Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nuclear Arms Reduction, Off Shore Drilling, Health Care, and other important stories

After signing a historic nuclear arms reduction pact, thoughts still circulate as to whether the US will in fact roll back the arsenal of nuclear weapons it harbors, or if this is merely a way to probe at North Korea and Iran for the weapons they hold.

Questions have arisen as a recent interview with Defense Secretary Robert Gates stressed that the US would never use nor threaten to use nuclear weapons, except if they were brought under attack, or if a country with nuclear weapons didn't play by their rules.

I have to say I really like the pact, but wonder what the undertones are?

Food for thought:

http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/7002/taf_globalzerobb?tell_a_friend_KEY=354

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/8/despite_landmark_arms_reduction_treaty_with

Another important article I read yesterday,

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/89788407.html ,

brings up the continued failure of the US government to foster actual justice for Native American Tribes. It has always been the case, since colonization commenced, that the US has done whatever they wished to Native people. Why would the government not bestow Tribal recognition upon this group of people, simply because their histories do not fall neatly within the bureaucratic means that's "easier" for them to interpret?

After passing historic health care reform, which is by no means perfect, but is a definite step towards a more just path, why would the president open up vast tracks of ocean for oil exploration? Was it not ironic that he told us about this exploration right after the House and Senate passed the health care overhaul? Seems fishy to me.

Here are a few highlights of the heath care bill, but we have a LONG way to go as the "bottom" tier of people in the US are still left with the burden (surprise, surprise).

"Insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse to pay for treatment of children's pre-existing conditions.

Health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.

Insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage.

People who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.

Small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable."

In the meantime, visit the Surfrider Foundation's website, or any other solid environmental group's page to see how you can voice your dissent regarding another step towards no energy independence for the US, and business as usual for the fossil fuel industry.

Offshore Drilling Myths

1. New technologies will prevent oil spills.

Try telling the Australians that. In August 2009 a state-of-the-art rig using "new technology" spilled 2000 barrels of oil a day for 10 weeks into the fragile East Timor Sea.

2. Offshore drilling is good for the economy and will create jobs!

Our beaches are economic engines. One oil spill would devastate the local coastal tourism industry and the livelihood of people working in the fishing industry.

3. We won't be reliant on foreign oil.

We'll still have to import at least 40% of our oil to meet our daily consumption needs.

4. We'll have a long-term supply of oil.

It won't be enough. Offshore drilling will only give us about 18 months of supply at our current rate of consumption.

Check out this fact sheet as well:

http://www.surfrider.org/nottheanswer/factsheet.pdf

Also, check out this blog if you get a chance, and educate yourself and others on the continued threat of GE food,

http://weblog.greenpeace.org/makingwaves/archives/genetic_engineering/

Lastly, it astounds me that I continually get asked why I do not consume meat products, even though it's obvious it tastes oh so good. Put simply, it's just one way to lessen my ecological footprint, period. I never stopped because steak tastes bad:

http://www.montereyherald.com/state/ci_14838682?nclick_check=1

For the Earth, all its people and species...do whatever you can, with whatever you have.

2 comments:

  1. 54 billion dollars a year that goes to nothinmg except nuclear weapons. Imagine how much that could do somewhere else...

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