Civil Discourse Now

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Would a Santorum EPA place controls on rivers of blood?

   Before the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1969, we were treated with interesting spots on the evening news. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, burned. When one approached Gary on I-65, the sky was orange from the effluents of the steel mills.

    Yesterday, in response to my blog about the environment, Mr. Wheeler claimed "you posit an extreme example from your childhood days as that somehow Santorum would like to usher back to relive those days when few controls existed." This inaccurately summarizes the facts and my blog. I gave an example of pollution that I witnessed in the 1960s (and 1970s and 1980s, for that matter). Continental Steel’s pollution later merited its treatment by the EPA Superfund. The pollution Continental spewed into the air, water, and ground was extensive and real. Taxpayers footed the bill for the cleanup. The shareholders of the corporate entity enjoyed profits from Continental cutting costs on pollution control. (Those shareholders could have avoided the eventual bankruptcy into which the corporation finally descended. One could argue it is a "free" market, after all. A minority shareholder action was brought, but about the unfairness of the original purchase of Continental. See, Schlick v. Penn-Dixie Cement Corp., 507 F.2d 374 (2d Cir. 1974).) Once Continental closed, the shareholders were not, and could not be, tagged personally with any wrongdoing. They were protected by the corporate veil. Only the workers suffered setbacks. Pensions funds had been raided. 

   I did not argue a causal link between the pollution that I saw outside Continental and Santorum’s position on the environment. What I saw years ago was addressed by Federal statutes and Federal authorities acting under legislation first passed in 1969.

   I addressed Santorum’s remarks concerning the environment. Santorum criticized President Obama as believing in a phony theology. Santorum said The President holds a world view in which he elevates the Earth above man. Santorum said the Earth is here for "man’s" use.

   Santorum has favored rollbacks of environmental regulations. His point that the Earth exists for human use is ill-considered. The Earth exists. We live here. My example of disease during the Civil War was to make the point tat if we screw up our environment, we are the ones who suffer. This is not "worship" of the Earth. It is recognition of survival.

   As to specifics about Santorum believing it is okay to lay waste to our lands and our waters, I would refer you to Santorum speeches in Ohio where he favors aggressively drilling for oil and natural gas and discusses "radical enviromentalism." Others? Bachmann said the EPA would be "padlocked" if she were elected president. Ron Paul advocates using tort law to reign in polluters. This last from the same party that decries trial lawyers and over-zealous courts. So, if the final days arrive, I think Santorum would have accelerated them. There would be rivers of a lot of bad things---mercury, PCBs, oil by-products, maybe even medical waste, like blood. The rivers of blood would be here, though, not in Egypt.

   Finally, I am neither intellectually dishonest nor are you brutally honest (much less "too brutally honest"). A belief in the "end days" is a belief that a deity has willed the end of the Earth.

   And one more point, really quickly—I never have "masked" my "atheism."

   If one embraces tat view of the way we all go, then it makes sense to "drill, baby, drill" and let the corporations that fund a lot of the candidates—from both sides of the aisle—happy.

   I will save my comments on Dominionism for another column as that will be rather expansive.

Paul (Ogden, as distinguished from Wheeler),

   Richard Nixon signed into law the chief statutes by which we attempt to keep clean and regulate our environment. He was a crook (bad), given to drinking martinis (why? I never got that, why people like martinis), and drinking those martinis (sometimes) while watching "Patton." Cambodia was, according to some White House aides, the invasion aunched by martinis. But he also was the man who acted to protect the environment. He was a Republican. Aren’t you going to stand by your man?

   As for the rest of your points, we shall discuss those this Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 11 am at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue. We shall discuss global climate change. 

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Tags: EPA, Santorum, blood, environment, of, rivers

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Comment by paul wheeler on March 6, 2012 at 1:45pm

Well, once again, you double down on Santorum's viewpoint that the earth is for man's use; not vice versa and declare "His point that the Earth exists for human use is ill-considered."  Your opinion of course that derives from your atheism, since you refuse to recognize Deity.  For those who believe in a Biblical God, that the earth was made by God and all therein, there is a Scriptural source we point to, whereas you depend on your private secular logic.  Again, you use Santorum as a perceived extremist model who would devour the earth instead of being a custodian of it. This is the mask argument I refer to. When I use the word 'mask' your atheism I refer to your countless examples that can simply be reduced to your core belief there is no God, so that regardless what argument you posit, then it appears to your advantage in order to discredit the failings of others to  discredit God.  Your constant referral to 'theology' reflects interest in the subject, but to what end...certainly not to embrace the Divine, but to argue against such.  From your statement: "A belief in the "end days" is a belief that a deity has willed the end of the Earth," you conclude that those who hold to that belief must therefore have a license to rape the earth.  You refuse to acknowledge that Scripture holds instruction to tend the garden; cultivate the earth and be its custodian while we use it.  It will be God's decision to ultimately terminate the earth  and create a new heaven and a new earth. 

As far as the theological 'end times' are concerned, the terminology (along with 'end of days') needs to be contextually considered. 

Perhaps I see your posts differently than most.  Maybe I should refer to you as the straw man guy searching but never finding an answer that suits him. (grin)  What I see is jumping argument to argument to satisfy your God denial.   

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on March 6, 2012 at 12:27pm

Mark, God knows you and I are old enough to remember smog hanging over cities and terribly pollluted rivers. The environment today is much, much cleaner than it has been in probably the last 50 years.  No one is arguing to go back to those days.

As a college professor pointed out during one of my classes once, eliminating 90% of pollution isn't hard.  It's eliminating the final 10% that is extremely expensive and simply gets to the point where it is not worth it. There has to be a balance between our need for a clean environment and our economy.  You want to wreck our economy to get that last 10%.  Saner people like Santorum and myself say, wait a second, we need to take a balanced approach.

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on March 6, 2012 at 12:22pm

{Santorum} favors aggressively drilling for oil and natural gas...

 

I should hope so.  This isn't 40 years ago when drilling techniques were so poor that the environment was ruined by drilling.  Drilling for oil and natural gas doesn't destroy the environment any more...not even close.  The environmental extremists, like Mark Small, oppose it not because they're concerned about the environment, but because they are elitist snobs who simply do not like progress.  It is the same anti-progress, anti-technology that pushes forward the nonsense that we should wreck our economy due to the climate "changing" which of course it's done for 4.5 billion years.

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