Same old problems, same old results

Here’s a paragraph that fits what’s happening today perfectly, except it’s from 1970:

In early 1970, as a result of heightened public concerns about deteriorating city air, natural areas littered with debris, and urban water supplies contaminated with dangerous impurities, President Richard Nixon presented the House and Senate a groundbreaking 37-point message on the environment.  These points included:

  • requesting four billion dollars for the improvement of water treatment facilities;
  • asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions;
  • launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution;
  • ordering a clean-up of federal facilities that had fouled air and water;
  • seeking legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes;
  • proposing a tax on lead additives in gasoline;
  • forwarding to Congress a plan to tighten safeguards on the seaborne transportation of oil; and
  • approving a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of oil spills.

Of course, over the years many conservatives, myself included, have bashed the EPA for government overreach, but now one serious train derailment in a small OH town, has turned much of the right-wing media ecosystem into raging environmentalists. This politicization of everything, even has created a conservative media pushing an anti-windmill agenda (anti-green) and includes a right-wing “Save the Whales” media effort now. The assertion is off-shore windmills are killing whales. I have no idea about whale deaths, if there’s an increase and if there is an increase, what’s causing it. I’m speaking about the media hoopla that gets people riled up. I only wonder how long it will be before these new right-wing “environmentalists” create their own child-saint, like Greta Thunberg.

I was a conservationist, who believed in protecting water, wildlife and air long before the climate change type environmentalism took hold. I still believe we should try to be good caretakers of our planet, but the extremism that took hold in a lot of the environmentalism movement sounds more like politics than conservation. And that’s what I think this right-wing anti-windmill concern about whales is about and what a lot of the media hysteria about the train derailment in East Palestine, OH is about. It’s politics.

It’s really easy to spout off about the federal government and President Biden are trying to kill you, just like it was easy for the left to do that about President Trump. None of the, “I’m so angry stuff,” changes anything really or improves anything in America.

In Washington, a huge problem is accountability with how federal money gets spent and a follow-through to keep track of where all that money goes and to monitor if those funds actually fix any of the problems the funds were supposed to fix. My father was complaining about the dangerous state of American bridges all the way back in the 1980s. He passed away in 2000 and here we are in 2023 and the bridges in America are still in a dangerous state of disrepair. This same thing goes for rail travel and a lot of critical infrastructure in America.

The EPA has done a lot of work on cleaning up Superfund sites and frankly some of those sites will likely remain hazardous for the foreseeable future, due to the level of contamination and there is no way to undo all of the environmental impact from decades of hazardous waste polluting our air, water, and soil.

Instead of Americans taking sides when there’s a situation that impacts citizens, regardless of their politics, it would be nice to try to find ways to work together and find solutions rather than all the effort to score political points. If you truly believe that Democrats want you dead or that “MAGA Republicans” want you dead, then I really wonder how many people on “the other side” you talk to or know, because I honestly believe most Americans are good and decent people, who will try to help others in need and not even care if they’re D or R. I refuse to believe most Americans buy into this Red vs. Blue drama and I also believe most of that type of political extremism is generated and amplified online, especially in the news media and on social media.

I am not a social media “influencer.” I’m just a 62 year-old lady, who writes a blog, but geesh, my hope is that more Americans start tuning out the media and online partisan extremism and 24/7 incitement.

In OH, I expect dealing with the aftermath of these hazardous chemicals will take a long time – long after the raging media and social media crowd have moved on to some other hot topic to rant about. I truly hope the EPA, state and federal officials and the rail company live up to their commitments about being there for the long haul with this disaster.

Here’s a tweet with a link to a news article on the preliminary NTSB report on the OH train derailment in East Palestine:

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