Sunday, August 5, 2018

What A Great Idea! Let's Pollute More!

I agree that any talk of restoring this country's greatness must include a return to the smoke-belching, less-regulated, gas-guzzling, backroom-deal-making era that characterized the United States during its hegemonic, paternalistic, condescending, arrogant post-World War II to 1991 past. If I've argued anything in my life, it's that smog and respiratory distress are about as American as politicians who haven't a clue as to how to effectively run the country.

We seem to have hit the jackpot these days.

I suppose when you don't believe in science, or that people have an effect on the climate, then enacting policies that roll back environmental laws and that encourage automobile manufacturers to build cars and trucks that will pollute more makes perfect sense. After all, the companies that produce cars have been absolutely correct in the past when they opposed seat belts, harnesses, catalytic converters, cleaner fuel standards and designs that allowed vehicles to crumple around the edges rather than on people. And I'm all about forgiving Volkswagen and others when they faked pollution data to make their cars appear cleaner. It's perfectly reasonable to cut back on regulations because, hey, we can trust Detroit, Tokyo and Wolfsburg to make the right decisions for us.

And there's absolutely no hypocrisy in the new policy when it comes to federalism, because allowing states, such as California, to follow their own pollution protocols is just too much for the know-nothing conservatives who on every other issue argue that states should absolutely be able to follow their own paths. Environmental concerns, they are arguing, must be dictated by Washington or else some states might have cleaner air than other states, which would violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Birthright citizenship means that everyone should have dirty lungs.

The good news is that many Americans did go to science class pretty regularly and understand that there's no going back to the coughing, wheezing past. And I suspect that many Democrats, who are already making inroads by running on health care that actually saves lives, will use this assault on our environment to further the argument that this administration simply doesn't make a sensible argument on, well,...anything.

So get ready for those fun September temperature inversions. And dirtier rain. And more unhealthy air and water. I'm feeling greater already.

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