Though he’s getting the bulk of the applause post-debate, Obama let me down in Mississippi. Not only has he creeped ever closer right of middle by labeling Venezuela a “rogue state” on par with Iran and by asserting he is “not against nuclear waste,” (Well, you know, Jim. There’s a lot about nuclear waste that people just don’t understand) but I was stunned to see this young Senator having such trouble linking his conjunction-junction functions. He groped about well-traveled policy paths and ambled amenably through the groves of “gotcha’s” that a revitalized McCain tossed out with a B-12 spike’s dexterity.
Along the campaign trail, Obama has adopted (with minor qualifications) the Republican call for energy “independence,” a mental failure from the starting gate of truly Palin-like incompetence; he spits out inanities like liquid coal and nuclear energy without a twitch of visceral revolt. Considering a nuke revival hinges without question on massive federal investment that just isn’t coming, when Jim Lehrer asked what he expected to be forgoing in 2009 thanks to the market insanity, nukes should have been the reply. As we’ve discussed many times on this site, Wall Street won’t touch this stuff – even back before we discovered Banking’s depth of deception.
However, from organics to crumbling bandwidth equity, it appears the Obama-Biden ticket is taking “rural” issues to heart, at least while the pressure is on. Badmouthing the dominance of the agro-business model (get big or get out) that has put untold numbers of families out of work and out of home is a fine place to start. Following on the heels on the campaigns website is the issue of Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations – the natural outflow of corporate agriculture in the land of livestock. (If ever you found yourself concerned with the fate of a kitten or pooch in your urban streets, just check these suckers out. Disclaimer: vegan propaganda that may change the way you eat.)
Just a few days ago the beloved GAO announced the findings of their investigation of Bush Administration and EPA sick dealings on the tsunami of crap overtaking our prairies, mountains, and coastlines.
Some huge livestock farms produce more raw waste than cities as large as Philadelphia or Houston. But federal regulators are failing to control pollution from the gigantic operations or assess health risks from the enormous quantities of manure they produce, according to congressional investigators.
“This GAO study confirms that the Bush administration’s plan to exempt industrial-sized animal feeding operations from emissions reporting requirements is nothing more than a favor to big agribusiness,” said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The Government Accountability Office report on the raw waste is to be released Wednesday to a House committee hearing on federal oversight of factory farms.
The conclusions fueled concerns about a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule change that would eliminate one of the few federal oversight mechanisms over air and water pollution from big farms.
The rule would eliminate a requirement that farms report to federal, state and local officials when air emissions of hazardous substances like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide exceed certain levels.
EPA proposed the rule change in December, contending the requirement created an unnecessary burden for farms and that the emission release reports usually weren’t needed or acted upon.
“It is unclear to us” how EPA reached that determination, GAO said, noting that a national association representing emergency responders has said in comments to EPA that the reports are needed.
A good time to shovel onto the O-B promise-keepers list:
Strong Safety Net for Family Farmers: Obama and Biden will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. They will implement a $250,000 payment limitation so that we help family farmers — not large corporate agribusiness. They will close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations. … Regulate CAFOs: Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency will strictly regulate pollution from large CAFOs, with fines for those that violate tough standards. Obama also supports meaningful local control. Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Obama and Biden will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems.
The couple is finding themselves on sound footing for the upcoming Octomber 15 debate, set for domestic-issue dissection. Energy will be sure to come front and center again – and CAFOs won’t hold the duration, I’m sure.
In that case, who’s willing to wager, climate gets more shriftage? Now that we are passing the IPCC’s worst-case scenario, with carbon levels racing faster than the 1990’s (and less and less being absorbed by increasingly saturated oceans and lands), it appears Bush’s Mars ambitions weren’t misguided after all – just intensely immoral.
From Yale Enviro 360 citing the LA Times:
Carbon output is rising four times as fast this decade as in the 1990s, and it continued to accelerate through last year’s economic downturn, according to new data from the Global Carbon Project. The report by an international group of scientists confirmed some projected trends: Developing countries now produce the bulk of the chief global-warming gas — led by China, which has surpassed the United States as the top carbon polluter and which single-handedly churned out 21 percent of the total in 2007. But the most significant findings surprised some scientific observers: Emissions rose 3 percent from 2006 to 2007, topping the worst-case scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Meanwhile, forests and oceans absorbed a smaller percentage of CO2, leaving more in the atmosphere. “Things are happening very, very fast,” said Corinne Le Quere, a British scientist who worked on the report. “It’s scary.”
* Back in San Anto, “nothing could be further from the truth that CPS wants out of the coal-central Calaveres Lake concessions … they just want out of the Calaveras Lake concessions.
* And what was that we were saying about rapidly eclipsing carbon dioxide levels around the globe? Well, feast your eye’s on Anton’s latest: CPS and coal, a match made in… (honestly, folks. this one’s just begging for intelligent comments.)