Shakespeare said, Whats in a name? That which we call a rose/By any
other name would smell as sweet.
The converse is, Something that stinks, still stinks even though one calls
it sweet. OK, I made up the second quote, but it still describes what the
Bush administration is trying to do with its word games. Dont be fooled.
For example, Bushs Clear Skies proposal would weaken the Clean
Air Act. Clear Skies would, among other things, allow 200% more toxic
mercury into the air than under the existing Clean Air Act. Mercury, which is
released from coal-burning plants (including the Davenport cement plant), can
cause serious damage to the central nervous system. The Clear Skies
proposal would also allow 68% more nitrogen oxide pollution and 225% more sulfur
dioxide emissions than under current standards.
Bush talks about clean water for Americans, but new regulations allow concentrated
animal feeding operations to continue to foul our water with manure, shielding
the offending corporations from liability for the pollution they cause. The new
Bush rule calls this polluted run-off agricultural stormwater. The
Sierra Club calls it raw sewage. (The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council,
and Waterkeeper Alliance are suing).
Under the guise of salvage logging or fuel reduction the
Bush administration would cut much of the nations remaining old growth trees
including trees in Yosemite and Sequoia National Monument.
On the local level, the Santa Cruz City Public Works Department is now calling
the proposed bike road through the Arana Gulch Greenbelt an interpretive
path. That creative wordsmithing appeals to hopeful bicyclists who must
ride on car-dominated streets, some without bike lanes. But the new description
does not change the fact that the path would bisect sensitive habitat
resulting in harm to endangered species, some found only in Santa Cruz County.
The Sierra Club enthusiastically supports bicycle transportation and believes
the rail corridor and Soquel Avenue bike lanes will provide bicycle safety and
connectivity without harming endangered species.
We would all do well to read and think critically. Lets keep in mind the
words of Abraham Lincoln, If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a
dog? Five? No; calling a tail a leg dont make it a leg.