First they wanted to clean up the water, next they wanted to clean up the air – soon they’re going to want us to clean up our rooms! I’m talking, of course, about fringe environmentalists, who don’t understand that by the time the sprawl and pollution get really bad, we won’t be around to have to worry about it. Or technology will have invented a big vacuum cleaner to make it all OK and reverse whatever seemingly irreversible damage we may have done to the planet’s equilibrium. I am not cleaning up my room. And – while we’re getting all this out there – I am not cleaning, let alone replacing, my home-office carpet, either. It was good in 1977 when I installed it, and it remains good today. To change it would require moving everything out of the office – tons of stuff piled on tons of other stuff – and then, eventually, moving it back in. And for what? To change a gray carpet with a few coffee spots to a spotless gray carpet I’ll be terrified of spilling coffee on? Yes, there may be a trillion microbial mites living in that carpet (what was the name of that book a few years ago that detailed the secret teeming life of your home?), but they’re harmless enough. And I do allow a vacuuming every so often. It is a perfectly good carpet. Just not quite as fluffy as it was when the Dow was 840. Well, who is? And I’m not painting the office, either. It was white; now it’s off-white. What’s wrong with that? (My office is the one room over which, by prior agreement, Charles allows me free rein and free reign.)

So no fringe environmentalist I. (Hell, I’m a Harvard MBA.)

And no fringe environmentalist our President, either. (Hell, he’s a Harvard MBA.)

Nor, for that matter, my Republican investment-banking Harvard MBA classmate Teddy Roosevelt IV – TR4, as he is known – direct descendant of bear-hunting, big-stick-carrying, Panama-Canal-digging Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. No fringe environmentalist he. Teddy is chairman of the League of Conservation Voters.

And yet for all my non-fringiness (I am, I have to tell you, no slave to the snail darter), I was struck by the Report Card that the League recently issued grading the President’s first year in office.

It is a 34-page Acrobat file, so if Mother Earth is your thing, and 56K is your baud rate, enjoy your weekend (Saturday to download, Sunday to read).

Or just check out the overview:

Presidential Appointments D
President’s Budget D+
Presidential Initiatives F
* Energy and Climate Change F
* Public Lands and Land Management F
* Pollution and Public Health D
* Wildlife Conservation F
* International Issues F

I know it doesn’t seem like all that good a record, but there is an obvious solution: More tax cuts. Little ones for the little guy – enough to buy a water purifier or some asthma medicine – but really large ones for the top 1%, because they own the most land, and have the most to preserve.

Monday: Back to Personal Finance. At Least a Little.


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