The Hightower Report

Nature's reality confronts Bush; The biotech invasion of Washington.


NATURE'S REALITY CONFRONTS BUSH

One of our more important environmental questions is this: How deeply can George W. stick his head into the thawing tundra before having to admit that, yes, global warming just might be a wee bit of a problem for us?

At issue is the thin layer of ozone that encapsulates our globe. This ozone is kind of important, since, without it, the sun -- how shall I put this? -- would burn us to a crisp, wiping out all life on Earth. Unfortunately, pollution from such things as our oil-guzzling cars is eating away this natural and essential sunscreen, causing everything from more cancer to global warming.

The Bushites, however, goaded by oil and chemical fat cats, are pretending that this isn't happening, so therefore there's no need to stop the pollution causing it. But nature has a way of rudely pricking political delusions with stark reality. Specifically, the frozen Arctic tundra is thawing due to global warming.

This is a problem for Bush -- not because it pokes an embarrassing hole in his "It's Not Happening" posture (after all, Bush has never let reality interfere with ideology). Rather, the thawing tundra is a political problem because it's interfering with the oil giants that are drilling in Alaska. Yes -- oh, cruel irony -- the very industry claiming that global warming doesn't exist is now stuck in it!

An Alaskan regulation allows heavy drilling equipment on the fragile tundra only when it is frozen solid a foot deep and covered by at least six inches of snow. Thirty years ago, these wintry conditions existed 200 days a year, but global warming has now shrunk this window of opportunity by half -- too short of a period for profitable oil drilling.

But the Bushites are remaining consistently delusional -- rather than facing up to the cause of the thawing, they want to allow the industry to drill even when the tundra is not frozen, thus producing more oil to cause more global warming.


THE BIOTECH INVASION OF WASHINGTON

A GMO is not a hot new muscle car marketed to young drivers -- it's a Genetically Modified Organism, and these GMOs are being secretly sold to us through our supermarkets.

Thousands of the food products you bring home -- especially those made with corn and soybeans -- contain these genetically altered organisms, put there not by farmers developing new and better hybrid crops, but by the likes of Monsanto and other profiteers that have scientists in their labs recklessly moving genes among species, including from animals to plants. They are messing with the very DNA of our food supply without even testing the long-term impact of this manipulation on human health or on our ecology. And they're doing it without even telling us that it's in our food.

In Europe, Japan, Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere, people have rejected these Frankenfoods, either banning them outright or at least requiring that they be clearly labeled. So why is our government allowing these corporations to use your family and mine as their genetic guinea pigs?

Money, honey. The biotech industry knew that U.S. consumers, like those everywhere, would naturally recoil from such tampered foods, so over the last decade, it invaded Washington with its campaign funds and lobbyists. For example, just in the past five years, this industry poured $89 million into lobbying our Washington officials and put millions more into the campaign funds of the White House and Congress.

Monsanto alone, which now controls 70% of the global market for GMO seeds and has led the charge to prevent labeling of these food products, made $3 million in campaign contributions in this period. Eighty percent of that went to Republicans, and George W. dutifully named a Monsanto lobbyist to be the No. 2 official at the EPA.

The biotech giants haven't merely invaded Washington, they've captured it -- and that's why we're being kept in the dark by our own government.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

George W. Bush, global warming, tundra, Alaska, oil, ozone, GMO, Genetically Modified Organism, Monsanto, biotech

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