FOCUS ON CONGRESS - Pressure them regularly
The House of Representatives is an institution that does not serve us well. To a large extent it is a failure, especially as far as the fight against global warming is concerned.
We have a strong sentimental attachment to our national institutions but it is time to wake up. Our Congress was developed in the horse- and -buggy days when things moved very slowly. A letter took weeks to arrive. A trip to Europe took a month, nuclear weapons were not even a dream, and global warming did not exist.
There are many good people in Congress but they have little influence. Congress is unable to deal effectively with today's rapidly changing world. Most of its members are self-centered and focuse their attention to a large extent on reelection and personal power. Global warming is a clear and dangerous example. Every year we find that climate changes accelerate faster than was calculated.
Just two examples of Congressional failures:
1. With all due respect to Congressman Waxman and Markey and their deep dedication to fight GW, the bill they crafted to reduce GW is some 1400 page long. This excessive length indicates how nearly impossible it is to get an effective bill to fight GW through the House. Nearly every Congressperson that supported their bill had the ability to add his/her own special provisions to the bill- which weakened the bill considerably. Some say it is nearly useless to make any impact on the fast accelerating climate change.
The end result is that we got a bill that misleads us to believe it can fight GW. In fact the goal they set to cut our GHG emission 20% by 2020 is a fake - a sleight of hand. The IPCC stated that we need to cut our GHG by a MINIMUM of 20% compare to 1990. So this bill just changed the starting point by FIFTEEN years, to 2005. By doing so they in effect cut our commitment to just 7%.
This action is tantamount to a pure lie!
And many scientists believe that 20% reduction by 2020 is far too low to reduce the danger of GW sufficiently. European leaders volunteered to reduce their GHG by 30% by 2020 compare to 1990 if the US will do the same.
The Senate is even unable to do as little as the House did on global warming legislation.
2. I want to focus here on the ability of Congressman Dingle to stop any increase in the average car mileage for many years. One single House member can do so much damage because the House allowed him to do so.
Mr. Dingle is representing the Auto Industry from Michigan for about a half a century (1956) and received some $600,000 donations from the three American auto makers in the last ten years or so.
He was very influential in the House because of his seniority and his very safe seat. He was the Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee for years and even before that stopped attempts to increase our auto industry CAFÉ standard-that is, the corporate average fuel efficiency standard. Congressman Waxman, an outstanding liberal man, fought him and repalced him. This should have been done many years ago.
Some numerical facts: A quarter of US energy input comes from oil for transportation. That is, almost one quarter of our GHG emissions comes from the great inefficiency of our car and truck fleet. (Oil emits less GHG than coal, which is about 22% of our energy input, almost a wash)
This is not just a bad act of Mr. Dingle part; it is a profound malady of the House. He was in power for too long and should have been removed from his powerful position long ago. Most House members supported his power to do so because he could send favors their way from his senior position.
He was also cleaver to be pro environment which allowed him to outsmart even the environmental movement that gave him an award for his liberal environmental stand, while in the same time Mr. Dingle did one of the largest environmental damage in the world. He- with the support of many members of the House - was able to sustain the extreme increase in GW from our use of large, gas guzzlers cars.
Here is the duplicity of the House: (The Senate too) While most Congresspersons were shouting that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil to increase our military security and financial security, they actually allowed Dingle to increase our dependence on foreign oil, on foreign governments and increase our balance of payment problem by sending hundreds of billions a year to buy oil.
We do have the best Congress money can buy.
No wonder just 20% of the public trusts it.
And we do nothing about it. We don't trust them and we forget about them. Smart? STUPID.
We behave like small children, we pout.
Time to act.
What you can do?
Contact your 3 members of Congress regularly and tell them briefly your views.
Without your action they only hear the lobbyists.
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