JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Imagine acres of tall green corn under the bright spring sunlight. Then out of nowhere, a tornado-like cloud of something you can’t make out sweeps over the fields and within seconds—all those beautiful crops, gone, like a plague or a curse: Barren as a dustbowl.
That is the precisely what has been happening across the Heartland from climate change disasters, as Time reported, “The 2012 Drought: The Great Drying”. If Romney is elected, you can expect America’s agricultural businesses that rely on seasonal rains and moderate temperatures to go belly-up, costing farmers and American tax payers billions of dollars in damages. Dramatic climate changes will either make it impossible for seeds to grow, or crops and orchards will become vulnerable to disease and fungus.
I raised a question in a previous commentary: Can we eat and drink oil? We can’t survive without food and without clean air and water. So what good will all this oil drilling do if our agricultural lands are barren from droughts, if farmers can no longer harvest oranges, strawberries, apples, potatoes, and so on, if the fishing industry dies as we’re are now witnessing from BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe, if our water supply is poisoned with cancer-causing toxins?
Why won’t someone at the debate ask those questions? We know why. The corporate media is owned by the oil industry with very few exceptions.
I can’t find the words to describe my fear as I begin to fathom the reality of Romney’s pollution plans. If I had to summarize it in two words, I would say, “life-threatening”. I feel threatened by his massive oil drilling and pollution energy plans that strike me as a death blow to our ecology as climate change disasters are at epic proportions.
I’d like to believe that even Rush Limbaugh’s attack on solar and wind is failing. “Go Green” has become an acceptable and popular marketing preference to pollution so much so that the phrase “Green” is everywhere: bags, clothes, cleaning products. The fact that electric and hybrid cars are selling off the racks faster than they can be manufactured is perhaps the most obvious indicator that people want to shift to clean energy. Moreover, Americans are fed up with rising gas prices deliberately manipulated by oil executives and shareholders to control the energy agenda.
No matter how hard the oil soaked media tries to censor climate change from the debates, no matter how hard the oil execs try to paint a smiley face on their deadly toxic product by running endless PR ads, the majority of Americans understand that the way to become energy independent is by getting off polluting, earth-killing oil and coal.
Given the growing threat of climate change that we’re all facing, Mitt Romney’s pollution plans are shocking and irresponsible. As for jobs, wind and solar energy companies have created far more opportunities for work than oil and coal primarily because i) oil and coal have reached their peak, as supply diminishes, jobs are reduced, and ii) new technology has replaced manual labor in those fields.
President Obama has not been the ideal environmental President, but to his credit, he stopped oil drilling in our sacred federal national parks, and he provided start-up subsidy funding for clean energy companies which have been previously oppressed by oil and coal monopoly. He also offered huge tax reduction savings for consumers who want to buy hybrid and electric cars, and he pushed for fuel efficient vehicles.
Contrary to Romney’s big lie that green energy companies are “losers”, global solar consumption is going parabolic. Even the Pentagon wants to switch over to solar because transporting oil has been a dangerous burden in the Middle East, and it is costing American tax payers billions of dollars for vehicle fuel and air conditioning where the sun provides limitless clean energy all year round. It defies common sense to use oil, and yet, the Republican congress voted against funding for solar-energy military equipment and vehicles. Simply put, dependence on oil puts our soldiers in harm’s way.
The truth is Romney’s Stone Age Energy Plan will perilously accelerate climate change. If you think 110 record-breaking heat waves were bad last summer, Romney’s oil & coal pollution plans would drive those temperatures up to life threatening temperatures by opening every inch of America to oil and coal drilling.
What’s startling is that even our children in elementary school know about the “green house effect” of global warming. It’s pretty sad when grade school children know more than a former Governor who is now running for the highest office in the nation.
Unlike President Obama who rejected drilling in our beautiful national parks, Romney wants to drill up and down the California coasts, from Yellow Stone Park, Yosemite, to the resort shores of Florida. Romney would probably approve of oil drilling off the Hawaiian Islands. He’s that crazy.
Under the Romney-Ryan Accelerate Global Warming Plan, say goodbye to our vast agricultural businesses from organic farming to large company fruit orchards and corn crops, say goodbye to the last lonely eagle and to our majestic skies and beautiful coastal shores, and get ready for many more Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophes. Say goodbye to valuable coastal real estate, vacation resorts, tourism and fishing, and get used to permanent gooey toxic oil spills. Get ready for torrential hurricanes, hundreds of cataclysmic tornadoes, uncontrollable fires, droughts and most tragically of all, get used to seeing the extinction of all your favorite birds and beloved animals and mammals.
What will survive? Oil and pestilent mosquitoes, roaches, flies, and ticks.
Romney made it exceedingly clear that he wants to crush all green energy subsidies, but the oil billionaires who earn a trillion dollars, combined, annually in profits, according to Romney, do deserve billions of American tax dollars in subsidies.
This is not an energy independent plan for America. It’s a death blow that threatens life on this earth as we know it.
Jacqueline Marcus taught ethics and political philosophy for twenty years at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, California. Her book of poems, Close to the Shore, was published by Michigan State University Press. She is the editor of www.ForPoetry.com.