26 December 2011

Republican Anti-Environmentalism as an Assault on "Unborn Babies"

What better way to start in toward a new year than by pointing out Republican hypocrisy. It is impossible to be a Republican without voicing fealty to the putative claims of the unborn. It is commonplace to point out that pro-life concern for babies ends with birth. But let's think about those not-yet-born fetuses.* Here is a paragraph from Paul Krugman today:
Hat makers no longer use mercury (and who wears hats these days?), but a lot of mercury gets into the atmosphere from old coal-burning power plants that lack modern pollution controls. From there it gets into the water, where microbes turn it into methylmercury, which builds up in fish. And what happens then? The E.P.A. explains: “Methylmercury exposure is a particular concern for women of childbearing age, unborn babies and young children, because studies have linked high levels of methylmercury to damage to the developing nervous system, which can impair children’s ability to think and learn.”
And, then, referring to recently promulgated EPA regulations on mercury and other toxics, Krugman explains:

. . . the payoff to the new rules is huge: up to $90 billion a year in benefits compared with around $10 billion a year of costs in the form of slightly higher electricity prices. This is . . . a very big deal.

And it’s a deal Republicans very much want to kill.

So, it is OK to assault the unborn so long as it is 'good for business'? I love the Republican logic - which is driven by the irresistible urge to abandon or ignore virtually any commitment in order to suck up to the capitalists.
* Please note that nothing I write here commits me to recognizing "life" as beginning at any time other than birth. I'm just taking "pro-life' reds at their word. I know, it seems unfair.


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