Monday, December 10, 2007
Environment Takes Lead in Politics
The Democratic Party has always been the home of environmentalists. Global Warming issues have propelled Al Gore pack into the spotlight with his Nobel Prize. The Sierra Club has been a constant critic of the Bush Administrations pro-oil policies. Democrats and environmentalists go hand in hand.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr recently endorsed Hillary Clinton and is spending time in Iowa. In Missouri, those involved in helping keep our world clean and safe are keenly aware of politics, not just green house gases. For example, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment recently emailed its members urging them to contact Sen. Kit Bond to help save wilderness areas of the Mark Twain Forest. The Missouri Sierra Club has opposed coal burning plants.
A key issue for all of these environmental groups is CAFO - large corporate pig farms. According to an EPA study, a CAFO with 4,000 hogs can generate as much waste as a city of 16,000 people. A Class 1A CAFO (17,500 hogs and above) can generate as much waste as the city of St. Louis. The Sierra Club opposed pro-CAFO measures in Missouri. The Missouri Farmers Union (the anti-Farm Bureau) opposed CAFOs. The Missouri Rural Crisis Center, progressive, statewide membership organization that works to empower farmers and other rural people, opposed CAFOs. A group called Concerned Citizens of Platte County opposed CAFOs. National groups such as FactoryFarm.Org are even focused on Missouri.
Here's how this becomes an issue. In Iowa, the #1 bumper sticker is "Hogs for Edwards" because John Edwards has come out strong against CAFO. The issue gets Democratic primary voters energized. In Missouri's AG race, Koster supported CAFOs, Harris and Donnelly opposed. We will see if this turns into anything or not.