No. 2 in a series about this enormously important issue—
Editor’s Note: While we are always appreciative of the work that Earth defenders do to shield the planet from the worst abuses of human ethical myopia and corporate sociopathy, Michael Brune as an environmental leader represents in many regards the problem with big environmentalist groups: they get too comfortable with established power, or worse, often become unconditional allies if not appendages of the Democratic party and adopt a soft, liberaloid attitude to the issues that require radical postures and solutions. Consider what Brune is saying here, for example, when he intones (right at the top, thereby framing the discussion), that Obama and the automakers, who still drag their feet with CAFE standards, are doing good things for the environment, and that it’s only the big bad oil industry that is “pushing oil down our throats.”
While it’s indisputable that the American government is in the pocket of corporate power, or, more precisely, finance capital, and that the oil industry continues to exert undue and baleful influence, it still takes two to tango, for there’s still a pretense of democracy to be maintained in this nation for the benefit of the clueless believers in American myths, who on any good day constitute no less than 50 percent of the American population, and on a bad day perhaps far, far more. From that perspective we can say with some certitude that while the oil lobby may be wont on shoving hydrocarbons down our throats till we drop, to pull this stunt off the malefactors depend on the complicity and venality of leading politicians, and that’s where Mr. Brune suddenly becomes myopic. A blindness, by the way, which also conveniently ends up exonerating the business system.—PG
Michael Brune< Executive Director, The Sierra Club
The irony is sharp enough to hurt. Americans are driving less and using less gas when we do drive. U.S. carbon pollution is down. Just about every car dealership in America is offering affordable, practical high gas mileage or zero gas mileage cars. Automakers are making them and the sales numbers show that Americans are buying them. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and automakers are poised to do even better with new standards that will double mileage again and slash pollution from our cars and trucks.