Conservatives everywhere are fond of denouncing fiscal excess by claiming it is “mortgaging our children’s future” etc. However, one must question why there is so much concern over ensuring my generation does not carry the economic burden of the previous generation, but relatively no concern over us carrying the environmental burden. A picture of Republican Representative Jeffrey M. Landry in the Washington Post has brought this question into the light.

During Obama’s speech (read posturing) on jobs this week in the capitol building, the Republicans utilised the age old method of “respectful” congressional dissent: silence. Due to the very nature of politics, the Republicans were obviously against anything and everything Obama had to say, no matter how many of the proposals were stolen from the Republicans themselves. However Republican Rep. Landry decided to take it one further by holding up a sign, as you can see in the picture. On the surface the claim is of course true. But it overlooks the reason that President Obama decided to put a moratorium on oil drilling. The oil companies have hardly had a stellar record environmental record in the last two years after all.

We need to stop looking at the environment as something secondary to economic needs and growth. Sure some locations with oil are uninhabited by humans, but this may not always be the case. Sure some animals are may be ugly or otherwise useless to us, but as we have learned from the introduction of animals to countries, ecosystems are very finely balanced. Furthermore, who knows what use some animals may provide us in the future? Who has the right to say that our future generations are entitled to some animals and not the others? Anyone who has been to China or a third world country, where lax environmental protections exist has seen what that does both to health as well as simple livability. If we don’t want this to happen to us, we must grow up and stop placing the environment behind the economy in our priorities. Future generations are not just owed economic viability, they are also owed an environment suitable to live.

For Obama’s speech, House GOP decides that silence is golden
BY DAVID A. FAHRENTHOLD AND ROSALIND S. HELDERMAN Staff writers Felicia Sonmez and Paul Kane contributed to this report.
The Washington Post
9 Sep 2011

Nobody yelled at the president. When you control the House of Representatives, maybe you don’t have to. On the right side of the chamber Thursday night, the House Republican majority sat silent through much of President Obama’s jobs address. Members…read more…

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