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I'm careful about the word crisis. Like hero it gets overused. And when politicians deploy the word, watch out because you don't know if it means one of their earmarks got nicked or they're actually worried about something real. I don't, however, have any trouble when crisis is applied to our energy situation. What we're doing with energy – what we've been relentlessly, myopically doing after being warned and warned about the consequences – is exacerbating a climate change already well under way by refusing to acknowledge that this is a crisis. Not a Priority #6, we-should-maybe-get-around-to-that-tomorrow-or-day-after-tomorrow kind of crisis. A right-now crisis. We have to stop dinking around.

We should treat our energy crisis like World War II.

I'm not fond of the label "Greatest Generation" that Tom Brokaw implanted irrevocably into our brains. It's the sort of phraseology that contributes to generational warfare, and we already have enough divisions. But who can disrespect the sacrifices so many people of that era made? After surviving the Depression, they rationed sugar and gasoline and rubber, built tanks instead of Buicks, and went off to fight against the armies of nations who, for one of the few times in our history, had made war impossible to avoid.

When I say tanks, I mean massive numbers of tanks. Huge numbers of airplanes and ships and jeeps and locomotives and guns. Munitions and uniforms and bullets and bombs and bandages and all manner of everything needed to defeat determined enemies and simultaneously keep the home front fed and hopeful.  Factories running three shifts even when that required hiring women, which it did, in vast quantities. Victory gardens. Gold star moms. Everything for the war effort.

In today's dollars, $4.5 trillion borrowed and spent.

That's the kind of focus and commitment we need now. For energy, the presidential model should not be, as many progressives have urged on other issues, the New Deal FDR of 1933-36. Rather, it should be the wartime FDR of 1940-45. That war generated the largest public mobilization of human resources in our history.

Now, of course, Barack Obama isn't FDR. And this isn't 1941. Americans and America have changed a good deal in seven decades. We today are nearly as far from them as they were in their time from the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. But surely we do not lack their determination. Surely we are not slackers when it comes to dealing with what we want this planet to look like by the time our children and grandchildren have attained the age we are now. Surely, like those women and men of the 1940s, we are willing to sacrifice, make alterations in our daily habits, develop new ways of making things and new attitudes about consuming things.

After all, hundreds of thousands of their generation were killed and millions lost family members when they confronted their crisis. That's not on our plate.  Not, that is, if we do confront the crisis head-on instead of pretending some tweaking will resolve it. Of necessity, their mission was to build the machinery of destruction. What rolled out their factory doors and boot camps was meant to carry out slaughter. Our mission is far different.  

President Obama is perfectly suited for the bully pulpit, as Teddy Roosevelt named the megaphone that being in the White House conferred on him. Obama has not yet used the bully pulpit on energy, not really.

One frosty Sunday in December, the other Roosevelt found himself without a choice. Courtesy of Admiral Yamamoto, World War II had arrived on America's doorstep via Pearl Harbor. In fact, FDR had known long before that day there was no easy, peaceful way out. Treading close to the line of legality, perhaps even over it on occasion, he had prepared Americans for a war the majority of them wanted the U.S. to have no part of. So when the attack came, we were far more ready than we would have been without his vision.

The situation today doesn't look so stark to most people. The accident that produced the Gulf gusher was no Pearl Harbor. It killed far fewer people. And even though the subsequent assault on the environment may wreck the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and extinguish a couple of species before its ravages are complete, its psychological impact after six weeks is minuscule compared with what those zeros and dive bombers did in just two hours all those decades ago.

Even though the gusher provides a great teaching moment, a transitional moment, a clear-cut reminder of what staying on our current path means, to many it's just a one-off. So it would be easy to soft-pedal the urgency. The President could just continue along the lines of his speech last week in Pittsburgh.

However, we've been taking the easier path since Jimmy Carter left the Presidency. We and our leaders have been whistling in the dark while the crisis grew and our Cassandras were ridiculed, vilified and ignored. Our fossil-fuel energy consumption has gushed pollution into the atmosphere ten thousand times worse than BP's rogue well has gushed oil into the waters of the Gulf. Year after year after year, most of it invisible except to the scientists' instruments. Concealing its consequences has been the lying propaganda of profiteers and the la-la-la-la-we-can't-hear-you of far too many of us.

I am pretty sure President Obama knows the depth and dangers of our crisis. But he has yet to truly convey that to the American people. He's taken a rather different approach, as my colleague Laurence Lewis pointed out earlier. He should cut himself loose from the kick-the-can-down-the-road approach of his predecessors since Carter. He should commit our nation to a new and inevitably bumpy course of truly clean energy. That not only means wrestling with a superpowerful political opposition,  it also means doing so in the face of a juggernaut of broadcast media filled with hate-jockeys so dangerously vile they should dress in uniforms and armbands.

The message – it's a message that perfectly suits the preferred approach of our President – should be that this is a crisis and we must all pull together to overcome it. The message should be that each of us has a role in taking ourselves off the fossil-fuel needle that's poisoning our eco-system and addicting us as thoroughly as the lung-cancer victim who still smokes cigarettes between puffs from the oxygen mask.

The message should be that we must commit ourselves as a nation to conservation and efficiency, to be as determined to curtail our waste of energy as we are eager to expand our supply of it. That we set goals and benchmarks on the way to those goals for how much power we generate from renewables. Ditto how quickly we cut back atmospheric emissions.  

The message should be that we need to invest vast sums of public and private money in upgrading and reworking our transportation and electrical transmission system. That we need to build renewable-energy machines the way we made tanks and ships 70 years ago, fast and furious, and on borrowed money if we must.  

There's sugar in the message besides just ending our assault on the environment. Clean energy will create hundreds of thousands of jobs without the risk of disasters like the one we are witnessing now or the one that put 29 miners into the grave in West Virginia a few months ago.

Most important of all, the message should be – must be – that we can't keep putting off the commitment until some more convenient day.

Such a message from the President won't be too convincing in the chambers of a half-hostile Congress in which half the remainder are, shall we say, soft on soft energy. So he'll have to convince the American people to convince Congress.  That's what the great platform of the bully pulpit is for. Not a single speech, not an off-the-cuff remark here and there, but a viral version of the message over and over again. Until it sinks in. For those matters on which Congress – sucking at the teat of Big Oil – still cannot be convinced, the President should do what he can with executive orders – public, transparent ones, of course – and innovative reworkings of the focus and operations of executive agencies.

Treating the energy crisis as if it were World War II does not mean pushing a particular piece of legislation, though, of course, legislation will ultimately be required. Nor about building one particular kind of new technology. It means changing our mindset about, and our relationship to, energy and the side-effects engendered by our consumption of great quantities of it. Transformation. The fact that some very powerful, ruthless people stand in the way is nothing new.

Thirty-two years ago working in the still-rented laboratories and offices of the Solar Energy Research Institute, a part of the Department of Energy now known as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, our team was excited. Whatever our specific jobs – and mine was not scientific – we were eager. A President had taken up the challenge of the energy crisis and we were going to be on the cutting edge of a new approach. Climate change was not on our minds. But the idea of taking out the oil-and-coal needle by creating clean energy from sun and wind and teaching people how to reduce their energy demand without making them Amish was our welcome task.

Ronald Reagan ripped most of the petals off that dream. His three successors, two of them oil men, offered anemic, inconsistent policy, inadequate funding and zero interest in getting Congress to change direction. Until the seventh year of George Bush's administration, the federal government spent fewer inflation-adjusted dollars annually on renewables research than Carter had in his final budget. Nearly three decades wasted. Not that advances weren't made in spite of the government's stingy efforts and the majority of the population's indifference. But, whatever progress has been achieved,  so much more could have been done, enough perhaps that our current crisis might not even be one.

President Obama has done more and talked more about establishing a reasonable energy policy than any President since Carter. But, to the dismay of many, he has placed "clean coal" and off-shore oil and nuclear power ahead of renewables. Persuading him to drop one or more of the first three should surely be part of progressives' efforts. In the short run, however, it's far more important he be persuaded to more deeply embrace renewables and conservation policies that ultimately will make those other energy sources redundant.  

One way or another, the energy crisis is going to transform us as much as World War II transformed us. The question is whether the President will seize the day or it will seize us.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 04:56 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wish I could be more optimistic (15+ / 0-)

    But alas, I am not.  I think if the US really wanted to do something, we'd already be doing it. I think that we like our fat lazy indolent wasteful lifestyle, and we won't change it until we are absolutely forced to by circumstances-- when it will be too late.

    I sincerely hope to be proven wrong.

    But I'm not hopeful.

    •  WW II required quite a lot of sacrifice. (8+ / 0-)

      And even for that great cause, according to my dad, our patience for it wore off in pretty short order. In his case, once his job was done in the Pacific, he wanted nothing more urgently than to get back to "normal". And that was after about 3 years or so. According to other relatives who participated in the civilian part of the war economy, they had the same motivation. Get it over with and return to normal as fast as possible. If anything, our patience now is even shorter. In short, I see the situation about like you do. We wouldn't put up with that kind of sacrifice for more than a few years even with fresh memory of an attack and an almost monolithic, we're-all-in-this-together attitude.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  even in WW2 (7+ / 0-)

        we weren't willing to do anything until we were directly and painfully impacted.

        •  And we didn't quibble too much.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Winnie, Matt Z

          ..about what needed to be done. Just got behind the command structure and all pushed in the same direction together.

          Much simpler project than changing our energy supply system. There are so many ways to go and so many constituencies focused on this or that energy idea to the exclusion of various others. Much less  concentrated effort on the overall goal.

          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

          by billmosby on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:36:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Right you are (0+ / 0-)

          We won't do anything until forced to.

          We should treat our energy crisis like World War II.

          In World War II we had... wait for it...

             GAS RATIONING

          It wouldn't be politically popular, but perhaps more popular than a huge gas tax.

          It worked in WWII. And the energy problem is the "moral equivalent of war" (Jimmy Carter)

        •  I'd say we are impacted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, A Siegel, greengemini

          right now right here. We have a specific example of what were doing right in the heart of our waterways. So vivid so graphic one would have to be blind to ignore what we are doing to our planet our economy our 'security'. We are not separate from our economy or nature it is a two way deal. Why is this even considered economic growth or politics, let alone a reality that is necessary. It's not it is madness. All our politics are useless unless we face what we have created. A world gone mad, one where geopolitics are aimed at destruction, of that which we depend on for survival, we have forgotten it's what sustains us not our enemy.

          Politics seem irrelevant when we proceed to ignore the reality we face. the degrees we fight over are irrelevant to nature, it does no care who or what is the cause of distress it is irrelevant, but it's real it's now and it's gushing out of the hole punched in the earth in  the name of energy for our folly for our life style for our madness.    

             

      •  Assumption of sacrifice is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, greengemini

        the problem ... because there are, unlike WWII, very clear gains within our lives for taking the clean energy path.

        Higher productivity from greener officesand better student performance from green schools.

        Improved health as fossil fuel pollution falls.

        Improved economic performance as fewer dollars flow overseas.

        Etc ...

        Etc ...

        Etc ...

        All historical analogies have their problems, their weaknesses. This is one of the weaknesses of the WWII analogy.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:10:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There were plenty of perceived gains.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          .. from fighting WW II according to my parents and others of their generation. And all stemmed from getting the job done, which they saw as allowing them to get back to their real lives.

          Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

          by billmosby on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:51:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There were massive gains ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby

            on many levels, including an indirect improvement in many people's lives as with what I was talking about due to even more fresh food (Victory Gardens) and excercise (some reduction in automobile use) that would be multiplied today (far more sedentary lifestyle with far more processed food).  There were gains in terms of national identity, common purpose, scientific developments, etc ...

            And, there was that minor little 'gain' of defeating the Axis ...

            But, I think that gain of defeating the Axis was an 'avoided cost' ...

            But, if we took away the 'avoided cost' of defeating the Axis, consider the 'costs' of WWII globally (10s of millions dead, productivity pushed to military activities, etc ...), were the 'incidental' gains more than those costs?  If we do the 'climate change' and 'peak oil' equation, however, it is likely that the benefits from action to mitigate climate change outweight the costs -- even without considering the huge value of the avoided costs of catastrophic climate change.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 04:21:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  teachable moment? (9+ / 0-)

      "we won't change it until we are absolutely forced to by circumstances-" - Al Gore thinks this oil spill is what just that teachable moment - The Crisis Comes Ashore: Why the oil spill could change everything.

      •  I don't see it (15+ / 0-)

        I think that the $4 a gallon gas we had a while ago pissed people off an awful lot more than this spill does.

        Here in Tampa Bay, the attitude of people I talk to at the bus stop or the checkout line is "I just hope it doesn't wash up on shore HERE".

        •  Gawd I Wish You Were Wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lying eyes, A Siegel, Matt Z

          Here in Tampa Bay, the attitude of people I talk to at the bus stop or the checkout line is "I just hope it doesn't wash up on shore HERE".

          AARGGHHH!

          Maybe some others can remember going to the movin' pitchers during WWII and learning that we were losing on the newsreels and then provided some wonderful entertainment about the U.S. Calvary slaughtering some Indians to protect the winmmin and children from the savages.

          Ain't war fun?

          Best,  Terry

        •  So why not be honest (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, Calamity Jean

          and factor in the cost of everything we're doing to support the oil industry, in the name of our "security" and force a pump price commensurate with that value. Proceeds can fund our Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan endeavors, our energy exploration tax incentives, health care costs for treating lung diseases.... Obama could lift the lid off of the shell game and use that as his bully pulpit -- while people would rage, they would only have the truth to rage at and a path out of their misery with alt. energy.

          The art of listening is the ability to pay attention to that which is most difficult to hear

          by dRefractor on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:04:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is exactly what I see here (0+ / 0-)

          in Texas, another Gulf state, even if it is not expected to see much oil coming this way, or at least not yet.  From the people that I've spoken with from various states along the East Coast, there is a similar attitude.

          For people who are inland, or in Western states, it doesn't even register beyond "those poor birds."  They don't actually think it is going to effect them, so they don't give it much thought.  Most people have not made any changes in the way they go about their own lives as a result of this, which I find extremely sad.  

        •  In fact (0+ / 0-)

          and you are probably aware of it Lenny, they are advertising a website for Tampa Bay area residents to go to that will tell them how to "help out" and get the word out to people that our beaches are still a tourist paradise.

          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

          by Inspector Javert on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:45:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's part of the deal with BP (0+ / 0-)

            BP is paying for a massive national ad campaign to push Florida as a tourist spot and endlessly remind everyone that there's no oil here, yet.

            Florida is, of course, utterly dependent on two major industries--tourism and fishing.  Both are in big trouble now, thanks to BP. Although fishing near Florida has not yet been restricted, many Florida fisheries are finding that the national wholesalers and distributors won't buy any catch that comes out of the Gulf anyway, for fear of contamination. It's killing the fishing industry.

            And geography-challenged tourists from all over the US and the world are cancelling their Florida vacations for fear of the oil, even to places like Disney World and the Space Center where the chance of oil is zero. It's killing the tourist industry.

            And this is a one-two-three punch for us----the tourist trade was already down because of the bad economy, and both tourism and fishing were hit hard by the unusually cold winter we just had. Even before the spill, it was not unusual to see boarded-up shops in the tourist areas, and anchored boats for sale in the fishing villages. Now it's even worse.  Many will not survive this.

            So even though the actual oil from the spill has not reached most of Florida and probably never will, the effects of it have certainly reached us--and it is devastating.

            The question for us will be-----is BP gonna pony up for the economic damage they've caused here, or are they gonna imperiously declare "but the oil never even reached you!!!" and refuse.

    •  Well, when gas is $12/gal, maybe there'll be (7+ / 0-)

      fewer suburbans on the road!

      •  The folks driving Suburbans ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inspector Javert

        are well or very well off, and will bitch, but it won't hurt them much. The folks who will get crushed, are the low wage earners who do not live in major eastern urban areas and still have no practical way to get to work other than the automobile, and their 15 year old clunker won't be replaced with a $50,000 electric or hybred, unless of course you want to give (not loan) them the money.  

        "God is an iron" -Spider Robinson

        by oldcrow on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:37:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First off (0+ / 0-)

          decent hyrbids can be had under $10,000.  Check out 2003 prius blue book values.

          Second, if we were to build ONLY electrics and hybrids starting now, the fleet would turn over largely within 15 years.  Of course, if we mandate that new cars be efficient, then a solution is in the pipeline.  Of course, we could wait for gas to hit $12 a gallon and the poor will be really screwed because we decided not to do anything.

          I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

          by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:51:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Gas wont hit $12 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, stormserge

        Civilization will implode and we'll have WWIII first.

        Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

        by Whimsical on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:46:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I going to have to agree (5+ / 0-)

      we've become the can't do it country.

      the political class has learned that getting something done is not actually required for re-election.

      so they cruise along until there is a crisis and then spend their time trying to assign blame.

      big badda boom : GRB 080913

      by squarewheel on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:46:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would you could be more optimistic too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizen k

      Thank you for your concern and your honesty.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:47:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see one huge obstacle (2+ / 0-)

      The only cost-efficient alternative energy regimes are fission and perhaps fusion-- and both are going to remain very dangerous because they will be built by private enterprise, under less state control than is acceptable in France or other parts of Europe.

      BP's recent actions  suggest there will be shoddy construction, dangerous corner-cutting, deception, fraud, and defiance of accountability in any major construction project undertaken here. That's the curse of our political culture.

      •  wind and solar are both more cost-efficient (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Even if you don't take into account the massive subsidies the oil and coal industries get, both in raw dollars, and in military support and lack of regulation.

      •  that's simply not true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        solar and wind are both quite close to cost effective, if not outright superior competitors economically in some cases.  

        However, if as pointed out, if the subsidies and tax breaks given to oil are also given to renewables (i.e., a level-ish playing field) renewables are likely to come out on top.  Include the environmental destruction costs from fossil fuels and no fossil fuel would be competitive.

        Fossil fuels aren't competitive.  They just receive economic and environmental subsidies to make them look that way.

        I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

        by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:53:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW

          solar and wind are both quite close to cost effective, if not outright superior competitors economically in some cases.

          See Jerome a Paris' diary, "Wind's latest problem: it ... makes power too cheap" http://www.dailykos.com/... .  Wind is cost-competitive against coal despite coal's "economic and environmental subsidies"!    

          Solar isn't quite competitive yet against natural gas burning generators, but as the price of solar panels goes down this may change.  Soon, I hope.  

          Renewable energy brings national security.

          by Calamity Jean on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 07:30:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  you like this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      no one likes this we are just cowards who think that this bis reality the best we can have. What nonsense. We are humans we are able to be creative we are part and parcel of the universe were not dependent on those who are destroying the planet. If these people cannot come to grips with reality we the people must. We can we will. the entities and people who proclaim this is the best we can do are wrong. Were starlight were part of the whole we are capable of soaring and we should not be afraid of our power.    

  •  But there is this little problem called politics. (18+ / 0-)
    Since Jimmy Carter, every elected official has known that trying to really do something about our energy addiction is a sure way to becoming an ex-official.

    I read a stat the other day that in the month since Deepwater Horizon exploded, pickup truck sales in the US have actually RISEN.

    I think that says it all.  How do you convince a country full of energy hogs that it's time to get off the needle?  Only if a couple of hurricanes spread this oil all over the inland areas will the actual majority of the American public be roused to really care.

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:02:03 PM PDT

    •  It's the duty of our leaders ... (30+ / 0-)

      ...to give us the facts, to point us down a reasonable path, to give us tools to find our way. It's up to us to push them to exercise that duty.

      I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:12:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People have been given (6+ / 0-)

        facts for decades and they still aren't on board with environmentalist agenda. Majority still supports oil drilling even after Deep Horizon. At some point you have to face the fact that it isn't ignorance that is driving these numbers.

      •  It's crazy, in an upside-down kinda way (6+ / 0-)

        We have to try and cajole our political leadership into doing their sworn duty. It's insane.

        First we have to elect them, then we have to keep telling them that taking bribes is bad. Finally, we have to keep reminding them that the Lobbyists who represent their corporate and wealthy donors do not have a monopoly on the truth.

        Wouldn't it be so much better if we could find a way to get them to start understanding these critical points before we elect them?

      •  But they are not doing that... (3+ / 0-)

        They are not leading and we sit here helpless.

        Not to disparage your thoughts here, kind sir, as I admire you greatly.  Why are we so complacent?
        We are not helpless and there are things we can do.  I see so much of what people can't do, can't ride the bus, can't find good fresh food, can't cut down, can't, can't, can't.  Don't whine that you can't, tell what you CAN DO.  Can you take the bus one day, can you give up buying new clothes, can you give up something to make a difference?  Can you physically do one thing that does not involve the computer, a physical action to improve our planet?  Can we all do one thing every day, and not give up or whine and moan about how helpless we are when our leaders don't lead?  
        One little thing every day to make the planet better.
        One thing, every day.  Can we do that?

        Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes form.

        by SME in Seattle on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:27:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Facts are a huge problem (6+ / 0-)

        Even as we here in the South are watching the Oilpocalyse destroy the Gulf of Mexico, the message from our leaders has been mixed and often deferential to BP.  

        This disaster should have been an enormous opportunity for President Obama to seize by the horns and promote a new energy policy based upon clean, renewable sources.  Instead, his message continues to triangulate and unfortunately, it may become an opportunity lost.

        I have always said that a good energy policy will solve the jobs issue and keep those jobs in the US.  A small sacrifice now (weaning ourselves off heavy oil dependence) will pay big dividends in the end.  Unfortunately, politicians listen first to lobbyists and rarely to the people.

        In deep mourning for the beautiful and bountiful Gulf Of Mexico. She deserved better, much better that this. -8.00 -5.74

        by gulfgal98 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:31:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, no. (0+ / 0-)

        In our system, the only real duty our leaders have is to get re-elected.  No democratic theorist has been able to come up with a way to make politicians do the right thing if the right thing is unpopular.  This is why tyrannies run more efficiently than our system.

        I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:38:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I heard the 'facts' in 1979. (0+ / 0-)

        We will push the gas lines to move faster.....

        You know it MB.  I saw it.

        4% Neanderthal, 95% chimp.

        by exMnLiberal on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:37:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so happy the labor movement did not agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        schroeder, Trotskyrepublican

        in 1933 - otherwise we'd still be in sweatshop land.

        •  hmph (0+ / 0-)

          since unions are among the bigger obstacles to pursuing renewable energy, I'm not in a mood to cheer on unions at the moment.

          I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

          by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:55:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  we have unions in the US? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean, Dirtandiron

            (looks around)

            where have they been hiding?

            •  California apparently. (0+ / 0-)

              They managed to kill the first Million Solar Roofs initiative, though it came back from the dead.  Now, when there are big solar installations going in, if the utility doesn't give a union contract, they through everything at the project they can, especially all manner of environmental entanglement, which is clearly not the priority.  Right now, they're trying to kill something like 1.3 million households worth of solar projects.  It's kind of disgusting.

              I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

              by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:10:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  so what's the problem with giving a unioncontract (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean, Dirtandiron

                Other than, of course, that the companies are cheap bastards.

                •  why should the planet be held hostage? (0+ / 0-)

                  So the unions can have more money?  If they can negotiate it, that's great, but if the negotiation of the contract takes forever too, that's a problem.  I've got nothing against union contracts, whatever, but why should they then kill projects and endanger the planet just so they can have more money?  Basically, these unions and BP are in the same game.  They have zero compunction against killing environmentally friendly projects to advance their agenda.  none.  They really don't give a shit that they're in the business of killing the planet for additional coffee breaks.  Prevailing wages aren't that different from the data I've seen.

                  I suppose it's a hard ball world.  I guess I'm an environmentalist, so in the world of hardball, I suppose I should call my Congresswoman to oppose EFCA then?  No, because that's the wrong thing to do.

                  I work putting in solar plants, and the games these guys play are not on the level.  Don't color me as an ally anymore.

                  I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                  by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:04:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  why can't environmental workers make a (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Calamity Jean, Dirtandiron

                    decent living?

                    Why do people who make solar panels in China have to live on two cups of rice per day?

                    Why do companies that install solar panels have to make lots and lots of money (that they don't share with the workers doing the actual work) while doing it?

                    And most important of all, why do we continually insist on the same "jobs vs the environment" baloney that failed us all so badly since the 80's?

                  •  killing the planet, huh . . . . (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dirtandiron

                    Why don't you work for free, then?  

                    •  Distort much? (0+ / 0-)

                      No one is suggesting that anyone work for free but rather that unions should think about something other thantemselves.  We decry corporations for putting money ahead of anything else I guess unions are no different.

                      In case you hadn't noiced we are facing a planetary emergency. We are supposed to kill anything that doesn't serve a particular unions interest?  I think that unions are great and need to be vastky more powerful.  But I dint think we should sacrifice everything to get that.  Do you support repealing HCR if it doesn't require unionization of hospitals?  Do you think we should kill financial reform if it doesn't require unionization of bank tellers?  Do you think we should prohibit people from working on political campaigns if they aren't unionized and oppose any campaign finance reform that doesn't include this requirement?  

                      A lot of people are working very hard to change how our econmy is conducted so our grand children don't have to face a collapse of civilization and ecological catastrophe and for people to come along and try to kill those efforts so thier friends can have more money is insane. Certainly if unions work against my political interests they cannot expect my support of their priorities

                      I am not asking that EFCA include a requirement that unions pay for carbon offsets for the activities of the union and unionized workplaces but I guess you are arguing that since offsets are a good thing I should make that a price of my support. I think that that's a ludicrous argument to make that anything less than perfect must be killed. That's a recipe for the status quo.  You know what happens from this approach?  Why don't you go visit the gulf and then ask yourself if killing solar projects is a good idea

                      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                      by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:25:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  And actually (0+ / 0-)

                      Having worked for academia and non profits until recently I've never earned as much as union guys do because I beleive in something more important than cash.  For once I am willing to pay a little or work a little for the common good. Wish more propel would do that but that's unAmerican I guess

                      I remember one union movemt in my work
                      place where they were trying to get higher wages for janitors. Which was great.  But it didn't escape my notice that the janitors were already earning more than the postdocs much less the teaching assistants BEFORE any raise.  They were calling that wage a disgrace but it was more than I took home.  Funny

                      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                      by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:29:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  it is expensive to put in a project (0+ / 0-)

                  as many people have noted, fossil fuels have economic advantages.  Solar plants have systemic disadvantages.  If the developers weren't cheap and saving money, the result would be no solar plants, but lots more coal.  The economics are tight, and we shouldn't lose sight of that.  Our union "friends" are perfectly willing to kill the plants since they'll get jobs putting in the coal plants.

                  The people I work with aren't cheap bastards, necessarily, and as a European company they aren't necessarily hostile to good labor contracts.  They do however have to make the project financially viable.

                  I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                  by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:08:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "financially viable" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dirtandiron

                    I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard those words from an employer.

                    They always mean "I get all the money, and you get none of it".

                    •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                      So you are saying that unless unions control the worksite climate change isn't worth doing anything about.  You have seen all those comment about renewables not quite being economically viable right?  

                      Having high wages and good rules and union contracts would be great. I don't see that it's worth killingtge entire Gulf of Mexico for though. I guess you like dead birds

                      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                      by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:43:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think the BP oil workers even had a union (0+ / 0-)

                        So blaming the unions instead of BP is rather trollish, IMHO. Verging on HR-able.

                        I don't see that it's worth killingtge entire Gulf of Mexico for though. I guess you like dead birds

                        •  Uh not getting it (0+ / 0-)

                          If the unions kill solar jus what do you thinkk takes it's place. Oil. Coal. We know for deep horizon that we need something different.  When you ask the people who are actually trying to build that alternative future without coal and ask them ( me) who is trying to stop you the answer is surprising:  unions and the more hard core environmentalists.  It isn't BP that's trying to stop solar development

                          I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                          by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:04:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I know, I know it's not BPs fault. It's always (0+ / 0-)

                            someone elses fault. Unions, Al Gore, George Soros, President Obama, black people whoever is in Fox's talking points of the day.

                          •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

                            o.k., this is bordering on bizarre.  Of course, proximally it is BPs fault, but they were drilling for oil, well, because people buy it.  If we had renewables instead, then perhaps they wouldn't be drilling.  Now do you get the connection?

                            We have a major emergency on our hands and now is not the time to get in the way demanding your pony.

                            I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                            by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 10:24:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  so all these "green jobs" that I hear are going (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dirtandiron

                    to save the world (and the economy) are in reality just more typical American low-wage shit McDonald's jobs, so the companies can stay "financially viable"?

                    I'm pretty sure that's not going to endear them to many people . . . . . . .

                    •  No (0+ / 0-)

                      Because they aren't going to happen if the unions get their way

                      They are still decent jobs but they're going to be killed.   Again

                      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                      by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:39:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Total nonsense. Simply not true.Straw man. (0+ / 0-)

                        I would like to know what union has the power, in this day and age to outlaw solar panels? Remember spreading untrue RW talking points is doughnut-worthy.

                        •  Not outlaw. Kill the projects and fundiNg (0+ / 0-)

                          First. When the California legislature was considering funding and regulating solar for homes. The unions leaned hard to get anunion contract only provision put in. In the end they would not relent until the bill died. Another owns was passed a couple of years later.  Now I'd you go to look at the permit proceedings on the big solar plants and look at who is commenting to oppose the projects by trying to create big procedural hurdles it isn't coal companies it's the unions.  They don't need to outlaw anything.  All they have to do is make it expensive and time consuming to kill these big projects. And I'd they succeed then what?

                          It Isnt a right wing talking point it is factually what is happening in the industry .   I see this pattern pretty often.  Follow the money friend

                          I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                          by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 06:12:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  But at least we know why (0+ / 0-)

                      No actionnis going to be taken on climate change. No one cares about it enough to prioritize it.  

                      I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

                      by Guinho on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 08:50:13 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  I read somewhere that one of the subsequent GOP (9+ / 0-)

      president actually had Jimmy Carter's solar collectors ripped out of the White House.

      Can you imagine that?  

      Yes, politics can be an obstacle.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:18:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem... (5+ / 0-)

      ... is that our elected leaders put "pragmatic politics" ahead of pragmatic solutions, forgetting that the politics take care of themselves when the solutions they achieve work.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:24:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the only liberal leader (5+ / 0-)

        in the last century who was actually able to effect such solutions was FDR, and only because he had four terms made possible by the Republicans' Great Depression and WWII.

        All others have had to settle for incrementalism.  I would love to have a government as liberal as, say, Sweden's, but it aint gonna happen in my lifetime.

        I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:36:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't have infinite time. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Trotskyrepublican, drnononono

          Dwindling resources, with peak oil right on our doorstep.  Population growth.  Global warming accelerating.

          The long, generational view is great - when you have time measured in generations to get to your goals.

          We don't.

          And right now, there is an incredible opportunity to accelerate the incrementalism, to actually take some significant steps.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:13:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hurricanes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevvboy, Matt Z, Trotskyrepublican

      will be 'glad' to oblige,

      I expect.

      The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood. --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807

      by jamess on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:26:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for pointing out about the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, Trotskyrepublican

      devil-may-care attitude that many Americans continue to have in the face of this catastrophe.  Unfortunately, even if a hurricane brought oil inland, it still wouldn't put a dent in the sales of pickup trucks and other large vehicles.  

      Most Americans are to the point, where if it will only change the behavior of the individuals who's backyard the oil literally landed in.  If that person's next door neighbor didn't get hit, then the next door neighbor is buying a truck.

  •  Copenhagen came and went (15+ / 0-)

    and nothing happened. This spill hasn't changed the tune of the Whitehouse. We can keep hoping for something different but policy alone won't make it happen. Until Americans are smacked in the face with the inevitability of it we'll do nothing. Hitler raged across Europe for 2 years and we did nothing. It wasn't until it hit us directly that we got our rears in gear. We don't do planning very well.

    Wal*Mart isn't the root of all evil but you can buy the plastic, cadmium-tainted, Chinese knock-off of it there for $4.27

    by ontheleftcoast on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:02:23 PM PDT

  •  HELLO. There it is. That's what I'm talking about (9+ / 0-)

    It has to be met head on.

    While we all have a role to play, the fact is we cannot get a solution to scale to the problem if the guy we put into the White House doesn't put his heart and soul into it. Whether it's this and/or the class war, if it doesn't become a cornerstone of his legacy it will be because he didn't step up to it. Because both require Herculean, national efforts undertaken at the behest of a willing leader.

    Just, as you say, with WWII. And the Class War circa the Great Depression. FDR tackled both.

    He's in the right place at the right time, and the country will get behind him if he acts decisively.

    I have no doubt Obama CAN do it. I have less and less faith that he WILL.

    When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

    by Words In Action on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:08:04 PM PDT

  •  It Takes Massive and Consistent Propaganda (14+ / 0-)

    The US wouldn't have gone to war against the Axis in 1941 if it weren't for massive propaganda. The Pearl Harbor attack was probably also necessary to force Americans to confront the crisis as their own individual problem, but without constant propaganda painting Japan, Germany and the Axis as mortal enemies, evil, and even inhuman, Americans wouldn't have fought the way we did: all out, for as long as it took. And it took only 3-4 years, not the 20-50 years that our energy crisis will take to "win".

    There were very few people in American in the 1940s who offered counter-propaganda. Very few businesses held interests vested in the Axis winning the war, defeating us in the crisis. But today we have a large amount of Americans who are on the side of the crisis. They have been indoctrinated by generations of propaganda, produced steadily by a large and powerful contingent of American businesses deeply vested in keeping the crisis going until it utterly breaks us.

    Indeed, in the propaganda campaign, most of the large amount of propaganda and its producers is already on the side of the crisis against us winning.

    However, the truth is much more powerful than lies. The lying propaganda that keeps the crisis going is vast, but only strong enough to barely keep us disinformed and divided. The truth on its own, with minimal propaganda promoting it, is still widely believed and understood. The truth is so powerful that it takes only a little propaganda for it to destroy the lies, and a little persistence and focus to destroy the liars along with them.

    But that's what it will take. Propaganda promoting the truth, for 30-50 years. Focused on the truth of the crisis, the truth of the ways out, the truth about the liars making it worse.

    As usual, we can win. The question is whether we will fight.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:10:10 PM PDT

  •  Or a fierce emergency (13+ / 0-)

    I've been saying this for awhile now. Thank you for writing so well about it.

    We should treat our energy crisis like World War II.

    I am on the eastern seaboard. The oil is in the gulf and is on its way to wrapping around Florida and up the Atlantic coast. One hurricane, one bad hurricane, and it's going to literally hit home for half the country. Up here in PA we get hurricane rain often enough.

    What will it take for this country to wake up? So many of us are in a stupor, a miserable stupor, but so bogged down with all our personal problems that we can't see that they are collective problems that require collective solutions.

    -7.50, -6.87 Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

    by asterkitty on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:10:49 PM PDT

    •  If one of the coatal LNG tankers blows up, or is (7+ / 0-)

      struck by terrorists it will create quite a shock.

      A professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, told us once the fireball south of Boston would be several miles in diameter.  

      We have a lot of "soft target" risk around few include in their cost/benefit comparisions of different energy types.

      So many of these dangers, like the BP oil spill are not included in per unit cost comparisions of solar, wind, or other renewable less dangerous sources of energy.

      Before nuclear power could get off the ground, congress had to pass the Price Anderson Act to limit liabilities to power compandies to something remarkable low estimate.

      These hidden external cost don't show up.

      BP claims it intends to pay for all the clean-up, but if the total damage were totally calculated I'm sure it will excede the couple hundred billion dollars of total value BP has.

      Will we sieze this from shareholders and put it in a trust?

      And so far folks have just talked about the US coast.

      What about the other Carribean and Latin American countries that will also be effected?

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:27:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  5 to 15 MT - that's the TNT equivalent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Winnie, HoundDog

        of one of those LNG tankers going off.

        BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

        by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:37:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a lot of equivalent. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Winnie, kj in missouri

          If we weren't totally dependent on it, we could have an objective risk/benefit discussion.

          But, since we have no alternative, we will let ourselves go temporarily brain dead, until we think of some other distraction.

          How do we quantify this mind-numbing harm to our collective wisdom?

          And add it to a per/unit tax on oil, nuclear, and all the other forms of energy that otherwise wrongly appear to be so much less expensive than renewable alternatives?

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:46:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We can still have the discussion. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoundDog

            I have asthma, probably from the effects of particulate air pollution. Millions of others of Americans have it, too. Tens of thousands die from the effects of air pollution, every year.

            At what price? Is that worth $2.59/gal gas, $.08/Kw electricity?

            BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

            by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:19:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Time to decentralize (16+ / 0-)

    Go for geothermal. Light tubes. Solar. Building a house and it's not much more. Savings will be huge.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:11:19 PM PDT

    •  it is indeed much more efficient to (10+ / 0-)

      generate power at the place where it will be used, rather than generating at a large central location and transmitting outward from there.

      But of course the decentralized model isn't a very good one for a large electric or energy company -- which is, of course, why we don't have it.

      •  This was one of Amory Lovin's points back in the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, shpilk, Winnie, drnononono

        early 1970s.  And Schumaker too.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:28:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely! And it may well be why President Obam (0+ / 0-)

        a is advocating "solutions" that would result in large chunks of money going to large industries.  I am not saying he's got some evil plan, just that he doesn't think "small."  Micropower and negawatts, while almost certainly effective, don't shock and awe the way Big Nuclear and Clean Coal do.

      •  not clear that's true (0+ / 0-)

        There is this thing called economies of scale, which cut in favor of large installations.  True, transmission is more expensive, but there are costs associated with the customization and installation expenses for distributed power, too.  The mantra that distributed is cheaper is kicked around a lot but the case is far from clear that distributed generation is more efficient.  Large electric companies could totally do distributed solar (and some do, such as San Diego Gas and Electric) nearly as easily, but they have found that it often isn't cost effective.

        Consider this:  putting up one power plant involves one set of permits, environemtnal review etc.  PUtting up a thousand small ones involves, well, a thousand times that number.  Multiply the legal fees by 1,000 and you have some real numbers.  

        I wish more people were thoughtful and honest but being outraged is too much fun I suppose

        by Guinho on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:59:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Being able to have a substantial part of (6+ / 0-)

      energy generation is a national security issue, as well.

      An over dependence on the national grid and depending upon pipelines with natural gas, deliveries of fuel oil and gasoline - all potential security risks as well as natural disaster risks.

      The more we can produce locally, even partially the requirements, the less impact disasters will have on the economic outlook from storms, unforeseen disasters and [FWIW] the ever present bogeyman - 'terra attack'.

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:36:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  an aside . . I'm tired of hearing about "nationa (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrississippi, drnononono

        security issues".

        We're the largest and most powerful military force the human race has ever seen in its quarter-million year history, and we spend more on war than the entire rest of the world combined, for crissakes.

        We don't HAVE any fucking "national security" issues.  NOBODY threatens our security.  NOBODY.

        Least of all twenty guys with fucking BOXCUTTERS.

        Sorry.  Just had to let that out.

        •  I've slowly come to realize that what "national (0+ / 0-)

          security issues" really means to the US is "doing whatever the fuck we and our corporatist masters want without being inconvenienced by anyone else on the planet that may not actually like it." Because you're exactly right; given what we spend, there's no one on earth that's going to  do any real harm to us as a nation. That doesn't stop us from delusionally imagining brown people slitting all of our throats in the middle of the night, however . . .

        •  In that context you may have a point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          But "national security" isn't just about being attacked by people: our electrical grid is not well designed against a direct hit by a solar coronal mass ejection [a really big assed solar flare].

          With AGW/Climate change, storms are going to be stronger, and more frequent.

          And national security from the incompetence of corporations .. well, we've got a damn good working example right here, don't we?

          Like I pointed out sarcastically in my post, I believe the 'terra' aspect is highly over rated. Of course, one attack on a nuclear power plant could change all of that. God forbid that happens.

          BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

          by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:16:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What are the political consequences (5+ / 0-)

    if the public is not on board( and the polling shows that they aren't) and President still tries to radically transform energy policy? I'm assuming that congresscritters from coal and oil states will get on board with President even though it is fairly unlikely. I ask this question because if public is not on board on such a fundamental issue( cost of fuel, food and transportation) then Republicans will get back the Presidency and the congress and it won't take the next president even a week to roll everything back.

    •  What's the difference (3+ / 0-)

      between the Democrats staying in office and doing nothing, or the Republicans taking over and doing nothing?

      Maybe incrementalism, but so far the Democrats haven't done anything or even proposed anything that would even qualify as incremental. Maybe you think the Democrats will do better on other issues (a debatable view), but this is the paramount issue.

      This is not a situation where you can rationalize something like "forcing me to buy insurance from private companies is OK if 30 million more people are covered." There is no equivalent attitude adjustment or tradeoff with climate.

      We either fix it, which means satisfying the laws of physics, or at the very least, our culture and our way of life will end in the near future.

      If we don't have Democrats who are both smart enough to fix climate and still get re-elected, then we need to find some who can, and fast.

      We are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

      by badger on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:42:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your premise is wrong. Between stimulus (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k, Winnie

        and Obama's budgets tens of billions of dollars are going to be spend on green technology. Please do a google search and find out.

        •  What premise is wrong? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          Tens of billions of dollars isn't a sufficient increment to do much worthwhile, especially while at the same time we are pushing more fossil fuel consumption, trying to remove the EPA's ability to regulate GHGs (which the SC says they have both the ability and duty to do, which the Obama administration is not requiring them to do), or Interior refusing to take action in the Arctic under the ESA, or funding nuclear (see Turkana's front page post below this one) at huge expense over too long a time frame to be useful.

          The amounts devoted to renewables so far aren't even cosmetic, much less an incremental step in solving the problem, much less actually solving the problem which is getting more serious daily.

          The administration may have thrown some cash at the problem, but it has not taken the matter seriously when it neglects using its established regulatory authority to begin dealing with GHG emissions and their effects.

          This is a problem that needs both strong regulation, a clearly charted course, central policy co-ordination and a sense of urgency. Doling out a few $ in a few places is not by any stretch of the imagination giving climate change the kind of priority, urgency and attention it requires.

          We are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

          by badger on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:02:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The difference is (0+ / 0-)

        between someone stopping beating you with a bat and someone beating you harder with the bat.

        Given that until we fix our political system those are going to be our only choices; well I dont know about you, but I'll plump for "stopping beating me with the bat" every time.

        Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

        by Whimsical on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:51:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  we get the public on board. (0+ / 0-)

      we use every message and medium tool in the box and one or two outside of the box.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:08:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  re: oil addiction (0+ / 0-)

      this is make-or-break time.
      nothing radical about it, it just is.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:09:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's like what I'm thinking, too. (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats are more polite and honest, and as a result, we've lost many a message war--to extent that the most vocal in the electorate are rabidly against "change". The Republicans won and their prize was the scared shitless.

      You can't just wipe away that fear--or ignore it. Not when your own party's supporters don't speak up with equal fervor. You can't be the only voice yelling, even if you are the President.

    •  How does one get them onboard? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drnononono

      Saying nothing?

      Speaking with milquetoast?

      Or, trying to lead?

      Senator Merkley said that his campaign advisors told him that voters weren't interested in climate change and that he shouldn't talk about it.  His response: if I don't talk about it, how will we get them to be interested? He spoke about energy / climate every single day on the campaign trail.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:14:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brushysage

    but it might not happen for another decade. As Ive predicted before you might need someone like Rand Paul to get elected around 2016 and take a lessafair approach to food shortages and climate crises's for a real progressive to come in four years later and frame the energy debate in a WW2 like manner. That would also make sense if we go by the 80 year cycle from one crises to the next, the last one being the 1860s to the 1940s. Right now we're still in the second great depression type era that this "energy war" will get us out of. (And hopefully it's not a literal war)

    •  They said the same thing about Reagan (12+ / 0-)

      "Let him get elected, things will get really awful, and then people will wake up and the revolution will come."

      Well, they were right about the "things will get really awful" part.

      -7.50, -6.87 Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

      by asterkitty on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:18:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not elect Palin? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizen k, Bensdad, Matt Z, alba

      After she turns most of the planet into a burned out cinder, I'm sure the rest of the folks who survive will surely rise up.

      and the "80 year cycles" .. what mindless pathetic drivel.

      I'm trying to be polite.
      I really am.

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Already tried that in 2000... & 2004... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, Matt Z

      ...how much more "wait til it gets worse" is needed?

      There was actually the belief in some Dem circles after Sep 11, 2001 that "boy... it's sure lucky that Bush got elected... imagine the blame that would be coming down on Gore & Co. and Dems right now!)

      Christ... there's such a thing as responsibility.  If you care about the country and the future you keep trying.  I have to hand it to Pres. Obama for even being willing to clean up after these fools.

      And finally... you don't give up an election cyle just to show the electorate how much worse it would be under these Neanderthals.  We can't survive much more "worse."  

      The Christian Right is Neither...

      by Prairie Logic on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thing is, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      we needed to focus a presidential campaign around the environment at the very least- 10 years ago.  wait another eight more years?   do we have that much time?

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:12:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amercians don't work that way - the (3+ / 0-)

      "independents" (sadly the voters who decide our elections) just jump back and forth between the parties depending upon how angry they are at the status quo.

      They switched from Carter to Reagan in the 1980 election based on a generalized angst about negative perceptions about Carter (many saw him as weak and/or incompetent). They didn't pick Reagan because they were enthusiastic about his ideology but because they had had it with Carter. And then in 2000, they ditched the Dems (and Gore) and went for Bush II because of a generalized angst about how Clinton had "dishonored" the presidency and the country. Again, they did not pick Bush II because they wanted deregulation or new wars but because they wanted to punish the Dems for Clinton's misdeeds.  

      It's sad comment on our society that this is the kind of thinking that brings about radical political change, much of it unintended, but those are the types of decisions we get from "swing" voters. I don't think that it would be prudent to wait for Armageddon to bring the voters to their senses because who knows how they will respond.

      Obama needs to abandon the "consensus" approach and become a stronger and more demanding leader who uses the Gulf crisis to move our society far more aggressively on the path to radical changes in our use and production of energy. The "consensus" approach will not get us the radical changes we need as, left to their own devices, out purchased politicians will deliver us more industry-friendly, anemic solutions as they did on HCR and are doing on financial reform.    

  •  And then there is Cornyn . . . (7+ / 0-)

    Let's be LESS ambitious:

    CORNYN: Well, there are parts of the bill that Senator Kerry and Senator Lieberman have introduced that I think are positive steps. The acknowledgment that we can't completely cut off ourselves from domestic sources of oil and gas. That we need to explore nuclear power. That's certainly an important part of the overall picture.

    ...

    So we need to be very careful here. I think rather than try to hit a grand slam home run, I'd like to work with Senator Kerry and others to try to do -- you know, hit some singles ...

    I mean REALLY.  Who wants to hit a home run and be ambitious?  Just a tweak here, a tweak there.  Maybe let's not go all the way to the moon.  Just a quarter of the way there.  A Single.

    Kerry's response:

    But let me tell you, you know, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams and Babe Ruth never stepped up to bat in the World Series and said, I want to try to hit a single.

    Great post, MB.  

  •  Clean Energy works in Greensburg, KS (13+ / 0-)

     title=

    "The eyes are the windows of your face". - Christopher Walken

    by BLUE YETI on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:14:54 PM PDT

  •  Excellent points MB (13+ / 0-)

    You identify a coure problem.

    The situation today doesn't look so stark to most people. The accident that produced the Gulf gusher was no Pearl Harbor.

    This is a perception problem compounded by abstraction, delay, and an inability of the human mind to perceive as dramatically, invisible assualts.

    Becuase if we could really add up the total environmental, policitical, human, and cultural "morbidity" caused by our dependence on oil consumption, Pearl Harbor might look like a picnic.

    Just take the geopolitical dimension as an example.  How much damage has been done in the Middle East and South East Asia because our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

    Deep in the national security archives somewhere, are plans for a nuclear first strike against the old USSR if they tried a tank blitzkreig into Iran many decades ago.

    After seeing the German advance crippled by our bombing of their energy supply, our own war planners became zealously determined that we would control all the major sources of oil which has led to uncountable amounts of "badness."

    But, it's so abstract, I'm barely able to communicate idea, even after you've ploughed the ground.

    Does anyone remember that book by Schumaker, Small is Beautiful, or Amory Lovin's Soft Energy Path's?

    They did a better job at linking our choices about basic energy production to cultural and sociological consequences than I have here.

    But, imagine how much better our lives would be if we had plentiful, diverse, low cost renewable energy sources widely distributed everywhere.

    And, as you point out, millions of jobs that can't be "offshored."

    I watched a show on NPR about how quickly we went from idea to deployment with the Manhatten Project.

    You're right.  How do we install this kind of committment and urgency?

    We could improve our situation dramatically quickly if we put our collective will and resources to it.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:15:35 PM PDT

    •  When more come to recognize (3+ / 0-)

      the magnitude of the catastrophe in the Gulf, we may finally get critical mass to feel the urgency. If this doesn't do it, there is no hope in my lifetime -- and I saw my first off-the-grid home 40 years ago.

      IMHO, we need to mass-produce, and thus make cheaper, the best we've got now. We've dicked around with it long enough. It's almost as urgent as "plugging the hole," considering all the other deep-water rigs out there.

      If the many deaths for oil are not enough motivation, the destruction of a whole region of our country should be. Maybe this is the end of the success of the GOP "Southern strategy."

      Maybe. "If not now, when?"

  •  Deficit worries (7+ / 0-)

    As long as President Obama and his advisors remain fixated on the deficit and the proposals of the Pete Peterson foundation, your plan cannot come to pass.

    What you're proposing will only work if the administration and Americans as a whole realize that  the U.S. government cannot go bankrupt, and cannot run out of money.

  •  renewables and conservation policies are the goal (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winnie, HoundDog, brushysage, Onomastic

    President Obama has done more and talked more about establishing a reasonable energy policy than any President since Carter. But, to the dismay of many, he has placed "clean coal" and off-shore oil and nuclear power ahead of renewables. Persuading him to drop one or more of the first three should surely be part of progressives' efforts. In the short run, however, it's far more important he be persuaded to more deeply embrace renewables and conservation policies that ultimately will make those other energy sources redundant.  

    While I don't play 11th dimensional chess, I know what n-dimensional calculations can "look" like, so I am trusting with eyes open that the former are meant to serve as legislative stalking horses for a goal of implementing renewables and conservation policies.

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

    by annieli on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:17:13 PM PDT

  •  I believe Obama is becoming more and more (5+ / 0-)

    committed to moving the nation in the direction of a renewable energy policy.  He is very smart, and there are just too many signs of crisis for him to ignore.  The present disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is highlighting the dangers of our oil-based economy, and it will probably serve to motivate policy makers to begin the transition.  The petroleum base of our economy is just too vast for quick changes in course.  Even slight deviations, though, in the direction of sustainability will be helpful -- and hopefully will begin to avert the destruction of our planet.

  •  I think that a likely precedent for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR, Calamity Jean, Onomastic

    the way things get dealt with is Russia. They too mobilized their all to defend the motherland in WWII, but when it has come to dealing with their environment and energy production they have set a world standard for horrible disasters. I think it is unlikely that environmental threats will raise any society to the same level of political and economic commitment that attack from an enemy will.

  •  Brilliantly written MB. (12+ / 0-)

    This speaks for me in a way I never could. Hope this goes far and wide. Actually, I'd like the damn Whitehouse to read it.

    Fired off an email to them after reading the President's speech in Pittsburgh. His logical disconnect in equating nuclear and gas with a "clean energy future" was more than dismaying, especially so when there was no mention of wind, solar or tidal energy sources.  

    We can't reach consensus with those who think that Climate Change doesn't exist or that the Gulf doesn't matter.

    It's time to take charge and lead, not wait for those who are deliberately clueless to give a damn.

    Stepping up to life eliminates the capacity for bullshit. - Robinswing

    by Onomastic on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:20:27 PM PDT

  •  but the wh and oil companies just seem to . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . hoping the spill "goes away" so we can get back to business as usual.  I hope this opportunity isn't squandered.

  •  Well said. (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:23:03 PM PDT

  •  Little things do matter. (10+ / 0-)

    Here's an example:

    Even if it's not a law mandating return to the 55MPH speed limit, the voice of the President calling for us to voluntarily to do so could have a big impact on fuel usage, as well reducing GHGs and generally pollution.

    But there needs to be a shift away from thinking that large corporations like banks are going to allow change: they aren't. Small innovative energy companies and local distribution channels must be allowed to thrive, by infusing dollars that can and will be spent right away. We need a more aggressive 'kick start' to US Made alternative energy, and not just a one time shot, but sustainable and long term employment in that sector must be encouraged.

    We could put tens of thousands, if not more Americans to work in this sector: the money would circulate, rather being held by speculators, it would employ Americans, not offshoring, it would reduce pollution.

    Obama has some discretionary control to encourage, and along with Congress can add these items into omnibus and other bills. Needs to be done, now without delay.

    BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

    by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:26:10 PM PDT

    •  Amen to that. n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Stepping up to life eliminates the capacity for bullshit. - Robinswing

      by Onomastic on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  echo shpilk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Calamity Jean

      US Made alternative energy

      said that a 1,000 times to the Kerry campaign.  agree, agree, agree.   that's the hook, the appeal to "patriotism."   fuck it, it works in the heartland, it'll work in every state of the union. fuck it and just wrap the flag around the idea.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:20:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  apologies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk

        for the "fuck its"

        this subject spikes my blood pressure and the urgency, as this title employs, seems so obvious, i can't wrap my head around it being so successfully ignored.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:23:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No need to apologize as far as I'm concerned. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kj in missouri

          Frankly, while I think it's nice that the 3rd word is rising it's standards of living for its citizens rapidly, the disruption of this economy in the US will be very damaging to them as well.

          We need to restore some balance to how fast outsourcing happens, and ensure that we aren't simply enabling a rich criminal class to exploit workers.

          10% of China's arable land is so polluted, they cannot grow food on it any longer: air pollution kills at least a million Chinese outright every year.
          They are paying a horrible price to 'satisfy' us, and make business owners rich.  

          Meanwhile, the sound byte of 'America Fuck Yeah', the 'patriotism' plays.
          It serves more than one purpose.

          BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

          by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:07:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, it does (0+ / 0-)

            It serves more than one purpose.

            exactly.  the frame already exists, what's inside is easily malleable.

            why the left has yet to grab that and run with it amazes me.  we don't take it and create a movement or two, we write books.  arg.  (that's a gig to John Kerry, who instead of making the environment the centerpiece of his campaign, wrote a book after it was over.)

            it's as simple as team mentality.  America is our "team."  we wear the colors, we fly the flag, we claim the team as our own.  

            that's what owning the bully pulpit gives us, a chance to define the team.  and this issue, alternative energy?  the disaster of our current consumption is in our face and actually on our teevee.  we take it and move mountains.  this time, the corporations and existing structures move with us, not vice-versa.

            and we have a built-in opposing team that everyone 'hates,' ie, the Saudies.

            "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

            by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:29:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  also (0+ / 0-)

            We need to restore some balance to how fast outsourcing happens, and ensure that we aren't simply enabling a rich criminal class to exploit workers.

            yes.  

            "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

            by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:30:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  meant to add: (0+ / 0-)

            we've let american oil companies stand as our 'team' and rewarded failure.  this country wouldn't allow that for 2 seconds if it was a basketball team!  so we sell it as a time for the new coach (ie, President Obama) to bring in some rookies from the field (regional alternative energy companies.)

            there are left progressives in marketing!  we can do this!  i'm not saying i understand the ins-and-outs of the science involved in alternative energies, leave that to the scientists and engineers and grad schools... but the messaging?  that won't take a ph.d.   :-)

            "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

            by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:40:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  sigh (0+ / 0-)

            just lost a post with some old messaging ideas.   ah well.  off to burn some gas on the highway to get to work... out where the buses don't run.  

            "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

            by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:52:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  late to the discussion (0+ / 0-)

      but i have been wondering about implementing the 55 MPH speed limit nationally just as Carter did.  it would reduce our oil consumption and maybe reduce prices to get people through this recession.

      i know i could voluntarily but the matter is safety when everyone else on the road is going 20 MPH faster than me.  even if i stayed in the right lane i would continually have big rigs barreling down on me.  i know because i tried it when gasoline was close to five dollars a gallon a few years ago.

      i would like to see Obama restore that speed limit again.

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 11:18:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you could wave a magic wand and get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamamedusa

    rid of the political influence of Big Oil and Big Coal things might be easier. As it is the status quo has a lot of very powerful supporters. Not an easy task, especially with let's all get along Obama.

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:26:20 PM PDT

  •  I've just learned (5+ / 0-)

    that we are possibly heading into another solar panel shortage because of the growth of solar power world wide. Big producers (Like Trina of China) cannot meet demand... The good news, we don't have to pump silicon out of deep water wells and don't risk contaminating miles and miles of coastline with a "sand spill."

  •  Just for today, I envy your optimism... (7+ / 0-)

    But surely we do not lack their determination. Surely we are not slackers when it comes to dealing with what we want this planet to look like by the time our children and grandchildren have attained the age we are now. Surely, like those women and men of the 1940s, we are willing to sacrifice, make alterations in our daily habits, develop new ways of making things and new attitudes about consuming things.

    Some days I can believe it, but most days I'm just not so surely. In the bubble I live in? Absolutely, we're ready and willing. In the places I've had to spend a lot of time outside my progressive city? Not so much.

    •  You and I and all the others who believe... (8+ / 0-)

      ...it must spread it to those on the fence and beyond. But, I seriously believe there isn't much time. Sure, J. Craig Venter may invent for his next big go-around a synthetic bacteria that grows biofuel and eats pollutants as a side-effect. And then all this discussion will be moot. But then we've been hearing about the soon-to-arrive fusion revolution for 50 years.

      I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:52:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has anyone read anybody that's raised (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, blueteam

      this Deepwater Horizon tragedy to the existential "we put man on the moon!!!" place yet? Because frankly I haven't seen it.

      Americans are sitting stupefied at video of an oil volcano a mile below the ocean and the basic reaction has been utter impotence, not the can-do feeling that we're a nation of problem-solvers. "Problem solvers" have become those Masters of Capitalism with their multi-million dollar bonuses for throwing the entire world into the Great Recession, not people who actually build things and make life better. And the rest of the world is looking at us and realizing we're  simply inconsequential to their futures.

      I don't know where the courage to do the right thing on energy is going to come from, but I think it's going to be on this side of either the Atlantic or the Pacific.  

  •  Very unlikely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR, revprez

    Yes, the disaster in the Gulf will have a tremendous impact, but nowhere near the magnitude of WWII. In any case the two things are far from comparable.

    Frankly, if this isn't just obvious, then I don't know how to explain it.

    Well, for one thing consider the number of countries around the world that were affected drastically by combat damage in WWII. Consider the tremendous re-alignment of power around the world. Consider the introduction of the A-bomb that led directly to the Cold War, the discovery of the concentration camps that led directly to the foundation of Israel and that whole holy mess, the work on cryptography and computers that led directly to shake-ups in the academic world (information processing, the Chomskian revolution, microprocessors, etc).

    Or maybe I misunderstood and this was snark?

    If so, sorry, but I didn't/don't get it.

    Greg Shenaut

    •  Israel was well on its way to founding in (0+ / 0-)

      with the First Aliyah in 1881, the First Zionist Conference in 1897, the Balfour Declaration in 1917, and the expansion of the Haganah in 1929.

      Hitler was elected in 1933.

      The Holocaust was an ex post facto rationale for a process that was underway for half a century.

      Just sayin'

      In this age of falseness, only howls of agony ring true.

      by Paul Goodman on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:43:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was never all that certain that Israel (0+ / 0-)

        would come into existence, or that it would survive, until it actually did so. For one thing, the original British plan was for it to happen much earlier. However, there was intense resistance by arabs in Palestine before the war, and that would have continued and probably have worsened if el-Husseini and others hadn't aligned themselves with the losing side in the war. Even after the war, it was the urgent plight of the European Jewish DPs that put it over the edge, or at least that's how I see it.

    •  The gulf is merely one event... (5+ / 0-)

      ...both real and representative of the far wider devastation our energy "policy" is wrecking. It isn't the whole story any more than Pearl Harbor was the whole war.

      Think of the number of countries around the world that are being and will soon be affected by climate change.

      I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:06:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Last Oil (4+ / 0-)

        I don't usually get to read all of the posts, so this may have already been considered here at some point.  When we get to the last 10 billion or so barrels of known reserves, what will we use it for--medicines or for driving our cars? If we don't work hard on alternate sources for both, we could wind up with neither.

  •  They’re urgent alright. (0+ / 0-)

    They’re urgent enough to hand out new drilling permits in the gulf, even in the midst of an ongoing man-made environmental catastrophe that will cause more permanent environmental damage than any other disaster in US history.
    They’re urgent enough to use tactics like responsibility tag (between the government and BP), block access to the press, restrict airspace etc, so the people can’t see the obvious DITHERING taking place with this clean-up effort.
    They’re urgent alright. When there’s finally nothing left worth saving in the gulf, they can hand out all the drilling permits they want, no need for those pesky blowout preventers, relief wells or any other of that "costly" shit. Just drill-baby-drill 24/7/365.
    They have that sense of urgency; they just have a different solution than we have.

  •  Get this off of the front page (7+ / 0-)

    and into the diary section where it will be visible on the rec. list for days on end.

    Great, great write up MB. Thank you.

  •  It's a nice dream (5+ / 0-)

    but a President can't radically depart from public perception - it doesn't result in persuasion, but in the appearance of being out of touch with reality, even if what he's saying is reality.  There's a transitional process, and it can't be avoided barring a catastrophe far beyond Deepwater Horizon.

    Even highly eco-conscious countries like Britain and Germany haven't even begun to approach anything resembling a full national mobilization, and these are very well-informed, reasonable, and disciplined societies who don't need nearly as much urging to sacrifice for the collective good.

    President Obama can lay the groundwork, as he's been doing, but if he were simply to declare that we're in the middle of WW3 because of climate change and ask the American people to sacrifice and significantly alter their lifestyles for a nationwide clean energy mobilization, he would become an instant joke.  

    There's no way he could get the funding to create the jobs, and meanwhile  all short-term hardship and economic displacement resulting or even appearing to result from such policies would be laid at his doorstep.  The threat is too nebulous for a nationwide mobilization.  People are not afraid, and telling them they should be based on hypothetical future consequences or limited examples of present consequences just wouldn't hold up.  However explicit the chain of consequences, if there are too many degrees of separation between what they do and what results, they won't feel compelled to act.

    The President is doing what he can.  Now we need to do what we can do, both by electing a stronger Congress and changing our own lifestyles.

    Goonies never say die.

    by Troubadour on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:29:29 PM PDT

    •  "The threat is too nebulous"? Indeed... (7+ / 0-)

      ......it IS viewed that way, as I wrote. It is the President's job - though not, of course, his alone - to delineate it more sharply.

      "The President is doing what he can." I appreciate elements of what he has done. But it's not enough. And while the payback for trying to do "too much" might come at the polls in 2012, the payback for not doing enough won't appear that many years beyond 2012. As long as "political reality" is accepted as a substitute for "reality," we'll keep doing what we've been doing for 25-odd years.

      I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:47:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is an optimal tension between (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, a night owl

        public perception and intelligent political leadership.  Lack of leadership is when this tension is "slack," and quixotic leadership is when a leader moves too far ahead of his people for them to follow.  In the latter case, the relationship breaks entirely, and the leader is playing Cassandra rather than maximizing practical progress - in other words, he is sacrificing real action in order to make a symbolic stand.

        Reelection in 2012 is not optional if you want to see a national and global mobilization for clean energy.  Virtually nothing of Jimmy Carter's domestic policies remained after Reagan - he simply wiped them out.  And he was able to do so because the Carter administration's energy initiatives didn't have any deep public or Congressional support, despite Carter's use of the bully pulpit and having all the facts on his side.  Even if he had won reelection, his policies would have remained skin-deep and just been wiped out later.  We can't address climate change like that.

        I agree that we need a full mobilization, but that's going to take time regardless of the real urgency of the problem.  And if that isn't enough, then it isn't enough - we can only do what we can do and play the hand we're dealt.  

        Goonies never say die.

        by Troubadour on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:12:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hoping for a ground swell, a grass roots (0+ / 0-)

        mobilization that will force the leadership to recognize it. There is a term "lazy liberals" or "helpless liberals" floating around. I think we can't remain "helpless" waiting to be inspired by a leader. Bill McKibben thinks otherwise:

        Bill McKibben is asking Can Obama seize the energy moment?

        The moment that is passing with each day of the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.

        Had he [President Obama} chosen to, he could have declared: “Ten years from now, America will be using half the oil we do today and producing ten times as much solar power.” That would have been stirring.  That would have put something on the line.  

        till, as Andy Revkin recently pointed out in the New York Times, there is “every reason to think a contemporary president could articulate how this remarkable juncture in human history, as infinite aspirations butt up against planetary limits, can be met with a grand, sustained effort.”

        So far, Obama’s barely broken a sweat on climate change: a few paragraphs in a few speeches. Now, the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf offers him the best chance he’s ever going to get to go to work.  The president could stand on the Louisiana shore and say: “Bad as this is, it’s only a small and visible symbol of the greater damage we do each day simply by burning coal and gas and oil. If that black gunk now washing up here had ended up safely in the gas tanks of our cars, it would nonetheless have done great damage. It’s all dirty, every last drop and lump.”

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      And glad to read that someone else is thinking along the same lines, too.

      Too many folks are being unrealistic, IMO. What is the point in pushing if it only results in pushBACK rather than progress?

      Do you push just to MAKE the point? Is making the point WORTH making even more enemies at the same time?

    •  "If he were simply to declare (0+ / 0-)

      that we're in the middle of WW3 because of climate change"

      We are in the middle of deadly climate change and pollution that is threatening all life on the planet.

      The President hasn't broken a sweat on climate change/environmental destruction and it is as dangerous as WW3. There's an urgency here that won't wait for the next election or a new Congress. It's a "fierce urgency" requiring immediate action.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 10:37:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're not listening to me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a night owl

        The public doesn't believe in the "fierce urgency" of the problem, including the American left, regardless of rhetoric - and that's basically the political situation everywhere on Earth other than maybe Tuvalu (the island nation that's going to be underwater).  Not Britain, not Germany, not Spain, not Japan, not China, nowhere on the planet is a major economy being fully mobilized on an emergency basis to build a completely renewable, clean energy infrastructure in minimum time.  

        Goonies never say die.

        by Troubadour on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 02:03:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A World War II effort will spare us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    damfino

    World War III.

    So why is Obama dithering?

    In this age of falseness, only howls of agony ring true.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:31:10 PM PDT

  •  Obama IS Seizing the Moment for Conservadem (5+ / 0-)

    policy and make it plain that the progressive assessments and ideas are not on the agenda.

    Look, this is the man who sold his own signature issue of health reform without even mentioning that the system he wanted us to reform is not the best in the world, as so many million Americans believe it is.

    Obama's energy position is clear from his political position. Compassionate conservative, moderating the growth of fossil fuels somewhat but concentrating on big global business solutions.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:33:25 PM PDT

  •  speaking of WWII --Hemp (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Agathena, citizenx, Onomastic

    needs to be part of the conversation -- energy food fuel brownfield clean-up maybe even an end to the war on drugs

    Hemp for Victory was an important campaign in WWII -- maybe it is time to update it

     title=

    "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

    by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:36:20 PM PDT

  •  Robert kuttner on the recent teachable moments : (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, slinkerwink
  •  Should We Slip A Sweater Over Our Radiators (0+ / 0-)

    as well as perhaps providing sweaters for new street people in the winter, turn our corn into corn squeezings for our cars as Jimmy Carter advised, add some more peripheral intermittent energy to be supplemented by fossil fuels - or develop our vast baseload renewable energy resources and build plants and vehicles that utilize them?

    Declaring war is a lot of fun but you might recall the Children's Crusade ended with the children being sold into slavery and the Holy Lands yet secure from the Christian barbarians.

    Much of what you say is stirring and on the mark, Meteor Blades, but our goals are far out of focus IMO.

    I am pretty sure President Obama knows the depth and dangers of our crisis.

    Gawd I hope not.

    Could anything be more damning than such a belief?

    Best,  Terry

  •  FUSION!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marketgeek

    We desperately need to finish the job started 50 yrs. ago and make the investment and the leap toward workable FUSION power NOW. We can do this with an Apollo effort nothing less. If we could get these plants online in say 10 yrs. a very BIG thing could happen. We could produce huge amounts of truly clean electrical energy convert to electric transport for mass and individual vehicles and also move away from coal, oil and gas much faster. It won't be cheap or easy but were  85% of the way there already. It's NOT a matter of how it's just a matter of when. I love solar , wind, tidal , thermal, bio-mass and the rest of the exotic alternatives but all of it together wouldn't produce as much as ONE large Fusion reactor and FUSION produces almost zero radioactive waste, nor does it produce weapons grade plutonium or uranium like conventional nukes. Another side benefit is FUSION produces hydrogen gas as well and it can also be used as a power source that is almost totally clean as well. This is our ONLY real path forward toward a 22nd century economy as well as an energy system that allows the planet to cool back down.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:43:02 PM PDT

    •  My sci-fi loving heart salutes you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, alba

      If they could get fusion working, it is a fine solution.

      In the meantime we need to exploit every renewable source available. One of the real stumbling blocks is the way power is owned, sold and distributed. Large corporations have very little incentive to work with local people to produce micro-facilities such as municipal power grids that use solar and wind and micro-hydroelectric, and only limited incentive to use anything renewable on a large scale. Part of the problem is institutional lethargy, but part is the lack of viable economic models of how to make it pay sufficiently for giant greedy corporations to want to do it.

      Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

      by marketgeek on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:22:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Google Bussard and IEC (0+ / 0-)

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:55:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  sacrifice is a hard sell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    when the perception is that there is a class of people who will skim off our efforts and walk away richer. Those who sacrificed during WWII probably weren't aware that while they saved string and aluminum foil, war profiteers were making out like bandits. But now we know.

    Even if the sacrifice is in service of improving everyone's lot by moving to better energy sources, the perception is that the little guy is cutting back on heat and A/C while the "haves" water their lawns with champagne.

    Inequity is a b*tch.

  •  Personally, I'm worried (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Agathena

    As long as corporations are pouring money into controlling the message and Congress, it will be difficult for anyone to turn around a mindset that has been carefully cultivated by those corporations for the last 70 years.   Where is the energy crisis equivalent of the newsreel footage of Pearl Harbor that motivated America's entry into war?  Perhaps, we need to rebroadcast the 9/11 attack footage.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:45:06 PM PDT

  •  In the last week there was a conference run (5+ / 0-)

    by Renewable Energy World who have posted a number of round table discussions with all sorts of people involved in the RE industry.

    The link to the videos is here
    http://goo.gl/...

    The reporters did a great job and their enthusiasm is catching, which shows what would happen if Obama did embrace this.

    One of the videos
    Roundtable: Bringing Down the Installed Cost of PV is worth watching as they talk about just that - bringing down prices of installed PV.

    This really is a no brainer for Obama. This is the America of old - bringing innovation to life, creating jobs and wealth and then taking it international.

    Carpe Diem
    Or as the new catch cry should be to drown out the other :
    Shine, Baby, Shine ;-)

    Those folks who are trying to get in the way of progress - let me tell you, I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired; I'm just getting started.

    by Unenergy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:45:39 PM PDT

    •  thanks for those links .. that's good information (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Unenergy

      So many technologies to attack all aspects of fossil fuel consumption, it's overwhelming.

      And then, there's conservation, the best choice that saves money.

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:36:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree. They discuss a guy called Amory Lovins (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k, shpilk

        discusses this on this video :
        Amory Lovins: Renewables Mean More Stability

        These were my notes from the first video if they are of any help.
        With the ITC Solar will reach grid parity in many states next year. ($5 p.w -30% ITC = $3.50 p.w)
        Plug and play the way to go for domestic installations.
        No roof penetrations best way to install. KISS...
        54% module/equipment cost. 12% installation cost. 16% Engineering cost. 6% Marketing and Sales.
        Akeena and Centro do the engineering in house to help reduce installation contractors overhead.
        Discussion of the complexity of paperwork - easiest to complete is the 30% ITC. Other rebates and incentives are too much paper work.
        46 states really have no incentive program operational for solar so it is hard to decide where to target marketing, plan manufacturing facilities.
        Roofing and Electrical contractors as well as other building contractors suffering from the downturn in construction are looking at rooftop solar as a money spinner. (This is a positive from a negative, IMO.)
        Partnering with Large, trusted organisations (Westinghouse) will work for Akeena as that is what customers want - someone they can recognize and trust.

        Tenants leasing a property being able to buy their electricity from their Landlord installing a solar panel on the roof of the building they own.

        PACE appears to be a financing mechanism where payback is as part of property taxes.

        There is potentially a massive industry there employing a lot of Americans. Obama needs to give this a push and see what happens.

        Those folks who are trying to get in the way of progress - let me tell you, I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired; I'm just getting started.

        by Unenergy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:45:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oklahoma = Ground Zero (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Matt Z

    If we get Oklahoma, we win.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

  •  In 1994, there was a wonderful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, cotterperson, shpilk

    exhibit at the National Building Museum all about America's war effort.  It was fascinating to me as someone who was reconstructing historic insurance programs for companies involved in Superfund sites because so many of the companies facing pollution claims got their start in the war effort.  The exhibit showed some of the post-war products that followed from technology developed for the war -- particularly plastics.  If you missed the exhibit, there is a book: World War II and the American Dream.

    That war effort kick started a lot of industry -- it did not end with the war.  Of course, then there was a vacuum to be filled -- Europe was devastated so American business had an advantage.

    Now, things are different.  We don't have so great an advantage.  And other countries are ahead of us as far as green technologies are concerned.  Not that this should hold us back -- to the contrary.  We are an inventive people, a problem solving people -- and with encouragement from Washington, we could get to work to great effect, no question.  

    Thank you, MB, for an inspiring essay.  From your keyboard to the President's eyes...

  •  reagan tearing solar panels off the white house (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Matt Z, jamess, SteveP, annieli, drnononono

    what a maroon

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:50:55 PM PDT

    •  Quite an image. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, jamess

      A bit more compelling than the reality of just not replacing them after roof work (which I just read about someplace on here, dang my short memory). What's the real story, did they work well enough that putting them back up would have made sense, or is it something else?

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:58:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I went to college in the 70's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, nathguy, Matt Z

      to study solar and wind.

      Reagan put an end to those dreams,
      like a grouchy old man.
      (canceling the tax rebate/credit programs)

      Took me years,
      to pay back those student loans,
      working tedious, difficult jobs.

      Thank Ronnie!

      I remember that Gipper!

      the man have no vision,
      to speak of, at all.

      That problem, though, seems a perpetual one,
      sadly.

      The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood. --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807

      by jamess on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:39:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There will be no history books to fear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Matt Z, bob zimway

    nor reputations tarnished for climate change deniers. There will simply be little history at all. We can yet ameliorate the worst most barbaric effects of climate change, but climate change is inevitable. Indeed, all the signs of it - oceans warming, polar and glacier ice loss - are here.

    Therefore, if there is a one percent chance that we need to wean ourselves off carbon fuels, we must do it. As Cheney said,

    "...we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response."

    "They only call it class war when we fight back!" [h/t buhdydharma]

    by ezdidit on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 05:51:23 PM PDT

  •  Obama has answered question. He is not the leader (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Matt Z

    "The question is whether the President will seize the day or it will seize us."

    Obama's handling of Gulf Chernoilbyl shows he is not the president who will use disaster to move US forward. Look at Obama actions. Obama/NOAA put out lowest estimate of oil coming out. Obama/NOAA discount undersea oil clouds killing life in Gulf and moving all the way up East coast to George's Bank fisheries. Obama/EPA created and are still creating the undersea oil death clouds. Obama/Interior continue deep sea oil drilling. Obama/Interior opened up East coast to similar disaster.

    Obama is the problem with this oil disaster and we are six weeks into it so expecting him to change from part of the problem to leading to solutions is unrealistic.

    Obama has answered the question. US will continue to be controlled and destroyed by $1T oil wars, $1T oil disaster in Gulf, $1T oil trade deficit, $1T oil terrorism.

    History called and Obama did not answer.

  •  Amen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ms badger, Matt Z, jamess

    to that, so glad to see so many saying the same thing in different ways.  Time to do it, time to treat this now as urgently as it needs to be treated.

    Thank you MB.  My diary wasn't as well done but I felt, just had to add my voice to chorus, as everyone should.  Letters to the editors, to our Congressmen, to everyone, letting them know that the time is NOW.

  •  "Bully Pulpit" is way past use date (0+ / 0-)

    Can't we come up with a fresher meaningless cliche?

  •  And what is worse we have solutions (0+ / 0-)

    American PRIDE proposal

    For something more blue sky a decades old proposal that could be tested for the DOE's stationary budget.

    Gar W. Lipow http://www.grist.org/member/1598

    by lipowg on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:02:24 PM PDT

  •  Vineyard windmill (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, OLinda, ms badger, Matt Z

    This windmill went up at Morning Glory Farm on Martha's Vineyard a couple of weeks ago:

    Standing at 120 feet tall, it produces 55 kilowatts peak power and is expected to annually produce the amount of energy consumed by 10 average homes.

    In MA, farms over 5 acres are allowed to erect windmills without any special clearance, other than a building permit.

    75% of the construction cost of $200,000 was covered by government grants and the payback period for the farm will be about three years.

    http://www.mvtimes.com/...

  •  The left is failing Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Run up to the election

    On July 28, U.S. Attorney General Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were killed. President Hoover then ordered the army to clear out the veterans. The infantry and cavalry were supported by six tanks, and commanded by Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur. Major, later President, Dwight D. Eisenhower was his liaison with Washington police, and Major George Patton led the cavalry. The Bonus Army, their wives and children were driven out with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, an arsenical vomiting agent, and their shelters and belongings burned. Two more of the veterans, and an unknown number of babies and children, died (accounts range from one to "a number" of casualties).

    May 4 1931 Bloody Harlan strike.
    Here's the news 8 months after FDR's election.

    http://www.time.com/...

    Here's May 1934
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    # Imperial Valley California, Farmworkers' Strike (1929, U.S.) # Tampa Florida, Cigar Workers' Strike (1931, U.S.) # Harlan County Mining Strike (1931, U.S.) # California Pea Pickers' Strike (1932, U.S.) # Century Airlines Pilots' Strike (1932, U.S.) # Davidson-Wiler Tennessee, Coal Strike (1932, U.S.) # Ford Hunger March Detroit Michigan (1932, U.S.) # Briggs Manufacturing Strike (1933, U.S.) # California Farmworkers' Strike (1933, U.S.) # Detroit Michigan Tool and Die Strike (1933, U.S.) # New Mexico Miners' Strike (1933, U.S.)

    How many of these strikes were organized by FDR? ZERO.

  •  I disagree with your criticism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, ms badger, Matt Z, rlk

    (Mildly.)

    I believe we are simply not able to assess, as the Obama team can, just what kind of reception Obama is getting from INSIDE the beltway. I think there are things happening there that will never come out until Obama writes his memoirs because those things are happening inside his own party.

    Look at Sestak and Romanoff, for example. What happened to their respect and loyalty? They must have known what admitting to the offers would do to the administration's standing. We all know Republicans do the same thing all the time, but NO Republican has ever admitted it.

    So why did those two do so?

    Take a moment to look back over the past 500 days at the incidents where a Democrat publically "dissed" the President or one of his initiatives.

    What if there are some Democrats in the party who, secretly, have the same resentment of Obama's existance as so many old, white Republicans do? What if he can't TRUST some of the folks in his own party?

    No, Obama needs more of a mandate before he can push as hard as you'd like him to. His position is NOT as solid as the election might have made some folks think. It never was. No, the only way Obama gets to the point you'd like him to is by being re-elected. IN HIS SECOND TERM, he will be, say and do the things you want. But now is NOT the time.

    Remember, even he admitted to being shocked by the extent to which Republicans were willing to go to torpedo him--to the point of truly harming the country. Did ANYONE expect that? Do you just ignore what that kind of attitude in leading politicians implies about what must also be out there in the general electorate?

    Of course not. You don't ignore it. You wait for it to cool down and accept, if not agree. You wait for the RIGHT time to push, especially since they are already tossing the false phrase "cram it down our throats" around.

    Sorry to go on, but I am very, very saddened by the unrealistic attitudes I read coming from the left sometimes.

    •  ugh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper

      "What if there are some Democrats in the party who, secretly, have the same resentment of Obama's existance as so many old, white Republicans do? What if he can't TRUST some of the folks in his own party?

      No, Obama needs more of a mandate before he can push as hard as you'd like him to."

      Ugh .. horrible pandering.  

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:53:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo! (0+ / 0-)
    What a tour de force!


    If it's not a Crisis,

    then it should at least be "Job One"

    on the 'Get to it Someday' National To-do List!

    The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood. --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807

    by jamess on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:16:18 PM PDT

  •  The only way this will work psychologically is to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    create an enemy.

    Otherwise, we are wasting our time.  Human nature over the last 30 years has shown us that we are asleep at the wheel, even to the point of funding terrorism with our petro-addiction.

    We have to make use what those desperate individuals that have blown themselves and others up - make them the enemy that we so desperately, if not appropriately, fear.  America needs to vilify the Middle East oil-rich countries as pushers of energy addiction and violence aimed at our children.

    Then, we can stop using our military to support our addiction.

    Then, we can stop occupying countries, even with a Democratic president.

    Then, we can have something actionable instead of a vague fear about who might be the next violent brown person.

    America never acts without a villain to force us into the part of hero, it seems to me.  If the last 30 years had shown otherwise, I wouldn't think so, but we need a villain, and we need to associate it with our oil addiction relentlessly and simply and powerfully.  

    Otherwise, those of us who want an energy policy worth anything are wasting our time.  Sadly, no one will truly sacrifice for the environment.  The enemy needs a human face, most probably a brown one.

    I never thought I would be arguing for such bigotry, but if we save the planet by such tactics, then all sides of future fights caused by such bigotry will be thankful in the end, because we will have saved human civilization, in some form, on our planet.

    I'm open to alternative formulations on how to motivate the masses, but at this point, in light of the non-response in the masses of people in America to the gulf oil disaster, I just don't see how we are ever going to move opinion and push through a green energy policy without a human enemy with which to drive American sacrifice and behavior.  Whether it is the "don't tax gas because of the poor" crowd or the "we can't afford it" crowd or the "not in my back yard" crowd, there are too many bumper-sticker patriots when it comes to energy, and it is time to try anything to galvanize support for green change.

    I'm pretty happy with 121st place. Not bad for 13 points.

    by Prof Dave on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:22:57 PM PDT

    •  gawd, i hate to rec this, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alba

      but i will...   because it's basic storytelling 101... and that's the level narrative that needs to be employed.  "big bad oil and the big bad oilmen, men who are not JR Ewing and most certainly not from Texas."

      write a diary if plan to work on the narrative, i'd love to read it.

      "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

      by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:30:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because appealing to fear is truly the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      way to motivate people.

      The enemy in this case should be needless death and suffering.

      Did you know that 18,000 people in California will die prematurely this year from air pollution? That perhaps more than 100,000 in this country will die because we burn fossil fuels to create energy? That millions suffer from all sorts of ailments because of it, making all of our medical bills higher as a result?

      Did you know this? Probably not, because corporate media is loathe to rock their advertisers that are trying to sell the very things that pollute our air.

      The "enemy" is already there. It's killing us wholesale, and it has been with us, all along.

      This need to have symbolism, an 'example' is sad commentary on how shallow and craven to entertainment our nation is. Conspicuous consumption appears to be more important - just watch any cable shows celebrating over consumption and consumer greed.

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:49:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Air pollution from wildfires in CA (0+ / 0-)

        must be very damaging and should account for some of those 18,000 early deaths. I was in Santa Barbara during the LaBrea wildfire - I felt like I was choking all the time. Wildfires caused by drought caused by global warming...

        It seemed that no one ever connected the car culture with the wild fires. Many car owners put shrouds over their cars at night because of the ash. It was very symbolic to me.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:32:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We already have an enemy: pollution (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe we have evolved from needing to have a human enemy - a hate object.

      And you are very wrong here "no one will truly sacrifice for the environment." Thousands of people in thousands of organizations are already sacrificing for the environment.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:27:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks MB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, jamess

    writing like this is why I came here. It's why I signed on via the Democrats and dkos to do what is necessary for our country and the world we live in. Thank you a great post. Lets hope it's message is heard. I think we the people have to pick this up ourselves. It is bigger then a president and our system is so compromised you ask me it's up to us. wasn't that why Obama won we were engaged bottom up? We can do it is actually true. I learned a lot from working for 'change' it is not lost, and it is still needed.      

  •  This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    The message should be that we need to invest vast sums of public and private money in upgrading and reworking our transportation and electrical transmission system. That we need to build renewable-energy machines the way we made tanks and ships 70 years ago, fast and furious, and on borrowed money if we must.  

    •  Sounds like a plan, but.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels

      but, we're pretty much broke now with (acc. to Bloomberg today) our debt about to surpass GDP entirely. And while we're busy blaming everyone from Reagan on, it's worth remembering how many years of Democratic Congresses have passed on stepping up to this particular plate. I see no hope whatsoever that the Dems are about to sign on now.

      The one thing that will "motivate the masses" (a bad-tasting phrase, if ever I heard one) would likely only be something that puts money in the pocket—because this isn't 1941, there is no clearly defined enemy to attack (Big Oil?, people with cars? incandescent bulbs? pwoer transmission companies?), there is no widespread, society-wide agreement as to what, if anything, would be a winning strategy (e.g., first win a war in Europe and then head to the Pacific).

      Which, exactly, of these solar-, wind-, battery-power projects shall we support? Which companies stay and which are dismantled? Which of our super-competent bureaucracies will we trust to take on the task of deciding (impartially, of course)? Or will we just throw money at everything, and hope some of it sticks?

      Calling this a crisis doesn't help. OK, it's a crisis. I'll put it over here, right next to banking, mortgage, healthcare and unemployment crises—that last arguably more important at the moment than energy. The comparison to WW II has more holes than Alpine Lace, and less tear strength. And yes, I feel very, very frustrated.

      •  Just do it! (0+ / 0-)

        It's  pretty simple.  You pay to get fucked or you pay to get free.  All it takes is the will and understanding the technology is here.

        Put out the RFPs and the ideas will come.  Finance the best and keep the majority profit for the people.  Don't privatize our rape.  Like the Nike ad says "just do it!"

  •  Very wise MB. I admit the environment has not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, jamess

    one of my top concerns, but this disaster has opened my eyes. We must not let this chance to change things for the better pass. I don't want this moment go to waste.

    What should we do now? I feel like this could be a tipping point. Transformative leadership is what we need.

    "We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures." W.S.

  •  treat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, alba

    We should treat our energy crisis like World War II.

    I think it's more analogous to 9/11--it must change everything.

  •  There is no American will..... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to do anything more than reach for the remote. As for the bully pulpit, Obama's grip on that is tenuous. Republicans hate him. Independents have flown away from  him. Progressives think he gave way to much to both the health care and oil industries.

    Without a doubt, he should lead on this issue. I am doubtful whether he would or could. He makes John Kerry look like a clear-eyed and forceful political presence and Jimmy Carter look like the lover America never should have left.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:33:08 PM PDT

    •  By simply changing the lighting in my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nelsons

      home, I reduced our electric bill by about 30%.

      I drive, but I drive responsibly, saving a couple of gallons of gasoline at the minimum each week by not being an aggressive road hog like everyone else.

      I disagree about 'American will' to see the truth about pollution generally, even if these people may not believe in AGW, they don't dispute the effects of air pollution - and it spans ideology.  

      I have a relative who is very much not a liberal, yet he does his best to conserve, drive responsibly to save gas and reduce pollution. My boss is most certainly a strong right winger, and he bought a hybrid car, because he told me he's concerned in part about the type of environment he's leaving for his grandkids.

      So sorry: you are not correct. The information is getting to people, even those who are NOT liberals/progressives. I feel strongly that Obama and his administration are simply not making enough effort to emphasize and get the word out.

      BP's song of the moment. "Breaking Up"- Sedaka. Unlikely encore? "JailHouse rock".

      by shpilk on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will focus on this one sentence: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    We should treat our energy crisis like World War II.

     I know your heart is in the right place and agree with the spirit of this sentence.  I was kid during WWII and life was very different then.  A lot has happened since.

    One major energy related event during our push to do it all during that war was the event under the stands at the University of Chicago.  The first sustained man made nuclear reaction.  We could now write pages about that but soon we had the bomb and then Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Pacific war was over.

    Were it possible to solve today's crisis with that kind of scientific and technological magic I'm sure we would do it as recklessly as we did that.

    Reckless?  Yes folks.  The day they started that reaction under the stands they were not 100% sure they could stop the chain reaction.  It worked.  We were lucky in a sense.

    Is it that our luck has changed?  Are we not willing to act this time because we fear the consequences too much.  At 74 I am too far along to be sure why we are where we are.  I just know that we are a different people now in my perception.  Different in so many ways.  The world is a different place.  Different in so many ways.

    Science and technology have gone far beyond the Manhattan Project.  This time it may well be that another kind of chain reaction has been set off and we are not able to stop it.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:33:35 PM PDT

  •  though, let's not let the anti-science crowd... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mojo workin, alba, Dragon5616

    .... derail nuclear again.

    A clean energy future requires solar, wind, geothermal, conservation/efficiency, and nuclear fission.  

    France and Japan are both > 70% nuclear with no problems.

    China is going for 40% wind / 60% nuclear.  

    The new reactor designs are intrinsically safe, and the "waste" can be reprocessed into new nuclear fuel.   At present we only use something like 6% of the energy value of uranium.  This can be boosted to over 90% with reprocessing, which will also cut down the need for uranium mining.  

    And then there's also thorium, which is an abundant domestic resource:  three people with shovels can dig up enough in three hours to power a city the size of Portland for a year.  

    Anti-nuclearism is the left's version of young-earth creationism.  We need to get over it.  

  •  Feed-in Laws, anyone? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Calamity Jean

    In this braver, newer world, we can't waste money bribing rich people with tax avoidance for doing the right thing and investing in renewable. Feed-In Laws would take the valueless added gambling out of electricity pricing, and make way for a 100% renewable electricity system.

    So why not allow states a chance to go this route. No loss in tax revenues to govt'ts, and rapid implementation of renewables.

    Nb41

  •  Very well done, Meteor Blades. (0+ / 0-)

    I remember reading a book on WWII when I was a kid. The amount of war material we were turning out by 1944 was mind-blowing. There is no doubt that if the US committed itself to solving the energy crisis that we could do it.

    As you say, it would be nice if the Gulf disaster were the equivalent of Pearl Harbor, but to most it is not. Obama should keep pressure on Congress and the people. And he will. So far he has gotten the stimulus through, health insurance reform through, and financial reform almost through. I think he will get a climate bill through. Here's what I think will happen:

    The President will get a bill through Congress. It will contain some type of cap and trade but not a strong one. It will contain stimulus for nuclear power. It will contain money for wind, solar, and geothermal. It will allow for development of clean coal. It will contain additional monies for the development of the new electrical grid. It will contain money for mass transit and high speed rail. It will contain more regulation of off shore oil. It will contain new CAFE standards. It will contain money for greening of buildings. It will contain tax cuts for homeowners and apartment owners to improve their energy efficiency. It will contain more dollars for the development of hybrid technology for medium and heavy trucks. It will boost electric cars, perhaps through a tax credit. It will contain tougher air and water standards. It will set aside additional land for national parks and wildlife refuges. It will contain money for pure R&D as well. And who knows what else?

    It will squeak through. It won't be nearly enough to the left. It will be rampant socialism to the right. It will be the biggest piece of climate legislation in history.

    And Obama will be excoriated for it.

    But a hundred years from now they will revere him--for many, many reasons.

    When it comes to Democrats, criticize, don't demonize. As for the GOP, I love Republicans--especially flame-broiled.

    by Dragon5616 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:39:56 PM PDT

  •  envronment can't be outsourced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda

    Hi meteor blades - good post; just a few comments:

    1> We're part of a system that extends to the creatures of the gulf. If we lose sight of this we will never solve the problem. The Gulf is a cancer on the earth's biology.

    2> Man is where man is because man decided not to be one with the earth but a master of the earth. Obama is just another ruler in a long line of rulers that have chosen not to realize this link

    3> To realize the truth of oneness with our brothers across the earth, our thinking has to widen. All species on the earth, except humans, seem to realize  this.

    Somewhere our species lost it's way. If not, we wouldn't describe things like "the ice in the Arctic is melting every year compromising the natural habitat of the polar bears." No, that's us up there. We're dying; we're suffering. Only if we embrace this natural approach to our situation can we heal.

    Government is the farthest thing from solving this issue. Everyone has to reach inside and acknowledge their role. Just as we expect our immune system to come together and extinguish a parasite, so to must we realize our place to move forward.

    Imagine the power of a species that integrates and organizes our system we call life to heal and advance. We make so many artificial barriers with our failure to treat ourselves as just another species (not better, not worse) living harmoniously with the rest of the 4.6 billion year old atoms that make up our home.

    We need to awaken and join forces since today we are most surely asleep at the wheel.

    what we can do, we will do

    by lemarais17 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:42:22 PM PDT

  •  This reminds me (0+ / 0-)

    Time to purge my email (and help limit the energy sucked up by all those server farms around the country).

    People with hatred in their hearts never live up to their full potential. It's very sad.

    by Nelsons on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:56:03 PM PDT

  •  If the Revolution doesn't start here, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    it will Never start.

    (old fart)

    4% Neanderthal, 95% chimp.

    by exMnLiberal on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 06:56:14 PM PDT

  •  $4.5 Trillion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    But But But if we borrowed that much it would cause hyperinflation and the end of civilization. Not! As you showed, we did it before. We can do it again without destroying the economy. Of course, in WWII, prices and wages (i.e. executive compensation) was controlled.

  •  I do NOT disagree with a single word (0+ / 0-)

    However, fully aware that I sound like a broken record, one crucial issue has been omitted:

    The goddamn, idiotic, immoral, criminal, pro-corporate dedication to WAR.

    The DoD consumes more refined petroleum products than any other single self-contained entity in the world. BP just happens to be their largest supplier. The Pentagon maintains 100+ military bases all over the globe. Those bases and the mindless US war machine in AfPakIraqistan (ironically fighting to control the largest oil-producing region on the planet) are THE logistical and policy problems that stand in the way of the solutions this diary wisely advocates.

    Unless we end these illegitimate wars, greatly reduce military spending, and pursue the stateless zealots who attack us using international law enforcement tactics instead of invading, bombing, terrorizing and occupying entire Muslim nations, we will never solve our energy problem.

    The only possible light at the end of this miserable tunnel will come from a candle lit by the spirit of peace. Whether we have the courage to strike the match remains to be seen.  

    Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

    by mojada on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:04:46 PM PDT

    •  in fairness to the military (0+ / 0-)

      (holy shit, I can't believe I just wrote that)

      the Pentagon knows better than anyone else its dependence on oil and the purely military danger it brings.  They know that without the oil, not a tank runs, not a jet flies, not a naval task force sails.

      And they are making a massive effort to convert from oil to things like biofuels.

      Oddly, they are the leaders in the US for converting to green energy.

      •  Yeah, I read that propaganda too (0+ / 0-)

        Amazing how many people fell for that one.

        But then, just as many think Bush and Obama spent $1trillion in AfPak out of the goodness of their hearts, butchered tens of thousands of civilians "by accident", and are hell-bent on installing compliant US puppet governments smack in the middle of the world's largest known oil reserves because noble Americans want to bring "democracy and freedom" to the local populace. Those they haven't wasted, anyway.

        We're doomed. I'd have to fucking weep for this country if all my tears hadn't already been spilled for it's victims.

        Illegal Alien: Term used by the descendents of foreign colonizers to refer to the descendents of indigenous people

        by mojada on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:00:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Last energy crisis Jimmy Carter wore a sweater (0+ / 0-)

    On June 30, 1979, a weary Jimmy Carter was looking forward to a few days' vacation in Hawaii (Obama was almost 18 years old and I was 20 about to be permanently laid off from General Motors). Aboard Air Force One, the phone rang. It was Carter's pollster, Patrick Caddell. 'You have no idea how bad it is here.

    Long gas-pump lines and short tempers started in California and spread eastward, focusing Americans' outrage over a seemingly endless economic decline. Much of that anger was directed at the White House: Carter's approval rating had dropped to 25%, lower than Richard Nixon's during the Watergate scandal.

    The president did come home, canceling his vacation and retreating to Camp David, where he started working on what would be his fifth major speech on energy.

    Carter soon realized that Americans had stopped listening to him. "Jimmy had made several speeches on energy... and it just seemed to be going nowhere with the public," recalls Rosalynn Carter.

    On the evening of July 15, 1979, millions of Americans tuned in to hear Jimmy Carter give a speech. It became known as Carter's "malaise" speech.

    In the week following the speech. On July 17, he asked his entire cabinet for their resignations, LOL!

    http://www.pbs.org/...

    After all that pain of the last energy "crisis" we made and bought SUVs, mini-vans, McMansions, made more stuff out of petroleum based plastics. There you go. That's America dealing with a crisis.

  •  They Just Won't Be American Jobs (0+ / 0-)

    Clean energy will create hundreds of thousands of jobs without the risk of disasters like the one we are witnessing now or the one that put 29 miners into the grave in West Virginia a few months ago.

    Regrettably, these won't be American jobs unless we fix our wage discrepancy. Without an international minimum wage, most of these jobs will be created in other countries and we will pay for that not only in dollars but in the carbon used to transport those goods to the U.S.

    We must demand an international minimum wage in all our trade agreements as the price of continued access to U.S. markets. That's the only way to stop the rampant outsourcing of jobs that has drained our economy year after year for three decades.

  •  Obama Is Not the Answer (0+ / 0-)

    We are wasting our time trying to persuade Obama to make any significant changes to energy policy. If you want to make a difference, then the best way is to elect progressives to Congress.

    We have a stellar opportunity on Tuesday to make a real difference. A victory for Halter in Arkansas will send a real message to Congress that progressives are serious about making changes we want for a future worth fighting for. (There are other races, such as the one in Colorado, that will back up that message.)

    It doesn't matter what Halter actually does once he gets to Congress. What matters is dumping Lincoln. She is the poster child for corporate greed and a symbol for how deep corporate tentacles have reached into Congress. Taking her down sends a strong message that members of Congress have to take progressive seriously.

    I've contributed a number of times to Halter's campaign and I hope you have, too. This is our best chance to change the way Washington works.

  •  Why do we ignore what is being done now? (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is doing more than just talk -- MB, why didn't you add this to your article? There are many MORE examples than the ones that I added below -- and it took me just 5 minutes to find them. Why are we talking about what he is doing NOW and educate others since the media tends to be silent about it? Why aren't we doing stories on the Front Page on all the grants that have been handed out and what these companies are doing?

    Or, is just easier to complain about what we don't see in front of us on the teevee?

    Vice President Biden Announces Recovery Act Funding for 37 Transformational Energy Research Projects

    At a Recovery Act Cabinet Meeting today, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the U.S. Department of Energy is awarding $106 million in funding for 37 ambitious research projects that could fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy. Funded through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the $106 million is awarded to projects that could produce advanced biofuels more efficiently from renewable electricity instead of sunlight; design completely new types of batteries to make electric vehicles more affordable; and remove the carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants in a more cost-effective way.

    Department of Energy Grant Awarded to Study Environmental Effects of Wind Power

    The $3 million investment will advance wind turbine technology research and development, enhance wind technology curricula for university coursework, provide students with educational opportunities for hands-on wind technology research, develop training programs that will build the wind power workforce and research possible environmental impacts of wind power deployment.

    UCLA engineer gets $4M from Dept. of Energy to convert CO2 to liquid fuel using electricity

    James C. Liao, Chancellor's Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been awarded $4 million over three years to develop a method for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel isobutanol using electricity.

    The grant was awarded by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), a new agency that promotes and funds projects to develop transformational technologies to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy, curb energy-related emissions and improve energy efficiency across all sectors of the U.S. economy.

    Gemini Energy Services Awarded Department of Energy Grant to Develop Veteran Workforce for the Wind Industry

    --Gemini Energy Services, a division of Orion International, has been awarded a $200,000 Workforce Development grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, to create a tailored training curriculum for military veterans that will translate their military skill set into a technical career within the wind industry.

    Orion International has committed an additional $154,000 to the grant award for training, tools and equipment costs, and will oversee the continuation of the program once the grant funding has been exhausted

    Honeywell's UOP Awarded U.S. Department of Energy Grant for Conversion of Waste Biomass to Green Transportation Fuels

    UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced today it has been selected for negotiation of a $25 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to build a demonstration unit in Hawaii to convert cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels.

    As part of the DOE's effort to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry and create new jobs, this project will use cellulosic biomass feedstocks like forestry and agricultural residuals or algae residuals to produce the liquid biofuel pyrolysis oil, which will then be upgraded into green transportation fuels.

    Superman's black in the building - Public Enemy

    by blackinthebuilding on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:36:40 PM PDT

    •  "clean" coal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Calamity Jean

      The expression "clean" coal has been debunked so now it is being called "zero carbon coal."

      1. Zero-Carbon Coal: Innovative Materials & Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies (“IMPACCT”) --- Coal-fired power plants currently generate approximately 50% of the electricity in the United States. But they also produce significant carbon pollution, which could have serious consequences for climate change. This ARPA-E program aims to support revolutionary technologies to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants using a range of approaches, including solvents, sorbents, catalysts, enzymes, membranes, and gas-liquid-solid phase changes.

      Carbon capture and carbon storage has not been proved.

      President is listing coal, natural gas and nuclear power under "clean energy"  - this is not a clear look at the future of energy.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:17:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  please contact me (0+ / 0-)

    There are events in motion that are not yet public which directly relate to this call to action. I've placed my cell number in your inbox.

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:36:49 PM PDT

  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

    without reading further (I will get around to that), this:

    Rather, it should be the wartime FDR of 1940-45. That war generated the largest public mobilization of human resources in our history.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on the FDR war years is a must read.  It is also a must for perspective.

    On what kinds of majorities FDR had, on how he bargained with business to get plants built and re-tooled for the Lend Lease program (which involved a back-door maneuver in order to start the program which arguably won the European theater of operations).  The entire book is a lesson in...get ready...pragmatism.

    And we do need that now.  That kind of mobilization.  That kind of spirit of contributing to the defeat of a common enemy.  Only problem is, the common enemies now are complacency and greed.

    Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

    by pvlb on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 07:52:34 PM PDT

  •  The shocking truth is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    the spill and Katrina together have not been enough to galvanize the public on a par with Pearl Harbor despite the comparable loss of life in Katrina.  In WWII, and most of the time, we just can't seem to act until a disaster of immense proportions strikes us.  So just imagine what it's going to take....10,000 dead perhaps?  And even then...

    •  Oceans on fire, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SGWM

      holes in the sun,

      snow skiing in Bahrain.

      Australia underwater.

      Those might do it.

      Oh wait.  They already have snow skiing in Bahrain.

      I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 08:30:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most of curious of all is the people in Louisiana (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, SGWM

      who still favor drilling offshore, who still support oil companies. They have not received the message that was out there for years and years, if the marshes go, Louisiana goes with them. The sea will overtake Louisiana, the hurricanes will overcome Louisiana.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 09:08:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's understandable, actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, SGWM

        For many people in that part of Louisiana, oil is the only job they have. I'd not expect them to give up their only livelihood voluntarily.

        That is why if we ban offshore drilling--and we must--we better make sure we have some comparable alternative jobs available for those people. Otherwise we will just be sentencing them to starvation.

        The oil workers are victims in all this, too. BP fucks them every single day, not just on days when there are oil spills. Indeed, BP just KILLED almost a dozen of them.

        Don't blame the victims.  It's not their fault.

      •  The wages of bigotry. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        As a reaction to Civil Rights legisltion, whites went R and bought into the whole cowboy capitalism scheme of deregulation.  The people of the Gulf States, sorry to say, voted for this outcome, the spill.  And, though I'm tempted to say, "so don't come crying to me,"  I think they were conned by the Republican party.  What really shocks me is that they still don't seem to get it.

        When I look at the news stories of the Restauranteurs, fishermen and the shrimpers yelling about the government, I wonder how many would support stronger government inpections of their businesses.  Regulating you is good.  Regulating me is bad.  Whatever happened to the American sense of solidarity we had after WWII.

  •  Fourth Turning? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevvboy

    I try to avoid making every comment into a proselytization for it, but you've hit so many buzzwords that I have to ask: Have you read Strauss and Howe's "The Fourth Turning"?

    In their model, it's not 1941: it's somewhere between 1931 and 1934. But we ARE in a Crisis (what they call a Fourth Turning),which WILL transform our world as much as WWII. The Crisis exists because so much that COULD have been done was put off, delayed, postponed for other matters considered more pressing at the time. Obama was elected in no small part because of a new generation of Heroes - who share many characteristics with what S&H call the G.I. Generation i.e. Brokaw's Greatest Generation. They work well in teams and will sacrifice for the common good. (Paradoxically, that's because they're self-centered group-thinkers who have been given everything their doting parents could manage, and will do whatever is needed keep it. But I'm fine with that if it works.)

    And they predicted in 1991 that this would happen, when the oldest member of this generation was barely 10 years old. (That was their first book, "Generations." "The Fourth Turning" came out in 1997, when they started to realize that a) they might actually have been right and b) that meant that there really was a crisis approaching within the next decade.)

    The good news is that (according to the theory) we are at a point where people are willing to consider radical change. If someone was willing to be a real leader about it, there's a very good chance that he could get the country to do everything you ask, here.

    RV

    Al Gore is running for Gray Champion.

    by RanxeroxVox on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 08:16:09 PM PDT

  •  After rereading this diary, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Situational Lefty

    I think I am more convinced than I was the first time that the dramatic action MB calls for would actually be not only the best policy but (just perhaps) the best politics.  If our smartest recent President can't see the way to make this the transformative moment, the moment we woke up and saw what our immediate purpose must be, we as a nation have really failed.

    I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 08:28:45 PM PDT

  •  The enviromental movement MUST change their (0+ / 0-)

    messaging.

    Right now all I'm hearing from them is scolding ("Look at all those oil covered animals! This is YOUR fault for not massively reducing your energy usage right now, you evil, evil person!"), doomsaying ("If you don't massively reduce your energy usage right now we're all going to burn and/or drown!") or some combination of the two.

    And then they complain that people don't take them seriously. With that attitude, who would?

    If they want to convince people, they need to switch their messaging to "Here is how you are going to use just as much energy as before, if not more, without killing the planet. And hey, bonus - in the long run its even going to save you money/help our economy!"

    Then they'll see results.

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 05:29:50 AM PDT

    •  alas, that is simply not possible (0+ / 0-)

      "Here is how you are going to use just as much energy as before, if not more, without killing the planet.

      The wasteful, indolent, profligate lifestyles we have here in the US are simply unsustainable.

      We simply MUST reduce our energy usage to levels that can be met with sustainable sources.

      For much of the world, that would mean their energy usage can go UP, a lot.

      But for a few nations (*us*), it means our usage will have to go DOWN, a lot.

      And we will never do that voluntarily.

      •  Then I suggest (0+ / 0-)

        we pour money into finding sustainable methods to meet the energy demand.

        Otherwise we are in for a crash, as you are quite correct that we will not reduce our energy consumptions levels voluntarily.

        Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

        by Whimsical on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:29:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ho-Hum, (0+ / 0-)

    if that sounds cynical, it is. Obama still wanders around, a rookie in the shark pit of power. I have been a member of a very small minority all my life: wanting this country to get w/the program on clean energy. I have always done my share towards it. Now, I just don't know what to think anymore.

    It will be up to us, the American People, to change it. However, being stupid and intellectually lazy has been pushed as a virtue since Reagan. That has to change and the Corporate Mindset sure won't do it. They like having all these modern-day serfs.

    If you stop learning, you die.

  •  It is much later than most people think... (0+ / 0-)

    It is already too late to avoid "dangerous climate change" by ONLY reducing emissions (and we are not even doing that... we are actually increasing worldwide emissions).

    At this point, we need to urgently reduce emissions (peaking by 2015 and going down after that... can you imagine that happening?) AND begin sucking CO2 directly out of the air (see this month's Scientific American for a great article on that).  We may also need to try some geo-engineering.  It might have bad side effects, but so does chemotherapy!

    See ClimatePlace.org for more information from me on climate change, including links, videos, books, etc.

  •  Clean Energy (0+ / 0-)

    Is a very nice idea, but wind, tide and solar can't cut it alone. Do some reading about thorium reactors.

    Thorium is a relatively common element, about four times as common as uranium.

    You cannot make a bomb from either thorium or it's 'waste' products.

    The waste produced is dangerous for hundreds, not thousands of years.

    A thorium reactor must be activated by an outside source of fast neutrons, such as a particle beam or a small amount of an element such as plutonium. As the reaction cannot sustain it's self, a meltdown is impossible if the outside source of neutrons is removed or shut off.

    As a thorium reactor has no need for multible back-up systems and produces little radiation, they would be far simpler and less expensive to build.

    Such a relatively safe and concetrated source of  power would allow a decentralized power scheme which would greatly decrease the need for a national power grid, making power almost immune to a 'terrorist' attack, and saving billions in energy losses; with mass production of a single design, the costs of the reactors would fall to reasonable levels.

    I'm not saying a word about the 'clean' sources of energy save one: they are extremely low density sources, and they require a national grid, both serious disadvantages.

    I'm just sayin'.

    "Drop kick me Jesus through the goal post of life" - Paul Craft

    by All In on Mon Jun 07, 2010 at 09:39:57 AM PDT

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