American Views Abroad

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Welcome to Doomsday by Bill Moyers in The New York Review of Books at Moyers, a well-known journalist on PBS, writes:

'There are times when what we journalists see and intend to write about dispassionately sends a shiver down the spine, shaking us from our neutrality. This has been happening to me frequently of late.......'

'Once upon a time I believed that people will protect the natural environment when they realize its importance to their health and lives of their children. Now I am not so sure. It's not that I don't want to believe this----it's just that as a journalist I have been trained to read the news and connect the dots. I read that the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has declared the election a mandate for President Bush on the environment.'

He then lists in detail what this means. Among other things he learned 'how the EPA plotted to spend $9 million ---- $2 million of it from the President's friends at the American Chemistry Council --- to pay poor families to continue the use of pesticides in their homes. These pesticides have been linked to neurological damage in children, but instead of ordering an end to their use, the government and the industry concocted a scheme to offer the families $970 each, as well as a camcorder and children's clothing, to serve as guinea pigs for the study.'

He read 'the fine print of a recent appropriations bill passed by Congress with obscure amendments removing all endangered species protections from pesticides, prohibiting judicial review for a forest in Oregon, waiving environmental review for grazing permits on public land, and weakening protection against development for crucial habitats in California.'

No wonder he concluded asking what has happened to our moral imagination.

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