As a Buick-driving skeptic, who attended the NRCM-sponsored “National Security Impacts of Climate Change” panel discussion at USM’s Hannaford Hall on April 5, I want to register my unsurprised disappointment at two omissions:

First, somehow, Sen. Angus King failed to mention the fact that his political career continues to enjoy financial sponsorship from various WMD corporations (“defense contractors”). You’d think that he might have announced this fact, as a possible conflict of interest, at some point during his meanderings. Is a politician who receives campaign contributions from weapons manufacturers able to present viewpoints that don’t ultimately promote U.S./corporate war-making?

Second, King also somehow failed to bring up the fact that the U.S. military is the single biggest consumer of fossil fuels on Earth. Nor did he mention endless wars for oil, devastated aquifers, cancer rates around both domestic and foreign war bases (at least 800 in at least 70 countries, according to David Vine’s Base Nation: How US Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World) due to decades of spilled fuel and other enduring poisons, the continuing pollution of the Kennebec by General Dynamics, or the long-term effects on this country and the planet resulting from prioritizing the planning and preparation for war uber allies (at least to the extent that priorities are revealed through budgets, which King’s website says they are: “Budgets are about priorities. They list what we care about, and in dollar amounts, they quantify how much we care”). He did, however, bring up ticks, his patriotic lobster tie, mastodon teeth found on George’s Bank, and other colorful herrings.

The questions lobbed to King, and the other two panelists, were pre-screened, to boot, so those of us who would have liked to politely help broaden the conversation seem to have been intentionally denied that opportunity, perhaps due to an inconvenient question posed by an elderly lady at a related event earlier in the day.

Sen King did, however, manage to support a local business, Lee Auto, by mentioning that he’d bought a Nissan Leaf hybrid from that dealership, which just happens to be one of the biggest financial boosters of his career in the Senate so far! Because of this, I will definitely consider buying from Lee if I can ever afford a new car!

Again, that’s Lee Auto.

Jason Rawn


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