Friday, March 10, 2017


Knowing that much of what I write these days is political in nature, an artist friend of mine suggested posting my letters to my Congressman on The Buddha Diaries. And it does seem to make sense. The letters, after all, are about raising consciousness; they ask not only the congressman in question, a right-wing Republican, but also those who read my posts (particularly on Facebook) to put their minds to work on issues of importance to us all.

So why not? I'll be as "Buddhist" as possible in my approach to the current, rather dire political scene. Here, for example, are some reflections on a currently proposed bill in the House of Representatives to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.

10 March 2017

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: HR 861—To Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency

I note from your website that you reject the conclusion of virtually all of the world’s respected scientists in the matter of climate change. In this you are in apparent agreement with Scott Pruitt, the new head of the EPA, who yesterday stated his personal belief (he is not a scientist) that human production of carbon dioxide is not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” Coming from the man whom the president appointed to head the agency that protects our environment, this is a shocking pronouncement.

HR 861 is currently before the US House of Representatives. I ask you to seriously consider its implications before it comes up for a vote.

In its aim to “terminate the EPA,” HR 861 supports the goal of the agency’s new head. According to a New York Times report today, the president “is expected to announce an executive order next week directing Mr. Pruitt to begin the legal process of unwinding the climate change regulations on emissions from power plants.” This is not environmental protection, but an assault on the environment. For an administration that harps constantly on the need to “keep the American people safe” it is a blatant and unquestionably harmful contradiction. Terrorism is not our only, nor even our most imminent threat.

And shouldn’t the EPA be doing something about the Trump directive to start rolling back protections for the nation’s water supply in the Clean Water Act. Water is quite simply the most important of our natural resources. To allow its contamination is, once again, to make a mockery of claims to keep the American people safe.

In a related issue, Trump’s campaign pledge to tear up the nearly 200-nation Paris climate change agreement is now being modified, according to what I read, to simply reneging on the Obama pledge to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This retreat is small comfort to those of us who believe this country should be exercising leadership in the fight to save our planet from man-made destruction.

I ask you to vote against the passage of HR 861.


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

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