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SF Chinese New Year parade.

March 30th, 2001

America, God Bless
Bill Clinton, whatever else you can say about him, knew his politics. Those last few days in office, in addition to selling pardons, was spent issuing regulations - save old forests, keep arsenic out of the tap water, that sort of stuff - and now, since he's entered office, Bush has been making headlines eviscerating them. They are portrayed as last minute thrown together tree hugger stuff, but the arsenic proposal, for example, was the product of a long and careful set of hearings and procedures and the ten part per billion limit they came up with after the hard bargaining was over is the same standard they use in Europe.

It costs money, yes, but not that much money and it would result in many lives saved from cancer. Now, is that true? Maybe those Europeans haven't got a clue. Maybe you can get along just fine drinking arsenic straight. Truth is a very difficult commodity to corner in this market, but it makes me nervous.

We're running out of energy here in California with a little help, maybe, from our Texas energy friends, but nobody's ready to panic and trade in the atmosphere on a coal fired furnace. We know deep down we may have to pay, but we don't have to mortgage the lungs and kids to keep the lights bright.

These thoughts were sparked when I read Rien's comments on Bush axing the Kyoto agreement and telling the Europeans to go get fucked. What I remember about the Kyoto agreement was everyone felt it was no big deal because it had no teeth, but it was, at least, a start. The idea that anyone was going to lose their job over Kyoto was a laugh at the time, yet Bush stands up and says we Americans don't have the stomach or the character to participate.

This is stupid. Maybe Bush can write California off in the next election because we went for Gore SF Chinese New Year parade. big time in the last, but I wouldn't push too far with this "pig pile on Alaska" bit. There are Republicans and there are Democrats and maybe their twains don't meet, but we all breathe the air and drink the water and we all have a pretty good idea of what is meant by "the environment". I would think twice before I told our allies we were pulling out of Kyoto because push come to shove their environmental problems don't count. Go die, Europe, we've got ours, you take care of yourself. There may well be hard choices ahead over this "global warming" business - I'd be willing to guess we've already missed that particular boat after reading how many centuries it takes to stop once it starts - but Kyoto wasn't one of those choices, Kyoto was just the opening of a door to dialogue. Go die Europe. America, God Bless.

The photographs were taken at the 2001 San Francisco Chinese New Year parade. The quote is by Jeanne Moreau.