John and Friend
John is an Emeritus Professor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Studies from California State University, Northridge, and a retired Lecturer from Cal Poly. For thirty-four years he has taught classes in Commercial Recreation, Tourism Planning, Management and Leadership, and Wilderness Survival. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in Organizational Development and Curriculum Design in Higher Education. John also served as Lead Evaluator for the SLO Sheriff's Search & Rescue division. He is a current member of the Atascadero Writer's Club and can be contacted by calling 805-440-9529 or by email.
A Matter of Opinion
Compromise is NOT a Dirty Word
by John Bullaro
Here's my disclaimer: I vote Independent.
Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck, and Rush Limbaugh—and others—preach to the choir that global warming, or climate change, is a hoax. Unfortunately millions of Americans sing in their choir. These duffers eschew science in favor of ratings and big salaries. They'll never talk about how in 1997, at the Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, fifty-six Nobel Laureates signed on to the idea that climate change is real and the world leaders need to take action. Of course, Limbaugh, Beck, and O'Reilly, et al, know better then scientists because they are men who speak wisdom from their wallets.
Now, fifty plus newly elected politicians joined the deniers cause. Recently they conferred with three people on climate change—a lawyer, a marketing manager, and a professor. To their horror the professor changed his tune: he believed climate change is real. The other two—guess what they say? Look at where these experts came from: law, management, and academia. The latter recanted his denial. Knowledge can be dangerous when one is a charlatan seeking support for a lie. Question: Why does a large group of American citizens believe scientifically challenged people (see above), and not the real scientists? Answer: Believing climate change is a hoax does not require action.
These politician's who are climate change deniers feed freely at the trough of the oil and coal companies. Now they have the EPA in their kill sights. Corporate America does not like environmentalists or conservationists. (Read the GOP's conditions to pass the nations six month overdo budget.) Politicians (most are lawyers not scientists) argue that government's scientists claim global warming is a "hoax." So, "let's get rid of the EPA that'll save a bundle."
Scientists not on the government dole, the ones who signed the Kyoto Treaty, provided research data—including time lapse graphic pictures that show ice caps melted. Graphs demonstrate annual world temperatures rising, thus creating strange weather patterns. In today's news (April 5, 2011) weather reporters indicate that the storms plummeting the east coast are the most wide spread in history. (Readers interested in a more thorough discussion of these issues should consult: "Plan B 2.0, Rescuing a Planet Under Stress," by Lester R. Brown; Earth Policy Institute, 2006.).
Greenhouse gases are not all we have to think about. The world is going toxic. One out of every six women of childbearing age in the United States has enough mercury in her blood to harm a developing fetus. This means a higher level of birth defects and earlier cases of dementia. In 2005 the Environmental Working Group released an analysis of umbilical cord blood from ten randomly selected newborns in U.S. Hospitals. They detected a total of 287 chemicals—180 cause cancers in humans, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects.
Of course Americans will wait for the final word on these pollutants from Rush, Glenn, and Bill.
America is electing too many politicians who will say anything, do anything, deny anything, and accuse anyone of anything if they believe that doing so will energize their base. If they thought it would help them, they'd argue that Santa Claus denies climate change.
Many of our elected officials don't read the laws they are voting on—both on the left and right. They claim they don't have time, or inclination, to read the laws before they vote. The reason? They're busy electioneering. All they have time to read is the signature on the campaign checks they receive.
One new Republican congressman said on the news the other night, "I didn't get elected to Congress to compromise." So there you have it, compromise is to him, and doubtless other law makers, a dirty word. We have a group on the left and right who are so dogmatic they have no idea what services to voters means or how compromise works in problem solving. They are in love with the sound of their own voices so they talk, talk, and talk while saying nothing.
We Americans have to make a stand—watch this great nation choke, freeze, get poisoned, and/or swelter from the heat, or commit to becoming knowledgeable about the world's environment. We need to break our party addiction, and vote for knowledgeable candidates with strong character, candidates willing to do the hard work of governing. Our environment needs help. Our children must be beneficiaries to clean air, clean water, and toxic free food. Above all we need leaders unafraid to compromise, because one cannot sink half a boat.
Okay, so I'm a dreamer.