Are you ready to sacrifice your standard of living on the altar of globalization? That is what is happening at an alarming rate. We the people are being asked to squeeze our belts until it hurts so that the global elite can continue their lavish lifestyle all at our expense. Woodstoves are being regulated out of existence, older cars are on the chopping block, and we are instructed to use mass transit or ride a bike. Wouldn’t you like to see Dick Cheney or Condi Rice riding a bike to the White House? I would. The likelihood of that happening? Don’t hold your breath.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am for doing as much as we can to eliminate pollution and help stop global warming, but pinching the little guy for all he’s worth is not the solution. Targeting the major corporations as well as governmental agencies and suicidal policies responsible for most of the crud in our environment would seem to be the solution. Soon the older cars that the poorer among us drive will be outlawed due to smog issues. Sorry, but if you cannot afford to get a new car, you will have to walk. Yet, businessmen take airplanes everyday for their corporate masters. Billionaires burn thousands of gallons of fuel daily just for fun. These same people blame the average Joe for global warming and force us into untenable positions while gluttonously consuming petrol and traveling the world to educate the masses regarding the ethical use of fossil fuel products. Their mantra of “stop using the oil so we can use it” is beating us to death. Why don’t the super-rich decide to not fly for one day. I am sure that the emission savings will be sufficient to allow thousands of regular people to go to work, get to the store for groceries, and take their parents to the hospital without putting a dent in the ozone. Is that too much to ask? Evidently so. The great unwashed do not count in the grand scheme of things except as pawns for the “greater good.” But just whom are we sacrificing for? That is the million-dollar question.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…The real enemy, then, is humanity itself….Bring the divided nation together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one INVENTED for the purpose…(The First Global Revolution: A Report by the Council of Rome) (Aftermath News, 2007).
To the global elite, we are the enemy. Therefore, it becomes necessary to manufacture a common enemy that will take our minds off the target, and redirect our energies into fighting a strawman – a manufactured enemy that does not exist. It doesn’t matter if the enemy is real or manufactured. Do we need to cut down on pollution? Yes. Do we need to be concerned about our planet? Yes – we always have. Are we the people the primary polluters? No. Yet we are asked to fight the strawman so that big business can continue to pollute with impunity while we pay the price.
Do your part! The masses are more ready and willing to sacrifice themselves to “save the Earth” than the elites, just as planned (Aftermath News, 2007).
(Photo: inmates of the dystopia prepare to voluntarily cull themselves off at the “Carousel” extermination ceremony, from the 1976 scifi film Logan’s Run)
A lawsuit, filed in New York’s federal district court using a common law public-nuisance petition, alleges that the corporations it names are “the five largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the US and are among the largest in the world.” These five – the energy firms American Electric Power, Southern Company, Xcel Energy, Cinergy and the Tennessee Valley Authority – emit approximately 10 per cent of the US’s annual carbon dioxide emissions. These emissions contribute directly to climate change, which, the suit alleges, could lead to severe environmental and health impacts, including a doubling of heat-related deaths in Los Angeles. The suit claims that the melting of the snows that feed California’s water supply could lead to water shortages that would “harm residents, hurt agriculture, disrupt other businesses, cut the source of hydroelectric power and significantly increase the damage caused by wildfires.” The suit points out that means for reducing carbon dioxide emissions are both affordable and available (Red Pepper, 2004).
This does not even take into account the amount of fuel wasted on corporate/government junkets. Here is a 22 page document posted on USA Today that outlines the 2004 corporate plane usage by federal government officials. One would think that our government officials would take heed to the global warming problem and use these planes for important official business in order to save fuel and help protect the environment. Notice that while perusing the document “fund raising” and “campaign” trips comprise the majority of these flights.
And by all means let’s let Mexican trucks roll right through our country courtesy of NAFTA.
In 2005, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) published a report on Mexican truck traffic in regards to the first phase of the trucking provision. Their findings report the following air pollution concerns:
– an extra 50 tons of NOx and 2.5 tons of particulate matter a day will be added to California’s South Coast Air Basin
– 66% of Mexican trucks are older (pre-1993) diesel models and do not have electronic fuel injection
– 25% are diesel trucks older than 1979 having extremely high emissions of NOx and particulate matter
– unlike the US, Mexico does not require trucks to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (The Airzone Blog, 2007)
Are you feeling like a sacrificial lamb yet? Can you justify squeezing the last drop of dignity from our nation’s poor as we limit their ability to own a vehicle, heat their homes with wood, and provide for their families just so the corporations as well as our corporate-owned government officials don’t have to limit their gluttonous use of fossil fuels? I cannot. I am sickened by it. The system is broken. We are like sacrificial lambs slain on the altar of globalization.
Aftermath News. (2007). Retrieved from: http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/most-ready-for-green-sacrifices/
Red Pepper. (2004). Retrieved from: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article232.html
The Airzone Blog. (2007). Retrieved from: http://www.cleanairsys.com/airzone-blog/2007/09/diesel-long-haul-trucks-from-mexico.html
USA Today. (2004). Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/plane_rides/2004v3.pdf?loc=interstitialskip
Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson
Filed under: Globalization |