Should Environmental Priorities be Downgraded during the Economic Crisis

In these times of political false witness, it is important to identify the motives of those who want to downgrade the priority of critical environmental projects, given that the environment is in more trouble every day. After identifying those who want to downgrade environmental projects, it is not difficult to find the hidden agendas, the self enrichment plots and the highly destructive business models that benefit entrenched and problematic fossil fuel, waste producing, and environmentally dangerous industries.

The hard truth is that environmental policies and programs are no longer recreational, academic, or optional luxuries. There is a dire need right now to give the highest priority to research and development, regulation, oversight and a return to sanity in making and implementing environmental policy.

Using the economic crisis as an excuse to downgrade the priority of environmentally sound projects is actually the latest in a string of very transparent excuses for continuing the policies that created the crisis in the first place. There has been a mindless and headlong enrichment of corporations, especially traditional oil and gas corporations and their investors, at the expense of the consumer and the environment.

The agenda is to put environmental advancements on the back burner because the most beneficial environmental projects threaten the profits and powers that have been enjoyed by the fossil fuel industries and the oil producing nations.

But the food and product manufacturing industry also needs to change their ways of packaging products. Product packaging waste had been out of hand for far too long. It might keep the customer “happy” to have plastic rings holding their six-packs together, but the customer is not so happy when those plastic rings end up in their living environment. 

The corporations that want to exploit protected lands, essential crop and wild lands, and the riparian coasts and waterways are also aggressive in grabbing what they can. It is in their profitable interest to push the environment out of the picture.

It is time to implement better ideas and to let go of bad ideas. Alternative energy, improved waste control and the best land management programs will create lasting jobs, stimulate the economy, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and reduce damage to the environment.

So why would there even be suggestions to downgrade the projects that actually give the most value for the money?

Dependency on fossil fuels for power production is the biggest environmental concern. The fossil fuel industries made enormous profits and could have invested some of the diverted national treasure and invested in solar, wind and other technologies during those out of control years when speculation drove prices and profits. 

But this was not done and many answers can be found by examining the never ending redirection of wealth, power, influence and profit to the traditional oil and gas industry. 

Does British Petroleum need to be given a chance at high risk Arctic deep water oil drilling after that catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? No. This should be a time to get away from the more desperate and high risk oil exploration and extraction schemes and to invest that money into better alternative power consumption and creation technologies. 

It is not as if the new technologies and infrastructures are completely ready and available right now, so right now is the time to start making them ready and available. Recycling the national treasure through old technologies and bad ideas will only delay sorely needed progress while aggravating existing problems.

In summary, the plots, schemes and gambles that give profits to what should be a naturally declining fossil fuel industry are the missions that need to be put on the back burner. New energy systems, land preservation, waste management and other environmentally sound technologies need to come to the front of the stove, and soon. It cannot be over emphasized that the need is dire and is no longer a matter of academic whim or societal luxury.