oregon.
Nine other northeast states have taken matters into their own hands too and agreed on a regional plan to reduce power plant emissions of carbon dioxide by 2020.
Dan Savage argues that we’re a series of cities that queers live in, that we Island hop between San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and the other big urban gay meccas, but progressive politics is alive at the state level in the humid Southland too. (And I must mention that Dan fails to include RTP in his formula, although it consistently ranks as one of the top 10 places for LGBTQ folks to live—and Asheville is right up there too, folks!)
The northeast states’ agreement exceeds the oilmen’s voluntary approach to reductions (which, no big surprise, has not produced a great response among the corporations and power companies). Of course, automobile companies are challenging these states’ laws too—particularly California’s, which will require a 30 percent reduction in vehicular greenhouse gas emissions. Car manufacturers argue that these laws are an illegal usurpation of federal authority to set mileage standards but, if the national leaders won’t do their job....
According to the Times, “Environmentalists who support a federal law to control greenhouse gases believe that the model established by the Northeastern states will be followed by other states, resulting in pressure that could eventually lead to the enactment of a national law.”
Maybe if Pataki is elected....
But think of it, folks: states are working together in a cooperative action to correct our president’s blatant oversights. Now that’s hopeful!