Monday, April 05, 2010

Climate for All

All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well
(Julian of Norwich, English mystic, 1342-1416)

Dear, Mr. President,

So, we're going to start drilling for oil and gas along some of our coastlines or at least seriously examine the possibility. Just what is your “grand” climate and energy policy to be? Will it actually be an authentic policy? Is America at this point capable of producing a climate and energy policy?

I have read a lot of the views from assorted pundits, “experts,” and interested observers as to why you're implementing this policy. It's to provide political cover, some have suggested, if peak oil really slams into us within the next few years.

You bet those old Chinese communists and ambitious technocrats in the politburo don't want angry peasants coming after them. Kill a rain forest for job security. India's one billion plus just wants its day in the sun. Brazil is merely tired of the gringos and, well, Japan wants to continue killing whales and dolphins, and who needs tuna anyway. It's only cultural cuisine, you meat eaters you. Did you know that it sometimes takes more than an hour for a whale to die a horrible death after being harpooned by one of those state-of-the-art spears?

Yeah, no one wants to contemplate a barrel of oil closing in on $200. It's going to be hard though to reduce our foreign oil import of 12 million barrels a day, even if we dig up America extracting shale oil. Michael Lynch, an energy consultant, said if you were “really” serious you'd open up the entire California coast. Hell, let's just drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Someone once said there's nothing in Alaska anyway but deadbeat fathers escaping child support payments.

We understand you have to give the opposition something if you want a genuine climate bill within the next few years. But I bet in your heart-of-hearts you know we ain't going to drill our way out of this, even if the cowboy plunderers that run the western states start drilling under Brigham Young University. Well, that's a thought....

A sort of a problem is that there is no rational opposition political party, Mr. President. There is a nasty, not very bright political cult. I know you want to break bread with Senator Lindsey Graham, who passes for an enlightened member of the Republican cult these days. Seemingly he believes climate change may be genuine. That's a dangerous position to take. Truly he's demonstrated a profile in courage.

I'm glad we now have some fuel efficiency standards, better late than never, maybe. I've heard that this could reduce oil consumption by 1.2 million barrels per day by 2020. But then, why does Senator Murkowski from Alaska want to roll back those fuel efficiency standards? Well her father, a former governor, was not terribly bright either. Maybe Senator Landrieu from the progressive state of Louisiana told her that fuel efficiency was encroaching on state rights. And who the devil is the National Automobile Dealers Association? They want to block the government's ability to regulate global warming emissions. Are they fronting for Islamic terrorists?

This naturally brings us to the U.S. Congress, specifically the United State Senate, little more than a dysfunctional debating society. Now if we ignore the members of the Republican cult, boot out a dozen or so Democratic senators, we may just have a quorum to begin debating climate change legislation and some energy issues.

I know, I know many environmentalists have said no drilling, no nukes, no biofuels, just get that alternative energy on line right now. Yup, better hitch up old Ned to the buckboard and head into town for some kerosene. In the meantime I'll be working hard at creating my resilient community.

No, I don't want us to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off the northern coast of Alaska, and I don't trust the fossil fuel industry, the night crawlers that have funded the climate deniers, and I'm well aware of the deep confusion among perhaps the majority of the electorate, and I'm angry at what I think is you having wasted more than a year screwing around with bipartisanship and a lot of timid incrementalism, but you're it right now.

You clearly have a lot of educating to do. Convincing Americans that it's never going back to the good ol' days won't be easy. Telling Americans that tearing up the planet and killing all life on it won't get them economic prosperity, job security or a future for their children is not something they want to hear. After all, we Americans are exceptional. Best hire some very smart behavioral science specialists and get on with the business of talking to average Americans, the sooner the better. Just maybe we've a 50-50 chance.


A Citizen

No comments: