Oh well done Mr. Abramsky, well done!

What is it with these people?

Here\’s a suggestion: in the 1930s, with the centre of the country devastated by dust storms, with coastal erosion, and with an underfunded national parks infrastructure, Roosevelt\’s administration created the Civilian Conservation Corps, blending environmentalism with public works. Huge numbers of young Americans were put to work salvaging endangered local environments, bulking up the country\’s environmental infrastructure, and building trails, coastal resorts, campgrounds and the like, that, three generations later, still enrich our collective experience.

Today, the Gulf Coast\’s wetlands and marshes are being inundated with crude oil, and, despite the thousands of volunteers and paid workers engaged in clean-up activities, news reports continue to show evermore damage being inflicted on these beautiful, and ecologically vital, coastal areas. At the same time, around the country state parks are being closed and the services offered in those that remain open pared back, as a result of brutal state budget crises. Flood protection systems in many regions are dilapidated. And large numbers of polluted Superfund sites remain unrepaired and dangerous.

Given the public anger at Big Oil these days, as well as the staggering number of unemployed Americans, the administration would be wise to harness this anger in order to push for a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps. In a very limited way, the Clinton-era AmeriCorps programme performs this role; but the numbers of people who go through the programme are relatively small and the breadth of its activities is somewhat narrow.

Why not marshal public fury at the Gulf oil disaster to generate funds for a huge new environmental corps, capable of hiring, and training, hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans?

Do they want to restart the production lines of socialist realist art or something? Buff peasants and proletarians looking to the new dawn?

Look bubbas, the technology of the 1930s was still pretty minimal.  An army of labourers using picks, shovels and backs was not notably less productive than the more mechanised methods of the time.

But today? What in hell are you thinking? We\’ve had another 80 years of mechanisation and automation. Chiselled abs are gained in the gym these days, not shifting a tonne or two of dirt a day. That tonne or two being what our, 80 year on, mechanised methods can shift in 15 seconds.

There just isn\’t anything for an army of unskilled labour to do out there, nothing that we cannot do more efficiently at least.

Jeebus, you\’ll be suggesting that everyone go out into the fields to help get the crops in next, just like they do in Cuba…..oh, wait…..

9 thoughts on “Oh well done Mr. Abramsky, well done!”

  1. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    As a matter of interest, can anyone recall a patch of land or sea anywhere in the world that got within sniffing distance of an oil leak that wasn’t called ‘fragile’ or ‘ecologically vital’?

  2. In any case, the Army Corps of Engineers is sitting idly by as some Washington bureaucracy takes three weeks to do an environmental risk assessment to build sand berms which LA Governor Bobby Jindal has been screaming for.

  3. As a matter of interest, can anyone recall a patch of land or sea anywhere in the world that got within sniffing distance of an oil leak that wasn’t called ‘fragile’ or ‘ecologically vital’?

    Anywhere in Russia where the risk of an oil spill is not from a western oil company. And the whole of Kuwait.

  4. Yay – and all those London families can go on hop-picking holidays in Kent. Perhaps Dave National Citizen Service “volunteers” can all troop off to the Vale of Evesham to take over the work only furners are willing to do in the fruit fields too.

  5. Perhaps Dave National Citizen Service “volunteers” can all troop off to the Vale of Evesham to take over the work only furners are willing to do in the fruit fields too.

    Furners and this particular Welshman in summer 1996. 🙂

    Tim adds: Why the “and”? Welshmen are furners aren’t they?

  6. “Tim adds: Why the “and”? Welshmen are furners aren’t they?”

    Oh very much so. “Welsh” derives from the Saxon for “foreigner”.

  7. “There just isn’t anything for an army of unskilled labour to do out there, nothing that we cannot do more efficiently at least.”

    Correct, and what do you plan to do about it?

    Parking millions of surplus humans on the dole to fester in ignorance and poverty indefinitely is no solution in the long term.

    Work does a lot more than just create wealth, it also has a social function.

    And as you can see, whilst in theory we could use modern machinery, in reality, said machinery isn’t available(as in ‘we can’t afford it’), so, I don’t see why we should not get some value out of paying to keep those guys afloat. I rather pay someone for shoveling than for begging.

  8. Highly recommend the new Marshall “Fury” series fund generators.

    Mine lives in the garden shed, with the magic socialist money tree just outside.

  9. That tonne or two being what our, 80 year on, mechanised methods can shift in 15 seconds.

    Get with the programme Mr W; I have access to machines that can move 75 tons in 15 seconds.

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