Friday, January 27, 2006

Would a politician's blog change this picture?

I read an interesting article just now over at CNET titled "Congress catching on to the value of blogs" and posted my own comment titled "Agreed!" under one commenter's post about being skeptical.

After all, would any prominent Indiana politician's blog really change the picture of what's happening regarding hog factory-farms here in Jasper County? ...or elsewhere in Indiana for that matter?

They know the problems that exist regarding these facilities. (Read my posts here for all the shocking details.)

They know there are several environmental issues that need immediate and swift action to overcome.

And yet, they...

- ignore citizen complaints (as in our case)

- ignore 1,000-name petitions (such as ours)

- refuse to act on EVIDENCE of violations

(such as the pictures we submitted to several enforcement bodies of the Belstra facility pouring concrete on ICE ...a dangerous practice that is strictly prohibited by concrete experts)

- refuse to act on any complaints for issues arising on factory-farms in operation for one year or more

(one poor lady in Newton County can tell you a horrifying story about that!)

- refuse to conduct full environmental impact studies and HALT expansion and/or new CAFO growth until they are conducted and environmental safety can be guaranteed

- refuse to HALT construction when an IDEM certificate issued is facing appeal (such as in our case)

- could care less about the harm to wildlife these factory-farms can bring

(They don't even care that this particular facility is right in the center of major migratory Sandhill Crane staging zone, a designated IBA, and habitat area to an endangered species - the fragile Whooping Crane population)

The list goes on and on...

If they had a blog, I wonder if they'd even resort to outright lying about the proven negative impacts these hog factories have on the environment -- land, water, air and soil? And I truly wonder how they would "paint their pretty pictures" to sway public opinion so they can proceed with their personal agendas without complaint?

It would be interesting, although probably not conducive to positive changes in any degree, in my humble opinion...

But who knows -- maybe I'm wrong, and somewhere out there, there are politicians who truly care, who truly want to leave this world in better condition than they found it.

For all our sakes, I certainly hope so!


T Kemp said...

I am not sure I would agree with your skepticism, Karen.

I think that blogging has the opportunity to increase communication between legislators and citizens in a public and free (i.e. No pay for access) way.

Just look at Ryan Dvorak's blog. He is not even my representative, but just because he is blogging, I am getting to know his views, and he knows mine (he sent me a CAFO link earlier this month).

Prior to the advent of blogs, that communication would never happen.

kmyers said...

Great point Mr. Kemp! In fact, since my post I've taken a bit of time to review a few politician blogs, and I honestly admit, some of them are excellent for the points you've raised here. Although others, well, I have to say I was disappointed. I've never seen Ryan Dvorak's yet. I'm going to check his out now. Thanks for posting. I really like your blog, and highly respect your opinions!