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Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy Paperback – Bargain Price, July 5, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
"Of all the debates in the scientific arena
there is none in which the White House has cooked the books more than that of global warming," argues Kennedy in this harsh indictment of what he sees as the Bush administrations assault on the environment and democracy in general. Kennedys investigation focuses on the undue influence of industry lobbyists (read Halliburton) on environmental standards and the governments alleged suppression of nearly a dozen scientific reports on global warming. He maligns Bush appointees like Interior Secretary Gale Norton ("a champion of corporate welfare for three decades") and offers a cogent analysis of Christine Todd Whitmans departure from the EPA in 2002. Although Kennedy accuses the Bush administration of using a campaign strategy that revolves around "fear-mongering," he uses fear to drive home his own points, noting things like the lethal mercury levels in tuna, pork industry pollution and insufficiently guarded chemical plants. Nevertheless, he competently ties the survival of democracy to sound environmental policy, contending that corporate powerparticularly the power wielded by the oil, beef and lumber industriesmust never supersede democratic institutions. Kennedys argument is strongest when he sticks to the facts and avoids making the kind of angry, sweeping statements that fill the concluding chapter ("Instead of can-do American ingenuity, this is the administration of "cant do." It has constructed a philosophy of government based on self-interest run riot: It has borrowed $9 trillion from our children and looted our Treasury
"). Whether or not one agrees with these accusations, Kennedy makes a passionate case for more effective environmental controls and wraps it up with a practical vision of a free-market future "in which businesses pay all the costs of bringing their products to market," including the costs of environmental safeguards.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
In this powerful indictment of George W. Bush's White House, environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., charges that the administration has taken corporate favoritism to unprecedented heights -- threatening our health, our national security, and our democracy.
Kennedy lifts the veil on how the administration, in order to enrich its corporate paymasters, has eviscerated the laws that protect our nation's air, water, public lands, and wildlife. He describes the White House doling out lavish subsidies and tax breaks to energy barons while allowing the corporations to profit by poisoning the public and eliminating security at the more than 15,000 nuclear and chemical facilities that are prime targets for terrorist attacks. He shows how right-wing White House ideologues have taken the "conserve" out of conservatism and trampled the free-market democracy in favor of a kind of corporate-crony capitalism that is as antithetical to democracy, efficiency, and prosperity in America as it is in Nigeria.
Crimes Against Nature is a book for both Democrats and Republicans, people like the traditionally conservative farmers and fishermen whom Kennedy represents in lawsuits against polluters. "Without exception," he writes, "these people see the current administration as the greatest threat not just to their livelihoods but to their values, their sense of community, and their idea of what it means to be American."--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Support for a clean environment crosses all demographics and political affiliations so how would one go about gutting regulations and continue to appear pro-environment? By falling back on the Bush administrations comfort zone, otherwise known as spin doctoring. Republican pollster Frank Luntz is more than happy to talk about how he applies deceptive, Orwellian tags to anti-environmental bills like the *ahem* Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Luntz assumption is that the public is too dumb, too ignorant or too lazy to actually investigate whether the bills name actually matches the content. In other cases information is suppressed and scientific study results are rewritten by business advocates with no scientific background. In other words the government flat out lies to Americans banking on the trust that previous administrations have built up. Meanwhile journalism is failing to inform the public as the dwindling numbers or broadcasting and print companies are often owned by the very parent companies polluting our environment.
The White House goal is to stack the deck at every level in order to reward those who donate generously to the Republican Party. This includes cabinet officials, appointees, scientists, regulators, judges and journalists. Laws are rewritten and if they can't be rewritten the system set up to enforce laws will be stripped to the bone. Business has created its share of shameless dirty tricks like front groups such as the `Citizens for Sensible Control of Acid Rain' which are composed wholly of industry members pushing for deregulation. Steven Milloy of Fox News produces a column on `Junk Science' including his number one target Global Warming. Unmentioned by Fox is the FACT that Milloy is bankrolled by energy companies. Recently (and not mentioned in the book) it was discovered that the pharmaceutical industry was paying a ghost writer to pen a fictional novel about terrorists using re-imported drugs as a means to kill millions of Americans.
Robert Kennedy, Jr. quotes a chilling definition of fascism from American Heritage Dictionary as "a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership together with a belligerent nationalism". As he points out the Bush administration's tactics are contrary to capitalism by giving polluters a competitive advantage and by reducing competitiveness through subsidies and corporate mergings. `Crimes Against Nature' is packed with information from a man who has tried in increasing vain to stand up to polluters through the courts. If this book doesn't leave the reader furious I don't know what will. Republican's have spent the last three decades trying to convince people that the government cannot be trusted and the Bush administration seems intent on proving it.
But then I read Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound, which tells about how the Cape Cod elite, which of course includes the environmentally enlightened Kennedy family, and was appalled once again how NIMBYism could blind even the most devoted people.
Certainly read this book, because it is very much worth your time, but read Cape Wind afterwards, for even more insight into the politics of the environment!
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