Saturday, February 23, 2008

McCain Bad for the Environment;Obama My Pick

Though this isn't a very political blog, since it does focus on animal and environmental issues, at least a word about the very interesting Presidential race is warranted I think.

According to the Sierra Club: "Two weeks ago John McCain was the only Senator to duck a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America -- dooming to failure the measure that would have helped make renewable energy more affordable and accessible. Now it turns out this missed vote is part of a pattern.

Last week, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released the 2007 National Environmental Scorecard giving Senator McCain a score of ZERO. According to the scorecard, McCain was the only member of Congress to skip all 15 crucial environmental votes scored by LCV.

McCain's LCV score exposes the real record behind the rhetoric -- a lifetime LCV score of 24, a history of siding with the polluters and special interests, and a consistent pattern of ducking important environmental votes."

In addition to the environment, this year I'll be considering foreign policy heavily in my vote. Even if I could look past Ex-President Clinton's inaction during the Rwandan genocide (which I can't), I'd have severe doubts about Hilary for a number of reasons. In the next few years, our policies in the middle east will be crucial. The fact is that most leaders of middle eastern countries are a lot more likely to cooperate with Barak Obama than Hilary Clinton, as they simply will not be able to get past the fact that she's a woman, or the baggage of her husband's policies. With Kenyan roots, I'm also hopeful that Obama will improve our policies in Africa. I certainly hope we choose to do something about the Darfur crisis, and that we consider how U.S. policy can effect the poorest countries.

For example, farm subsidies. More than one African has said to me "How can your country subsidize farmers? It makes it so we cannot sell our crops." Certainly, farm subsidies have a plethora of problems, most of which have been commented on extensively by others, so I'll just mention them in passing.

Yes, no secret, I'm supporting Obama. At least he is something new. With Hilary we get experience, but much of that experience is in manipulating, fundraising, covering up, spinning, and corruption. I have no respect for her or her husband, and if you do, I'll respect that, so you don't need to send flaming comments. Personally, I'm thrilled to see Obama doing so well against one of America's most powerful couples, in results and in fundraising. Just when I was thinking things would never change in Washington, they just might.

As a side note, Obama sat on the committee that heard testimony on the Animal Terrorism Act which made actions by animal rights groups classified as "terrorist activities." When I was researching that bill I was pleased with his intelligent comments on the issue. While we can't know what all he'll do for the environment, animals, or foreign policy if elected, at least his votes so far indicate he's headed in all the right directions.


Roe said...

I too will be voting Obama, Yes We Can!

Though I would ask you if you really thought it was prudent to cite a terrorist organization like the Sierra Club for your reasons?

Esmae said...

Ahh, very witty! Too bad some people actually think Sierra Club and others are on par with those who blow up buildings with planes.

Roe said...

how are they different? Both groups advocate violence in pursuit of their goals?

Esmae said...

Can you cite me to any specific and verifiable example of the Sierra Club endorsing violence? I've certainly never come across any.

As for citing them, whether the comment on his voting record comes from me, Sierra Club, or anyone else, the record speaks for itself.

I have to believe you're trying to spark debate rather than seriously advocate that terrorists and environmentalists are alike. C'mon.

Roe said...

Here's a couple of good quotes from Paul Watson, though I know he's not on the board of directors anymore:

Basically I know that the Sierra Club does not publicly support violence, however there is a cross pollination with many of it's leaders and members into much more extreme groups which do. As far as being able to meet your demands of an independent verifiable source to backup my statement I can't produce one without more research, but from a quick google search I can say there is a hell of a lot of smoke, and you know what they say where there's smoke there's fire. I may have been hasty when I said that the Sierra club is a eco terrorist group, because it doesn't have a public policy of terrorism but then again if that was a public stance they would have a hard time recruiting members. Though I would say that you'd find a lot of the members of this group would be ok with the idea of burning down a lab that conducts testing on animals and new constructions sites that are being put up in areas that were until recently forested regions of this country.
I guess I wish that I could be nieve enough to support an environmental group. Sadly I'm a realist that believes there's nothing we can do to stop the spread of mankind. Given enough time nature will prevail and we will have nothing to do with that. Eventually a superbug or war will reduce the human population to extremely low levels and then nature will again take over as the dominant force on this planet. After that time perhaps we as a species may find ourselves better equipped to find a balance with nature, but until that catastrophic event occurs there will be no stopping the destructive march that is mankind. All efforts to slow this march are futile and so we should just enjoy the time we have and trust in nature to wipe out the human race when it needs to. If you really think that any of these groups can stop or reverse the destruction you are lying to yourself.

Sorry to start a debate and then rant on but I've been sick for 4 or 5 days and I guess I just needed to chat with someone. BTW are you still planning on buying tags for wolf if they open a season for them in Idaho? I'm not sure if I will, but I really do think that if you don't want them to be hunted then this is the most surefire way to prevent it.

Esmae said...

Sorry to hear you've been sick. Thankfully in this world of Tivo and Netflix it can be more entertaining than it used to be though.

As a member of the Sierra Club for some time, I can tell you that I have never seen a scintilla of a suggestion in their local or national letters, emails, magazine, website, flyers, etc. advocating any violence. I have seen them encourage legislative action, lobbying, and letters to the editor, all of which are appropriate. Just because someone is a nut and a member of the Sierra Club you can't make the leap the Sierra Club is composed of, or supports, nuts. Logic over rumor.

I consider myself a realist also. Change only happens a teeny bit at a time. I agree mankind will grow, but I do think that we can take steps that matter. Stopping the use of DDT was a good idea, wouldn't you say? Making lower emission cars, finding cleaner energy sources, education people about the effects of their actions on the world, everything matters. Not having kids contributes - by not producing more humans I preserve a few resources.

By the same token we could say people will never get the message to spay and neuter and there will always be unwanted pets so why try? I'd rather foster one here and there, tackle the problem in increments than give up on it.

I agree that most of mankind sucks. But look at the examples of people taking actions that matter - keeping the mountain gorilla from going extinct. That turns back the tide of humans just a little and a world with gorillas is much better to live in than one without.

(And yes, I still plan to do the wolf tag thing and buy all I can. I wish the State sold "Kill" and "Conservation" tags so we could prove there is more interest in saving them than killing them and that people will pay for that.