Weekend Trivia Quiz: What 1 Thing Does ALEC’s Legislative donors and Chinese’s Cancer Villages Have in Common?

To the surprise of no one, China has finally admitted yesterday what Lee Liu of Environment reported in 2010 and the rest of the world already knew: There are hundreds of “cancer villages” in China.

What does that have to do with the U.S. or ALEC? Well let’s see.

The cancer villages are an astonishing Chinese phenomenon in that, according to Liu, “China appears to have produced more cancer clusters in a few decades than the rest of the world ever had.

China is often touted for its economic boom and lack of regulations that support it. But now that China’s admission ends the debate of what price it pays, the world is forced to ask itself “Is unregulated, unfettered pollution a price the world is willing to pay for strong industry and cheap exports?”

ALEC appears to already know the answer to that question—“of course it is”.

You see, ALEC isn’t actually a person even though a certain Baldwin does carry that moniker. ALEC is “non-profit” entity whose operations in the simplest terms can be described thusly: the money goes in and the legislation comes out. This begs the question—who puts the money in?

One such organization is the “Donors Trust” operating out of a townhome in Alexandria, VA. It describes itself as “dedicated to the ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.” In reality, what the Donors Trust actually does is hand out nearly $400 million in private donations (now unfettered by pesky campaign finance laws thanks to the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court opinion) and ask in return for the ability to pollute and deny climate change. For more on this subject, Democracy Now has said more and better than I ever have: here

Nonetheless, what we have is an example of a world without meaningful pollution regulation: China’s “Cancer Villages”. And you name the cancer–leukemia, lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, the list goes on. We have a group in the U.S. who want the same in the U.S.—ALEC and its shady donors such as the Donors Trust.

It is up to us to decide what kind of world we want. Choose well.