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Our Hypocritical "Environmental" President

By       Message Deb Della Piana     Permalink
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Our fearless leader (that's George W. Bush, by the way) will go down in history as anti-conservation. His policies certainly have established that legacy. He certainly doesn't seem to have an issue with arsenic in drinking water, and he reneged on a campaign pledge to lower carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. He refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty because it would hurt the economy. Well, we didn't sign it and could the economy be any worse? He's long been a proponent of opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to his oil drilling buddies. Most recently he indulged in a little political posturing when he lifted the ban on offshore drilling just six months prior to the end of his hapless administration and just in time to blame the Democrats if the Congress doesn't follow suit.

Meanwhile, back at the "ranch" in Crawford, Texas, George Bush uses passive solar to heat his water. In addition, geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a consistent 67 degrees. This water is used to heat the house in the winter and cool it during summer months, and it uses only 25% of the electricity required for traditional heating and cooling systems. If that isn't enough to a 25,000-gallon reservoir collects rainwater from roof runs, while wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers first goes through a purifying process and is then funneled into the same reservoir. This is used to irrigate the landscaping. Amazing, isn't it? Sure is. It's also the height of hypocrisy. Why?

Well, I suppose in a free-market economy, Mr. Bush is one of the people who can afford to be ecological in his own home. However, it is his refusal as our president to even look at these technologies for development on a broader scale that keeps the rest of us from being able to afford it. Of Bush's 63-member energy advisory team, 62 have ties to oil, nuclear or coal interests. His national energy policy places nuclear power, increased oil and gas drilling and "clean coal" at the top of the list. Solar, gray water reclamation, and wind are nowhere to be found. In 2001, his administration utilized the strategy of having Mr. Bush interviewed at carefully-selected, including the Crawford ranch, in the hopes that it would soften his more contentious policies. However, this plan backfired when it served to do nothing but bring attention to our president's hypocritical approach to the environment and his dismal environmental record. The plans were dropped.

Just as hypocritical is David Heymann, the architect of Bush's Crawford Ranch. At 4,000 square feet he calls the ranch "stunningly" small. Really? Oh, yes, according to Heymann most people are building 16,000 to 20,000 square foot ranches. That's because it's a stretch to call it a ranch, what with the built-in pool insisted upon by the Bush daughters. The Bushes affectionately call it the girls' "whining pool." In a USA Today interview, Heyman goes on to describe, "There's a great grove of oak trees to the west that protects it from the late afternoon sun. Then there's a view out to the north looking at hills, and to the east out over a lake, and the view to the south...out to beautiful hills." Too bad our hypocritical ecological president's policies do absolutely nothing to ensure that such 'beautiful views' remain for the future.

In short, the family ranch in Crawford, Texas is just another stage for George Bush to act on. While it's painted as a beloved, established family get-away much like the Kennedy Compound on Cape Cod or FDR's beloved Campobello, the reality is that construction was completed in November 2000, just before his election. The grazing cattle was left by the previous owners and the horses are just for show. Bush doesn't know how to ride. Just ask Vicente Fox, who wanted Bush to go riding on one of his trips to Mexico. In fact, all of Crawford is his stage. Estimates given prior to the Crawford ranch construction put the population of the area somewhere between 400 and 700 people. The Crawford Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture was actually formed after the ranch was completed.

Like everything else associated with George Bush, Crawford is just a sham.

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http://turn-left.hypocrisy.com
Deb Della Piana is a corporate ex-patriot (30+ years in advertising & public relations) turned liberal political blogger. She lives in the great state of Massachusetts with her life partner, two children and three cats.

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