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And I found myself wondering if, 20 years from now, our two beautiful granddaughters will be forced to think long and hard about bringing new children into the world on a planet on life support. How painful to even think about the tortured decisions that await them! What overarching pain!
Hillary Clinton's successor as Secretary of State will have a key role to play in decisions on the Keystone XL pipeline and other global environmental issues determining how soon the planet may run out of clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, arable land to raise crops, and dry land to live on.
In the pipeline issue, multi-millionaire Susan Rice has a substantial financial conflict of interest. According to the Washington Post, she and her Canadian husband, with net worth of between $24 million and $44 million, own substantial stock in each of three companies involved in projects to extract oil from Canada's oil sands region. They also own a stake in the Canadian railway that runs to that region, as well as shares in Canadian banks said to be involved in financing the pipeline project.
Thus, should Rice follow Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, these investments in corporations and banks expecting to reap huge profits from the Keystone XL pipeline project pose a real (not apparent) conflict of interest.
This places in jeopardy the chance of a decent life for future generations and should ring alarm bells for those of us who care about the ability of our planet to support our children's children. There has been no suggestion that Rice would divest from those companies; nor has she said she would recuse herself from the fateful decision on Keystone.
There is such a thing as "too late," as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., warned us in relation to other social evils that our country belatedly mustered the energy and compassion to confront. Climate change, arguably, is an even more transcendent, all-embracing problem.
As was written centuries ago, "without vision the people perish." Surely, President Obama can find an experienced, competent candidate with vision -- as well as courage and integrity -- someone not so deeply beholden to the One Percent and not afflicted with Compassion Deficit Disorder to nominate for Secretary of State.