Should she have started with the message that America can and must meet the challenges with an uncommon devotion to evidence and unswerving commitment to technically solving problems?
Ms. Carol Browner, Director of the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency.
An informed and brief speech calling for two major foci with respect to environmental policy in the next administration:
1) Reforming existing Environmental Legislation (Air, Water, Superfund) to bring it up to current level of science and technology, especially the pending Waxman and Pollone Legislation on utilities' pollution reduction.
2) The Challenge of Climate Change requiring an engaged Congress to stimulate a thoughtful public debate on Global Warming, which she characterized as "not some distant challenge" but a set of problems presenting opportunities that "is here now."
She said "we cannot wait" because global warming is a challenge for the US and the nations of the world to address because of its extent, depth of impacts and persistence.
Global Warming is a matter that requires "a new level of political will" to face and according to Ms. Browner, to "master the challenge."
Public Health and the Clean Air Act
“health based standards”
“common sense” -- apparent to all, ability that is shared by others.
1. Both environment and public health protection
2. Supreme Court decision on health and public policy in the workplace
best available science versus cost - benefit analysis
1997 new standards under the clean air act
New ozone, soot, smog and particulate standards
“The growing empirical evidence”
The “non-delegation” theory counters 65 years of Court rulings and 30 years of EPA regulatory practice, upheld by the courts.
Browner vs. American Trucking American Trucking vs. Browner
Need to keep pace with new knowledge, new scientific discoveries.
“The most sweeping change in a generation” based on “peer reviewed” research findings of 250 relevant studies to upgrade the standards to protect public health.
The process incorporated, and correctly so:
best available science
Nanogram vs. microgram
common sense, cost effective way to reduce pollution
1970-1990, there were $22 trillion in benefits at the cost of $.5 trillion in compliance.
Industry estimated the regulatory cost to be $1000 per tonne (only $100- $200 / tonne).
Two paramount matters:
Modern strengthened environmental laws, engaged people and Congress
Challenge of climate change, needs and engaged administration
“thoughtful public debate” to charge our agencies to protect the environment and public health has worked in the past to address:
banned lead in fuels
stopped midnight dumping
a fair, orderly, and inclusive framework
demanded by all interests.
Global Warming is not some distant challenge, we have been told what to expect, by over 2000 international scientific experts
“we cannot wait for ….data points to be verified.”
Climate change will take a “new level of political will in this country.”
People use metaphors every time they speak. Some of those metaphors are literary - devices for making thoughts more vivid or entertaining. But most are much more basic than that - they're "metaphors we live by", metaphors we use without even realizing we're using them. In this book, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson suggest that these basic metaphors not only affect the way we communicate ideas, but actually structure our perceptions and understandings from the beginning. Bringing together the perspectives of linguistics and philosophy, Lakoff and Johnson offer an intriguing and surprising guide to some of the most common metaphors and what they can tell us about the human mind. And for this new edition, they supply an afterword both extending their arguments and offering a fascinating overview of the current state of thinking on the subject of the metaphor.
Metaphors We Live by (1980) - George Lakoff, Mark Johnson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Image schema is a recurring structure of, or within, our cognitive processes, which establishes patterns of understanding and reasoning. Image schemas emerge from our bodily interactions, linguistic experience and historical context. The term is explained in Mark Johnson's book The Body in the Mind, in case study 2 of George Lakoff's Women, Fire and Dangerous Things and by Rudolf Arnheim in Visual Thinking.
In contemporary cognitive linguistics, an image schema is considered an embodied pre linguistic structure of experience that motivates conceptual metaphor mappings. Evidence for image schemas is drawn from a number of related disciplines, including work on cross-modal cognition in psychology, from spatial cognition in both linguistics and psychology, and from neuroscience.
"The land, water,
air and living things of the United States are a heritage of the whole
nation. They need to be protected for the benefit of all Americans, both
now and in the future. The continued strength and welfare of our nation
depend on the quantity and quality of our resources and on the quality
of the environment in which our people live."
Environmental Pollution Panel of the Presidents Science Advisory Committee.
"That is what framing is all about. Framing is about getting language that fits your worldview. It is not just language. The ideas are primary--and the language carries those ideas, evokes those ideas."
We need to talk about values. "You need to speak from your moral perspective at all times."
...it is the regulation of everything.
Unlike the right, the left does not think strategically."
Voting your identity and values" do not necessarily correspond with "self-interest."
There is little evidence for the Enlightenment's belief of the rational person.
Browner had proposed a vision of reform based on science and tempered by practicality. The pressing demands have only grown and the window of
opportunity in addressing these matters is closing more rapidly the longer
we wait. That is due to the increasing level of green house gas, or heat trapping vapors in the atmosphere, and the decreased infrared radiation due to particulate pollution that has altered rainfall patterns, reduced soil moisture and a growing number of environmental refugees, especially in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s.
Like compound interest on debt, the longer we wait to reduce
pollution, the harder it will be and the costlier it will become to reduce
ever growing perils to air and water sources.
Common sense solutions exist
now and can be employed with no regrets.
Check the National Press Club Web Site or search Carol Browner's speeches for this week: 10-3-2000.
is not an option due to the enormity of the problem caused by rising per
capita pollution and the difficulty, due to resistance, in reducing nitrogen,
carbon dioxide and mercury wastes from pervasive and persistent fossil