Posts Tagged ‘mountain top removal mining’

Environmentalists have no Reason to Vote

July 15, 2012

I apologize for getting on my soapbox again.  I promise this will be the last time I write about politics this year.  Next time, I’ll return to the theme of this blog–Pleistocene ecology.

President Obama and the Democratic Party don’t really care about the environment.  The last time they sent me a form letter requesting a campaign donation, they included a survey asking me what I thought were the most important issues facing our nation.  Protecting the environment, the issue I think is most important, wasn’t even listed.  I sent them nothing and never will again.  Obama has been a terrible president on environmental issues, worse even than George W. Bush.  Obama only cares about getting re-elected.  I think George W. Bush cared about the environment, and he honestly believed industry and the pro-pollution cronies he appointed to Interior Department offices would self-regulate.  Bush was naive and stupid, bless his heart.  The reason Obama fails to protect the environment is because it just doesn’t matter to his re-election strategy.  Progressives who think re-electing Obama would be beneficial to the environment live in a dreamworld.  Here’s his disastrous environmental record.

1. As a Senator, Obama voted in favor of the Energy Act of 2007.  This law subsidized the ethanol industry which turns corn (our food) into fuel.  Turning our food into fuel caused an immediate increase in our grocery bills.  But it didn’t lower the price of gas.  In fact gas prices have gone sky high since the Energy Act was passed.  It’s a failed economic policy causing hardship among  middle and working class families.  Moreover, farmers are plowing more land under to plant corn, destroying quality wildlife habitat in the process.

2.  Obama’s administration is still issuing permits allowing Mountain Top Removal Mining.  This practice is the absolute worst environmental catastrophe of our generation.

3. Obama opened up 4 tracts on public land in Wyoming for coal strip mining. This permanently destroys the land and the quality of life for local residents, and it contributes to the increase in greenhouse gases.  He appointed a pro-coal industry insider to run the Surface Reclamation office.

4. Obama opened up 75% of potential offshore oil and gas territory, despite the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

5.  The Obama administration issued the permit that led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  During this crisis, Obama proved to be little more than a paid puppet of British Petroleum (a source of campaign donations).  Obama didn’t allow the EPA to become involved in the clean up.  When the EPA ordered BP to stop using a toxic dispersent, BP refused.  Obama completely failed to enforce the EPA’s order.

6. The Obama administration gives the natural gas industry an exemption from Clean Air and Water regulations when the industry conducts hazardous fracking operations.  This is illegal. President Obama should be placed in prison for this criminality.

7.   According to one source reporting on NPR, Obama has overturned more environmental regulations than George W. Bush.

8.  Obama has pulled back from tougher smog standards promised by the EPA.

9.  Obama has undercut the Interior Department’s power to designate and protect public lands.

10.  Obama has rolled back Reagan era safeguards requiring the U.S. Forest Service to maintain fish and wildlife populations.

11. Obama has undermined the Endangered Species Act by raising the threshold for listing.  An animal or plant can only be listed, if its final population is restricted to one geographical area.  Under these new standards, the bald eagle would have never been listed and today would be extinct everywhere except Alaska.

12.  Obama stripped federal protections for endangered timber wolves.

13. Obama refuses to list the Pacific walrus as an endangered species.

14.  Obama has completely abandoned efforts to decrease global warming.

Environmentalists should despise Obama, not vote for him in the futile hopes that he’ll be better in his second term.  Of course, republicans openly say they want to get rid of the EPA.  Their alternative is to let the states regulate toxic waste  as if water and air pollution magically stop at state borders.  Letting the states alone regulate pollution would mean no effort to control pollution at all in southern states where politicians perversely favor business fascism, racism, sexism, and ignorance.

As an environmentalist, I say let the republicans have their way.  Most Americans today have transmogrified into a bunch of stupid tattooed fatsoes.  Maybe, if they turn on the kitchen faucet, and diarrhea pours in their glass, they’ll start to care about the environment, but probably not.  They’d rather go into credit card debt paying for bottled water.  It’s evident that most Americans don’t care about the environment now.  I say let them choke on the smog.  They deserve it.

Here are 2 candidates I often write in for political office.  Either would make a better President, Senator, congressman, or governor than the drek on the ballots reality imposes on us.

Magnus: Robot Fighter.  He could smash the robotic puppets of big corporations that currently control the U.S. government.

Tommy Chong.  He was held as a political prisoner by George W. Bush.  He used to sell bongs over the internet.  Selling bongs within the state of California was legal but it was illegal to sell them across state lines.  The U.S. government  held a sting operation trying to get him to sell a shipload of bongs to Pennsylvania.  Well aware of federal law, Mr. Chong refused.  So the agent drove a truck to California and bought the bongs within state lines–clearly not a violation of federal law.  Nevertheless, government agents then arrested Mr. Chong.  Mr. Chong’s lawyers said he could probably beat the rap in court, but the government offered him a plea deal, promising not to prosecute his wife and son, if he agreed to plead guilty.  (What a dirty trick.) To protect his family from any chance of incarceration, Mr. Chong agreed.  Mr. Chong showed more backbone and integrity than any politician in U.S. history.  That is why he gets my vote for president.  Besides, he’d probably legalize marijuana–an act that would directly improve my quality of life.

If I could Live in the Pleistocene (Part V)–Bringing back Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)

September 7, 2011

Photo from google images of a wild marijuana patch.  I had a friend from Iowa who told me that marijuana was a common weed in roadside ditches there.

For those unfamiliar with this blog I write an irregular series fantasizing about going back in time to live during the Pleistocene.  I would bring along some modern conveniences that I don’t want to live without.  I choose 36,000 BP, an interstadial, because I love virgin oak forests which prevailed then.  The climate was just perfect during the time period–much cooler summers but only slightly cooler winters with more snowfall than present day Georgia usually gets.  I’d live in a stone fortress to keep me safe from the beasts.  My little castle is located near the confluence of what today is the Broad and Savannah Rivers for easy access to such potential food as fish, waterfowl, turtles, and shellfish.  Stonewalls around my castle protect a garden and fruit orchard, and I’d also raise geese, chickens, milk cows, and honeybees, so my Pleistocene life is self-sufficient, though for emergencies there’s a time tunnel connecting me to 2011.  One of the plants I would bring back in time to grow in my garden would be marijuana (Cannabis sativa).

The modern world is full of outrageous absurdity.  Our so-called civilization allows coal companies to destroy beautiful mountains, transmogrifying them into permanent craters as barren as the moon.  This short-sighted destruction creates wealth for a few but leaves nothing behind for our descendents but useless wasteland.  Big slurries of black sludge, a biproduct of this kind of mining, buries once pristine freshwater creeks.   The smog from burning coal poisons those living near power plants, and the mercury deposits turn fish into toxic food, potentially causing brain damage to people consuming what would otherwise be a healthy dietary choice.  Although the majority of society opposes mountain top removal mining, it is legal because paper money changes hands between coal company criminals and crooked politicians.   Even in West Virginia, a solid majority of people oppose this kind of mining, but not a single state legislator does.  Our so-called civilized society accepts the legality of this barbaric devastation of the land, yet people growing a plant that makes users feel pleasant are sentenced to long prison terms.  Marijuana became illegal the same year prohibition ended.  I believe the real reason it became illegal was so the government could save the jobs of federal law enforcement agents with nothing to do when beer was allowed to flow legally again.

Before and after picture of mountain top removal mining.  This travesty is legal but growing and smoking marijuana is illegal, proving there is no logic in law whatsoever.  A law is simply an excuse for people in power to subjugate people who are not in power.  Judges rule based on precedent.  Of course, if a judge disagrees with precedent, they rule differently based on their own reasoning.  In other words judges fabricate bullshit.  I wish I didn’t have to live in a world where mountain top removal mining is legal and marijuana is illegal.

In my Pleistocene world 36,000 years BP there are no illogical laws.  There’s no mountain top removal mining, and I can grow and smoke marijuana, if I want.  And I want.  I would have to bring marijuana seeds back in time with me.  It’s unlikely any kind of cannabis ever grew wild in Pleistocene North America because it’s not native to the continent.  Wild marijuana originally grew in central Asia and China, thriving in low moist but well drained areas, perhaps fertilized by elephant or water buffalo dung.  The oldest fossil remains of cannabis fiber comes from a 12,000 year old fishing site near the south China coast.  It belonged to either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, the psychoactive kinds, or Cannabis ruderalis–industrial hemp.  Humans used the fiber to construct nets and fishing lines.  The 3 species of cannabis were among the first of cultivated plants.  6,000 years ago Chinese farmers grew marijuana with millet, wheat, rice, and beans.  Marijuana seeds are nutritious but bland.  It was primarily grown for the fiber.

Humans probably first found marijuana plants growing in their trash middens where the soil was fertile from accidental composting.  Cannabis is an annual weed that could easily colonize such habitat.  People looking for fibrous plants to weave clothes or nets to catch fish or birds utilized marijuana as a useful plant for such purposes.  The discovery that marijuana causes a pleasant high was a happy accident.  Thousands of years ago, there was no paper to start fires with.  Instead of paper, dried weeds were used.  On a cold windy day a family group huddled around a fire in a cramped tent or hut.  The smoke from burning the dried cannabis weed gave this ancient family a euphoric feeling.  Someone recognized the source of the euphoric feeling and spread the word.  One primitive genius decided more would be better and invented a pipe so he could inhale the smoke directly.  This forgotten individual ranks on par with Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers.

Later in human history, pot smokers learned how to cultivate marijuana to increase the tetrahydracannabinol (the active ingredient) content.  Pot farmers remove all the male plants which forces the females to grow bigger buds in a desperate attempt to capture scarce pollen.  The buds are where THC concentrates.  Cultivating seedless buds creates a higher quality marijuana known as sensimilla.

Image result for sensimilla bud

Photo of semsimilla bud from google images. If I could live during the Pleistocene, I’d be smoking this in my little castle while looking out the window for long-horned bison, giant ground sloths, and mammoths.