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April 02, 2008

What does E.P.A. stand for? A fable.

Epa_logo_2Once upon a time in a far away land (or rather, July 1970 in Washington DC) the people and their leaders looked around and started to get worried about the mess they were making of the land, and the resulting human health consequences.

In response, they founded an organization whose mission would be to protect human health, to protect the environment, and repair damage that had already been done to the natural world. They called themselves the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency. It was a big task, but they felt up to it.

In the first two decades of their existence, they started off strong, passing the Clean Air and Clean Water acts to protect the things we breath and drink. They established something called Superfunds to clean up hazardous waste sites and areas where there had been extensive environmental damage.

And then came the biggest environmental threat of all. Scientists worldwide realized that greenhouse gases were raising the temperature of the Earth, and the consequences could be severe. The people of the nation looked to this agency and said "What do we do?".

The Environmental Protection Agency responded: "Don't do anything yet. The science is still unclear".

This appeased the people for a while, until the science became more clear. The people went to the inEpt Pessimistic Association and said "Okay, NOW what do we do?" The inEpt Pessimistic Association said "Nothing yet, there still isn't scientific consensus".

Over time, the people became more and more concerned with this. They said, "Maybe there isn't consensus, but if the majority of scientists are right, we face extensive loss of life around the world. Maybe we should consider taking some action?" The Excruciatingly Prideful Airheads said "No, no. Not yet."

The people became so alarmed that they stopped looking to the EPA and started taking their own action, but the Extremely Pessimistic Agency made it difficult for them to proceed. So many of the people sued the EPA in the highest court of the land.

The highest court agreed with the people. Something needed to be done. So they ordered the EPA to comply with the people's wishes and regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Months went by and the Execrable Pointless A-holes did nothing.

The people were shocked that they would not comply with the highest court of the land, especially since this agency was designed to serve the people. Hands tied, they did the only thing they could do, which was to join with even more people and sue the EPA again.

The end of this story isn't written yet, and I'm fresh out of acronym insults (thank heavens!). But it may be worthwhile contacting the EPA to tell them what you think about their history of inaction around the threat climate change.

Even if they manage to shift their policies, they have an uphill battle to fight against the Department of Energy and private industry. But without introducing federal policy in the battle against climate change, it will continue to be difficult, if not impossible, for this nation to change its ways.

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Comments

this is a great post and more needs to be done for sure. keep us posted on your findings.

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