(Emphasis added where appropriate. Snarky comments from me are in [brackets].)
Every American deserves to have a clean, safe and healthy environment. Today, we understand better than ever before that our health is not only dependent on what happens in the doctor’s office but is determined by the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities we call home. Over the past two years, the Administration and our agency have taken unprecedented steps to ensure strong protection from environmental and health hazards for all Americans.
There’s nothing more important than health. When we live longer, healthier lives, we have more time to do our jobs, volunteer in our neighborhoods, play with our children, and watch our grandchildren grow up. Health is the foundation of our country’s prosperity. Healthy adults are more productive workers, healthy children are better students and healthy families can make bigger contributions to their communities. [How....Stalinist of her to say.]
In our Environmental Justice Strategy and Implementation Plan, you can find many programs that are already making a difference, such as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Minority Worker Training Program. This program has awarded grants in more than 30 communities across the United States to recruit and train individuals who live in vulnerable communities at risk of exposure to contaminants for employment in the environmental field.
The Affordable Care Act, the health reform law of 2010, includes a new community transformation grant program that builds on the Economic Empowerment Zone model. By promoting healthy lifestyles, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease, these grants help improve health, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made 61 awards, totaling approximately $103 million, to state and local government agencies, Tribes, and territories, and to non-profit organizations. Several awardees are planning to focus on expanding efforts to address healthy and safe physical environments. [And this is Constitutional how, Benedict Roberts ? This isn't a tax, it's social engineering.]
With the release of our Strategy and Implementation Plan, we are renewing our commitment to working with our Federal partners to promote environmental justice. Equally important, we are reaffirming our commitment to work with communities who are eager to get involved in this effort. We look forward to this collaboration as we continue to focus on building safe and healthy communities. ["I have a bad feeling about this!"--Han Solo]
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services"
Before we continue, I think we should review exactly what "environmental justice" actually is.
Here's the official Federal Leviathan version:
"Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies'. Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations requires each Federal agency to 'make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations.' The Executive Order also states that 'each Federal agency responsibility set forth under this order shall apply equally to Native American programs.' "
No, that didn't make any sense to me, either. Let's ask the expert, Van Jones.
Heywaitaminute! Van Jones ? Isn't he---
That's right. That's the same Van Jones that Glenn Beck outed as a commie, and that's the same Van Jones who used to be Chairman Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" until he was quietly fired on a moonlit Friday night.
"Mother Jones: Can you briefly explain what 'environmental justice' means to you?
Van Jones: Environmental justice is the movement to ensure that no community suffers disproportionate environmental burdens or goes without enjoying fair environmental benefits."
Vannie, Vannie, Vannie. You're holding out on us! Let's try that again, but this time, give us that old, tired commie pinko self-righteous victim rhetoric:
"MJ: What's the relationship between environmental justice and sustainability ?
VJ: Well, the only reason that we have the unsustainable accounting that we have right now is because incinerators, dumping grounds, and sacrifice zones were put where poor people live. It would never have been allowed if you had to put all the incinerators and nasty stuff in rich people's neighborhoods; we'd have had a sustainable economy a long time ago. We'd have had a clean and green economy a long time ago. It's the environmental racism that allowed the powerful people in society to turn a blind eye for decades to the downsides of the industrial system that got us to this point. So there's a direct relationship between environmental racism and the lack of sustainability of society as a whole. We were the canaries in the coal mines, crying for relief. Now finally the consequences are affecting everyone, with global warming and everything else. The other thing is that the environmental justice agenda is also changing. Before, it was much stronger on demanding equal protection from environmental bad. Now we are also demanding equal opportunity and equal access to environmental good. We don't want to be first and worst with all the toxins and all the negative effects of global warming, and then benefit last and least from all the breakthroughs in solar, wind energy, organic food, all the positives. We want an equal share, an equitable share, of the work wealth and the benefits of the transition to a green economy."
So in other words, "environmental justice" is a ---
A "green" version of "social justice", yes. And, as we all know--
"Social Justice" is nothing more than a polite word for--
I really wish you'd stop interrupting me, it's--
Rather rude ? Don't worry. I won't do it anymore. The gag's done.
All kidding aside, this is some pretty serious stuff. What exactly does Frau Sebelius' plan entail ?
"To update the 1995 HHS EJ Strategy, HHS created an Environmental Justice Strategic Planning Committee, composed of representatives from agencies and offices across HHS. The Committee reviewed past and current environmental justice programs and accomplishments to glean lessons learned and build upon successful strategies and activities. HHS also engaged multiple stakeholders during the strategic planning process in order to hear community and other stakeholder concerns, discuss best practices and model programs, and learn about ongoing and emerging environmental justice issues impacting Americans.
The 2012 HHS EJ Strategy provides direction for HHS efforts to achieve environmental justice as part of its mission by: (1) identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects on low-income populations and Indian Tribes, and (2) encouraging the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of affected parties with the goal of building healthy, resilient communities and reducing disparities in health and well-being associated with environmental factors. Driven by public input and HHS support, the strategy maintains the following three guiding principles:
- Create and implement meaningful public partnerships
- Ensure interagency and intra-agency coordination
- Establish and implement accountability measures
On the basis of the guiding principles, the 2012 HHS EJ Strategy is organized into four strategic elements; (1) Policy Development and Dissemination, (2) Education and Training, (3) Research and Data Collection, Analysis, and Utilization, and (4) Services. The 2012 HHS EJ Strategy reflects new and ongoing actions that are underway or planned for the near term. Each strategic element is aligned with targeted goals, strategies, and actions to be undertaken by HHS. The heightened coordination within and outside of HHS and the engagement of communities and other stakeholders will facilitate the implementation of the 2012 HHS EJ Strategy and support the realization of the vision."
Well, isn't that just ducky ? What will the aktion--er, uh, plan look like ?
(Emphasis added where appropriate. Snarky comments are in [brackets].)
"Strategic Element I: Policy Development and Dissemination
- Strengthen the application of health and environmental statutes and policies in minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes.
- Identify and address, as appropriate, human health or environmental effects of HHS programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes.
- Support and advance a 'health in all policies' approach that protects and promotes the health and well-being of minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures.
- Integrate environmental justice principles and strategies into the implementation of key statutes and policies that may impact minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes.
- Incorporate environmental justice principles and strategies into consideration of emerging issues that may disproportionately impact minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes.
- Provide consultation and/or partner with other Federal departments, where appropriate and feasible, on environmental policies, programs and initiatives that may impact health and well-being, with particular attention to minority and low-income populations and Indian Tribes.
Strategic Element II: Education and Training
- Educate communities, workers, the general public, health professionals, human services providers and the HHS workforce about environmental justice and environmental health to empower them to actively participate in the development and implementation of programs, policies and activities impacting and serving minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures. [In layman's terms, this means propaganda.]
- Build a health workforce prepared to prevent and diagnose conditions associated with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures and to provide high quality, culturally competent care. [????]
- Educate the public, especially in communities with minority and low-income populations and Indian tribes with disproportionately high and adverse environmental exposures, about environmental justice, environmental hazards, and healthy community environments. [Again, this means more propaganada.]
- Enhance health professionals’ and human services providers’ education and training in environmental health and environmental justice. [Time to indoctrinate the docs!]
- Increase the knowledge and understanding of health and environmental justice across HHS agencies and among HHS employees.
Strategic Element III: Research and Data Collection, Analysis, and Utilization
Strategic Element IV: Services
And this is another reason why the end is nigh.
The Doomday Clock is at 11:59:00.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock......