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Losing Friends for Fun and Profit

Bush and the Floods of Europe

by Jerre Skog

Sorry to say, the USA is losing its friends in Europe at a much faster rate than it can ever hope to win new ones. Since WWII, Europeans have, in general and when not following world politics too closely, been good friends of US. Many have seen the big nation across the Atlantic as a champion of good things. After this week’s catastrophical rains and floods, hitting large parts of south-east and east Germany, Czechya, Austria and other areas in the region, a change is very likely to occur as knowledge of the cause for it is spreading.

So far, and it’s not over yet, 200.000 are estimated to have been evacuated from their homes, damages for $ billions have to be taken care of and to save what can be saved, citizens of many cities are working around the clock to fill sandbags, distribute food and uphold some rudiment of emergency assistance. In some places, the waters have reached levels some 33 ft above normal. The death toll is nearing 100. The human tragedies are impossible to value! We have seen it before. In Bangladesh, in China and in South American countries. Now it has hit Europe.

The TV channels are filled with reports and the experts, unanimously, are of the mind that we have to expect these freak conditions to be increasingly frequent and Europe is likely to be worst hit, followed by Asia. The reason is the global warming from emitting GHG (greenhouse gasses), produced by industry and traffic, into the atmosphere. Europe has been well aware of this danger for a long time and some steps have been taken in the right direction, but as usual too few and too small. Compared to year 2000, the GHG levels have to be reduced by 50% JUST TO STOP THE SITUATION GETTING WORSE. To make real improvements the GHG have to be reduced by much more, and even then it will take decades if not centuries, before we can notice the positive effects.

Climatologists very clearly point out, that what little have been done, including the Kyoto Treaty, have been constantly opposed and sabotaged by the world’s biggest polluter, USA, and that the present administration in the White House has no interest whatsoever in introducing limits, forcing industry to work in the right direction or cooperate in international regulations. Even the ignorants in Europe get that message. The TV channels distibute blame justly. Most of it lands in Washington DC and rightly so. In Europe, Asia and South America, peoples’ lives are ruined by freak weather conditions, while the egomaniacs in the Bush Jr administration plan to sacrify tens or hundreds of thousands Iraqis to continue its disastrous course into total oil-gobbling dependency.

In Germany, the people and the leaders understand the situation, and new cars are constantly reaching higher efficiency levels, consumption of fuel in new cars presently averaging 40 mpg and getting better, some as good as 60-70 mpg. Recycling is commonplace and industry has to live with some stringent regulations, so far too few and with too many exceptions, when it comes to pollution. All in all we are, but only slowly, on the right way and so is most of the other European countries. The big stumbling block when it comes to correcting the problem is, since GHG have a tendency not to stay over the country that produces them, USA. Now we know who is largely to blame for this and future flood catastrophes. And the patience is very easily wearing thin when you’ve had to remove two tons of mud and filth from your ground floor and most of the furniture is destroyed.

Many industrial leaders, while always grumbling about state meddling and higher production costs, can in spite of coming sharpened regulations see a bright future ahead. After the initial restructuring period with higher costs, the German industry will have a very strong upper hand being able to deliver top of the line products, using environment-friendly techniques and recycled material to very competitive prices. The same applies to other progressive countries.

Sooner or later, of course, USA is bound to get political leaders whose intelligence and concern for future generations manages to override their and their friends’ greed and shortsighted egoism, and these people might be prepared to introduce regulations and limits and start to steer away from the total oil dependence that has caused so much harm to the world. The question is, will it be too late for the American industry? And will it be too late for the world? Will it be too late for the beautiful old town of Prague?

International Terrorist #1, George W. Bush, your lies and your cliches don’t cover your indecency. The world knows the emperor is naked!

Jerre Skog is a Swedish writer, musician and alternative observer living in Germany since 1999. More articles, political and satirical can be found on: Jerre´s Thinktank www.skog.de

Comments are welcome at: jerre@skog.de New Print Edition of CounterPunch Available Exclusively to Subscribers:

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