American baseball is in disarray today after George Mitchell published his report into the use of steroids and human growth hormone by professional players. Apparently, the practice is far more widespread than many people cared to admit. Famous names are tarnished; careers may be prematurely ended. Baseball’s governing body has decreed that it will take action.
One question remains: why had it not done so years ago?
The answer is obvious. It matters not what the professional body may be, whether sports, lawyers, bankers…..history has shown over and over that conflicts of interest lead to a reluctance to self-regulate.
Government is about regulation. We elect governments to set our laws, ensure the policing of our neighborhoods, and regulate all aspects of our lives. Imagine the anarchy that would ensue if government decided we must police our own neighborhoods. There would be a return to the posse and vigilante days of the old West. It wouldn’t work. Yet the US administration has consistently refused to legislate for the policing of professional bodies.
It is exactly that irresponsibility that has led to a stalemate between America and much of the rest of the world over the most important issue facing mankind today; one that makes steroid use in baseball a mere kiddy’s prank by comparison.
At long last it seems Europe and the rest of the world are waking up to the fact that American climate change policy is non-existent. Delegates at the UN Bali Conference on Climate Change, desperate to agree a set of binding regulations that will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently, before it is too late i.e. by 2020, have been stunned by a US delegation determined to thwart the success of the conference at every turn.
So disgusted are the delegates that there is serious talk of boycotting a US-led climate summit next month.
Resounding applause echoed around the hall when Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore, stood on the podium and said:
“My own country, the US, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali.”
It is generally accepted that George Bush, desperate for some success out of his failed eight-year presidency, is trying to steal the limelight away from the United Nations.
One member of the US delegation told the assembly:
“The United States is happy to lead on the matter of global warming, but to lead, others must follow.”
There can be little doubt in most people’s minds the US has had ample time to show leadership on this issue and has failed. It was not so long ago George Bush was poo-pooing the whole concept of man-made global warming, refusing to take it seriously even when the scientific evidence was overwhelming.
Once asked about regulatory legislation to control greenhouse gas emissions by American industry, Bush responded that industry needed no regulation, they would police it for themselves. After campaign promises in 2000 to force the reduction of CO2 emissions from power plants, this president – once elected – then reversed his decision, under corporate pressure, days before moderate Republicans were set to introduce the legislation.
The result has been virtually no reduction in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by US industry in the last ten years, except where individual state legislation has demanded it.
George Bush may call himself the Commander-in-Chief, but he is no leader. Instead, he is a puppet of the corporations, prepared to sacrifice the welfare of those he was elected to serve to satisfy the whims of his masters.
Whether the war of words at Bali this week will explode into a full-blown row that sinks the upcoming US summit has yet to be decided. Europe and her partners are finally realizing they cannot wait for the US to lead on controlling climate change. In fact, America is woefully unable to lead on anything right now, given it has no leader. When George Bush finally vacates the White House and retires at his ranch in Texas, to play with his little dogs and his chainsaw, America may decide it is going to elect a true leader, one that believes in the real purpose of government. Maybe then, the corruption that has both infiltrated baseball and set the world’s challenge to reverse climate change back more than a decade, will be properly policed and hopefully eradicated.
Until the American people wake up to the necessity for such a leader, and finally elect one, Europe and the rest of the world will have to manage without any “American leadership”.
Eventually the stigma of sports star druggies will be forgotten. Baseball will go on, as will the planet.
But it’s becoming less and less likely there’ll be anyone left alive on Earth to enjoy either.
When George Bush first announced, in June 2007, his intention to hold a series of “international meetings” to discuss climate change, the Washington Post collated reaction to the proposals from media in Europe and America. The resulting article can be viewed HERE.
Filed under: Bush’s blundering