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NYT Op-Ed Notes Broad Support for Environmental Measures in 2004 Election

A Nov 20th New York Times Op-Ed piece notes that environmental measures received wide support in last months election. Here are some excerpts.

Though nobody seemed to notice, Republican and Democratic voters seemed to be of similar minds on one issue this election: the environment. Across the country, in red states and blue states, Americans voted decisively to spend more money for natural areas, neighborhood parks and conservation in their communities. Of 161 conservation ballot measures, 120 - or 75 percent - were approved by voters. Three-and-a-quarter billion dollars were dedicated to land conservation.

...So what's the story? Simply put, these measures unify Americans. It's hard to be against new parks and trails, or to disagree with wanting to protect farms and forests from development. What's more, voters have learned that these measures often provide local solutions to water-quality problems: preserving natural natural lands in watersheds can help protect drinking water sources or reduce storm-water runoff.

...True, this year's election didn't turn on environmental issues. But the voters sent a message anyway: whether we're red or blue, we all have a little bit of green in us.

Comments

Local environmental measures are nice, but don't forget that ecology issues -- slighted by the presidency and in the presidential debates and campaigns and states of the union, now since the Montreal Protocol almost 20 years ago -- must be RADICALLY reversed at the FEDERAL level or all the local measures will just have been shifting around deck chairs on the Titanic. At least we are moving beyond the silly emphasis of most Earth Days on INDIVIDUAL action (although that is important) to local and state government (more important). But only NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DRASTIC changes, especially on energy, including the global warming issue, but extending to many other unfolding catastrophes will meet the need. The election of 2004 was a terrible defeat because Bush managed to steal Ohio by getting away with a systematic policy of denying adequate voting machines to Democratic precincts. This was part of a larger pattern of the Democrats AND media rolling over on key spins like the flipflop issue and the Matt Bai distortion to engineer a "mandate" once again for the Republicans. Such is the 'tramoya' (jury-rigging of appearances, rough translation) that US "democracy" has become. Justifying the lying in the media is not new, but it got worse with the onset of the Cold War in the 40s and is worse than ever now, though the pretense of freedom is GREATER than ever.

Although this may be a little late, anyone interested in this issue should go to www.sonoran.org. They have quantified the benefits of public land and roadless areas, and found that they increase the local incomes by 60-75% compared to opening regions to natural resource extraction. This is due to the fact that people want to live in these areas, bringing with them high paying jobs and money.