Friday, November 9, 2007

Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA)

Cheryl Lockwood testified before congress and drew the ire of Rush Limbaugh last Monday. The Anchorage Daily News reported the story and the Fairbanks Daily News Miner followed with this report. The Alaskan newspapers found several inaccuracies in Rush's radio commentary.

As a side note, the AYEA Youth Employment in Parks program provided two of my students with summer jobs. They maintained trails and parks in Anchorage, earning money and learning to care for the environment. So I'm biased because AYEA is doing good things for youth.

But that's not all. I'm also biased because I live in Alaska and study global warming issues. And because oil emissions erode my beach and melt my permafrost. And oil wars kill my friends. And oil spills bankrupt Alaskan fishermen.

Yes, Alaskan oil is fills my bank account with a PFD every year. That is great! But oil won't last forever. Rising gas prices (and increased electricity and heating costs) are outpacing my wage increases and lowering my standard of living. What will the future hold?

Alaskans live with the effects of a changing climate. So we see the importance of transitioning to cleaner energy and making that energy profitable. Longterm. As in the next hundred years plus.

The Geophysical Institute at UAF is researching these issues and more. Scientists and students are paid to be objective. They are dedicated to open-minded examination of the facts and identifying solutions to the problem.

But Rush Limbaugh, not so much. I think he's blinded by his own short-term popularity. He only sees the Republican side of issues and takes every opportunity to belittle those that disagree.

Rush ignores scientific research and ridicules environmental activists. With no room for intelligent conversation or scientific objectivism.

No doubt, this is a good way for Rush to sell airtime. Rush even responded to ADN's report on his radio show.

The sad thing is that America buys it. And the cost is our great grand-children's environment. Such a travesty. It's no wonder that some people are moved to tears.

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