Tag Archive for environment protection

Epitaph For Planet Earth

Greta Thunberg is making a big splash in the world and we couldn’t be more happy about this bold and courageous teen. She just recently scolded the world leaders to take climate change seriously or forever receive the wrath of the young people for their inaction. Kudos to her!!!

But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walked the walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.

A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page. We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.

Right now thousands of acres of rain forest are burning in South America. The vast Amazon is considered by many to be the ‘lungs of planet Earth’. Yet, it is believed many of these fires were set on purpose by humans; pro-business acolytes of Brazil’s fascist leader Jair Bolsonaro. This authoritarian right winger wants to expand logging, farming and mining industries at the expense of the health and welfare of one of the most vital and important ecosystems of planet Earth because he claims the rain forest belongs to Brazil and he can do whatever he wants.

But Bolsonaro is only doing what other third world countries do when they want to play the capitalistic game. They see the wealth of the exploitative, industrialized first world countries and they want some of that action. Or, he who has the most money wins the game. Of course, once you place living, breathing ecosystems and wildlife as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit, human’s greed and hubris take over with devastating results. There are numerous examples throughout history. Most scientists believe it was humans who killed off megafauna like the mammoth, giant sloth and the saber-tooth tiger. We’ve killed off the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo and the carrier pigeon in the last five hundred years. We almost drove the American buffalo to extinction in the 19th century. We’ve killed off over 60% of species since the 1970s. Greenland is melting at an alarming rate which places its wildlife in peril. Climate change is killing the Great Barrier Reef as is human pollution. A new study has indicated that since 1970, bird populations have fallen 29% or 3 billion fewer birds. All because we ‘intelligent’ humans greedily lust for an abstract commodity; monetary wealth.

But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.

But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth? We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.

In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.
In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.

Non-CONSERVation CONSERVatives

America’s CEO/Dictator and distraction generator Donald Trump succeeded again last week in weakening environmental regulations which only benefit industry. We’ve commented ad infinitum about the Republican’s war on science and the environment (Browse through our There’s No Planet B category). They’ve made it no secret that they favor the polluting gas, coal and oil industries over alternative green energy. Just look at the rollbacks of EPA regulations in his first two and a half years in office. The system works like this: Trump distracts the public with mind boggling inane, insipid and stupid comments on Twitter. The compliant and unfocused media takes the bait hook, line and sinker. Trump’s Republican cronies dismantle all those ‘pesky regulations’ or laws which protect us and opens the doors for greedy, selfish, materialistic, capitalistic pigs to plunder the public lands at their heart’s content.

Last week, Trump weakened the endangered species laws considerably. The fact that humans have killed off a whopping 60% of animal species on the planet since 1970 doesn’t matter to modern conservative Republicans, many of whom are religious nutbags and believe that God made the world for us to plunder and that science is nothing but a hoax. According the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Trump has launched over 100 assaults on science so far, the same number Dubya accumulated in eight years. But the only thing that matters to these selfish capitalist pigs is profit in their bank account and stock portfolios. Mike Pompeo has even stated that the ice melting in the Arctic is a good thing because it opens more shipping lanes. That’s right, folks – screw the polar bear, there’s money to be made.

Part of the problem is that capitalism has taken over the globe. In order for capitalism to succeed, it needs rampant consumption by consumers. Of course, these leads to a rampant increase in junk, garbage and debris. With lax environmental laws, people can just dump their stuff anywhere. Our planet is being inundated with plastics, electronic waste and garbage of all types. So in other words, unregulated capitalism is killing our planet.

Like we’ve commented before, what makes this so aggravating is that so many conservatives are somehow against conservation. How can that be? They didn’t use to be. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt supported some of our most powerful environmental laws. Richard Nixon established the EPA and signed the Endangered Species Act into law. By the very definition of the word, they should be all for conserving resources, wildlife and nature. Modern day conservative Republicans, led by the Trump administration, are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the environment.

There are many good environmental sites out there. The Kiwireport has a pictorial of shocking pictures of environmental destruction covering the globe. Warning: some pictures are extremely disturbing, especially if you love wildlife and nature. We’ve used a few in our photo-toon below. We urge people to wake up and support fully conservation efforts in your region. Like the environmentalists say: think globally, act locally. The health and welfare of Earth, the only planet we know of that supports life, depends on it.

Somehow American conservatives are against conservation which makes them colossal hypocrites of the highest magnitude.
Somehow, American conservatives are against conservation which makes them colossal hypocrites of the highest magnitude.

Don Quixote Trump

America’s CEO/Dictator Donald Trump and the Republicans have had an absolute conniption fit recently over the Green New Deal and it’s main proponent, freshman congressperson from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). Last week Don Quixote Trump attacked windmills because…you know…noise from the evil windmills causes cancer and kills birds and stuff. He even did some windmill impersonations at one of his authoritarian ‘Nuremberg’ rallies last week. But let’s face it folks; the only birdies Trump cares about are the ones he’d wish he could get on the golf course because according to sources, he cheats a lot.

So why are the Republicans throwing hissy fits and temper tantrums over AOC and her bold environmental plan? Because the Republicans are lackeys for the fossil fuel industries: coal, oil, gas and mining. These corporations, who don’t give a rat’s patoot about the environment only want to continue their profitable ride on the gravy train. Their industries have been undisputed kings of the world since the late 19th century. They’ve got money and power and they’ll be damned if they’re going to lose their empire to clean renewable energy. That’s why the appointment of former fossil fuel industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as head of the EPA has been greeted so favorably by the smokestack and tailpipe suckers; he’s one of them. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. In short; the chickens(us) are doomed. Hence, all the attacks on AOC and the Green New Deal.

We have no doubt that the kingpins of pollution and environmental destruction will promote Trump as a noble capitalist on a quixotic quest to rid the world of these horrible, energy efficient, evil, killer windmills and their dastardly queen, AOC. It fits right in with the insane, right wing narrative that Trump is somehow making America great again. Perhaps a movie is forthcoming? We present below what that blockbuster may look like.

Don Quixote Trump: The fossil fuel companies send noble capitalist and stable genius Donald Trump on a quest to save their dying, inefficient industries. Trump, together with his EPA stooge Sancho Scienza (played by Andew Wheeler) and God (played by Mike Pence) battle the Evil Windmill Queen (played by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and try to destroy her vast, horrible, energy efficient windmill army. Rated R for Regressive.

Don Quixote Trump: The fossil fuel companies send noble capitalist and stable genius Donald Trump on a quest to save their dying, inefficient industries. Trump, together with his EPA stooge Sancho Scienza (played by Andew Wheeler) and God (played by Mike Pence) battle the Evil Windmill Queen (played by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and try to destroy her vast, horrible, energy efficient windmill army. Rated R for Regressive.

Spaceship Earth

The Trump administration’s assault on the environment continues to go unabated. We’ve commented several times on the Republican’s War on Science, so much so that we’ve created a category for it. But Scott Pruitt continues to dismantle our environmental protections, all to benefit the greed of oil, gas, coal, lumber, mining and other companies which have bought the loyalty of Republican ‘lawmakers’. Why this past week, Pruitt’s EPA announced it wants to lower gas efficiency standards for automobiles not only because that extra care and concern about the environment is cutting into the corporate executives profit too much but also because President Obama put them into place. And they’re auctioning off federal land for oil and gas development. Our capitalistic overlords are using up resources, killing species and fouling our environment like we’ve got a Planet B ready to travel to when we’ve completely trashed our own precious Earth. But guess what…there is no planet B!

One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds, Stephen Hawking recently passed away. We here at the Bucket liked Hawking, but editor Dex Rexter, who used to be a huge supporter of human space colonization (with memberships in the Planetary Society and the L5 society), after years of research on the subject, profoundly disagrees with many scientists, including Hawking and Bill Nye, who are calling for immediate human colonization of Mars and outer space. Yes, it would be fun to play Star Trek or Star Wars and zip around the universe in a spaceship. But to seriously consider extended space travel or colonization, we have to develop artificial gravity spaceships first. The best way to do this is the way the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey did it: using a rotating wheel. The astronauts would experience centripetal acceleration, which would mimic the gravitational force humans need for normal activity. But we’re not even close to developing anything of that sort, which would be a colossal endeavor financially, not to mention logistically. And let’s say we actually get humans to Mars. We would have to completely terraform the surface and atmosphere to make it inhabitable: another gargantuan undertaking.

Like Buckminster Fuller stated a half century ago, we need to look at the big picture and see the Earth as what is it: a spaceship with all living things on the planet as inhabitants of the spaceship. Instead of continuing to befoul and pollute our planet like there’s no tomorrow, it is paramount that every human on Earth, to take action and conserve our planet. It’s necessary for people in the industrial, capitalistic countries to start eschewing materialism and living more simply, like the people in lesser industrialized countries, if we are to save our planet…and ourselves.

The bottom line is this: We will never find a better spaceship than planet Earth. It has everything we need to survive and live happy, peaceful, wonderful lives. The best, most efficient solution is not to put humanity out into the hostile environs of space or on a desolate planet like Mars, but for everyone to change our lifestyles and preserve the already spectacular life on our home planet: Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let's start taking care of our own wonderful planet. The best spaceship possible is planet Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let’s start taking care of our own spectacular planet.

GOP: The Government Wrecking Machine

The big news this past week was the government shutdown which showed to all how inept the Republicans are and how truly spineless the Democrats are and how truly screwed the American people are. The Republicans control the House, Senate and White House and yet couldn’t agree to anything. The Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, caved on DACA and immigration. We’ve mentioned before here at the Bucket, how we think that the Democrats and Republicans are just good-cop, bad-copping the people of America so that their corporate overlords can make ungodly amounts of money at the taxpayers expense. The latest tax bill sure benefits the rich at the expense of the rest of us. And the stock market taking off clearly indicates that Americans are beholden now to corporate interests: you better please Wall Street or else.

Of course, the Republicans are conning the nation like they’ve been since the days of Nixon; they truly put the CON in CONservative. They keep preaching that they’re the party of small government. But their actions tell a different tale. In addition to the shutdown of the government, which the Republicans didn’t really mind, just like 2013, all of Trump’s executive orders reversing the much needed regulations on industry and the generous tax bill, which pretty much kills any government income, seem to show that the Republicans don’t just want small government, they want NO GOVERNMENT! It’s no secret they want to privatize everything including infrastructure, social security and medicare and dismantle any government agencies which may provide protection for the average American citizen, like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency or the Environmental Protection Agency. This is a complete seizure of power by corporate America and their willing lackeys in congress who will bring down the government from the inside. Ladies and gentlemen; this is what a corporate oligarchy and fascism looks like.

The Republicans don't want small government, they want no government.

Thanks to the Republican party and American CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, Americans don’t have to be bothered with the burden of a democratic government and stupid things like laws and regulation.

A Little Toxic Crude Oil On Your Vegetables

There’s one thing that is working well in the Trump administration and that is the flak generator of meaningless crap that America’s CEO/Dictator, Donald Trump, spews forth on a daily basis. This drivel distracts the general public from news like the Keystone Pipeline spilling 210,000 gallons in South Dakota a couple of weeks ago. Of course, this news flew under the radar thanks to our orange haired man child in the White House.

This leak came at a crucial time as construction of the Keystone Pipeline was up for approval in Nebraska. Many citizens of that state are concerned that leaks will become commonplace and ruin their drinking water, provide toxins for the cattle and destroy crops of vegetables. But unfortunately, in typical conservative fashion, Nebraska chose short monetary gain over environmental health. The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to allow the pipeline thus bringing potentially thousands of jobs temporarily but only about 50 permanent positions.

EPA chief and anti-science, know nothing lawyer, Scott Pruitt, (we openly despise this man!) always touts the oil industry’s position of how safe drilling and transporting the oil is. We’ve mentioned repeatedly the lies and deception Republicans spread about drilling.  It bears repeating this fact that there’s been 3,300 pipeline incidents since 2010. Yes, 3,300 incidents!!!! The fact is that numerous things can go wrong in drilling and extracting oil, especially in the midwest where temperatures regularly flux between brutal hear and mind numbing cold. Well, we hope Nebraskans enjoy a little toxic crude oil on their vegetables.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and oil industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, explains that the important thing is oil corporation profits, not oil spills, while a pliant rube touts his love of vegetables covered with toxic crude oil.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and oil industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, explains to a pliant rube that the important thing is oil corporation profits, not oil spills.

Trump and Pruitt’s EPA: Nothing To See Here Folks

Trump’s EPA, with Scott Pruitt at the helm is the planet’s worst nightmare. We’ve commented before about this climate change denier and complete jackass here and here. This corporate lackey has been single-handedly destroying all the mechanisms in place to keep the coal, gas, oil, mining, logging and polluting industries from running amok and destroying what’s left of our environment. We claim to be a nation of laws. Regulations are laws that corporations have to abide by, just like citizens have to obey civil law. Regulations are an essential check and balance to guarantee that corporations don’t go too far like they did in the twentieth century before the creation of the EPA.

Among the things Pruitt has done recently:

Pruitt and his EPA attacked an AP reporter for reporting about flooded Superfund sites in the Houston area. But apparently journalists are supposed to turn a blind eye, like Republicans do, if there’s any environmental problems. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt has gutted water regulations that will allow fracking waste dumping in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is still recovering from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and is now dealing with a new 600,000+ gallon oil spill that the national press doesn’t seem interested in covering because…you know…stock prices might go down. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt has issued a directive to curb settlements with outside groups, otherwise known as sue and settle. Showing that he’s a true corporate lackey, this is another attempt by corporations to limit the harm the public can do. On the finance front, look at this week’s vote by Republicans to make it harder for class actions suits against banks and credit card companies. This is because the Republicans care only about their corporate benefactors. They could give a rat’s ass about the consumer protection. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt pulls climate change scientists out of a climate change conference because…you know…they might actually show that Pruitt is full of shit. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt announces that the EPA will repeal the Clean Power Plan enacted by President Obama. Like other conservative Republicans, they just can’t accept the fact coal is a dying industry and like oil and gas,a thing of the past. It would be much better to invest in clean, renewable energy solutions like wind, solar, hydrogen and biofuels. But again, nothing to see here folks!

Let’s get one thing straight: Scott Pruitt is a lawyer. He knows squat about science. How is it that a lawyer is telling scientists what science is good and what science is bad? He’s got about as much business being head of the EPA as a wolf should be in charge of the hen house. Maybe that’s why he’s increased the security detail around him. He knows he’s being an asshole and he thinks some environmentalist may actually get sick of his shit enough to do something drastic about it. We’ve got a solution Mr. Pruitt: quit being a goddamn dick!!!

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and friend to polluters everywhere, Scott Pruitt is now attacking the press for reporting potentially dangerous leaks and spills to the general public because the precious energy companies may lose their stock value, which in this country is more important than human lives.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and friend to polluters everywhere, Scott Pruitt is now attacking the press for reporting potentially dangerous leaks and spills to the general public because the precious energy companies may lose their stock value, which in this country is more important than human lives.

Republican Crimes Against Nature

While the Republican Health Care Plan failure, Trump’s Russia connections and a multitude of other daily flak from Trump’s bumbling acolytes like Devin Nunes, Sean Spicer and Jared Kushner have taken center stage, the Republican’s war on the environment has commenced in the background and it doesn’t look good for nature, science and the general well being of every living thing on this planet.

Trump approved going ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline despite protests from native Americans and environmentalists citing that it will only exacerbate climate change. But of course, new EPA administrator and lawyer (non-scientist), Scott Pruitt, despite overwhelming scientific consensus by climate scientists and experts, says that climate change isn’t real. Basically, Pruitt is just a lackey for the fossil fuel industry and will anything to deceive the public about climate change. Therefore, the Keystone XL pipeline can commence and oil barons like Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, can reap the benefits.

Unfortunately, the environment and humans will suffer the horrible consequences. It turns out that the December oil spill of 530,000 gallons in North Dakota (the biggest in that state’s history) was three times larger than previously reported. This brings to light a couple of things. One, the oil spill barely got coverage from the corporate media because that would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. And two, the oil industry lied about the size of the spill because reporting the real size would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. Get the picture. The only thing that matters is business and profit. If there’s an oil leak, learn to love the taste of oil in your drinking water.

To illustrate how inept and corrupt the corporate media is about reporting anything bad about the oil industry, take a look at this website which reports oil and gas pipeline incidents from 2010 to the present. 3,300 incidents! That’s a hell of a lot of incidents! So why haven’t we the citizens heard about them in the news media?

The Republican’s war on science is nothing new. Read the books Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney and Crimes Against Nature by Robert Kennedy Jr., both released during the Bush Administration, and you’ll see that the GOP has repeatedly put short term profit of the coal, gas and oil industries (major contributors to the GOP coffers) above long term consequences for the environment. To illustrate this, CEO/Dictator Trump signed an executive order last week which rolls back more of Clean Power Plan Obama’s regulations and enabling the oil, gas and coal industries to pollute to their hearts content. According to the GOP’s spiel, they’re getting rid of job killing regulations. Big deal, so we can have jobs that kill people in the long run? Besides that the promise of jobs coming back is another con. According the article linked above, “rolling back the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations won’t restore jobs”. So Trump and his Republican cohorts are once again conning the American public. But this con will have nasty repercussions for all of us, in the form of more pollution, risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and gases and creating an unhealthy environment for humans and other species.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State and oil baron, Rex Tillerson, announce that the Keystone Pipeline will be constructed and that climate change and oil leaks don't exist despite obvious evidence that they do.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State/Oil Baron, Rex Tillerson, perform their patented gaslighting trick on the citizens of planet Earth by denying the existence of climate change, oil leaks and anything else which may disrupt their agenda of profiting off the environment at any and all cost.

GOP’s Environmental Plunder Agency

While America’s CEO/Dictator, Donald Trump, provides insipid daily distractions, the Republicans are in the process of wrecking the government of the United States. One of the worst cabinet appointments Trump has been Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has it’s beginning back in 1970 thanks to Republican Richard Nixon, of all people. It’s purpose is to regulate corporate America and protect the people of the United States from unscrupulous pollution by mining, gas, oil, chemical and other industries that endanger life by dumping pollutants into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s a good thing!

But Scott Pruitt, like so many others in the GOP, is firmly in the back pocket of the gas, oil and coal industries. His selection as head of the EPA is like putting foxes in charge of the hen house. The reason why the Senate hurriedly and narrowly confirmed him is that email have surfaced which prove how much of a lackey Pruitt is for the dirty energy industries.

Pruitt is like an old-timey Snidely Whiplash robber baron type who will change the meaning of the EPA’s acronym into the Environmental Plunder Agency. Yes, we have no doubt that Pruitt and his Republican corporate lackey buddies in congress will be trying to convince Americans very soon that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

New head of the EPA and gas, oil and coal industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, declares that the agency's acronym now stands for the Environmental Plunder Agency and that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

New head of the EPA and gas, oil and coal industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, declares that the agency’s acronym now stands for the Environmental Plunder Agency and that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

Trump’s Law Of Scientific Truth

A disturbing trend emerged from Con-a-thon 2016 that is already becoming the Orwellian standard for the Trump Adminstration: facts don’t matter and the truth is what Donald Trump says it is.

In his first week, he’s already done several things that are threatening democracy. But probably the most dangerous is the shutdown of the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency. We’re big fans of science, logic and reason here at the Bucket and we find these actions frightening. Apparently, from now on, CEO/Dictator Trump, who knows nothing about science, will be deciding what science is good and bad. Of course, if his pals in the oil, coal and gas energies are affected adversely, like in the case of climate change, the science is bad and will be stifled.

Scientists have already started rebelling. They’ve planned a March for Science in the near future. We’ve placed a link for it on the right side of the page. They’re also saving the volumes of data collected before Trump burns it in the name of corporate fascism.

Welcome to Fascism, America! It is happening here!

CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, in front of the redecorated Trump White House, proclaims that the truth is what he says it is and that some inconvenient laws of science, such as gravity, don't actually exist, much to the delight of Trump acolytes everywhere.

CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, in front of the redecorated Trump White House, proclaims that the truth is what he says it is and that some inconvenient laws of science, such as gravity, don’t actually exist, much to the delight of Trump acolytes everywhere.