Sorting Through a Progressive Setback
by Art Goodtimes
Nov 15, 2010 | 982 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SEE ELECTED … Being selected for public office in our rather quickly unraveling post-industrial times may be a kindness. Those we celebrate one day become goats the next. Fickle, the public mind … Especially when everyone is hurting. In fact, those that were already economically-challenged may have been the best prepared (un-over-leveraged, at least) for the great recession that refuses to recede. The mood of the electorate this off-year vote was “throw the bums out.” And the Dems were the bums who were in. Plus, the big corporate money (recently unleashed on American politics direct from the Roberts’ Supreme Court) came roaring into play in Colorado … Losing John Salazar was sad news. Few folks thrust into the Beltway limelight stick to helping their district first, and political correctness second. But endless glossy flyers from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and (out-of-state) others, bombarding every mail box in the Third District, claimed just the opposite. Blue Dog John was a Pelosi pawn. Sent jobs overseas. Lied to the media. Or so the big money pouring into the state trumpeted (I’d like to resist – but can’t) like an elephant in heat. And it seems to have worked. Milquetoast tea partier and stalwart Republican state nobody Scott Tipton – who managed to avoid Telluride and its electeds entirely during his two-year tenure in Denver “representing” the 58th District – ousted one of the best politicians in the state, by my book. Tipton (Mr. Partisan) did make it to the San Miguel County fair, to rub shoulders with fellow Repubs. Expect more of the same. No wilderness. No wild and scenic rivers. Big on defense spending and eager to cut any social program not benefiting his affluent backers … But the unlimited corporate personhood money from unnamed out-of-state sources didn’t propel Ken Buck into the Senator’s slot in Colorado. Bless the goddess. Still, with all his good fortune, war chest and charisma, Michael Bennet barely staved off defeat in a year when incumbency was a dirty word. Romanoff wouldn’t have stood a chance … Look at what happened to Cary Kennedy – possibly the best treasurer Colorado has ever had. She wisely guided us through a terrible downturn without ever endangering state funds. Her reward – tossed out of office in a landslide of campaign donations that totaled some $1.6 million and replaced by an up-and-coming Republican scion of an old conservative Denver family. That seemed to be the Repub strategy this election – to knock off the second-string Dem leadership if they couldn’t finish off the big guys. Lucky for us, Hickenlooper and Bennet survived the mid-term onslaught. But gone is Bernie Buescher as Secretary of State, Betsy Markey in the Fourth Congressional, and Tresi Haupt as Garfield County Commissioner (the latter a huge loss for Western Slope progressives) … In the end, the pendulum in American politics swings back and forth. Whomever is in state or national office is the one a lowly county commissioner has to make peace with, work with. That’s the nature of the Government-to-Government dance. You don’t have the luxury of choosing your partners.

CARBON RANCH … The Quivira Coalition conference is happening in Albuquerque this weekend. Listen to Courtney White and see why I think what he and his group are doing is so important for all of us … “The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has risen to 390 parts per million (ppm) – 40 ppm above what many scientists consider the level necessary to keep the climate stable for human life. And it is rising at 2 ppm per year, far faster than at any time in the Earth’s climate history. The best possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere that can start today is plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon storage activities – such as growing more grass. There are only four natural carbon sinks on Earth: 1) the atmosphere, 2) the oceans, 3) forests and other perennial vegetation, and 4) the soil. The atmospheric sink is overflowing with CO2, and the oceans are fast filling up. Forests have a habit of being cut down or burned up, which releases stored CO2 back to the atmosphere. The potential for CO2 storage in soils is three times greater than the atmosphere. And since two-thirds of the Earth’s ice-free landmass is covered with grasslands and rangelands, the potential impact on the climate could be huge. NASA’s Dr. James Hansen postulates that 50 ppm of CO2 could be pulled down and stored in the soil over the next fifty years — by employing the low technology of green plants, which transform atmospheric carbon into soil organic compounds that provide numerous benefits for humans and ecosystems alike. Many of the tools in the land management ‘toolbox’ for increased soil carbon storage have been tried and tested by practitioners, agencies and landowners over the past decade or two. Individually, these strategies have been demonstrated to be both practical and profitable. The time has come to bundle these together into one economic and ecological whole, which we call a carbon ranch. The goal of a carbon ranch is to reduce atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. These include local food production, improved ecosystem services, restored wildlife habitat, rural economic development, and the strengthening of cultural traditions – especially among young people.” … To learn more about the Carbon Ranch of the future, visit www.quiviracoalition.org


When you find
your life
is robed in layers of lies

undress it slowly
under the sun…

– Cardelia Brown
(Outskirts Press, Denver 2009)
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