Lamar eats expensive cake
Lamar Alexander, the Republican senior senator from Tennessee, wants to have his cake and eat it too. Here’s how! Just last night Lamar informed us that although he felt that the House of Representatives had proved their case against Trump (the president is guilty!), he was nevertheless going to vote “no” against more witnesses because the offenses were “not impeachable.”
I am reminded that Lamar also tries to have it both ways about climate change. He acknowledges that humans are responsible for climate change and that it’s getting worse and is deadly and that we must reduce emissions, but his answers to the problem are solar (when it gets cheap enough) and nuclear (impossible for many reasons). Wind energy, which is cheap and plentiful and reliable, is simply too ugly.
What’s the linkage? What indeed? Big Money!!
Remember Thomas Jefferson, who thought that owning slaves was evil and predicted God’s punishment for America because of it? Well, why did he never free his own slaves? Too expensive! Rather have a war! And 600,000 deaths! 150 years of disruption!
Back to Lamar, voting “no” will allow Lamar to get a bunch of the money that the Kentucky Big Man is hoarding. And being against wind energy will keep him cozy with Big Oil too. And of course, mouthing the moderate line won’t hurt anybody (or help anybody either). But that’s how you can have your cake and eat it too, if you are Lamar Alexander.
Young professionals want a clean environment
The Jan. 20 Press article on the Task Force on Regionalism is the latest to raise the issue of attracting young professionals. After reading an earlier one, I saw a lovely young woman from Johnson City, a Pace University environmental-law student, questioning Elizabeth Warren, at a climate forum, on the subject of mountain-top-removal mining. I wondered then what it might take for her to come back to East Tennessee.
Though the regional task force is doing important work, it likely resembles what every region with similar needs is doing.
The Sierra Club cites 180 U.S. municipalities, counties, and states which have committed to 100% renewable energy sources to power electricity needs by certain dates. Six other municipalities have accomplished their goals. On our rapidly changing planet, maybe our region could benefit from a similar commitment to inspire the growing number of young people looking to be part of a community with relevant and purposeful common goals.
Bordering us, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia have several committed municipalities. Virginia’s Floyd County and North Carolina’s Buncombe, Wake, and Orange Counties are on board. Buncombe, our close neighbor, aims for 2030, expanding to the larger community by 2042. Tennessee, like Mississippi and Alabama, has zero. Shouldn’t we aim for being best, not in just the state but the country, at learning how to do regional community building involving families, businesses, governments, churches, farmers, students, professors, civic and social and grassroots-action groups, to set in motion such an important, already scientifically imperative goal?
I also suggest that to attract young women professionals, like the young law student, maybe thinking of starting families, it could help if we’d stop electing backward-looking, anti-science representatives, intent on passing extreme laws like those which could land women in court to prove a miscarriage wasn’t an abortion.