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May 11, 2005

Bush Is No Environmental President

By: Rowan Wolf

Surely no one ever labored under the belief that Bush is an environmental President, but the latest of round of actions make that perfectly clear. From an "energy" plan that opens ANWR to the opening up over 34 million acres of roadless areas to roads and exploration, it is clear that whatever George's interests, they do not include a natural heritage for future generations.

The latest round of attacks on the environment are broad and insidious. Take the "restructuring" at the National Park Service, which is remarked on below:

May, for example, is Historic Preservation Month. The National Park Service is celebrating with a major restructuring (that's fed talk for what some folks there are calling a massacre) of the cultural resources staff.Wa. Post 5/09/05

We also have the Pentagon asking Congress again to allow them to not follow environmental regulations.

Military officials say the requested changes, which could be approved this week as part of the defense authorization bill for 2006, are essential to preserve the quality of training and to avoid lawsuits over possible violations of statutes that govern air, water and waste.

Interestingly, the reason why the Pentagon says it want's to ignore environmental considerations is because they don't give a hang about environment in combat areas:

"Workarounds, while sounding reasonable and feasible, cannot sacrifice realistic combat training," Paul W. Mayberry, a deputy under secretary of defense, said in a speech last month, referring to interruptions to military exercises. "All too often, such workarounds chip away at basic fabric and underpinnings of the training objectives."

Absolutely amazing. We don't want to have to following environmental guidelines because we are going to trash where ever we end up. To train troops under less environmentally destructive ways is harmful to the safety of the troops. Well beyond the questionable validity of such reasoning, there still remains the issue that the training is taking place in communities that have to live with the consequences of the military's destructive training. I guess that is a fine distinction.

The issue of military non-compliance is not a "little" thing, and the types of destruction can have dramatic effects. The Times article notes:

Jerry Ensminger, a 24-year Marine veteran based at Camp Lejeune, told Congress last year that his daughter, Jane, was 6 when she received a diagnosis of leukemia in 1982. She died three years later.

As a result of her death and others, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, surveyed more than 12,000 women who were pregnant and were living at Camp Lejeune from 1968 through 1985 and found 103 children whose health was compromised in utero by exposure to contaminated water that their mothers drank.

So among the environmental "workarounds" "chipping away" at the "foundations" of military training is the destruction of water supplies. Never mind that those water supplies (in combat areas or at training camps) are used by civilians and the military alike. Maybe the basic foundation of the training is to show the troops that neither they, their families, or other civilians, are worth anything.

Posted by Rowan at May 11, 2005 12:56 PM Category: Environment

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This wanton distruction solely for the purpose of training troops to use even more destructive means of warfare makes me nervous.
It frightens me to think about what this means. The US Government appears to be deliberately trying to cause a world disaster so they can claim the apocalypse as they see it.
Do they really think they are immune to any harm, should there be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions?

Posted by: Shawna at May 11, 2005 3:27 PM

Or they want everyone to think it is just a "godly apocalypse".

Posted by: Rowan at May 11, 2005 4:30 PM

That is what I meant. Someone once pointed out the power of suggestion. Predictions in the Bible have been at the forefront of many minds for many centuries. Some people won't stop until they prove theories correct.
While I am divided on my opinions, I think there is some merit to this train of thought.

Posted by: Shawna at May 12, 2005 2:32 PM