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While living their dream of drowning government in the bathtub, Republicans also seek to kill off the governmental programs of scientists, engineers, doctors and others who serve as the public's watchdogs for risks and dangers after all

"We think what we can be is the canary in the coal mine," Republican Representative Darryl Issa told reporters.

Congressman Issa's words are prophetic -- evidently he and his colleagues consider themselves to be the 'canaries in the coal mine' since they are taking steps with the newly introduced Continuing Resolution to kill off as many canaries in the coal mine to protect Americans from environmental, safety, and other risks.  For example, the proposal includes a 22 percent reduction in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, massive cuts in basic science research, budgets slashing seeking to essentially eliminate U.S. government research on climate change, ... a true anti-science syndrome agenda.

What is the canary in the coal mine?

Life for an actual canary in a coal mine could be described in three words - short but meaningful. Early coal mines did not feature ventilation systems, so miners would routinely bring a caged canary into new coal seams. Canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, which made them ideal for detecting any dangerous gas build-ups. As long as the canary in a coal mine kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. A dead canary in a coal mine signalled an immediate evacuation.

Even as gas detection technology improved, some mining companies still relied on the 'canary in a coal mine' method well into the 20th century. Other animals were used occasionally, but only the canary had the ability to detect small concentrations of gas and react instinctively.


"A dead canary ... signalled [a need for] immediate" action to avoid serious consequences.

A simple tool to avoid having to take action to avoid having to take measures that could disrupt mining? Simply not have canaries in the mine. Not a responsible action in terms of miner safety but if you have an utter disregard for their lives (the consequences of disaster) this is a money saving measure since there isn't that pesky problem of paying for canaries.

And, this is the path the Republican House members are taking: killing off the canaries that help to protect Americans and American security through learning about environmental risks like coal ash pollution of waterways, Greenhouse Gas emissions and climate change, Global Warming developments and impacts on Americans, 'Fracking' chemicals impact on human health, ... The Republicans proposed Continuing Resolution would eliminate many canaries.

It is a rather simple, blunt, and reckless result of ideological anti-science attitudes. Have a religious belief that the global scientific community is some form of massive conspiracy to deceive the public? Well, eliminate any funding for climate science research and, evidently, you won't have to deal with inconvenient truths warning of imminent risks that signal a need for immediate reaction.

Today's political reality is that Global Warming simply doesn't exist for House Republicans. Sadly, political reality doesn't always conform to physical reality; Global Warming is having ever more serious impacts on the rest of U.S. and the Republican efforts to remove the canaries from the coal mine won't change this reality.

Reactions to the Continuing Resolution / Republican budget plans:


the GOP position starts with the premise that climate change is a hoax, and then falls back to a secondary line of defense contending that even if the earth is warming it's too expensive to do anything about it. Failing all else, we should just let the market take care of things. Republicans have even introduced legislation that would overturn the scientific finding that greenhouse gas emissions pose a threat to human health. As for the rising price of oil? Who cares? Again, let the market be the arbiter.

As the world gets hotter, and scientific evidence supporting the theory of human-caused climate change accumulates, Republican politicians have become more united and more adamant in their refusal to accept that we should be making an effort to meet what will probably be the greatest challenge to human welfare since we climbed down from trees and started walking upright on the savannah. It's an amazing and impressive display, and has no parallel anywhere else in the world.



what Republicans in Congress want for Americans -- we can be the canaries in the coal mine who die because they've rolled back so many regulations put in place to assure air that's safe to breathe, water that's safe to drink, food that's safe to eat, banks that don't steal your money and workplaces that don't kill and maim workers.
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Comment Preferences

  •  The thing about this (8+ / 0-)
    Today's political reality is that Global Warming simply doesn't exist for House Republicans.

    as stated eloquently by Neil deGrasse Tyson  on  Real Time  last week.

    That's the great thing about science; it's true whether you believe it or not.

    We have a rocky road ahead, but in the end, the truth will prevail. Let's hope by then it is not too late.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:56:30 AM PST

  •  GOP competing with China (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, bronte17, tonyahky, WarrenS

    China averages thousands of coal mining deaths per year.  China has had outbreaks of SARS and other communicable diseases that could have been avoided by good health and safety techniques.  China has produced children's toys with lead paint, lead and cadmium contaminated metal , and a range of other toxins.

    The depravity of today's GOP is shocking.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:57:39 AM PST

    •  And ... (8+ / 0-)

      with many fits and starts, I would suggest that the Chinese are headed in the opposite direction than the GOP.  The PRC recognizes the realities of climate change and is acting to mitigate.  While lousy in the reality of where they are, there are increasing #s of 'safety inspectors' who are actually trying to improve safety. Etc ... The PRC is striving to work to a 21st century society while the Republicans seem to want to move back to an 18th century one.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:14:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, tonyahky

      with many fits and starts, I would suggest that the Chinese are headed in the opposite direction than the GOP.  The PRC recognizes the realities of climate change and is acting to mitigate.  While lousy in the reality of where they are, there are increasing #s of 'safety inspectors' who are actually trying to improve safety. Etc ... The PRC is striving to work to a 21st century society while the Republicans seem to want to move back to an 18th century one.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:17:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose

      with many fits and starts, I would suggest that the Chinese are headed in the opposite direction than the GOP.  The PRC recognizes the realities of climate change and is acting to mitigate.  While lousy in the reality of where they are, there are increasing #s of 'safety inspectors' who are actually trying to improve safety. Etc ... The PRC is striving to work to a 21st century society while the Republicans seem to want to move back to an 18th century one.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:19:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  However, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, sewaneepat

      China at least reacts after the fact, for example by quarantining a city where a plague outbreak has been noticed. With the Republicans, I'm not sure they'd do sweet jack-fanny-adams about it (except for a photo-op).

      Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

      by Dauphin on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans' absolute recklessness (6+ / 0-)

    in regard to issues such as environmental protections, worker safety, and food safety almost makes you think they are actively trying to kill off a portion of the population--how can anybody be that amazingly stupid?  Aren't they even able to see an inch in front of their noses?

    Republicans don't care what happens to Average Joe and Common Jane, as long as their corporate paymasters keep shelling out the big bucks that will help them get elected.

    •  This deregulation.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, tonyahky

      began way back in 1999 when Clinton signed the egregious repeal of Glass-Steagal.  Then when W. was appointed by the gods on the Supreme Court,his administration cut all food, import, safety, OSHA, FDA, etc., agencies by half or more.

      Of COURSE they don't care about "average" people.  They're "exceptional", didn't you hear?

      The scenario will play out such that major disasters will occur, there will be an attempt to cover it up and blame progressives.  The truth will eventually emerge and the people will riot.  At least that's what better happen, or we will certainly go the way of the Roman Empire.

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 12:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am frequently... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, tonyahky, A Siegel

    ...at my wit's end when it comes to these clowns.  If only they were just clowns, rather than dangerous and irresponsible criminals.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:07:22 AM PST

  •  Of all their ideas, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, alizard, A Siegel, sewaneepat

    gutting the CDC has to be the stupidest one in the short- to medium-term. Imagine an outbreak of something fun like, I don't know, leprosy or something more infectious, which goes unnoticed because the centres are struggling to maintain a semblance of a system.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:36:07 AM PST

  •  Wisconsin's far-right wing Scott Walker and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, J Orygun, A Siegel

    a reactionary State Assembly and Senate are as we speak...

    * Considering an 1800 foot set back from adjacent property for wind turbines, the most draconian restriction in the nation.

    * Passing a special exemption for a rich developer to fill a wetland, contravening existing state regulation without going through the process of actually changing it.

    * Defunding and stopping the state Stewardship fund, which provides money to protect and restore natural areas, and has had over 25 years of bipartisan support

    * Gutting and slashing the state DNR and the university system employees, who employ the lions share of public sector scientists in Wisconsin.

    Unfortunately for us in Wisconsin there is not even a semi-sane or reasonable President or Senate to stop these people. The only way to stop or slow this down here is massive protest or civil disobedience. Walker is even threatening to call in the National Guard to put down a potential insurrection. There are protests scheduled every day this week in Madison.

    Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

    by NoMoreLies on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 09:05:10 AM PST

  •  motto of (0+ / 0-)

    Tea/GOP/Neocon/Libertarians

    Live and Let Die

    Republicans’ extreme agenda would “punish women and businesses by increasing their taxes if their health insurance covers the full range of reproductive health care.” ~ Minority Leader Pelosi D-CA

    by anyname on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 10:17:16 AM PST

    •  duped into believing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, A Siegel
      The Republican Party, in tandem with the evangelical Christian movement, has boondoggled Americans into believing that it today represents the common man. I'll let Frank's own words speak for themselves here:

         

      The strategy by which they have won this triumph is instantly familiar and yet so bizarre it’s sometimes hard to believe it’s actually happened: Think of Richard Nixon extolling the virtues of the "silent majority," or Ronald Reagan shaking his head at those crazy college professors, or George W. Bush sticking up for the "regular Americans," or the army of pundits who have written so eloquently in recent months about the humble folk of the "red states."

          And then think of the political changes that this sappy stuff has helped to sell: Privatization. Deregulation. Monopolies in every industry from banking to radio to meatpacking. The destruction of the welfare state. The beatdown of the labor movement. The transformation of the Midwest into the rust belt. And, shimmering in the heavens above all this, the rise of a new plutocracy, a class of overlords so taken with their own magnificence that they are moved to compare themselves to the Almighty.

          What we are observing, then, is a populist movement that has done irreversible harm to the material interests of the common people it professes to love so tenderly -- a form of class animosity that rages against a shadowy "elite" while enthroning a new aristocracy of bankers, brokers, and corporate thieves.

      http://www.greencine.com/...

      Video Link : What's The Matter With Kansas

      Republicans’ extreme agenda would “punish women and businesses by increasing their taxes if their health insurance covers the full range of reproductive health care.” ~ Minority Leader Pelosi D-CA

      by anyname on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 10:30:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    IMO Darryl Issa just spoke what most of these Tea Party Republicans feel in their heart of hearts: regulations are bad even if they protect our health, safety and environment.  They just hate taking direction, although they are seldom willing to police themselves.

    The GOP is obviously making a big push to blame all our economic problems on "government regulation" and roll back as much as they can.  This will allow them to avoid dealing with real problems -- like climate change -- and keep their heads in the sand a bit longer.

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