Lots to be Thankful For

And I mean lots!

In spite of the recession, wars and political malfeasance, the US (IMHO) is still a great country to live in and even the 'haters' who threaten to leave this country if X, Y or Z happens, never do. We have to put up fences and guard (except for the airport, I use that term loosely) our borders to keep people out.

So how can we be so FUBAR?

There are so many examples of dis-ingeniousness, that I had to pick just two for this special Thanksgiving edition of The-Asterisk. Food and Climate Change (nee, Global Warming.)

Food Insecurity. This is a term that is just getting its legs. No, it doesn't mean that tomatoes are dreading the frost or that carrots fear being yanked from the warm earth. It is a term to describe hunger, or the threat of hunger. If an individual is labeled food insecure, it is defined as being hungry or anticipating hunger within the past year. FRAC.org has well-written page that further defines this term. Don't get me wrong, I am sure there are truly hungry people in this country, but I find it difficult to believe that with the prevalence of government programs, school lunch programs, etc., that there are many truly hungry in this nation that are starving because they CANNOT GET FOOD.

The last time I checked, cell phones, cars, air conditioning, TV, cool sneakers, and pets were not located on the bottom rung of Maslow's pyramid. Shouldn't buying food be first in your spending priority? Also, I am having a very difficult time squaring the statistic that 49.1 million people were living in food insecure households in 2008 with the fact that 67% (that's right... two thirds) of noninstitutionalized adults age 20 and over in the US are overweight or obese. Did you get that? Two thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese and one third of us are OBESE.

You know that The-Asterisk's stated mission is to cut through the BS and find the little asterisk that explains what the reality is. Well, if I assume that overweight and obese people are not food insecure (other insecurities are a whole 'nuther thing) and that 49.1 million people really are going around hungry, then that leaves only about 1/6 of people living in the US who are both not hungry and not fat.

Global Climate Change. The dozen or so of you who have read my blog postings know The-Asterisk's feelings about Global Warming (oops... I mean Global Climate Change.) Recently, a treasure trove of leaked emails spanning 13 years from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was released. You can check them out for yourselves here. I feel STRONGLY that the whole global warming thing was a cause célèbre that got out of control. It went rogue. Al Gore has based his whole public persona on this issue. It couldn't die. He wouldn't let it. So when the temperatures stopped rising, they changed the name to Global Climate Change and blamed every storm, earthquake, tsunami, eruption, etc. on carbon in the atmosphere.

Where has this gotten us? They are putting emission controls on lawn mowers and weed whackers. They want to limit outdoor grilling. (I won't even get to the taxing and carbon credits issue.) You can't burn fields. You can't burn trash (but it doesn't stop the same people from complaining about overflowing landfills.) On and on it goes. What is the end game? What would make these people happy?

Seriously. They don't want nuclear, they despise coal, solar is great (but no one looks at the toxicity of the solar panel manufacturing process), wind power is good but Not In My BackYard (NIMBY) and oil is EVIL. Folks, these restrictions on energy generation will not scale well. Do the Climate Changers want us to live like Stone Age people? I think that the most elite of the group do, but they don't want to live that way themselves as they jet to conferences around the world.

Can't we see the rampant hypocrisy in all of this? Does any of the 50.5% majority care?

Are either of these emergencies? I am sure it is for some people, but to sound the klaxons for every dire situation numbs us all to real emergencies. If I was the king, I would do everything I could to reduce our dependence on oil. The first reductions would minimize our use of non-domestic oil. That would deflate some of the petro-terrorists (but it would also squeeze millions of Arabs which would cause a whole 'nuther raft of unintended consequences.) I would increase nuclear power. I would work to reduce use of coal since it is a dirty and environmentally irresponsible fuel. Oh, and try telling China to lay off of the coal, Sen. Rockefeller.

Sustainability is laudable. Just don't wrap the cause in the cloak of Climate Change. You immediately lose the support of a majority of Americans. But, that doesn't make for good political theater does it???

In closing, I am thankful that I can post messages like this and have no worries that I will be thrown in jail. Can you supporters of Hugo, Mahmoud and Evo say the same thing about their citizens?

Comments

Craig Hollins said…
Why does everyone who discusses the environment, on either side, never, ever mention the elephant in the room?
Population.
You halve the population and you can maintain your standard of living (as expressed in pollution generated) whilst halving all emissions. That is the simplest mathematics that any primary school kid can grasp.
So why do these very people that talk about sustainability forget the very thing that is the most direct way of controlling man's impact on the planet? Because some people see procreation as a right.

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