Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vanuatu, We Hardly Knew Ye

It seems a safe bet nobody will be naming an island in the Maldives after our Only President. Faced today with a world stage and the possibility for a real statement on how the US would pitch in to arrest the advance of rising CO2 and sea levels, we said developing nations needed to do their share. That's like the pot calling the kettle carbon-stained.

Here's a news flash--developing nations don't need to set up coal-fired utilities; that step can be skipped over, and the utility infrastructure built on renewable energy and distributed generation grids. Here's another news flash--people in these countries may have sex. Occasionally, that sex may produce offspring. Always, however, those offspring will require resources to survive. How about we take those ACORN dollars and turn them into contraception education and resources? Instead of teaching the next generation of Don Magic Juans how to evade The Man, we could help developing nations keep their population growth from outstripping the evolution of their infrastructure. Or maybe--just maybe--we could take a look at our 20% of the world's production of CO2 and ask ourselves why we can't keep up with China. Mao has to be laughing his ass off right about now--it was his idea to make those little hats recyclable.

If you think global warming is a myth, that we can beat on the Earth like a drum with no repercussions, that's fine. However, do you really want to take the risk that someday downtown Cleveland could be oceanfront property?

The problem is that we believe correcting our climate impact is directly tied to our economy. It is--it is directly tied to our current economy. We've got an economy that looks like a three-car pileup, unemployment numbers that refuse to shrink, and a populace that thinks the vast majority of its leadership isn't up to the task--and that goes for both sides of the aisle, in every State, and in both Houses of Congress. If we keep thinking inside our current box, all we're going to wind up with is the same stale ideas.

America works best when Americans work. It's time to resurrect the WPA--only this time, they'll build geothermal plants instead of buildings, windmill blades instead of monuments, and solar panels instead of highways. Let's face it--Americans need their pride back. Whether it's returned by soldering together a solar array or by harvesting pond scum to make synthetic fuel, it doesn't matter--it just needs to make a return, and swiftly.

Before the waters rise any higher.