Saturday, June 20, 2009

Environment Illinois

What good little liberals we are! During a trip to the gay neighbourhood--to drop off two huge bags of stuff at one thrift store, and buy a smaller bag of some other stuff at another thrift store, with a stop for lunch at the vegan/vegetarian Chicago Diner--we ran in to some recruiters for Environment Illinois, and signed up.

I was moved to do this in part by this article, about how the fight for American climate legislation is losing out to the fight for health care reform. And this is bad.

Now, of course America desperately needs health care reform. (What it really needs is a proper universal system, though I suppose this "public option" business will help.) But, as Fafblog put it, "The good news is you might get health care! The bad news is everybody is going to die." Or, as Dawn put it, the poor you will always have with you, unless we kill them all.

So, while Obama's celestial gaze is focused elsewhere, our climate woes need all the attention us lesser mortals can afford it.

(Not that I'm likely to do all that much work with this group. I have other commitments to juggle, like, to other community organizations, and also to the intensive Latin courses I'll be taking this summer. Because, you know, saving the earth and all the humans on it from ecological disaster is great, but so are dead languages!)

1 comment:

Tucker said...

I recall reading somewhere at sometime that the democratic leadership in congress might try to introduce the climate and health bills very close together in an effort to, so-to-speak, "flood the zone." The idea being, if you have two legislative proposals that are really good ideas but are likely to piss off the opposition party *and* powerful, moneyed interests, you throw both of them in the ring at once and force the political opposition to either divide its resources to fight both, or pick its poison. The legislative version of divide-and-conquer. I don't know if this is actually the strategy (it sounds way too clever and realpolitik to be adopted by any member of the Democratic party I know), but its a possibility that may quell some fears about having to get health care reform at the expense of new energy regulations, if it proves to be operative.

To the extent that it's true that Obama is focusing more on health care these days, I think it is very likely that the miserable state of the economy is largely responsible for tipping his hand. It's still an unfortunate choice of emphasis (the priorities should surely be reversed), but maybe, as the article you cite suggests, a victory in one debate can lead swiftly to progress on the other.