Cosmic Compassionate Conservatism

A GUEST POSTING FROM SMAG

I think I finally figured them out. The Bush administration that is. Well, not everything about them, but what I think might be the driving force behind much of their policy.

They love the earth so much they have focused all of their energy on saving the planet from human destruction.

What’s more, I believe Bush himself might be behind this brave and self-sacrificing strategy. Stay with me a minute and I’ll explain. But first, this needs to be kept between us. Ok? I mean, they’ve worked so hard to keep anyone from finding out that I feel obligated to keep their secret. Their intention clearly is to do good for good’s sake, and not to draw attention to their altruism.

It started when Bush was Governor of Texas. He quickly brought his state to first place in sentencing prisoners to death row. The number of those actually executed also rose. Soon they were Number One, executing more than twice as many as the Number Two state, Virginia.

Bush brought that mentality and policy along to the White House. As Marcia Coyle wrote in the National Law Journal,

Federal death penalty

Since the federal government got back into the death penalty business in 1988, attorneys general have authorized 420 prosecutions, according to statistics kept by the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project: 180 during the 1990s, an average of 18 per year, and 240 since 2000, an average of 40 per year, mostly attributable to the Bush administration.

Of the 420 authorized prosecutions, 162 actually reached trial and sentencing. Juries imposed 105 life sentences and 57 death sentences. Since 2001, the beginning of the Bush administration, there have been 32 federal defendants sentenced to death.

The 9/11 disaster provided the Administration with a golden opportunity to save the planet. It allowed them to start a war in Afghanistan, and soon after that to start a second front in Iraq. More than 4000 US troops have died in those wars, as well as around 100,000 civilians (maybe as many as 800,000 depending on whose count you prefer).

Still, the finest instance of this administration’s efforts to help the planet probably has been in their approach to health care in this country, by

  • making healthcare less affordable for underprivileged children and other vulnerable groups
  • preventing the sale of inexpensive Canadian pharmaceuticals
  • refusing to investigate healthcare reform issues.

The numbers of those who have died due to a lack of affordable medical care is difficult to measure, but it is substantial, and shows no signs of dwindling.

More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and

can’t get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study. “Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late,” examines the plight of 30 million — one in seven — working-age Americans whose employers don’t provide insurance and who don’t qualify for government medical care.

Recently my neighbor, who was 51, died of cancer. He was diagnosed on February 9th and died on March 11th. His healthcare was provided through a popular HMO. According to his widow, after months of deteriorating health he made multiple visits to doctors within his HMO system trying to get authorization to see a specialist. But the system didn’t let him see someone who could properly assess his condition until it was too late.

I’m certain I’m not aware of all of the programs that this administration has utilized in their planet saving efforts but those seem to be the biggies that really stand out.

Now, you may ask, “What does all this have to do with saving the planet?” Good question. Based on a recent look at the numbers:

US Energy Information Administration

2004 data reveal that annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution in tonnes CO2/person

  • 19.2 — Australia
  • 19.7 — USA
  • 18.4 — Canada
  • 9.9 — Japan
  • 4.2 — World average
  • 3.6 — China
  • 1.0 — India
  • 0.25 — Bangladesh.

It is clear that per-person rate of consumption and pollution is cause for alarm, and that the numbers are rising. Our impact on the planet and the environment is astounding. Conclusion: The fewer people occupying the planet the better off we’ll all be. The more polluters we can eliminate the less impact humans will have on the environment. Sound reasoning, right? Population control as an environmental policy.

You may point to the Bush Administration’s continued public disregard for climate change whistle-blowers as proof that I’m wrong. I say it’s proof that I’m right. The public stance is a subterfuge; they have decided that a covert operation to save the planet is best.

(Who am I to question that judgment? Clearly they have some reason for keeping this environmental policy secret – probably has to do with National security and we common folk don’t need to know the particulars.)

The short term effort seems to be focused on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan for some reason. I’m not sure why since they hardly have any environmental impact compared with Western and Far Eastern nations. Again, it’s probably a need-to-know situation. I’m not certain why we haven’t focused our efforts more efficiently on Europe or China. Maybe that is Phase 2 (or is it 3 or 4…), and the coalition forces are simply the First Phase.

With healthcare as an issue, the long term focus appears to be on US residents, and primarily low income citizens. Let’s face it. They are… no, let’s really face it. We are probably bigger contributors to climate change than more affluent citizens.

  • We probably drive less fuel efficient cars – either old clunker V8’s or big 4×4 trucks,
  • Our houses are poorly insulated and inefficient – probably burning wood to supplement the space heaters,
  • We’re less likely to recycle.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

But to be rich you might live longer and therefore pollute more over time. It’s a tricky situation but I’m sure the statisticians have worked on the problem and decided that a wealthy person with a 10,000 square foot house, a new BMW, a boat, and a vacation home will pollute less than you or me.

So it seems if you don’t go to one of the war zones you can still do your part for the environment by just staying home and making as little money as possible, preferably becoming unemployed. (I think Bush is working on that Phase now – making sure everyone is out of work and uninsured). Your contribution will come soon enough. And what better way to save the planet than becoming worm food and pushing up daisies?

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