Thursday, August 04, 2005

Heap burnings coals on his head?

That new "environmental" pact I wrote about on 27 July is finally getting some coverage, however non-mainstream. Grist Magazine calls it "long on PR, short on substance". What a surprise, coming from the current administration. John McCain said "The [Asia-Pacific] pact amounts to nothing more than a nice little public-relations ploy. It has almost no meaning. They aren't even committing money to the effort, much less enacting rules to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions."

This all sounds, on further reading, like a huge marketing ploy by Australia and the US to sell supposedly "clean" coal-burning technologies. It also continues to sound like a huge waste of ink, from the Green perspective, as countries will set their own greenhouse gas emission standards, with no enforcement from any particular party. Can you say wuss pact?

Too bad. Timing would be good for a real pact truly dedicated to improving the environment. Even the astronauts on Discovery noted the damage to the earth in their travels. Be interesting to hear the administration's spin on that one.

I'm also waiting to hear the spin on the continuing human crisis in Iraq. Of course, we've basically got the military crisis under control. Just a few insurgents causing trouble here and there. But the UN recently published a report on what's happening to the Iraqi people during the war on terrorism. Or are we calling it Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism today?

Iraq by the numbers:
  • 1/4 of Iraq's children suffer from malnutrition
  • 40% of urban households report sewage in the streets because of a large decline in sanitation conditions
  • nearly 1/2 of women "think that the security in their area has worsened compared to one year ago."
  • more children have been injured during the US invasion than military-aged men
And all of these numbers are worse than before the US came to free Iraqis. Amazingly horrible, eh?

I'm off to Minnesota for the weekend, visiting friends who are just as fed up as I am with Bush, this administration, and this war. I predict lively conversation and late nights. :-)

Until Sunday,


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