Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Obama Introduces Environmental Justice Bill

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) introduced the Healthy Communities Act of 2005 on November 17, 2005. The bill is cosponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). The bill establishes an advisory committee, calls for an environmental health report card, establishes health action zones that qualify for grants, calls for environmental health research, and calls for environmental health workforce development. AAEA supports the bill.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Abortion: An Environmental Justice Issue?

Forty percent of abortions in the U.S. are by black women. There are roughly 1.3 million abortions in the U.S. each year. Environmental justice is the equal protection of everybody with respect to environmental issues. There are disproportionately larger numbers of abortions by black women, so it is an environmental justice issue to the extent that black fetuses are not being equally protected. But environmental justice usually speaks to racial disparities in the siting of toxic waste facilities and proximity to sources of pollution.

Abortion is a decision by a black woman regarding the environment of her own body and that of the developing person. Thus, environmental racism is not an issue in an environmental justice context. Black abortions also outnumber black-on-black murders by hundreds of thousands each year. The health and welfare of the fetus in the womb is clearly an environmental issue. A woman's right to choose the environment in her body versus the right of the newly conceived to live is a modern dilemma. What is your position on this vital environmental issue?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

ANWR Needs Reparations

Alaska Senator Stevens Should Unite With the Congressional Black Caucus

The 2005 defeats of all Congressional attempts to approve drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) should move Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to attach reparations provisions to future legislation. Stevens shook the Senate to its foundation by using inventive legislative maneuvers to attach ANWR drilling to budget reconciliation and military spending. Stevens still came up 4 votes short of invoking Cloture (limiting debate, which would have essentially passed the measure). Stevens even had provisions in the bill to help the poor with their heating bills and Hurricane Katrina victims. ANWR drilling lost earlier in the year when it was taken out of the energy bill, which finally passed after years of failures.

ANWR should be a reparation to all Blacks willing to accept 40 acres and a caribou. Stevens should sponsor legislation stating that drilling can only occur in the event that ANWR is transferred to any Black or Blacks willing to accept the Sherman Special Field Order #15. Individuals or groups of Blacks would then be free to negotiate with Native Alaskans, oil companies or conservationists for the future use of the land. This action would not preclude the federal government from privatizing additional public lands as reparations.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Environment Of Many Black Women

Black men did not protect Black women from being kidnapped, shipped to America, enslaved and raped enmasse. Are Black men protecting Black women today? Are husbands hard to find? An eligible Black man could be hard to find because some are underemployed, gay, murdered, in prison, prefer being alone or simply do not like Black women. Some Black men want younger wives. Many Black women do not see White men as an option. So Black women 35-55 are faced with a slim potential husband market.

Many Black women have their own mortgages, cars and stock portfolios but no husband or children. Some have turned to lesbianism. Some have turned to Christ. Some are married to their jobs. Some are very busy. Not that a man is absolutely needed to be fulfilled, but the nuclear family is the ideal. Is this Black woman happy and fulfilled in an environment that finds her alone?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Drain Lake to Protect New Orleans

AAEA is the first group to call for draining Lake Pontchartrain to protect New Orleans. It should only be drained during the hurricane season. The lake, estuary and wetlands can remain the same during the rest of the year. This will also accelerate rebuilding the 9th Ward and other Eastern sections of New Orleans that are being targeted last for redevelopment. It will justify rebuilding by protecting that section of the city from storm surge flooding by the lake during hurricane season.

Fortifying the levees will still be needed to protect the city if the commercial and industrial channels are maintained in their current configuration. Of course,maybe these channels should be eliminated and tens of billions of dollars would not have to be spent to rebuild and reenforce them. (Hurricane Katrina)

NIGGER: My Symbolic Reparation


But what does it have to do with the environment you might ask? Well I believe support for reparations, transfer of certain public lands to African Americans as payment for slavery, is a conservative position. Moreover, land privatization is an American tradition. Privatization of land is an important part of the Republican agenda. Preferably such reparations land to pay for the U.S. government's support of slavery would include tens of millions of acres with valuable products and minerals, such as timber, oil, gas, uranium, coal and oil shale.

Now back to the heading. Whites cannot use this term in public. It is like screaming 'fire' in a theatre (1st Amendment rights do not apply). It is a small price to pay for the sins of their ancestors. Paradoxically, or ironically, it is a term of affection amongst most blacks in the African American community. And I don't blame today's whites for not feeling responsible for the actions of their ancestors. But although the symbolic reparation is personally gratifying, I prefer a substantive reparation: 40 acres and a mule.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

China Police Kill 20 at Power Plant Protest

It is being reported that Chinese police killed 20 people protesting a proposed coal-fired electricity power plant in the town of Dongzhou near Hong Kong in the Shanghai Province. Evidently the killings were provoked when protesters launched fireworks at police. The protest included farmers complaining that they had not been compensated for the use of their land for the plant. Washington Post, Seattle Times, CBS News, The New Zealand Herald, Asia News, ABC News, LA Times

Clinton: "I Never Had Climate Change With..."

Former President Bill Clinton committed to something at the Kyoto Protocol Climate Change Convention in Montreal, Canada that he never committed to during his eight year term: supporting the Kyoto Protocol. But Clinton being Clinton didn't just stop there. He essentially recommended the Bush administration technology solution as a compromise to attract the U.S. to support the protocol. We also noticed that mainstream media covering the event portrayed Clinton as a Kyoto Protocol supporter when they know better.

Bill Clinton never supported the treaty during his presidency and never submitted it to the U.S. Senate for ratification, which passed a 1998 resolution 98-0 rejecting consideration of the treaty. Now the mainstream media portrays President Bush as being a climate change prevention protagonist, when he has reasonable, voluntary technology-based programs that will not harm the U.S. economy. Message to the media: the election is over and you lost.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pro Nuclear Rally Points to Our Energy Future

Allen Burks, N. McDonald & Derry Bigby at Control Room
McDonald & Bigby Outside of Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant

History was made in Jackson, Mississippi when nuclear power proponents from the environmental movement, government agencies and industry rallied at the state capital to proclaim the benefits of the emission-free electricity producing technology. The Grand Gulf site in Port Gibson, MS has been selected as a location for building one of the first new plants in decades.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

AAEA Podcast On Tech, Energy & Environment

The above link is an interview conducted by our Blog Technician Marshall Kirkpatrick with Norris McDonald, President of the African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA). The podcast is about 18 minutes and covers a variety of topics including:

1) This blog, the AAEA Hollywood Blog and AAEA's experiences with constituents on these blogs.

2) Will podcasting take off or do most people prefer their talk on the radio and music on their iPods?

3) Nuclear power. The AAEA supports it as the solution to air pollution and global climate change problems.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cloning Frankenstein's Stem Cells

People identify the monster with the name Frankenstein although the monster never had a name. A similar disconnect is happening with cloning and stem cell research. No one wants to use cloning to make a child to harvest its organs, but many want a possible cure for diabetes and spinal cord injuries. What to do? Dr. Frankenstein wouldn't care. It would be full steam ahead and anything goes. Ethicists and Christians know there is a sacred component to human life that should not be tampered with by mere mortals.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer doesn't care whether the stem cells come from discarded aborted embryos or from cloned ones. Stem cells can still develop into almost any of the body's specialized cells, thus the potential for treating diseases. So using stem cells from still births or from adults might be okay for some research to some people, clearly, applying capitalism and establishing abortion factories to produce cloned stem cells to harvest ogans and body parts would be evil to most people. Hollywood has repeatedly shown us the end result of Frankenstein-type experiments from The Matrix to The Island of Dr. Moreau. Hitler's Nazi scientists had the will but not the technology at the time to 'make a better human.' So where do you stand on this issue?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Climate Change Convention

Representatives from the 156 countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol are meeting in Montreal, Canada this week to talk about solving the global warming problem. The Kyoto Protocol calls for a 7 % reduction in greenhouse gases below the 1990 level by 2012. The U.S. refused to participate in the protocol during the Clinton and Bush administrations. The U.S. Senate voted 98 - 0 against participating in the protocol in 1998. China, like the U.S., is not a signatory to the protocol for fear it will hurt the economy.

We like the Bush technology plan. The Bush Administration initiated the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, which aims to use the latest technologies to limit emissions and to make sure the technologies are available in the areas and industries that need them most. The pact includes India, China, Australia and South Korea, which account for approximately 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

President Bush is addressing global warming through a program called Methane to Markets. The U. S. joined 13 other countries in a 2004 agreements that formally created a partnership to advance international cooperation in recovering and using methane as a profitable source of clean energy. Signatories include representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in the signing ceremony that launched the global Methane-to-Markets Partnership. The program is a voluntary public-private partnerships to reduce methane emissions -- programs created in the early 1990s to meet U.S. commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. According to the EPA, the partnership has the potential to deliver by 2015 annual reductions in methane emissions of up to 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent or recovery of 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas. This is roughly equal to removing 33 million cars from roadways for a year or eliminating emissions from 50 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants.

The best technologies to reduce greenhouse gases would utilize nuclear power plants and electric vehicles (fuel cell plug-in hybrid electrics). The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided incentives for nuclear power and is effective climate change mitigation legislation.

Unionized Welfare/Exec Greed Killed GM?

Although Americans are buying fewer GM vehicles, the hourly wages, bloated executive compensation packages, health and retirement benefits are running the company right out of business. A global economy will not allow a capitalist company to pay for its workers retirement and health care. Is this news that communism and socialism do not work in a capitalist system? Did the executives at GM go to business school? Regardless, American companies from airlines to auto are ditching these entitlement programs. Would you rather have a company that provides a job and pays or no company at all? We choose the former.

Our frustration is that instead of being the leader in moving aggressively towards the production of the next generation vehicle, fuel cell plug-in hybrid electrics, our auto industry is bankrupting itself by trying to be the Department of Health and Human Services. Faster, leaner, smarter companies will probably have to replace the old dinosaurs to provide dynamic company employment, environmentally sound technology and aesthetically pleasing products. Lead, follow or get out of the way. China and Japan might well be teaching us how to provide an efficient capitalist product.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

U.K. Gangstas U.S. Hip Hop

XYBORG from the U.K. writes: "I am sick and tired of reading news reports of the murderous thuggery of those in the Black crime fraternity who seem hell bent on bringing ALL Black people into disrepute with their gun-blazing is well past time for all Black people to assume collective responsibility for rooting out an entire subculture of Black gun-toting goonery that has long been permitted to thrive and now pervades all too many of our communities. Black people have for far too long turned a blind eye to a level of criminality and vice that has now assumed the character and sweep of a mass culture in our midst."

"...the Black community must now assume responsibility for its criminal element. Black people account for a majority of the most lethal gun crimes in the entire country. This sickening reality must now be stared squarely in the face. It is the unspoken or, at best, silently whispered truth of armed crime in this land. We - BLACK people - are disproportionately responsible for the most lethal gun-related offences in England (America). Furthermore, Black people are the primary VICTIMS of Black gun crime. Black people themselves must thus take the lead in the War on Crime and enforce a new philosophical, behavioural and sartorial credo within the Black community."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tavis Smiley & ExxonMobil

The Tavis Smiley Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation are currently running their second annual Talented TENth High School Tour, which is designed to help minority students develop greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program consists of Mr. Smiley speaking at high schools in Washington, DC, Hampton, VA, St. Louis, MO, Los Angeles, Calif, Chicago, Ill, and Jackson, Miss. Kudos to Mr. Smiley. AAEA promotes a similar program to increase African American participation in the environmental movement.

Humans Kill & Eat Animals That Look Weird & Act Stupid

If you are 1) a vegetarian, 2) believe we evolved from animals and 3) think animals should have all of the same rights as humans, you should stop reading this now. We love animals at AAEA, but with all due respect to PETA and ASPCA, our grocery stores are full of chickens, cows and pigs. There has to be a correlation between them being the weirdest looking and stupidest acting animals and their position in the meat section of Safeway and Giant. Society does not treat dogs and cats this way. Of course, they act civilized and look good. Do you have a pet chicken in your house?

Chickens just ask for it the way they peck all around the yard and have wings but can't fly. Cows moo and stand around eating grass all day for more than one stomach. Pigs have to be about the ugliest animals on Earth, they eat slop and wallow in mud. Now don't be mad at us for stating the obvious. It should make you feel good that at least hunters won't kill Bambi--just her parents. And deer are beautiful. That is why there isn't deer meat in the grocery store. Act stupid. Get taken for a ride. As Peter Clemenza said in the movie Godfather, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road halfway?
A: She wanted to lay it on the line.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Congress: Leave Big Oil Alone

The Senate Finance Committee has reported out a bill that would reduce recent tax cuts and increase excise taxes on oil company profits. Senators are also threatening to eliminate expensing for exploration and development costs. The full Senate will take up the measure soon. Hopefully Congress will leave big oil alone so they can continue to provide the U.S. with excellent service and reasonable prices. Let those boys drill and leave the politics inside the Beltway. Surely, they will use their recent record profits to reinvest in needed infrastructure. And profit is not a bad thing in America.

Americans already pay a flat rate of about 46 cents in taxes per gallon of gas. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon while the average state and local tax is 27.5 cents.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hooray For the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear

The Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is being taken off of the Endangered Species Act list. Currently listed as 'threatened' instead of the more serious 'endangered,' the recovery of this big brown animal is a great victory for one of our nation's most important environmental laws. The Bald Eagle has recovered and should be delisted too. Eagles are everywhere these days, including the suburbs.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Conservative Pundits: Ignoring Mother Nature?

LaShawn Barber, Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter basically ignore environmental issues. At least Ms. Barber links us on her Corner. Ms. Malkin has not responded to our requests for a link. And we have not contacted Ms. Coulter, but she seems uninterested in environmental issues too. Maybe they think the issue is left. Maybe they have conceded the issue to the Democratic Party and the partisan mainstream environmental movement. Maybe they just don't care about Mother Nature. Ladies, where is the love for planet Earth?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

California Electric Utility Re-Regulation Fails

We, like the Governator, opposed the re-regulation of California electricity service via Proposition 80 because utility deregulation can work if structured properly and allowed to work the way it was intended. Proposition 80 failed in the special election but would have:

  • 1) Reversed deregulation and allow electric companies to be regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
  • 2) Restricted customers' ability to switch from private utilities to other electric providers.
  • 3) Required all retail electric sellers to rely more on renewable energy.
  • 4) Barred independent power sellers from signing up new customers.
  • 5) Let the utilities, which sold most of their generating facilities to private operators after the 1996 deregulation, build and operate their own power plants.
  • 6) Returned to so-called vertical integration, where utilities generate the power they sell, which would put them in competition with the independent power generators that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building gas-fired power plants over the last decade to serve the California market.

Supporters believed the measure would prevent a repeat of the energy crisis of 2000-01 by removing retail competition from the state's system for generating and selling electricity. Opponents believed the initiative would create uncertainty in the state's electricity market and stall investment in badly needed power plants.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bill & Melinda Gates and DDT?

Although Windows is probably the greatest invention of the 20th Century, Bill Gates and his wife are not leveraging American resources to the maximum extent practicable in fighting malaria in Africa. They should be fast tracking the use of state-of-the-art, Environmental Protection Agency approved insecticides and should not rule out funding the extensive use of DDT in all African countries experiencing deaths from malaria.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with nearly $29 billion in assets, awarded $258 million in grants over five years for research to prevent and treat the disease. Malaria kills an estimated 1.2 million people a year, the large majority of them African children. Although the Gates acknowledge that malaria kills 2,000 African children every day, their research money is directed towards improved insecticides to combat the mosquitoes that carry it, and $108 million of the grant will fund research into producing the first malaria vaccine to treat people who contract it. Significant new research is not needed for an effective insecticide and DDT works very well in killing mosquitoes. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.

The Gates Foundation should be funding the use of an EPA certified perticide or DDT to eliminate mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite in Africa right NOW. Just as we used DDT in America to eliminate malaria-leaden mosquitos, we should do the same thing in Africa. Then roll back the use to protect wildlife. Children and adults in America do not die from malaria thanks to DDT. People in Africa should also enjoy freedom from this preventable affliction. Bill and Melinda Gates should meet with EPA to examine the feasibility of utilizing EPA-approved insecticides and other resources available at the agency. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and International Activities Offices could be very helpful assisting the Gates in accelerating the successful elimination of malaria deaths in African countries.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Celebrate Oil Company Profits

Americans are such hypocrites when it comes to energy, particularly oil. Look on every car lot and you will see energy efficient cars--plenty of them. But most Americans want the BIG car, just like the BIG house or the BIG boat. So everytime you drive your BIG vehicle to the gas station you are joining big oil's celebration. And they deserve it for all of the years of low gas prices they have given you. Americans are just selfish to want low gasoline prices all of the time. And they have the nerve to call the oil companies greedy when they mazimize profits for even one quarter. Do you know how much it costs to build and operate an offshore oil platform? What about refining it and getting it to you by pipeline and truck? Where is the love for BIG oil? ExxonMobil, Shell and BP are simply practicing that old fashioned American tradition called 'maximizing profits.' Isn't capitalism great? And if you don't like it then buy a hybrid, stop driving or get rid of your car. But for heaven's sake stop complaining.

Even the mainstream environmental groups are happy because they love high gas prices to stimulate conservation. Black folks who can afford it have to have the biggest SUV on the lot as a status symbol. And don't worry. Big oil knows it can't keep those prices up there forever, because then government will do something stupid like legislating price controls. So celebrate big oil's big profit quarter. Go out and fill up your gasoline tank. Americans use 20 million barrels of the stuff every single day. Of course at AAEA, we believe in a mix of fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and nuclear power as balancing complements to fossil fuels.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Michael Steele Runs For U.S. Senate

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele announced his candidacy in the heart of Prince George's County, the richest majority Black county in the country and the poorest county in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Steele rose to political fame when Congressman Robert Ehrlich ran for governor of Maryland and chose him as his running mate and Lt. Governor. That team beat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in the 2002 governor's race and set the stage for Steele's senate run. The October 25, 2005 announcement was not a surprise and AAEA president Norris McDonald attended the event. (Photo with Steele in background and with Governor Ehrlich)

The Ehrlich/Steele administration passed The Chesapeake Bay Initiative, a $2.50 monthly surcharge on every homeowner in the state to finance the modernization of wastewater treatment plants. They also improved the minority contracting program.

Friday, October 14, 2005

EPA Proposes Electricity Plant Emissions Rules Changes

EPA is proposing to revise the emissions test for existing electric generating units (EGUs) that compares the maximum hourly emissions achievable at a unit during the past 5 years to the maximum hourly emissions achievable at that unit after the change to determine whether an emissions increase would occur. Under the current law, established under CAA regulations in 1977, a plant must put in new controls if a modification increases its annual emissions; the new rules would require such controls only if the hourly emissions increase.

This maximum achievable hourly emissions test would apply to emissions from existing EGUs. The current proposal would not affect new EGUs, which would continue to be subject to major NSR preconstruction review.

EPA believes these regulation changes and a separate cap-and-trade program will curb harmful nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution faster and better than the New Source Review rule the agency seeks to modify. NSR has led to significant litigation but not much installation of scrubbers. About 50 utilities are still in court over NSR regulations. (More on NSR)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ron Dellums To Run For Mayor of Oakland

When Ronald Dellums was a member of Congress, he always had a top rated environmental voting record. Lobbyists found him to be approachable and willing to listen in hallway encounters. He also became chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee. Finally, former Congressman Dellums, although tough as nails, is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

The African American Environmentalist Association enthusiastically supports his candidacy to be the next mayor of Oakland, California.

Wetlands Before Poor People?

It appears that traditional environmental groups are promoting wetlands and barrier island restoration over assisting poor people in the Mississippi River Delta and other Gulf Coast areas. Admittedly, wetlands and barrier islands protect coastal communities by acting as buffers against hurricane storm surges, but they are clearly impotent against category 4 and 5 hurricanes. Hardened infrastructure, from homes and levees to commercial and industrial buildings, will receive most of hundreds of billions of dollars in construction restoration funding. The Army Corps of Engineers will probably spend billions on wetlands and barrier island restoration too, but the poor should be the priority with restoration resources.

We strongly suggest, to the extent that the $6 billion per year mainstream environmental movement dedicates funding to Gulf Coast relief, that the majority of such funding should be used to directly help the poor to restore their lives before providing assistance for wetlands and barrier island restoration. It appears that traditional environmental groups blame the levee systems for much of the loss of 1.2 million acres (1,900 square miles) of southern Louisiana wetlands since 1930. Groups should not oppose levee retrofits and construction as has been recently publicized regarding past projects. It will take a combination of wetlands and barrier island protections, along with strengthening of levees to protect New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Big Fight On House Floor Over Gas

The vote on the gasoline energy bill was a raucous affair with victory and defeat swinging back and forth along partisan lines. Members were shouting at the Speaker and using procedural inquiries to complain about time abuse and to make additional points.

The vote on the Gasoline for America's Security (GAS) Act, sponsored by House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) was scheduled to last for 5 minutes but was extended to 45 minutes because the dems held a 212 to 210 lead unti 2 Republicans were convinced to switch their no votes to yes. The bill passed 212-210 with Democrats hollering "Shame! Shame! Shame! after the Speaker closed the count. Barton took the air provision (see article below) out of the bill before the vote.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

House Energy Leaders Push For Policy Changes

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (left) is promoting the Gasoline for America's Security (GAS) Act and House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo is promoting the National Energy Supply Diversification and Disruption Prevention Act.

Barton's bill eases permitting and air pollution rules for oil refineries and industrial facilities, permits new refinery sites on retired army bases and other federal lands, moves litigation from state & local courts to federal courts and provides payments for unforeseen regulation or litigation delays.

Pombo's bill seeks to ease rising gas prices by increasing domestic energy supplies and preventing supply disruptions in America by authorizing production on 2000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, allowing natural gas production in the deep federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf and prividing incentives for energy sources including alternative and geothermal resources.

AAEA opposes both bills unless reparations measures are included to compensate descendants of slaves for the free energy provided to America for 300 years. There are good and bad points in both bills.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We Must Be Careful With Ideological Purity

The most notorious environmentalists in history were the German Nazis. Hitler loved nature and despised non-German humanity. Hitler was both a strict vegetarian and animal lover. Hitler and his Nazis maintained their commitment to racial purity as an ecological ideal that justified the war. The mixture of anti-humanist and natural purity dogmas also provided a rationale and incentive for the Third Reich's most heinous crimes.

Hitler sought to decrease the population of the Earth and considered Jewish people as weeds to be eradicated. Ecological themes played a vital role in German fascism and the natural order dogma left no room for compromise. Nazi ecological beliefs were absolute and turned environmentalism into a religion with blond-haired, blue-eyed German men as its gods. Hitler, as Mother Nature's god of war, sought to purify the Earth according to his own view of sustainable development.

Adolf Hitler published his environmental and race views in a chapter entitled Nation and Race in Mein Kampf: “No more than Nature desires the mating of weaker with stronger individuals, even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since, if she did, her whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, might be ruined with one blow.”

Friday, September 30, 2005

Endangered Species Act Changes Pass House

Although we oppose the bill, we understand the motivation behind it. Traditional environmental groups have sometimes misused the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to stop good projects. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) just got payback by getting the House to pass the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA) by a vote of 229-193 on Sept 29, 2005. His victory will be short lived though because it will die in the Senate.

According to Chairman Pombo and his cosponsor Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), TESRA will update, modernize and fix long-outstanding problems of the ESA of 1973 by (1) focusing on species recovery (2) providing incentives (3) increasing openness and accountability (4) strengthening scientific standards (5) creating bigger roles for state and local governments (6) protecting private property owners and (7) eliminating dysfunctional critical habitat designations. (More)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Did Traditional Environmental Groups Help Katrina Destroy Poor Black New Orleans?

According to recent published reports, the delay in building and improving levees could be due, in part, to the opposition of traditional environmental groups to dams, levees, and anything that would interfere with the natural flow of the Mississippi River. Levees hold the same status for traditional environmental groups as roads in forests — an artificial barrier to nature. The Army Corps of Engineers was planning to upgrade the levees after Hurricane Betsy in 1965 to prevent a future catastrophic failure. The environmental group's position possibly contributed to an unintended consequence, but the so-called pro flora and fauna position led to a very serious result for humans, flora and fauna. And there are many other areas where such consequences can occur. Lawsuits by environmental groups probably muddied the flood protection waters.

In Save Our Wetlands v. Rush, the Army Corps was directed by a federal judge in 1977 to examine the environmental impacts of a large levee project, which would have built a 25-mile-long barrier from the Mississippi border to the Mississippi River. After the Army Corps declined to reevaluate its plan, Save Our Wetlands filed suit and obtained a federal judge’s injunction. The Corps was ordered to conduct a new study of the impact of its project, but it never did so.

A 1996 suit (Mississippi River Basin Alliance, et al. v. H. Martin Lancaster) filed by environmental groups at the U.S. District Court in New Orleans claimed the Corps had not looked at “the impact on bottomland hardwood wetlands.” The lawsuit stated, “Bottomland hardwood forests must be protected and restored if the Louisiana black bear is to survive as a species, and if we are to ensure continued support for source population of all birds breeding in the lower Mississippi River valley.” In addition to the Sierra Club, other parties to the suit were the group American Rivers, the Mississippi River Basin Alliance, and the Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi Wildlife Federations.

The lawsuit was settled in 1997 with the Corps agreeing to perform an additional two-year environmental impact study (EIS). A federal judge stopped plans for the hurricane barrier after finding that the EIS drafted by the Army Corps of Engineers was flawed. The corps eventually abandoned the project. A congressional task force also reported that the levees that failed in New Orleans would have been raised higher and strengthened in 1996 by the Army Corps of Engineers were it not for a lawsuit filed by environmentalists led by the Sierra Club.

President Bush and Louisiana Governor Blanco (still waiting by Mayor Nagin) have taken responsibility for any problems due to the government response. Should the Sierra Club and the other parties to the suit also be held accountable for the flooding of New Orleans?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Black City Destroyed by Katrina

Although most whites do not like to acknowledge, discuss, visit or live in the black part of town, there is one in virtually every city in the U.S. New Orleans was a city that was 67% black until September 2005. It was a majority black city and now it is gone. Scattered throughout the U.S. Imagine all of the blacks in Washington, DC - gone. Or Prince George's County, Maryland blacks (the richest majority black county in the U.S.) - gone. Imagine no Compton or Harlem. Black New Orleans is now a toxic wasteland that will probably not be habitable for years.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that there are majority black cities and counties? Mostly these are formed as whites move out as blacks move in. Blacks are perfectly happy around their own in these enclaves. But what about New Orleans? Will it be black again? Should it be black again? Does it matter?

New Orleans Map


City of New Orleans

New Orleans Blogging

New Orleans Demographics

Greater New Orleans

And although the face of Katrina's victims have been portrayed as black and poor, much like welfare and crime, most of the victims in the Gulf Coast region are white.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina, President Bush & Gov Blanco

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's refusal to authorize the federal government to take control delayed the response of the federal government in providing food, water and security to poor stranded blacks in and at the Superdome and at the Convention Center in New Orleans in the first days after the Hurricane Katrina crisis. President Bush was being generous when he acknowledged that the initial response and results were 'unacceptable.' Any anger, blame and ultimate responsibility for the early inadequate response should be placed at the feet of Gov Blanco.

The day after President Bush's visit to New Orleans, ALL of the people at those sites were provided with food and water, airlifted and arrangements were made for temporary shelter. The current effort to help blacks in New Orleans and all hurricane victims is now in full force and American might is being applied to the situation. All of the volunteers, government workers, the media and everyone else contributing to the evacuation and reclamation of the Gulf Coast region should be commended for their work.

Much is left to be done. America now has a toxic city that must be cleaned up and rebuilt. Hundreds of thousands of people will need assistance to get their lives back. It is now time for all Americans to work together to solve the problems created by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. We are sure America will rise to the challenge. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Environmental Protection or Low Gas Prices?

Pundits and other environmental critics say that gas prices are high because environmental regulations have prevented a new oil refinery from being built in the U.S. in 30 years. Critics also believe that increased use of oil in China and other countries is leading to limited supplies, which is contributing to high prices. Are you ready to get used to $3.00 per gallon gasoline? Drilling is also limited in the U.S. (Much of Alaska, federal lands and offshore are off limits) The Booker Rising Blog features one perspective:

WALTER WILLIAMS (Pictured Above) COMMENTARY: Gasoline Prices
The libertarian economics professor argues that when asking if gasoline prices are too high, we must ask relative to what costs?

Environmental Protection or Low Gas Prices?

Critics of environmental regulations say that gas prices are high because a new oil refinery has not been built in 30 years because of these regs. Critics also site increased use of oil in China and other countries contribute to high prices due to limited supplies. Are you ready to get used to $3.00 per gallon gasoline? Drilling is also limited in the U.S. (Much of Alaska, federal lands and offshore are off limits) The Booker Rising Blog features one perspective:

The libertarian economics professor argues that when asking if gasoline prices are too high, we must ask relative to what costs?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Arctic National Wildlife Reserve & Reparations

CBC Chair Mel Watt
Should the Congressional Black Caucus offer an amendment to the budget bill containing the ANWR drilling provision that would call for turning over the proposed drilling lands to blacks as a reparation for slavery?

Mainstream environmental groups will probably be more interested in helping the caribou than helping blacks, but should the CBC seek their assistance in supporting such a proposal? The oil companies want to get to the oil to service the American appetite, but the vote could be very close. The CBC could tilt the balance one way or the other.

The vote will be coming up in September when Congress returns from its summer recess. What do you think? Also see post below on ANWR.

More on Reparations