Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Idealists Need Not Apply

09/12/2010

The realists have won the day and they believe only in Pentagon budgets, data driven education and the pragmatism of multi-billion dollar bank payouts. Enter Bill McKibben originator of 350.org and his merry band of college students. All they wanted to do was return the solar panel that Ronald Reagan had removed from the White House. In a time when climate change has flooded Pakistan, fried Russians and given us temperature extremes unheard of sense such data has been recorded, you’d think accepting a solar panel wouldn’t be a big deal. After all, Mrs. Obama’s installation of an organic garden at the White House resulted in a marked increase in seed sales. Imagine what installing a panel on the roof could do! But, Mr. McKibben and friends were rejected as were the 40,000 people who signed on to the letter in support of the effort.

See, former President Jimmy Carter had installed solar panels in the 70’s. He recognized the importance of energy independence especially when the gas crisis hit. The current White House resident is more of a Reagan Democrat than an adherent to Carter’s populous ideas. Mr. Obama and his advisers deify the corporate model, Wall Street insiders are their mentors, heroes and former employers. The only oil crisis they recognize is how to cover up the long term effects of the BP spill and how to keep the Pentagon’s tanks topped off. Accepting a solar panel from a bunch of granola eating environmental activists is anathema to a government that has allied itself with endless war and outmoded energy.

Somewhere in a parallel universe it seemed that Americans loved dreamers, folks with vision and the courage to attempt the impossible to arrive at the improbable. In the current reality idealists are seen as idiots, the smart people don’t really believe in God (they just act like it so the dumb ones will continue to follow), and everyone knows that destruction is way more profitable than sustainability. When you destroy there’s always rebuilding to be done, when you sustain there’s no capital gains. So, Mr. McKibben and friends, thanks but no thanks . . .the administration will de-liberate and you can help reduce CO2 to 350 ppm by just holding your breath and waiting for change.

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A Planet Money Can’t Buy

05/01/2010

Green-Wash This

Pres Obama’s declaration that BP will pay for clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico is symbolic of capital’s hubris and naivete based on the idea that cash can solve all problems. The magnitude of the ongoing BP Gulf gusher is beyond a payment plan. The long term degradation of the fisheries, the die off of animal and plant life, effects on the tourist industry along Alabama and Florida’s panhandle will be irreparable. How big a check will BP write? Why is Pres. Obama still wedded to the idea of drilling even in the wake of this cataclysm? Isn’t it time we come clean to the fact that fossil fuels are inherently unclean? How many lives human and otherwise are worth our lust for bigger, better, stronger, faster, newer, next new things?

The western world is always touting our technological advantage our prowess in the realm of thinking and engineering but when it comes to cleaning up after ourselves we’re infantile at best. Taking a shit on the planet with no clean-up plan beyond the cheapest of baby wipes. The best minds at BP never dreamed of a disaster of this magnitude. The machines created by their engineers have failed. Yet we still call ourselves advanced? BP, and the other petro-chemical and mining companies would do well to adopt the “Leave No Trace” motto of hikers, campers and naturalists. If it isn’t already too late.

I hope the new found interest in extra-terrestrial life culminates in true intelligence teaching us how to live in harmony with the planet rather than functioning as parasites who trail waste behind them.

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