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Maybe it was the waitress in Folsom who refused to serve me juice in a paper cup because "It tastes better in plastic." Or it was the line of single-passenger SUVs revving their motors outside a fastfood window near Sunrise.
Returning home to Sacramento after years working abroad I've come to the inescapable conclusion that our disposable lifestyle could make us disposable.
President Bush has always been a good friend to the nuclear industry, but his recent overtures should sound alarm bells.
The White House has begun pushing to replace governmental safety standards at federal nuclear facilities with requirements penned by contractors. As one US lawmaker quipped, "It's like the fox guarding the hen house."
What prompted the Bush administration's move? Simple: Congress insisted the government start fining contractors for violations.
The proposed weakening of safety standards would affect over 100,000 nuclear plant workers and represents an especially lousy time to lower their morale.
While some German politicians are worried about the closing of US military bases in their regions, others fear nasty surprises will surface after the Americans depart. The United States has consistently valued military power more than the environment - but at what price?
Some in the White House argue that US national interests transcend greenie niceties, and this certainly was the case with Bush's 3-day stay at Buckingham Palace last year. US security forces trashed the Royal Gardens, historic statues and even the palace itself in an effort to provide the best environment for the president. The Queen's ensuing outrage didn't seem to bother Washington: if US self-protection mandates despoiling a patch of land far away, then so be it.