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December 17, 2010

Stop, Or I’ll Obtain Stakeholder Advice!

It can be difficult for those charged with keeping us safe to prioritize the threats that face us, what with North Korea threatening war, the ongoing border war with drug cartels to our south, and a threat level that can never seem to get below Elevated.

But Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has a keen sense of what is important and so cleared her calendar to attend a forum yesterday that identified something our national security apparatus has been sorely lacking:

Environmental Justice.”

What is environmental justice, you ask?

Environmental justice is like regular justice except that you’re already guilty.

The problem of environmental justice arises when people who earn more money are allowed to live in nicer places than people who earn less.

And it’s probably only going to get worse.

Some examples of our shortfalls in environmental justice include the fact that the air in major cities tends not to be as good as the air in the country.  This is clearly unfair to the lower income people who live there, as they deserve all the benefits of living in the country, without having to actually make any of the sacrifices of moving there.

They will take checks, however.

Also, many poorer people hired as farm workers to pick fruit and vegetables are exposed to higher levels of pesticides than people who don’t pick fruit and vegetables for a living.

We are shocked to learn that different jobs entail different kinds of risks and demand that a stop be put to it. And that our taxes go up.

But it’s not just that some places aren’t as good as others or that life involves an infinite series of tradeoffs that are the problems. As Napolitano (who we should probably remind you is in charge of our nation’s security) points out economic justice demands that we address global warming as well:

“Changes in climate really translate into huge environmental changes that have impacts on communities and also on national security, because they raise not only the issues of making sure that we are taking into account and caring for the most at-risk populations, but that we are also looking at and planning for the potentiality of mass migrations, demographic changes, patterns, concentrations of economic assets, population growth in different areas, deteriorating infrastructure. All of this gets knit together under this umbrella of climate change and environmental adaptation.”

We don’t know about you, but we’ll sleep better at night knowing that the Secretary of Homeland Security is all over the potentiality of concentrations of assets.  (Although it’s not entirely clear if anyone has told her where all the economic assets are currently concentrated, because we’d be really interested in seeing her plan for fixing to that.)

Also, she’s got a firm grip on the possibility that we’ll have “population growth in different areas,” which (and we did not know this) has apparently been growing evenly throughout the world prior to this threat.

We blame Al Qaeda.

But what to do about this impending peril?

The Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice has a plan of action:

Focus and Goals:

Identifying opportunities for Federal programs to improve the environment, public health, sustainable economies, and other environmental justice issues of concern for rural, suburban, urban and tribal disadvantaged communities.

Identifying opportunities to assist American Indian and Alaska Native tribes working to develop their renewable energy resources, to promote green jobs/green economies and reduce climate change impacts.

Holding quarterly meetings to share best practices for integrating and addressing environmental justice, as well as identifying opportunities to enhance coordination and collaboration among federal agencies.

Remember, if we don’t hold quarterly meetings, the terrorists have won.

Which is whey they're picking up the pace in coming months:

Next Steps

In other news, America is facing renewed terrorist threats over the holidays


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December 17, 2010 at 08:55 PM in Current Affairs, Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink


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Oh well. Any excuse to form a new bureaucracy.

Posted by: barryjo | Dec 20, 2010 7:51:41 PM

Why do I keep getting this mental image of a chalkboard?... ;)

Posted by: Planet Moron | Dec 19, 2010 8:26:47 PM

Anyone notice that the author of this new Environmental Justice earmark, Emanuel Cleaver, was a member of Alphi Phi Alpha, the same fraternity as Floyd Mckissick (founder of the failed "Soul City" project in North Carolina) ?

Posted by: Marty | Dec 19, 2010 5:29:12 PM

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